The Red Pill movie evoked a heroic spirit, not only for movie-goers who had to pay in advance to attend a venue they were not even privy to (to keep venue staff safe), and for risking violence (there were gun threats), but also for the organizers who had to skirt the snares and obstacles thrown in their path by a feminist movement that refuses to accept free speech. I will have more to say about the nature of the heroism in a moment but first a mention of the event itself.
It was incredible.
The Red Pill screening took place in Brisbane on a balmy Saturday afternoon, with a full house, and like everyone else who attended I enjoyed it immensely. In fact it was a smash hit with over 90 percent of the audience staying for the Q&A with Paul Elam and Tom Golden which was met with numerous rounds of applause throughout.
One of the more interesting moments at question time was when a feminist took the mic and described how her boyfriend had asked her to come along, one gathers reluctantly on her part, and indicated that while she took the movie and men’s issues to heart she also felt the antifeminist tone of the MRM would turn women away from joining the cause. She asked Paul and Tom to speak to that concern.
While Paul and Tom could have eviscerated feminists and the feminist worldview, they instead treated her with a degree of gentleness and by doing so demonstrated the integrity of the MRM. No “angry” men’s rights advocate in sight. Instead they welcomed her question, but underlined that feminists are more concerned with silencing men’s voices than supporting them, as evidenced by the secrecy required to host the Brisbane screening in the first place, which negates the possibility of dialogue. Paul and Tom underlined the feminist movement’s non-alignment with the dictionary definition of equality-seeking, with Paul adding, in contrast to the feminist position, that the theme of the upcoming ICMI17 is “Building bridges between men and women in the 21st Century.”
That particular exchange brought a tear to my eye even though I have no sympathy for feminists….. guess you could say it set a conciliatory tone in the room, one that would have won several hearts in the audience.
Rather than go over the wonderful scenes in this movie, which have been covered by other reviewers, I’d like to spend the rest of this piece talking about Cassie’s journey while making the Red Pill – a moment she describes in an interview with Steve Brule as having traversed a ‘Hero’s Journey’ – referring to the cycle laid out by the late scholar of religion Joseph Campbell as in the chart below:
Campbell discovered this basic cycle underlying all narratives about the world’s religious and mythological heroes : journeys of the Buddha, Moses, Indra, Mohamed, Zarathustra, King Arthur, etc, and he also saw the cycle at work in the lives of everyday men and women; in both the short ordeals we face in the passing weeks and months, and in the longer epic struggles that can take a lifetime to complete. Here is Cassie’s account of her adventure:
Something that really helped me through the editing process was, I was about two thirds of the way through editing and I was just hitting a brick wall, I just couldn’t figure out how to make this film round out, and one of my close friends said to look into ‘The Hero’s Journey’ by Joseph Campbell, and I hadn’t been aware of Joseph Campbell, I wasn’t aware of the hero’s journey. And so I started researching it and I found out that my video diaries were the hero’s journey. And I never knew about the hero’s journey, my diaries are the rawest, real version of what happened on my journey and there was nothing scripted or foreseen about how I need this film to conclude or anything. It was my real, honest to God process that I went through.
And so I went exactly through this process, so that was then my guide to complete the film: it was ok then, to complete the film I’ve shown where I was in my comfort/safety place, which was feminism; I embark on this journey that I get some advice from elders, you know giving you some sort of tool with which to embark on this journey, and I think maybe the person who led my on this journey was my maybe Warren Farrell – I met him pretty early on and he gave me some information about how to keep calm when you start learning this new information, and he also forewarned what he went through with being ostracized from his friends and family and colleagues within feminism.
So then I embarked on this journey with all these trials and errors, and my trials and errors were meeting all the different interviews and learning the topics and being resistant to a lot of what i was hearing about domestic violence and fathers issues and false accusations and circumcision and, ynow, all these different trials I went through; and eventually now having to leave this kind of wonderland unknown men’s rights movement I was researching and go back to where I started, which was going back to my friends and family trying to tell them what learned – the magical elixir from the hero’s journey – and this is what I’ve learned, that we need to address men’s issues, we need to be open about the big picture, what’s really happening.
And I also started to put a magnifying glass on my own ideological beliefs with feminism and wondering why are we so resistant to to addressing men’s issues, where does the root of that problem come from, and i believe patriarchy theory is a big thing – believing women are oppressed by men is a major reason why people are resistant to talk about men’s issues.
So when I applied the hero’s journey to my video diaries and to the footage I had, I realized that I actually did go on a hero’s journey!
We can see from Cassie’s journey that it does align with the heroic journey described by Campbell, a story of bravery of going into the unknown, not knowing what she would find, and staying true to the adventure.
Cassie’s description clearly aligns with the hero cycle laid out in the diagram above. As much as the documentary is a story about the men’s rights movement, it is equally her journey from feminism to humanism. The implications of Cassie’s journey have implications for all of us; for many who go to see the film will go on a similar journey, from ignorance to understanding, and from bigotry to compassion. In the light of Cassie’s journey Campbell has something to say to us from beyond the grave:
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us; the labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; and where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world. [The Hero With A Thousand Faces]
With that I’d like to end by extending a big thank you to the organizers, to John Lambert, Bryan Scandrett, and Robert Brockway of Men’s Rights Brisbane – heroes who endured more obstacles than most, including threats, many closed doors, lack of sleep, and risking their own money and skin to pull this off when there were no certainties of success. In light of their gutsy work I’d like to finish with one more quote from Joseph Campbell;
The modern hero, the modern individual who dares to heed the call and seek the mansion of that presence with whom it is our whole destiny to be atoned, cannot, indeed must not, wait for his community to cast off its slough of pride, fear, rationalized avarice, and sanctified misunderstanding. ‘Live,’ Nietzsche says, ‘as though the day were here.’ It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal––carries the cross of the redeemer––not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair. [The Hero With A Thousand Faces]
For those who dare to hear the call to adventure, we’d love to see you at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, coming soon to the Gold Coast in Australia.