After ‘The Red Pill’ film: on getting feminists and men’s rights activists to work together
Is it really too much to wish for? I don’t think so.
In our unfortunate culture war driven landscape, feminists and men’s rights activists (MRAs) are constantly at odds with each other. Many feminists seem to have this constant fear that MRAs will work to roll back whatever rights they have won in the past 50 years, and put women firmly back into the kitchen again. On the other hand, many people, including but not limited to MRAs, state that they are anti-feminists, because they do not like what feminism appears to be to them. These people generally say that they are not against the original definition of feminism, the movement which seeks equality on gender grounds, especially the equality of opportunity for women compared with men in every aspect of life.
An unnecessary culture war?
Yes, feminism has always, at least theoretically, been about gender-based equality for all. However, with feminists still upholding this definition today, and with many MRAs and anti-feminists also upholding what is in the definition, how then is feminism and anti-feminism different, even opposites?
The truth is, anti-feminists are probably largely not opposed to feminism per se, but rather, they are against something else that they associate with feminism, rightly or wrongly. If that’s the case, then maybe feminism needs a reality check.
Two years ago, filmmaker Cassie Jaye tried to explore the men’s rights movement, and made a whole film about it, called ‘The Red Pill’. In response, mainstream feminism didn’t take her message too well. Some even tried to get her film banned from cinemas around the world. Which is stupid, especially when anyone can see it on YouTube for just a few dollars.
Now, maybe Cassie Jaye got the response she did because she ceased identifying as a feminist after her “awakening.” As for myself, I agree quite a lot with what Cassie was saying, but then, I still identify as a feminist. In fact, I am hopeful of changing feminism, so that it will take real gender equality more seriously in the future. As I explain in this video (feel free to share it):
“I use the ‘feminist’ label due to respect for its history. ‘Feminism’ is what the movement for gender equality has always been called, because historically women used to be on the bad end of pretty much all the inequality. For me, the movement for ironing out gender-based inequality of opportunity is one long, continuous movement that began with the suffragettes, so it would be appropriate to use the same label throughout.
Given that I believe the heart and soul of ‘feminism’ is to iron out gender-based unfairness, while I support women having the same conditions and options as men, I also support men having the same conditions and options as women, because real fairness goes both ways. Where women still face unequal opportunities compared with men, for example regarding the glass ceiling or the difficulty in entering certain male-dominated occupations, we should attempt to fix it. But where men are at a disadvantage, I also strongly believe in making things equal.
For example, I am very sympathetic to the difficult situations that non-custodial fathers often face. It’s something that’s very close to my heart. We really need some more attention on this issue. I am also concerned about things like bias in criminal sentencing, where men often receive tougher sentences for the same crime; and things like the average educational disadvantage boys face in our modern schooling system, which has led to men earning fewer degrees than women for some time now. In my view, if feminism isn’t also paying attention to these matters yet, then it should start doing so, because they are part of the problem of gender inequality.”
Instead of just dropping feminism like Cassie Jaye and many others have done, I am here to fix feminism. To build a movement to make feminism true to the spirit of the suffragettes again, if you will. Of course, I don’t under-estimate the difficulties I may face in the future, going forward. Especially since our cultural landscape is that of a war-torn nation, and the battlelines are deeply entrenched. Which brings me onto my next point.
Getting feminists and MRAs to work together is the first step to heal our fractured culture
If we can get Feminists and MRAs to come together, to discuss what a real gender equality should look like, and to work towards it together, then there may still be hope for the future of humanity after all. Why do I say this? Because, in my opinion, we are in a crisis caused by deliberate attempts to divide us, based on misguided application of political theory.
Whether it’s feminists vs MRAs, SJWs vs. anti-SJWs, binary people vs. non-binary people, race vs race, it’s all basically the same thing. We are being divided into tribes of identity, and we increasingly only see people as members of groups or classes rather than individuals. If we can get feminists and MRAs to work together, it would represent a major step forward for the revival of individualism, and a major step backward for the class-based worldview. Humanity will thus have taken one major step towards its healing.
A spectre is haunting the contemporary West. No, not the spectre of communism per se, but the spectre of the Oppression…medium.com
Thus, it’s not just gender equality that is at stake here. It’s perhaps the future of humanity as a whole. It will be a difficult road forward, but I hope to gather as many fellow travellers as possible going forward. We may not have the best resources, or the sympathy of the establishment as yet, but if we persuade enough people, change enough hearts and minds, then there is certainly the possibility of real change somewhere in the not too distant future.
TaraElla is a singer-songwriter, independent journalist and author, who is passionate about liberty and equality. She is the author of the Moral Libertarian Horizon books, which focus on developing a moral case for freedom-based politics in the 21st century.