Saturday, August 27, 2016
The Red Pill: the movie about men that feminists didn’t want you to see
A feminist filmmaker has re-ignited the gender war by daring to make a controversial movie about the Men Right’s Movement.
As part of her research for The Red Pill, American film maker Cassie Jaye spent hundreds of hours with the internet’s most notorious Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) over a two-and-a-half year period. For balance, she also interviewed some of their fiercest critics – such as Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Jaye began the process as a feminist, but she ended up not only sympathising with the MRAs, but fundamentally questioning the “aggressive” ethos of modern feminism.
For her efforts, she says she has been smeared, threatened with “career suicide” and even saw her funding dry up – to the point where the movie was unlikely to see the light of day.
But then something incredible happened: via a Kickstarter fund, a “global army” of 2,732 free speech advocates (of both genders), raised a staggering $211,260, ensuring the movie’s cinematic release.
Jaye, 29, has heavyweight credentials, winning multiple awards for her two previous movies, Daddy I Do and The Right to Love: An American Family.
The title The Red Pill refers to a scene in the Matrix, when Keanu Reeves’ character takes the red pill to see “the truth” – MRAs claim they see the “truth” about women and a world they feel is systematically stacked against men and boys.
The Red Pills’ key interviewees – including MRA luminaries such as A Voice For Men founder Paul Elam, author of The Myth Of Male Power Dr Warren Farrell and the National Coalition For Men’s Dean Esmay – have long been smeared as some of the internet’s biggest anti-feminist bogeyman.
Yet until now no serious documentary maker has tried to get inside their world.
“When I started this project, my perception of MRAs was definitely negative,” she tells me. “I thought they’d say shocking things and it would be a peek inside this mysterious, misogynistic community. All I knew about them was the cherry-picked, shocking comments used on feminist websites.
“But when I started to really listen to them, I started to empathise with a lot of their issues. Our cultural conditioning is that women have been oppressed and men are the oppressors. But I saw that wasn’t so.
“Within the feminist community, there is a level of dismissiveness and a lack of compassion. There is a feeling ‘they have been the oppressors, and now it’s our turn’. Some prefer to step on men in the process. Even when men were suffering, like falling behind at school, I heard a lot of talk about ‘toxic masculinity’ – that it was somehow the fault of the patriarchy, that men caused their own problems.
“But the MRAs weren’t loners or misogynists. Most of them are in loving relationships and have children, and that was shocking for me.”
When it began to emerge that Jaye was to tell a sympathetic story of the MRAs, her feminist interviewees were furious – and her funding suddenly dried up. “There was anger from feminists when they found out I was being too kind to MRAs,” she says. “They said, 'they’re going to turn on you. Don’t be fooled’.
“As time went on they did not want to go through with funding – because I was balanced and ‘giving the MRAs a platform’. “It was a way of stopping this film getting too big. They hoped it would fizzle out. They believed they had control of the film. It was an indirect attempt to censor my voice.
‘So I looked at film grants, but there were no categories for boys and men. The situation was desperate”.
It was at this point when the internet stepped in, spurred on by a rally article in Breibart, and raised the six figure sum needed to push the film towards distribution.
“People power, Twitter power, social media power, came to our rescue,” she says. “People were disgusted that one side was trying to silence and prevent this film from being made.
“Many said ‘I’m not into the MRA thing, but I absolutely believe they have the right to have their say’.
“It was a global uprising of both genders; people from China, India, Australia, USA, Canada and the UK”.
Now Red Pill is due for a cinematic release in Autumn 2016 to drive men’s issues on the radar ahead of the US Presidential Election (there will also be a London screening).
“I didn’t realise it would get so much resistance,” says Jaye. “But we can now afford an Oscar qualifying screening. This forces a great amount of very prestigious people to watch it.
“I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people high up in the film industry who not only support it, but even wanted to make it, but they felt it would be career suicide.
“Making this was the most life-changing experience of my life. It completely changed how I see men, from my relationship with my boyfriend to my father figures. It will open doors for understanding how men work.
“Above all, Red Pill is not about attacking women: it is about supporting men. And that can only be a good thing”.
Air Force Officer Faces Review Over Bible
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is demanding an Air Force major be “aggressively punished” for having an open Bible on his desk at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO.
“It [the Bible] is very obviously a statement of Christian preference, Christian primacy,” MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein told me. “Had that been the Book of Satan or the Koran there would be blood in the freaking streets.”
He accused Maj. Steve Lewis, a supervisor at the Reserve National Security Space Institute, of “harboring and encouraging a truly abhorrent example of First Amendment civil rights violations.”
Mr. Weinstein is a fussy little fellow, isn’t he?
Col. Damon Feltman, the commander of the 310th Space Wing, told me they are reviewing the incident involving the Good Book. “He has removed the Bible voluntarily because he didn’t want this to cause attention or disruption to his unit,” Col. Feltman said. “I’ve performed a walk-through of the office and everything seemed to be in compliance with Air Force regulation.”
So when will Maj. Lewis be able to return the Bible to his desk?
“I’m waiting on the unit commander’s review of the situation before making a final assessment,” the colonel said.
He stressed that Air Force personnel are free to exercise their constitutional rights to practice their own religion “as long as it is respectful of other individual’s rights to follow their own belief system in ways that support good order and discipline and don’t detract from (the) military mission.”
“As long as he’s not doing something excessive, the existence of a Bible or the Koran or the Torah or some other religious article is not prohibited,” Col. Feltman said. “It’s what you do with it when you have it.”
Weinstein, who earns a paycheck by trying to eradicate Christianity from the Armed Forces, accused Maj. Lewis of committing a “repulsive violation of USAF regulations” as well as the U.S. Constitution.
“It’s not his desk,” he told me. “That desk belongs to the American people, to the U.S. military. If that desk was in his home or his car it would not be a problem.”
Weinstein fired off a nasty, adjective-laden letter to the base commander after receiving complaints from 33 unnamed Air Force personnel. “We have 33 very scared Air Force families,” Weinstein told me.
Just a brief aside: If those Air Force personnel are terrified of a Bible, how in the world will they be able to muster the courage to fight the enemy?
Apparently one of Weinstein’s gentle snowflakes managed to conquer his fear long enough to sneak up on the open Bible and take several photographs — which were then submitted as evidence.
“Major Lewis has created an around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine on his official USAF workstation desk that has been in prominent static display for years,” Weinstein said. “The pages in his open Bible on his USAF desk never change, ever.”
One of the airmen who reached out to Weinstein complained that the officer’s Bible is a “blatant case of Christian defiance and Christian discrimination.”
“I am intimidated by the display, and I am a practicing Christian,” the unnamed airman wrote. “This open Bible is discrimination at the highest level.” The airman went on to say that he wasn’t just offended by the Bible, he was “outrageously offended.”
Travis Weber, the director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, said every service member has a right to the free exercise of religion. “It should be beyond clear that they are protected by the Constitution, statutory authority and regulations,” Weber told me.
He pointed to a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces that reaffirmed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “applies in the military context.”
“Men and women signing up to defend our country do not give up this right — especially when, of all things, they are fighting to defend the very Constitution which contains this protection,” Weber said.
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin said the problem is that militant secularists see the Bible as a threat. “Indeed it is a powerful weapon, but it is not a threat to America,” he said. “The military should be focused on the real threats to this nation.”
Perhaps the Air Force should offer complimentary counseling for those personnel suffering from PTBS (Post Traumatic Bible Syndrome)?
For the record, there is no evidence that any of Weinstein’s clients spontaneously combusted or converted after glancing at the Holy Bible.
Human Rights Act WILL be scrapped and replaced with a British Bill of Rights, says Justice Secretary Liz Truss
The Human Rights Act will be scrapped and replaced with a British Bill of Rights, Justice Secretary Liz Truss promised today as she rubbished reports the move had been axed.
She said she was working on the details of the policy but refused to give any indication when it would be introduced.
It will allay fears among Tory MPs that the party's 2015 manifesto commitment had been put under review by the new Prime Minister following June's Brexit vote.
Reports earlier this month quoted sources close to Theresa May saying the idea of a British Bill of Rights had been 'junked'.
But Ms Truss, who made history last month after Mrs May appointed her as Britain's first ever Justice Secretary, insisted the Government will introduce the Bill.
She told the BBC: 'We are committed to that. It is a manifesto pledge. We are looking very closely at the details but we have a manifesto pledge to deliver that.'
The Human Rights Act was brought in by Tony Blair and incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law. But any move by Mrs May's government to ditch the Act would not mean withdrawing from the ECHR
Mrs May ruled out withdrawing from the ECHR during the Conservative party leadership election, saying there was insufficient support for the move in the current Parliament.
Replacing the Act with a British Bill of Rights would aim to reiterate the supremacy of UK law and enable UK authorities to deport foreign criminals without being blocked by Strasbourg.
Mr Cameron first pledged to introduce a Bill of Rights before the 2010 general election, arguing that replacing the Human Rights Act was the best way of curbing abuses.
He said the legislation would limit the ability of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to interfere in domestic decisions such as whether criminals could be deported.
The Liberal Democrats did not agree to the overhaul during the coalition years, but it was revived after the Tories won an overall majority last year.
The Bill would have provided explicit protections for 'freedom of expression' and the armed forces serving abroad.
However, Mrs May is said to have been unhappy with some of the details, including a concession that Britain would remain signed up to the ECHR.
The fine print of the policy had been largely drawn up by former Justice Secretary Michael Gove - who was summarily axed by Mrs May when she took over in Downing Street.
The PM's chief of staff, Nick Timothy, has previously suggested that a Bill of Rights would be pointless unless the UK leaves the jurisdiction of the ECHR.
Mrs May has already made clear she will not be pursuing her ambition of cutting ties with the court - which is separate from the EU - conceding there is not a majority in parliament for doing so.
Political Correctness Prevents Advancement of Science
Science can make us uncomfortable. Astronomy proved that the Earth goes around the sun, upending centuries of geocentric theology. Physics tells us that our universe will someday come to an end. DNA sequencing can reveal our true ancestry or genetic predispositions to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, forever changing our life’s trajectory.
As unsettling as those discoveries have been for society, some research is so politically controversial that few dare to speak of it in public for fear of running afoul of the PC police. And this fear, argues Nathan Cofnas in the journal Foundations of Science, obstructs the self-correcting nature of scientific inquiry.
Mr. Cofnas begins the paper with the story of Socrates, who was executed for “corrupting the youth” of Greece. Forebodingly, he adds, “[T]he philosophy of his prosecutors — that morality-threatening scientific investigation should be prohibited — flourishes even today.”
To support his case, Mr. Cofnas focuses on the taboo subject of group differences in intelligence, which he says is suppressed by those who believe that even discussing the topic is “morally wrong or morally dangerous.”
Those who embrace such a viewpoint obviously do so with the honorable intention of preventing discrimination. However, the proverbial road to hell is paved with good intentions. Such misguided efforts to maintain perfect equality can hamper the advancement of knowledge. Mr. Cofnas states:
“[W]hen hypotheses are regarded as supporting certain moral values or desirable political goals, scientists often refuse to abandon them in the light of empirical evidence.”
Is he right? Absolutely, yes.
Not only do intellectuals refuse to abandon politically correct beliefs in the face of contradictory evidence, but simply questioning them can ruin a person’s career. Lawrence Summers’ tenure as president of Harvard was cut short because he suggested that there are intellectual differences between men and women. As a result of such punitive pushback, some researchers are afraid to investigate differences between male and female brains, which certainly exist. Without a doubt, this reticence is holding back the field of neuroscience.
A similar chilling effect can be seen in climatology. The only politically correct belief regarding the climate is that humans are 100% responsible for everything bad that happens and that the Four Horsemen are already marching toward Earth. Questioning that apocalyptic and unscientific belief has resulted in multiple researchers being labeled “climate deniers.” Climatology would greatly benefit from the more skeptical approach of so-called “lukewarmers,” but far too many are ostracized and demonized.
Discussions about the causes of homelessness also fall under the purview of the PC police. The politically correct explanation is that homelessness is the result of poverty. While obviously a factor, often left out of the debate is the fact that, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20% to 25% of homeless people are severely mentally ill, a prevalence that is roughly four times that of the general population. The same group estimates that 38% and 26% of homeless people are dependent on alcohol and drugs, respectively. In fact, NCH states that, “Substance abuse [is] the single largest cause of homelessness for single adults.”
Certainly, many — perhaps most — people prefer to ignore reality in favor of feel-good fallacies. Mr. Cofnas believes this phenomenon is rooted in a “deep human impulse to conflate facts and moral values.” In other words, (positive) statements that describe the world as it is are often interpreted by people as (normative) statements that prescribe the world as it ought to be.
This fundamental confusion distorts debate and impedes progress. If Mr. Cofnas is correct that this cognitive dissonance is hardwired into us, then that makes the goal of evidence-based policy sadly unattainable.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.