As I write, I’ve literally just got off the train from Norwich where I saw the first British screening of The Red Pill. It was a chance to meet Paul Elam and Mike Buchanan for the first time, along with many others I had known only online.
After the movie, I was asked several times what I thought about it. Words failed me then and I only managed say that it was fantastic. But it was more than that.
It’s rather like being asked, “So what are the issues in the men’s movement?”
Words generally fail me then too — “well, it’s everything,” I tend to say, uselessly.
After the movie, there was a question and answer session with a panel which included three shape-shifting feminists. I say “shape-shifting” because they seemed eager to inform us that we had got it all wrong, and that feminism isn’t primarily about gender at all, but class equality (hopefully there will be a video of this at some point).
My instinct was to pose a question, which I was regretting even as I asked as I belatedly realised that it would simply give them a platform they did not deserve. As one of them spoke down to us Neanderthals in the audience about the things she was going to say and do when she becomes a university lecturer, it seemed that it hadn’t dawned on her that she wasn’t the intended focus of the event.
Boys today are being crushed by the education system and being driven out of university. Few of them are going to be university lecturers.
The movie was about boys, not her.
My father worked full time in a manual job from the age of fourteen until sixty seven — fifty three years of unremitting drudgery and physical labour. He was loving, loyal and put his family before himself in all things. He took care of us. He spent his final two years taking care of my mother who had managed, at long last, to drink herself to death. Her death killed him too.
The movie was about loving fathers like my dad, not her.
A close friend of mine woke to the reality of his life after reading his wife’s diary in which she described how she intended to drive him to suicide. He had to fight to see his children and later suffered a heart attack, followed by a stroke which left him unemployed, homeless and disabled. In hospital, he was visited by his then ex-wife who wanted to know when he would be back at work as he needed to pay for the holiday she was going on.
The movie was about my friend, and all those in such dire predicament, not her.
My grandfather suffered in later life with a skin condition, having stood for days up to his neck in diesel ladened waters at Dunkirk. My great grandfather could hear nothing, having been deafened as nineteen year old by the guns at the Somme. Indeed, whole generations of young men and teenage boys had their bones and blood ground into the dirt during the industrialised slaughter of the twentieth century while privileged rich women complained about their right to vote — a right my great grandfather never had.
The movie was about these young men, not her.
Several months ago I met a man in the streets of Manchester. He was homeless and crying. Speaking to him, I learned that as a child he had thrown a pint of boiling water into his father’s face at his mother’s behest. His father committed suicide a week later. Having been destroyed as a going human concern in childhood by his mother, he had spent his life homeless — a fierce human tragedy, the cause of which, seemingly invisible to everyone.
The movie was about broken souls like that man, those who we as a society would spit on rather than acknowledge. It wasn’t about her.
A rather poignant moment in The Red Pill, I felt, was when the well connected eye-rolling feminist, Katherine Spiller, pontificated about how advantaged men are — from her executive offices at the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Well, the movie was about all the thousands of us who, every year, chose suicide rather than the advantage afforded us by our privileged gender.
But what did I really think of it, the movie?
It was an acknowledgement, and a validation of sorts. It was a beginning and a wonderful one at that. After watching, I felt that at last someone was looking, that people might one day wake up and begin to see. In the morning, this morning, when I awoke I could have sobbed my heart out. I almost cried on the train home but managed not to because, well, men don’t do that kind of thing you know. (Apparently, we need feminism to teach us how to be in touch with our emotions.)
Of Cassie Jaye, the ex-feminist who made the film, I would say this: when so many prefer the safety of delusion, her commitment to intellectual integrity is commendable. I’m grateful for it.
Thanks to Barry Wright, not just for hosting the movie, but for expertly dodging feminist protest. I hope the second screening went just as well.
Most of all, however, I’d like to thank someone who has, no doubt, received very little in the way of thanks and is featured strongly in the film. Without Paul Elam and A Voice for Men, God knows where I would be now. So Paul Elam, thank you!
I would still choose Red over Blue.
I hope to be at the screening in Manchester UK. I would urge anyone to go and see The Red Pill wherever you can.