Cassie Jaye comments on “The Red Pill”


The Red Pill chronicles Jaye’s journey beginning as a skeptical feminist investigating what she believes to be a hate movement. She goes on to discover that the movement is different from what she expected and begins to question her own views on gender, power, and privilege. The film discusses numerous issues facing men and boys such as male suicide rates, workplace fatalities and high-risk jobs, false allegations of rape, military conscription, lack of services for male victims of domestic violence and rape, higher rates of violent victimization, issues concerning divorce and child custody, disparity in criminal sentencing, disproportionate funding and research on men’s health issues, educational inequality, and men’s lack of reproductive rights.[1][2][3][4] It includes numerous interviews with men’s rights activists and those supportive of the movement, most notably Paul Elam,[2] founder of A Voice for Men; Harry Crouch,[2] president of the National Coalition for Men; Warren Farrell,[2] author of The Myth of Male Power; and Erin Pizzey,[2] who started the first domestic violence shelter in the modern world. It also includes interviews with feminists critical of the movement, such as Ms. magazine executive editor Katherine Spillar,[5] and sociologist Michael Kimmel.[3] It also contains excerpts from Jaye’s video diary.

Funding controversy[edit]

Director Cassie Jaye initially struggled to find financiers who did not have “an agenda.”[6] She mostly encountered people who believed the men’s rights movement was a “disease that shouldn’t be given a fair hearing.”[6] Jaye got the film “off the ground” with her own money as well as money from her mother, a co-producer, and her boyfriend.[3] After it became known that the film would be favoring to the men’s rights movement, Jaye was unable to find funding to cover the cost of the movie from traditional sources.[1][7][8] She instead started a campaign on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which she called a last resort.[6] The Kickstarter project promised to be a “fair and balanced” look at the men’s rights movement.[6] The effort was strongly criticized by some feminists and received support from Breitbart News columnist Milo Yiannopoulos.[9][10][11] In the end, the campaign exceeded its goal of $97,000 as well as two stretch goals to raise a total of $211,260.[12]

Alan Scherstuhl’s review suggested that many of those providing funding for the film may have themselves been men’s rights activists, thereby creating a conflict of interest.[13] Jaye has said that the suggestion the film was funded by MRAs is “a common lie that keeps spreading.”[3] One of the largest pledges to the film was by Mike Cernovich, who pledged $10,000 to the Kickstarter project.[6] In a blog post he stated he was “not funding The Red Pill to help MRAs” but that the film will “help all men, and all women, and all children.”[6] Cernovich does not identify as an MRA,[6] and has stated he does not particularly like MRAs.[14] Jaye stated that “our five highest backers … are neither MRA nor feminist. I would say three out of five of them didn’t even know about the men’s rights movement, but wanted to defend free speech.”[6] She also stated that the film’s backers and producers would have no influence or control of the film.[3][6]