The Red Pill (2016) Movie Script

Have you ever
been through something
and you don't know
what just happened,
but you know it was
important to go through?
This is that journey for me.
ranting would be at home
in the far reaching
Internet subculture
widely described as
the men's rights movement...
A toxic distillation of the worst
aspects of American sexism.
It's a universe of message
boards where men get together
to express their hatred
towards women.
Well, I thought men
had all of the advantages
in the world these days?
That's utter nonsense.
Men are routinely ground up
in a family court system
that is misandrist
and biased against them.
They are the majority
of the homeless.
They are the majority
of suicides.
They are majority
of the drug addicted.
They are the majority
of the unemployed.
They are majority
of the school drop outs.
They are the majority
of those in prison...
How do we know that they're
not the cause of these problems?
There's a reason that women live
longer, mark, let me tell you.
It is because we are stronger
and we are happier at the end
of the day than most men,
and that is factual
and you know it.
And when men are married
to women who scream like you
they just want to die sooner.
- I'm not screaming.
- When you have...
A voice for men...
An online hub
for men's rights activists.
They were founded by a man
named Paul Elam.
It's a website
called a voice for men
that's run by a man
named Paul Elam...
Which is "male"
spelled backwards,
but it is his
real name apparently.
It's a gathering
of women haters.
This Southern poverty law center
has classified that group
and men's rights groups
as hate groups.
He wrote a piece
declaring the month of October
to be
"bash a violent bitch" month.
"I mean, literally to grab
them by the hair,
and smack their face
against the wall," he wrote.
Here he is.
You may be wondering
why I'm sitting in a car
with notorious men's
rights activist Paul Elam.
That's a valid question.
And to answer it,
I need to start
at the beginning...
The beginning of how
I became a feminist.
I was a quiet kid, preferring
to observe from afar.
My mom put me in theater classes
when I was eight years old
to break me out of my shell,
and I loved it,
so much to the point
that I decided
to move to Hollywood
when I was 18 years old
to become an actress.
What I wasn't prepared for
was to be pigeonholed
as the blonde who always died.
Granted, I had a good scream.
But the characters I played
weren't alone
in feeling objectified.
I was commonly harassed
on the streets,
hit on by married producers,
told by photographers
to come back
when I lost 15 pounds
and got a boob job,
and a plethora of other
uncomfortable experiences,
all while still being
a teenager.
I started to realize
my role in the world
seemed a little too similar to the
unfortunate roles I was auditioning for,
and it was not how I saw myself
or the person
that I wanted to be.
So I quit acting
and bought a video camera
to tell the stories
I wanted to tell,
and now I've been making
documentary films since 2008
when I was 21 years old.
Most of my work has been about
women's issues and sexuality.
I've covered a range of topics
from the phenomenon
of purity balls,
to reproductive rights,
single motherhood,
and LGBT rights.
After releasing my film in 2012
about marriage equality,
I was at a loss of what topic
to explore next,
and that's when two horrific
stories broke the news.
Two star high school
football players
in Steubenville, Ohio,
have been found guilty of raping
a West Virginia teenager.
The video shows the former
Steubenville student
callously joking
about the incident.
That's like rape.
It is rape.
- Bro.
- They raped her.
- Bro.
- They raped her.
- This is the funniest...
- They raped her.
Outrage across India
as a 23-year-old woman,
the victim of one
of the most horrific rapes
India has ever heard of.
A 90-minute
horror for a 23-year-old
medicine student on this bus.
Gang raped and beaten,
her friend assaulted
and thrown out of the bus...
Every day, every woman is
facing violence on the streets.
People are scared...
I started to
research this rape culture.
A website called
a voice for men popped up.
Paul Elam wrote
about how women long
to live out
their rape fantasies,
to be taken by a man
she's never spoken to,
let alone given consent to.
As I read, I was asking myself,
is this the rape apologist
that I've been hearing about?
The victim blamer
who perpetuates rape culture?
I continued to read
a voice for men's website,
often stopping
around the half-way mark
in every article,
because I could only read
so many "bitch,"
"fuck," "feminazi,"
and "rapetard" words per minute.
But even still, I kept reading,
and thinking,
and reading some more.
I was trying to understand
how these,
what I perceived to be
women haters,
could have so many followers.
So I decided to meet
these MRAs...
The ones leading the movement,
and some of their
followers, too...
And this begins my journey
down the rabbit hole.
This, ladies and gentlemen,
is an historic moment.
Never before has there been
a gathering of this magnitude
to support men's
and boy's issues.
We have got serious problems.
I have been working
in this area,
advocating for the rights of...
MRA! Go away!
And here we go.
What you'll hear
is that we hate women.
You'll hear that it's a backlash
against women's rights.
You'll hear that we're regressives
that want women back in the kitchen
and making sandwiches
and barefoot and pregnant.
You're just bitter,
you're a loser,
you're a whiner, you're ugly,
you're undesirable, you're lazy.
You're scary,
you must be a racist,
you must be a misogynist.
When we do speak out,
women often don't want
to hear what we have to say,
and so then we're called names.
We're called whiners.
And this is the way people who don't
want men to talk about issues
try to shut us up.
Um, we all know that you guys
are a fascist Nazi front
group of white supremacists,
no other way to openly organize
other than calling yourselves
a men's rights group.
"We're somehow disempowered
because we're white men."
Maybe it's just because
you're pathetic.
We're here to fight
how misogynistic assholes
think they have the right
to oppress women.
White men are starting
to feel misplaced
because women are sharing space.
It's disgusting,
and just grow the fuck up
and don't confuse suffrage
with oppression.
Everyone suffers.
It's universal.
I am a man and I need feminism.
We're feminists'.
We're fabulous'.!
We're here! We're queer!
And it is crystal clear
that the problems
for men and boys are real.
I would like
to turn the microphone
over to Paul Elam
of a voice for men
for some words.
This is a historic day.
I've never seen
a gathering like this
out of concern for
the general state of affairs
for men and boys
in this culture.
Trying to articulate
the entire platform
of the men's rights movement
is kinda like trying
to understand a snow drift
one snowflake at a time.
It's a very,
very complicated matter.
Just consider this,
that 93% of workplace
fatalities are men.
Four of five suicides are men.
Men are dropping out
of higher education
at very alarming rates.
We're down to 38% now
of college students are men,
and it's dropping rapidly.
Male suicide, male abuse,
male unemployment,
male homelessness,
male failure in education,
male health issues.
You got the paternity
front issue,
and the wrongful
paternity issue,
the false allegation issue.
Men are sentenced
to 63% more prison time
for the same crime as women.
They're less likely
to see a doctor.
They're less likely
to have health insurance.
The family court system
truly is biased against men.
I mean, there's just
no question about it.
It's really the pro choice
for women only movement,
because men... they're denying
men any kind of choice
once a child is conceived.
Her body, her choice, right?
Think about men.
His body, his choice?
Not so much.
Because the U.S. government
does not want
to send you to die.
It would rather send me to die.
Young men that
are failing to launch.
They're staying
in their homes of origin
far past the time that
we would normally expect them
to individuate and move out
and go live their lives.
We have video game addiction.
We have pornography addiction.
We have the abuse of young boys
with drugs like Ritalin
to manage their behavior.
Almost all victims
of autism spectrum disorders
are boys.
Boys are most likely
to be homeless,
most likely to get cancer,
most likely to die young
of every major cause,
most likely to be arrested,
imprisoned, and even executed
while being completely innocent.
It doesn't matter
what their race is.
It doesn't matter
what their ethnicity is.
It doesn't matter
what their religious
or non-religious views are.
It doesn't matter
if they're gay or straight.
Men and boys are in crisis
and they need your help
and they need your support
because they are
human beings, too,
and you will not
shame me or anybody here
into silence about it anymore.
But if you start
to talk about those issues
and address them
in terms of how they affect
men and boys as a group,
people get hostile about it.
The idea is that men
have all the rights.
They've always had the power.
But if that's true,
why can't men
talk about their problems?
And that's what really got me
interested in this
to begin with.
And shortly after I began
filming men's rights activists,
I realized my own views
were being challenged.
I kept a video diary
throughout filming,
and I've decided to share
some of those diaries with you.
I really do feel like learning
about the men's movement
and their specific issues,
the issues
that they have issue with,
it's hard for me
to completely understand them
Just automatically feel welcome
in that space of talking
about these issues.
Because at least with feminism,
whenever I heard
about the issues
that feminists
were fighting against,
I always felt like I had
something to draw from
in experience
to be on board with that.
And that's always been
why I've been drawn
to the feminist movement,
is because a lot
of what they spoke about
I had personal experiences with.
And with the men's movement,
I have very little
personal experiences
with the issues
that they talk about.
A cab driver who is
driving a cab 70 hours a week
was not saying,
"I am earning this money
to have power over my wife."
He was earning this money
even though it took power
away from his life.
He was doing that so his child
wouldn't have to drive that cab.
The garbage collector does not
get up at 3:00 or 4:00
in the morning
in rain and sleet and snow
and get out to do the garbage
so he can have more power
over his wife.
That's power he's losing
over his life
in order to make
his contribution,
his sacrifice,
his way of loving.
And this has been translated
into the culture of
"you make more money
than women do,
you must therefore
have more power."
Meet Warren Farrell,
best-selling author
and self-styled
social anthropologist,
leading an assault on our
traditional thinking about men.
I asked my
girlfriend at the time
to buy me as a gift,
I think it was for Christmas
or my birthday,
Warren Farrell's book
"the myth of male power,"
which she did, and it just
changed my whole life.
And his premise was while women
are often seen as sex objects,
men are often seen
as success objects.
And this resonated with me.
He wrote this book that
questioned our notions of power,
of who had power
and where it was,
and it questioned
the roles of men,
but not the way feminists
had always questioned
gender roles.
Every society that survived
survived based on its ability
to train its sons
to be disposable...
Disposable in war as warriors,
disposable in work
as firefighters,
as workers on oil rigs
and so on, coal miners,
and indirectly, therefore
disposable as dads.
What happens in men's life
when they're raised
that they're worthless
unless they're a provider,
that they must work
even if they have
to take on
extremely dangerous work,
they must get this done
or they're useless as men?
That is very,
very powerful stuff.
See, feminism did see accurately
that we value male work
more than we value female work.
But there's also the issue
that we value female life
more than we value male life.
Even when that plane
went down in New York City
a few years ago and, you know,
the pilot was a hero
for the way he landed it
and saved everybody...
Word arrived over
the city-wide fire frequency
that a commercial jet liner
was in the water
with 155 people on board.
Then, over the next few minutes,
the doors opened,
life vests were inflated,
and, women and children first,
everyone got off that plane.
They saved all the women first.
That's still... when I went
on a cruise, you know,
there's still women into
the life boats first.
Not because you're a man
so you should be able to swim
halfway across the ocean,
but because you're a man
you're expendable.
We have to look at not just
the glass ceilings,
but also the glass cellars.
And, Paul,
I think as you were saying,
we have to look at men
just not only as human doings,
but also as human beings.
When you survive because
somebody else is willing to die
like in war,
then that...
You're immune to the pain
of the people who are dying
because you have an investment
in their being willing to die.
You say, "I will build a statue.
I will remember you
in a history book."
But if you look at that
from another perspective,
that building of the statue
or remembering you
in a history book
is a bribe to be willing to die
so that I can live.
Both sexes in the
area where they are rejected
tend to turn what rejects them
into an object.
So the area where men...
I'm watching this, um, lecture
that Warren Farrell's
gave in the '90s.
I see some women in the crowd,
and a lot of them
have their hands folded,
and there is a little bit of...
By being a woman
in a crowd of people
while the speaker's talking
about how men are oppressed
and women have it so great.
It kinda puts you
on the defensive, as a woman.
And understanding
that I feel that way
makes me wonder
are men having
their arms crossed
listening to a feminist speaker
talk about how men
have all the power
and women are oppressed?
Are men feeling like,
"what are you talking about?
I don't have power,
and we have it pretty shitty
on this side of the grass, too"?
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
Fuck Warren Farrell!
In 2012, Dr. Warren Farrell
was speaking on behalf
of men's issues
at the university
of Toronto in Canada.
A feminist group
protested the event.
be fucking
ashamed of yourself.
You're fucking scum.
You are fucking scum.
Fucking rape apologist,
woman-hating fucking scum.
You're fucking scum.
Yeah, just another...
You know what, though?
Why would you pay money
to fucking support
a fucking rape apologist
if you weren't fucking one?
I never heard him saying...
Well, it...
Fucking scum!
Who do you serve?
Who do you protect?
Who do you serve?
Who do you protect?
No! Fuck!
They're fucking scum!
Fuck you!
Fuck you!
Get a real fucking job.
Get out of here.
This is what men's
rights look like'.!
This is what
men's rights look like!
This is what men's rights
look like!
This is what
men's rights look like!
This is what men's rights
look like!
This is what
men's rights look like!
This is what men's rights
look like!
- Hi. How are you?
- Warren, I'm Cassie.
You' re Cassie? Oh, for some
reason I thought you were a male.
I'm just delighted
that you're a female.
Well, thank you.
Very glad to meet you.
Come on in.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
But Farrell wasn't
always so attentive to men.
In fact, for years, he focused almost
exclusively on women's issues,
rubbing shoulders
with feminist leaders
like Gloria Steinem.
And he's still
a card-carrying member
of the national
organization for women.
I believe that women cannot hear
what men do not say.
And he's got a lot
to say to both men and women
in his provocative new book,
"the myth of male power."
I was making a very significant
amount of money
speaking around the world
on behalf
of women's issues alone.
I went through a period
of forming men's groups.
And then
when I listened to them,
I thought, "well, gee,
this will be really helpful
to present to audiences
so that they can understand
not only women's side,
but men's side, too,
'cause I was really totally
in the feminist's camp.
And immediately I saw
my standing ovations drop.
I started hearing
that there was people saying,
"don't invite him there
to speak with us."
And pretty soon I had, you know,
very few college and university
speaking engagements.
How did you originally
get involved with feminism?
Where did that all begin?
I was doing my doctorate
at political science at NYU
in the late '60s,
and the women's
movement surfaced.
And I started to say,
"this is the most exciting
thing I've ever heard."
Because I'd heard
of civil rights, gay rights,
but suddenly women were saying,
"I don't wanna be confined
to just being
a homemaker, a secretary."
So it's like, "why shouldn't
women be encouraged
to do everything
they possibly can do?"
And at that point in time,
I saw a lot of women
marrying men
that they weren't
completely in love with,
but the man earned
a fair amount.
So I thought, that's just
a form of prostitution
extended over a lifetime.
How depressed
that must make a woman.
And it's not gonna
be good for a man either.
He never knows whether
he's loved for who he is
or loved for what he has.
And he's afraid
to give up producing
because he's afraid
to lose love.
And so women
who were successful to me
appeared to be women
who would free men
from having to be all, you know,
wrapped up in just
being the only bread winner,
and supporting one, two,
three, four, five people.
It's one thing
to support yourself.
When you're supporting
five people,
you don't have the freedom
to question your boss,
because you're
supporting five people.
The first issue of feminism
was to say,
"just because I'm a woman,
maybe I don't wanna spend
my life raising children."
You know, "don't force me into
that role against my will."
So they looked at men and said,
"well, you're not forced
to raise children.
You don't have any issue.
But for men,
the traditional sex role
was not raising children.
For us, the traditional sex role
was to be a provider,
a protector,
and to initiate relationships.
Each of us
has traditional sex roles.
Don't force us to carry out
those traditional sex roles.
We have the same rules
set up for men
that they've always lived by,
that you need to protect
and provide at any cost.
But we've changed everything
where it concerns women.
They now have access
to everything men
have always had access to...
To education, to work,
to whatever they want to do,
but they're not the ones
driving the semis
and they're not the ones
in the coal mines.
You don't hear the national
organization for women
complaining that there is just
not enough female ditch diggers.
It is still men
carrying the lion's share
for what it takes to operate
and maintain this society,
and it is still the expectation
that if somebody's
gonna go down with the ship,
it's gonna be men.
Flexibility in roles is where
we should be all headed.
Any men's rights activists
that I would support
would support the portions
of the women's movement
that is encouraging women
to have more
flexibility in roles.
So where do the men's movement
and feminism disagree?
Well, only on
the fundamental belief
that the women's movement
says men are the oppressors,
that they... we are involved
in a patriarchal world
in which men invented
the rules to benefit men
at the expense of women.
But don't we
live in a patriarchy,
when most of the world's nations
still have never had
a female leader...
And less than 5% of CEOs
of fortune 500 companies
are women?
You have to look at this
in a larger perspective.
Patriarchy is the result
of gender roles
and not the vice versa.
Traditionally, women's
power and responsibility
has been in
the reproductive sphere,
while men's power
and responsibility
was in the productive sphere.
You know, you have to reproduce
to continue the species,
and you have to produce
to feed people
so that they can reproduce.
So, you know,
it's like they work together.
And most
cultures divvy up roles
because women were responsible
for childbirth
and were more likely
to breastfeed.
They're not more likely to...
They did the breastfeeding.
They tended to be involved
in the role of raising children.
Men tended to be involved
in the role of raising money
or making a killing
of the animals
or making a killing
in wall street.
But those were our obligations.
So that's why industry
was male dominated
and government
was male dominated,
'cause that was our job.
So what we call patriarchy
is men giving in
to the expected roles
that they're supposed
to give in to,
and many of those roles
are very harmful...
Working exceptionally
long hours, difficult hours,
dangerous jobs,
getting killed on a job...
Even politics a lot of people
describe as masochism.
Imagine what it takes to be
a successful politician.
Imagine how much of your
personal life that you give up,
how much you work, how much
privacy that you sacrifice,
how much freedom
in your day to day life
that goes out the window.
There are more men
willing to do those things
than there are women.
Oh, I think we got a pen
for everybody.
But also, just
because men are the ones,
for instance,
writing the laws in general,
doesn't mean that the laws
are protecting men.
You hear about
patriarchy, right?
All the evils of the world
is from patriarchy.
But we're the ones dying,
you know?
And we die for you guys,
you know?
To protect our families,
our friends.
In every society
that's ever existed,
women have had privilege
and protection that men did not.
For example, we never hear
about how men were excluded
from the forced labor
convention of 1930.
For years,
the forced labor convention
was an international treaty
that banned slavery,
enforced servitude,
but it made an exception
for able-bodied males
ages 18 to 45.
they got rid of that,
but there was still an exemption
for prisoners and military,
which is 90% male.
Stop pretending
that you're oppressed
and men are your oppressors.
It's a lie,
and it's a hurtful lie,
and it's a hateful lie,
and it's wrong.
You talk a lot
about the red pill
in a voice for men.
What is the red pill?
Oh, it's sort of
a cultural slogan.
It comes from the movie
"the matrix"
where the character Neo
is given the choice
between a red pill
and a blue pill.
You take the red pill,
you stay in wonderland
and I show you how deep
the rabbit hole goes.
And if he swallows the red pill,
the scales will be peeled back
from his eyes.
He will see everything
that he hasn't been able to see.
And if he takes the blue pill,
he'll just go back to sleep
and live in his sort of unaware,
semi-comatose state forever,
and probably be a lot happier.
It's a pretty apt analogy.
So what is the blue pill
in this world?
Well, the blue is the paradigm
that most people live by,
that men have all the power,
that they've always
had all the power,
that domestic violence
is a problem
that's committed by men
against women only,
that sexual assaults
are only committed
by men against women,
that women
don't make the same money
for the same work as men.
"Teach men not to rape.
Only men can stop rape.
Men commit domestic violence.
We need to stop
violence against women... "
instead of just
stopping violence.
That is feminist training.
The MRAs...
Say that we live
in a blue-pill world
where women are victims,
men are perpetrators,
and it's all a lie
and that we're brainwashed
to believe this,
and that it's not true,
and that men are slaves
in this world
and women are...
I don't think women are
necessarily the puppet masters,
but I think they're
saying that women
have the easy way out
and men are...
They're given medals and statues
and written in the history books
to justify them dying
and being slaves to work
or being, uh...
Being used
to progress societies.
And I've just...
I've believed for so long
that... that I'm...
At a disadvantage
for being a woman
and that I have to work
harder than everyone else
and I have more to overcome
and I have more to prove
just because of my gender.
But the MRAs are saying
that this is all a lie
and that guys
are actually the ones
that are disadvantaged
and discriminated against.
And, actually,
the more I learn from them,
the more I think, "thank god
I wasn't born a guy."
Because I don't think
that the expectations on men...
Is good or healthy.
I mean,
they have so much pressure
to succeed and to be strong
and to stand up
and protect others
and to put their lives
on the line.
I don't think I would want
that responsibility.
But, you know, 5o years ago,
no, I wouldn't have
wanted to be a woman.
But now, I mean,
maybe just it's right now
that the tides are changing
and women are the...
Have the better deal.
Well, no, I don't know.
And then sometimes I think
the MRAs are just duping me
and giving such a strong pitch
about what they believe in
to convince me of something
that's actually just
some out there theory
that men
are discriminated against
and women are...
Have the advantage.
Yes, this is Cassie Jaye.
It's regarding a documentary
about the men's rights movement,
and we're looking
for feminist voices now
to speak in the documentary.
Feminist majority.
Yeah, hold on just one second.
So I realized, "okay,
I need to bring some
feminists into the mix...
- Good. - ...To make sure
that we have that side.
I was researching rape culture,
and so that's how
I stumbled across a website
So some of the people that
we've already interviewed
on the MRA side is Paul Elam
with a voice for men.
- Yeah.
- Are you familiar with him?
Oh, I'm familiar with him.
I've never met him.
- Yeah.
- Obviously, they've spent
a significant amount
of time and energy
denouncing me, so I figured
I might as well
have a look at what they say.
Yeah, really, the men's rights
movement is part of the backlash.
- The backlash?
- To feminism.
The men's rights movement
really got going
as women began to make gains,
and some men
have felt threatened
by the opportunities that
have been opened up to women.
And I don't know if it's because
some of them feel threatened
that they now have to compete
with a lot more people
for their jobs.
They now can't
get into the best schools
if a woman or a girl
has better grades.
Think about it.
Grandfather's generation
probably had it
pretty well, right?
All of his needs,
his shirts were ironed,
all of that was always
taken care of.
Well, you know, grow up,
realize the world has changed.
And as much as the MRAs
would like things to go back
to the way they were
and use the argument
that women
have an advantage now...
No person looking at the data
can possibly say women
have an advantage.
We're just beginning to get
a level playing field here.
It's not tilted in our favor,
I can tell you that.
And they know it.
They know it.
But it's the constant
distortion of the data,
it's the spinning of a situation
to make it look like women
are somehow getting ahead,
getting an advantage
they don't deserve.
Um, it's, uh...
It's part of the backlash.
Political organizing comes from
a feeling of victimization,
which is why the men's rights
movement makes that claim
that men are the victims
of discrimination.
But it doesn't
have much traction
because you look around
and it's hard to see it.
We don't have movements called,
you know, straight liberation.
Is the men's... the question
I would pose rhetorically is
is the men's rights movement
really the gendered version
of the white
nationalist movement?
Because there are plenty
of white people
who say that
they are the victims
of reverse discrimination.
Of course, it's not gonna have
very much traction.
You can't really organize the
people who are super ordinate.
So do you think that men
are being discriminated
against in any way?
Not under the law.
Men are not disadvantaged
under our laws
or in the business world.
As a class, men are not
underrepresented on corporate boards
or the top of the fortune
1,000 companies.
In the corporate world,
in the business world,
in a lot of parts of academia,
in the military,
in the sports world,
it's still pretty much
a male-dominated world,
where a lot of the privileges
and power and status
accrue to men.
Men are advantaged over women,
no question.
No one can...
No one can debate that.
Not with a serious...
Not in any seriousness.
I was a math
major as an undergraduate,
and one of the fundamental
things about geometry
is the distance
from point "A" to point "B"
equals the distance
from point "B" to point "A",
and if women
are so different from men
that men can't understand
the female experience,
we need to listen to women
to describe it,
then the male experience
is so different
from the female experience
that you can't understand it.
You need to listen to us.
You can't really compare
how men and women
have suffered from sexism.
There's no way to quantify,
you know,
that kind of suffering.
So if a woman says, well, I
miss 30% of my income...
More than you miss
six years of life..."
There's no way to quantify that.
Or "I've lost a job opportunity
because I'm a woman."
There's no way to say,
"I've suffered more than you"
because you've lost a kid
because you're a man.
You know, we can't...
But it is serious.
And at least if...
If you're denied a job
because you're a woman,
at least you can go
to another company
and apply for a job, you know?
But you can't...
When you lose your kid,
you can't say, "okay, I'll
get custody of that kid.
I'll try for that one."
It's a terrible thing
that happens.
There was a case...
The Serpico case.
You might be too young
to know the movie "Serpico"
- with Al Pacino.
- Yeah, I don't know.
It was about a New York City
undercover cop.
He gets shot at the end
of the movie
and retires
from the police force.
And he was a real man,
frank Serpico.
A woman, after the movie,
after this was made,
decided she wanted
to become a single mother
and tricked him
into fathering a child.
And the court accepted that,
because she told her friends
she was going to trick him
and they testified,
and the court said,
"yes, you were tricked into it,"
and still awarded her over 90%
So everything that he
goes through in this movie,
including getting shot,
to earn his pension,
she won by
sleeping with him one night.
My son's mom wanted
to have children with me
and I had always refused,
you know, saying,
"you have this anger problem.
You need to get counseling.
I'm not gonna consider
having children with you
until that's dealt with,"
'cause she would lose
her temper almost every day,
and just use
any weapon she could.
And, like, a child's
the perfect weapon,
so I was really
definite about that.
But she also used to proofread
my articles for me.
And I wrote an article
for "playboy" about Serpico.
And when she read that,
she told her friend
she's gonna trick me
into fathering the child.
She doesn't need my permission.
And so that's how my son
was conceived.
Then she said,
"if you wanna see your son,
you have to stay
in a relationship with me.
But if you break up with me,
I know all the things
that a woman can do to a man."
You know, she read all my articles.
She saw my talk shows.
She said, "I know all the
things a woman can do to a man,
and I'll do 'em to you."
So, um, that's what
I had to deal with.
Everything that I had been
raising awareness about
for the previous 17 years,
she combined into one thing
for me to live through.
It's really ironic.
For the first...
Five to seven years, I guess,
we would see each other four
times a day for exchanges.
On average, every single day
I had to deal
with some scene...
A scene meaning
she would just not show up
or she would hold the kid out
and then pull him back
and hold him out
and pull him...
And just kind of play with me.
Or she'd let me have the kid
and then she'd stand
in front of the car
so I couldn't move.
Another time, I saw her
hold him by the shoulders
and say, "daddy is a bad man.
Daddy is a very bad man."
And so I had to go through
this long custody battle,
and the decisions
that they would make,
you would just go, "how... "
there couldn't
be any explanation.
Either they're absolute idiots
or it's biased.
There's just no other
explanation for it.
One other thing,
his mom is obese
and wanted him to be obese
for various reasons.
One thing is
so he would identify
more with her side
of the family than mine,
'cause we're all...
All thin.
Another was so that he would
enjoy being with her more,
'cause when he was at my house,
he had to get activity,
you know, and eat
well-balanced meals,
and get his sleep and stuff.
And at her house,
they would bake brownies
and stay up late
and just watch TV.
So where would you...
If you're a little kid,
where would you
enjoy being more?
But he self-reported
to the mediator
how upset he was
about being obese,
that the worst thing in school
was when kids called him fatty
and how he cried,
and his physician said that
he's really concerned medically.
And then what I did,
he was at an age
where he would imitate
things that I would do.
You know,
I gave him a broken shaver,
so when I shaved,
he would pretend to shave.
And what I did was,
I started weighing myself
every morning
and writing down my weight,
the date and my weight,
and I taught him
how to read a scale.
So he kept his own records.
So I had six months worth of
statistics to show consistently
that every time he was with
his mom for a few days,
he'd come back weighing
three to four pounds more,
and then he'd lose it
while he was with me.
So they had, you know,
how much he was upset
about the problem,
they had his physician
being upset about the problem,
and they had the proof
of where the problem lay.
So the judges' decision
was, um, that father
should no longer
be allowed to weigh the child.
Problem solved.
After 14 years,
my body gave out.
And I got sicker
than I've ever been.
I realized I'm gonna die.
That's not
gonna do anybody good.
I've gotta give up the fight.
So I gave up custody,
and so I don't
see my son anymore.
He hasn't been
in my house since.
- Um.
- I'm so sorry.
So I did lose him.
Just like a dream
you're like a guiding light
shining in the night
Fred claims that during
his 14-year custody battle,
he spent the equivalent
of five years
of his gross income
on legal fees, mediators,
and child support payments.
I was really
in his life a lot longer
than most fathers
would have been.
It's something
most fathers can't afford.
You are so beautiful
Ito me
we generally know that fathers
don't get as good a deal
in family court
and we don't really
complain about it
until it happens to us,
and even then,
a lot of men don't.
Many men's rights activists
come into being
men's rights activists
as a result
of getting a divorce,
wanting to be equally
involved with the children,
and realizing that women
have the right to children
and men have to fight
for children.
When your family
courts run on the supposition
that mothers are more fit
to be custodial parents
and that fathers are more fit
to provide a check every month
and to become what we like
to call "uncle daddy,"
where they visit...
Visit their children,
to me, that's one of the greatest
obscenities in the world,
the idea of visiting
your own children,
where you get to see them
for two hours
on Wednesday night,
and you get to have them for x
amount of hours every other weekend,
and you have no say
in how they're brought up.
You know, I can't tell you
how many men
have been in this office,
in that chair,
in tears because they can't
see their kids.
Yeah, and some of this stuff
ends up in horrific
Like this gentleman here,
that's his little son.
They found him dead...
Not the son, but the young man,
in the desert
with a bullet in his head
the day before the family court
where it became known
that he was gonna get to see
his little guy even less.
And of course,
he'd be falsely accused
one time after another
after another.
It had destroyed his life.
It had bankrupt him,
driven him into debt.
It caused him to miss work.
He was about ready
to lose his job.
He was at the end of his rope,
so he just decided to end it.
The unfairness
in the family courts,
the unfairness
in the way child support
is so often structured,
it's commonplace,
and it's everywhere,
and the more you start
to become conscious of it,
the more you realize
that it's there.
I started to research
some father's rights issues
and came across
some harrowing stories,
like this man in south Carolina
who found out his
only daughter was adopted away
by the mother without
his knowledge or consent...
His daughter was with
an adoptive family
in California,
so he began his fight
to get his daughter back.
Adoption is for children
without families,
not children with a willing
and capable family.
And this man in Colorado
who lost his daughter
when the mother left the state
to give birth in Utah
where he wouldn't have
legal rights to his child.
He fought for
four years in court
and finally won
visitation rights...
Only visitation.
I can't explain the
emotion, the happiness...
This hard fight,
and what this means to me...
And then there's
this heartbreaking story.
The 2o year old
father never left her side
until he was forced to give her
to adoptive parents this week
after Kaylee's mother decided
to put her up for adoption.
In order to keep Kaylee,
Colby needed to file paternity
action, an affidavit,
and a commencement notice
with Utah's vital records
a day before the mother signed
the adoption papers
relinquishing her rights.
But in Colby's case, the mother
only gave him a few hours notice
of what she was going to do.
I would like her back.
Men in the men's movement
are not upset
about having to be fathers.
They're upset because they're
not allowed to be fathers.
That guy...
Blows his head off,
blows his brains out.
Out of family court?
And people don't think there's
something wrong with that?
We just open the doors
tomorrow for business as usual
and that's okay?
I've always
thought of feminism
as being the fight
for gender equality.
And yet I've never heard
about father's rights
and the injustices going on
in family court.
Why is this?
I decided to ask gender studies
professor Michael Messner.
Well, I'll just say,
I don't think it's...
I don't think that a lot
of their assumptions
are correct to start with.
There's no doubt
that there have been some men
who get just screwed
by court decisions
and custody cases.
But I think when you look
at the broader patterns,
it's still the case that
in intact heterosexual
families with kids,
women are still doing
the vast majority
of the housework and child care,
and there's a lot of
sort of father absence,
lack of participation
by fathers,
some of whom, I think,
after divorce happens,
end up suddenly wanting
equality, you know, as fathers
when they haven't really
been participating equally
as fathers before.
So to me, it always
kind of swings back
to the feminist perspective
of how we need to push
for full equality
across the board,
including before divorces.
And if we have that,
then we might expect
more symmetry
after divorces happen.
The more I
researched father's rights,
the more I realized how deep
this rabbit hole goes,
not only in
the amount of issues,
but also in the vast array
of perspectives on these issues.
I decided to create a flow chart
of what I thought
fathers' options might be
following a surprise pregnancy.
I then put a green line
for the paths
that I thought would be
good turn-outs for the father.
And I put red lines
for the paths
that seemed to not be good
for the father.
Then I created a flow chart
for women's options
and did the same
with green and red lines.
And as I stepped back,
I saw all the red lines
for the women's options
if she does not want the child.
But something dawned on me.
Of every path the biological
father could go down,
he's at the mercy of
the woman's sole discretion.
Although women have
very difficult choices to make,
she at least has the choice.
But for biological fathers,
they have no say
over their parental destiny.
This is my friend Darrah.
She's eight months pregnant
with her first child
and she's a lifelong feminist.
It seems from what I've read,
that women seem to have
more reproductive rights
than men do.
I don't know what to say.
We carry children.
They're never gonna
carry children.
It's just a different thing.
So, I guess,
as much as possible,
take the steps
to prevent yourself
being in that situation.
It's just, like, I don't
know what to say.
There's no...
There's nothing...
A woman has been...
Women have been blamed for,
and still are,
for unwanted pregnancies,
choosing to have an abortion,
not choosing
to have an abortion,
choosing to put
their child up for adoption.
When the burden lies on a single
mother if the man leaves,
societally, she's lam basted.
So there's a lot of things
that women deal with
in that regard
that men don't
actually deal with.
So I can have compassion
for their situation,
but I don't know
that it's gonna change
in the way they want it to,
because it's biology.
So if you're going to
be having sex
that could result in pregnancy,
and you haven't had
this conversation
with the woman that
you're having sex with,
you better have it.
You better have it fast.
That's when the man has
the ability to make decisions...
Either not to engage in sex
or to use condoms
and to use other forms
of contraception.
That's where his role comes in.
Once he's impregnated her,
she's the one now faced
with continuing a pregnancy,
faced with the health risks
that accompany pregnancy.
So... his rights have to
be exercised early.
But once she's pregnant,
all decisions must be hers.
Because ultimately,
she is the most impacted.
There's just no question.
She ultimately has the
responsibility for that child.
So before we were married,
he promised me
we would have two kids,
and now he doesn't want anymore.
My friends think
I should trick him
and stop taking
my birth control.
Men have never been
in control of our bodies,
we're the ones in control.
Clap if you think
that she should trick him.
My people.
Up next, everybody...
So it sounds like
men's reproductive rights
are limited to the choice
of whether or not to have sex
and the choice of whether
or not to use protection.
But what if he's tricked
into fatherhood?
Or what if he's not
even the father?
What does paternity fraud
look like?
It's ugly.
It's extraordinary ugly.
And we have to distinguish it
between paternity fraud
- and wrongful paternity.
- What's the difference?
Wrongful paternity
can be innocent.
"Okay, we went to a party,
I had sex with six guys.
I think it was when I was
hanging out the window
I got pregnant,
but I wasn't sure.
But you know, if anybody
knows that guy's name,
would you please
have him call me?"
And then she names
one of the other guys
and he didn't have sex with her.
It wasn't malicious.
It wasn't intentional.
She wasn't trying
to harm anybody.
She was just trying
to figure out who it was.
Wrongful paternity.
More often,
and less facetiously,
"okay, I'm married
and I had an affair."
Obviously, here there's
all sorts of problems,
because there are more victims
than the person who's named
as dear old dad
who may be the wrong one.
There's everybody
involved in the family,
like the situation in Texas
where the family had five
little towhead kids...
All guys, all little blondos.
And all of a sudden,
one day one of the little
blondo kids gets in trouble,
has to go to the hospital.
They can't get ahold of mom.
They get ahold of dad.
Dad rushes to the hospital,
needs to give blood.
Can't do it. Wrong blood.
All the kids look alike.
Turns out it was the guy
down the street.
- You've heard of this case?
- It's a real case.
So what happens to this family?
Can you fathom what happens
to this family?
How do think the kids feel
when they find out
dear old dad isn't dear old dad
and it's the guy down
the street?
How do you think dad feels,
that these five little boys
that he still loves dearly,
when he finds out they're
not his bio children.
But he can't tear away,
'cause he loves them.
He's devoted
himself to these...
How do you think he feels?
I mean, it's horrific.
That's not wrongful.
That's deliberate.
- So that's paternity fraud?
- That's paternity fraud.
She knew who the father was
and lied about it.
Paul was right when he said
trying to understand
the men's rights movement
is like trying
to understand a snowdrift
one snowflake at a time.
There are unique
father's rights issues
that vary between
unmarried, married,
and divorced dads.
But there are also
men's right's issues
for non-biological fathers...
Like this man
who is facing jail time
for failure to pay child support
for a child that DNA tests
prove isn't his.
Carnell Alexander still owes
more than $30,000 to the state
for a child that's not his
because the mom
wrote his name down
because she needed
to name someone
in order to get
welfare benefits.
I had to put him down
as the father.
That was the only way
I could get assistance.
I'm almost homeless.
I'm almost in jail.
I'm out of work
my money is being
threatened to be taken.
He says the law
needs to be changed,
so when this happens,
as it often does,
other men don't become
dad by default.
A lot of times
people wonder about MRAs,
"why are you guys so angry?"
And my answer to that is,
"why aren't you?"
How can anybody look at this
and not be angered by it?
And the only answer to that I've
ever been able to come up with
is that people aren't angry
because they don't see men
as human beings.
I continued
traveling north America,
meeting MRAs
from all walks of life,
hearing their personal stories,
their red pill moments.
I met a young man
who was sexually abused
when he was 16 years old
while living
at a residential home
for people with
developmental disabilities.
She was the only woman
I've done anything ever with,
partly because it just
messed me up so much.
She continues working there.
She hit me in the face.
She actually hit me
throughout the house,
chased me throughout the house.
When I reported my domestic
assault to police officers,
I did not at all bring up the fact
that I was sexually assaulted.
Because if he wasn't
going to believe
that I was a victim
of domestic violence,
there was no way
he was gonna believe
that I was gonna be
a victim of sexual assault.
I met the honey badgers,
women who are
men's rights advocates.
And then there
was a 15-year-old boy,
there was
a 35-year-old woman,
and then later on
she came out of jail
and she was able
to collect child support
from this boy that she raped.
After getting out of jail.
So there's lack
of fairness for men
in the court systems.
When police officers show up
to a domestic violence case
often men were just taken away
without asking
what even happened.
It's just presumed
that men are the criminals.
I was assaulted several times,
and I never got any help.
I went to the police still
bleeding a couple of times,
and one police officer said...
I'll never forget this, he said,
"if she starts
hitting you again,
you better get out
of there fast,
because if she just breaks
a fingernail trying to hit you,
we'll arrest you."
I mean, I can't tell you
at this point
how many guys I've talked to
who are like,
"yeah, you know, she stabbed me
and they put me in jail."
Not only are there
endless studies
that show women are
just as violent as men are,
when I would talk about it,
men would start coming out of
the woodwork with stories...
Stories they were
afraid to tell,
stories that they got
laughed at for,
stories they they
got blamed for.
It's hideous.
This is not flattering to men
to talk about
men's vulnerabilities,
to talk about the ways
that they are not strong
and that they are, well, weak.
And to be honest about it,
it's not flattering.
A solution for both genders
is that we need to be
able to recognize
how men are vulnerable
and we need to be able
to recognize
how women are actors.
Because we have
a huge blind spot
especially when women
do bad things.
My best friend
that I grew up with
since kindergarten
was being physically abused
by his wife
who he'd been married to
for 20 years.
She' ll break glass and
throw it at him, punch him.
I've seen it happen
and it was frequent.
And he's bigger than her,
but he didn't want to hit her.
And he didn't want
the children...
They had three minor children,
he didn't want them
seeing this at all.
So he would usually
just go outside,
because there would be
glass breaking
or things being smashed
or yelling,
and he knew that the neighbors
might think it's him.
So he would go outside
so that the neighbors
could see what's happened.
Eventually, I said,
"look, you're gonna need...
You need professional help,
and so does she.
Maybe the kids do, too."
So I called a bunch of
domestic violence shelters.
I just looked around online
and I called,
but every place
that I called said,
"we don't help men.
We don't help male...
Men at all."
And I started becoming curious
about why that was,
'cause I learned that these
were state funded shelters.
And I know that men pay
at least half of the taxes
that fund these shelters
if they're state funded,
and I just was wondering why.
Basically, there was
no place to take him
and it just continued.
The problem just kept going.
In the United States,
there are over 2,000
domestic violence shelters.
All of them serve
female victims,
and nearly all of them
turn away male victims.
In fact, as of 2016,
there's only a single domestic
violence shelter for men.
My initial reaction
was that there needed to be
thousands more women's shelters
because that many more women
are being battered.
But as it turns out,
one in three women
and one in four men
will be victims
of physical violence
by an intimate partner
in their lifetime.
Sure, there's a slight
majority of female victims,
but how can that excuse
deny men help?
Couldn't this be considered
gender discrimination?
Think of it this way.
Roughly 78%
of all suicides are men.
If suicide prevention services
only served men,
wouldn't we see the gender
discrimination immediately?
If there are over 2,000
women's shelters
that turn away men,
and only one shelter for men,
obviously, the resources
don't match the need.
How are you involved in
the men's rights movement?
Well, from the very beginning
when I first opened the refuge,
which was in 1971
in Chiswick in London,
almost as soon
as I took the women in,
I got a house for men.
A voice for men's
editor at large Erin Pizzey
founded the first ever
women's shelter in 1971,
and she is widely revered
in the men's rights community.
'Cause you see, what
I knew from the beginning,
most domestic violence
is consensual.
Both are involved.
Sometimes one's the perpetrator,
the other plays the victim,
then it crosses over.
It's not as though it's just
all men or all women.
It's both, and occasionally,
innocent victims...
Very innocent.
Battered children grow up to
batter, that's what I learned,
whether it be a man or a woman.
And I now know
that if a woman comes in
with a history of violence
in her own childhood,
chances are, she will be
probably violent to her children,
and she will want to live on this
knife edge of crisis and danger.
I haven't been allowed to speak.
- That's the difficulty.
- Why is that?
Because I'm completely barred
from all conferences.
I'm not allowed to walk up
the step of my own refuge.
I bought the bloody building.
But, no, because
there's feminists...
The woman who runs it
is very heavily feminist.
She won't have anything
to do with me.
What did you say
that made them hate you?
That women could be
equally as violent as men...
That was from the beginning.
Erin Pizzey says that 62
of the first 100 women
to enter her refuge
were just as violent
as the men they left,
and violent towards
their children.
Verbally, and...
you know, very easily,
and I've had an argument...
But the feminists I've met
have an entirely different take
on domestic violence.
On the whole issue
of domestic violence...
That's just another word,
It's a clean-up word
about wife beating,
'cause that's really what it is.
Or "dating violence."
And it's not girls
that are beating up on boys.
It's boys that are
beating up on girls
and using violence
to intimidate and to control.
And we have very few
what's called
domestic violence shelters,
which are places that women
can leave their home
with their children
and get a new start,
get out of the violence.
But they're not nearly
enough of them.
We need more funding
and more resources
because it is
a tremendous disadvantage
for women and girls.
In 2014,
the CDC released a report
revealing that over
5.4 million men
and 4.7 million women
had been victims of intimate
partner physical violence
within the previous 12 months.
But then why does the media
paint domestic violence
as a women's issue?
The world
health organization says
one in three women
are abused by their partner.
One in three American women
experiences domestic violence
or stalking
at some point in her life.
And when it was
addressed as a men's issue,
the speaker's point
was that it's a men's issue
because men are the problem.
I'm gonna share with you
a paradigm shifting perspective
on the issues
of gender violence.
I don't see these
as women's issues
that some good men
help out with.
In fact, I'm gonna argue
that these are men's issues.
Why is domestic violence
still a big problem
in the United States
and all over the world?
What's going on? Why do so
many men abuse physically,
emotionally, verbally,
and in other ways,
the women and girls,
and the men and boys
that they claim to love?
What's going on with men?
Let's Grant every single
empirical case as being true.
Yes, it is true.
Let's just say...
I mean, it is not true,
but let's just assume
that there is gender symmetry
in domestic violence,
that women hit men
as much as men hit women.
If I were to say that,
I would say,
we need boatloads more funding
for domestic violence
to develop shelters
and adequate interventions,
'cause there's
this hidden epidemic
of men who are being
beaten up by women.
Or, I could say, as
the men's rights movement do,
therefore, we shouldn't
have these shelters
and we shouldn't fund them
because the women are all lying.
well, it seems to me, that if you
really believe in gender symmetry,
you're not questioning
the number of women.
You're just saying
the number of men is...
You would want to join
with women
who are antiviolence
to say we have
a real problem here.
It's not even a gender problem.
It's a problem of women hitting
men and men hitting women.
We've gotta get boatloads more funding.
Let's work together.
That seems the logical
response to this.
But instead they're saying,
it's like a zero sum game.
If we fund the women,
then we're gonna ignore the men.
Well, we're not... we're not
gonna ignore the women,
'cause we all agree that the
levels are as high as we say.
But it does sound
like a zero sum game
when only women
are receiving services
in domestic violence situations.
And of all the men's rights
activists I've met,
none of them question
the number of female victims.
But they are calling attention
to the high number
of male victims
that are being dismissed.
So why aren't
men's rights activists
and feminists working together?
Michael Kimmel briefly said
something that made me wonder.
He said it would no longer
be a gender problem
if both men and women were
equally victims
of domestic violence.
Is that why the number
of male victims
are never addressed?
To me, it's been fraud
for all these years.
why is it we have this enormously
powerful feminist movement
and virtually nothing for men?
Originally, it was capitalism
was the big enemy
in the '60s and '70s.
And it was the radical feminists in
America that moved the goal post.
They said, no, it's no longer
capitalism is the enemy.
The enemy is patriarchy...
Or men.
And that's how
the women's movement began,
and it was
enormously successful.
The new mood in the refuges
was gonna be that no man
could work in refuges,
and can't today.
They can't sit on the boards.
And boys over 9,
or possibly 12,
can't so into refuges.
You call them shelters.
Their mothers have to make
other arrangements for them,
which I find shocking.
And it ring-fenced money.
I think that
that particular time
when the feminist movement
were desperate for funding
'cause they'd run out
of publicity...
They were desperate for funding
and they needed a just cause.
And, unfortunately,
it fell into their laps.
It's an enormous industry.
I mean,
"violence against women,"
they get something like...
Well, it's a billion
and over a year.
And an awful lot of that
goes on, really,
supposedly rehabilitating men,
but essentially punishing them
with something that's called
the Duluth model.
Duluth power and control.
Well, you guys know about that?
- No.
- I'll give you a copy.
In 1977, I think, a bunch of crazy
women up in Duluth, Minnesota,
figured out they had the
solution to domestic violence
and it was all about patriarchy
and all about men.
It's the Duluth power
and control wheel,
'cause men are all about
power and control.
Of course, not you ladies.
You guys, you don't
control anything.
You have no power.
You're just sweet
and innocent little things.
Okay, so this power
and control wheel
is divided up
in all these things,
you know, about who does
this and who does that,
and blah, blah, blah.
And of course, it's all men.
The entire domestic violence
industry was founded on that.
I think it's still 37
or 32 states
in the United States
that by law they have to use
the Duluth model
for batter intervention program.
It's all shame,
blame, and guilt driven.
If you're a man and you walk in,
you must admit
you did it up front
or you're in denial.
There's no debate.
There's no discussion.
There's no possibility that
you could be falsely accused,
the criminal justice system
could've made a mistake.
None whatsoever.
You are in a state of denial,
and you will complete
that course
or you're gonna go to jail.
You will be re-engineered.
That's frightening.
- Frightening?
- Yes, that's frightening.
I think it's terrifying.
Absolutely terrifying.
All I had to do,
I had a simple choice.
I could just say,
"yes, you're right.
Men are the enemy."
No problem.
But I couldn't.
I absolutely couldn't.
Just getting overwhelmed,
I don't know...
Where I'm headed
with what I believe,
and what is right
and what is wrong,
and who is wrong
and who is right and...
The truth is somewhere
in the middle
and that's why
I'm feeling frustrated,
I don't know where the truth is,
and I don't know...
When I decided to make a film
on the men's rights movement,
I never anticipated
questioning my feminist views.
But the more MRAs I met,
the more I felt compelled
to remind myself
why I was a feminist.
I signed up for a women's group.
Welcome to our women, own
your power workshop.
Only four percent of the fortune
50d companies are led by women.
Women only hold about 14%
of corporate executive positions
and less than 20% of
our governmental positions.
I made video diaries complaining
about how I had
to change what I wore
to walk alone at night,
how much time it took me
to get ready for work,
all the housekeeping
that was on my shoulders.
In comparison
to other gender issues,
these videos seem trivial,
but I made them nonetheless.
I attended
women's rights rallies.
No to violence.
That's what we are here for,
to say no more
to violence in any form,
especially against women
and girls.
I repeated
women's issues in my head
like a broken record...
Female genital mutilation,
sex trafficking,
reproductive rights,
maternity leave,
and social media helped
remind me of women's issues.
We have fought for everybody's
else's equal rights.
It's our time to have wage
equality once and for all,
and equal rights for women
in the United States of America.
We are struggling
for a uniting word.
But the good news is
that we have a uniting movement.
It is called "he for she."
Whenever I hear
the MRAs' point of view
about how difficult
it is for them,
I immediately go to,
well, what about us?
What is like for us?
And then I get on the defensive
and want to make sure
that women's struggles
are also heard.
And I don't know
if that's necessary,
because the MRAs are saying that
the feminist perspective
is the mainstream perspective.
But even when I hear
their issues,
I still want to speak up
for the women
because I feel like...
I don't know.
I feel like talking
about one gender's issues
now neglects the other,
and I guess that's what
MRAs have been dealing with
is always hearing
about women's issues
and feeling like
their issues are neglected.
But whenever I hear them
talk about men's issues,
I feel like I need to
stand up for women and say,
"this is what
we're dealing with,
an equal opposite."
I met with men's rights
activist Karen Straughan
late one night in a noisy bar.
She became well known
for her YouTube videos
talking about male disposability
and other men's rights issues,
and she's a honey badger.
Part of what I do,
what I research,
and what I think about
is the reason psychologically
why feminism seems to be
such a comfortable
warm blanket emotionally
for so many people,
men and women alike.
And it's so comfortable
that it will make them
not see things
that are right in front
of their face.
Look at Boko Haram.
Hundreds 0f young
girls fast asleep in their beds
are awakened
by the sound of gunfire.
Armed attackers have stormed
their boarding school
and set fire to dozens
of buildings.
Nearly 300 of them are dragged from
their dorm, loaded on to trucks,
and carried away
deep into the forest.
...From New York
to London rallied yesterday
demanding that the terrorist group
Boko Haram bring back our girls.
It just gets to the core of you.
This unconscionable act
was committed
by a terrorist group
determined to keep these girls
from getting an education.
And what happened in Nigeria
was not an isolated incident.
It is a story we see every day,
as girls around the world
risk their lives
to pursue their ambitions.
I mean, you must have heard
about all of that, right?
That's being spun as a
fundamentalist Islamic group
that is so determined
to be misogynistic
and oppress girls
that they want to
deny girls an education.
But they are not against
girls being educated.
They're against anybody getting a
western secular or Christian education.
The initial attacks,
and there were several of them,
there was one... there were
over a hundred men killed
and one woman killed.
And the victims were
described as "people," right?
Or "villagers."
And in the previous attacks
on the schools,
they actually let the girls go.
They separated out
the boys and the girls
and they let the girls go,
and they told them,
"go home, get married,
renounce your sins,
and live a righteous life
under Allah," right?
And then they burned
the boys alive.
There was literally no outrage.
It was barely reported on.
It was one of those things, there
was no opinion pieces on it,
no nothing, right?
Until the girls were kidnapped.
And look at it this way,
because we played right
into their hands.
Because they
want attention, right?
And they weren't getting any
attention from the western media
when they were
just slaughtering boys.
- Yeah.
- Right?
They want attention.
And what do they do?
They kidnap girls
and sell them into
marriage or slavery, right?
And everybody... the U.N.,
Michelle Obama, Barack Obama,
the U.K. Government, the Canadian
federal minister of defense,
they're all promising aid
and help and equipment
and personnel to help find these
girls and bring them back,
because this is such an outrage,
and, "oh, my goodness,
something needs to be done."
Well, maybe if, like, last year,
maybe if we did something then,
all of these girls would be safe
in their dorms right now, right?
But we didn't.
And the reason why
they kidnapped those girls
is because we didn't
do anything.
We didn't pay attention,
and they want attention.
And they know that
attacking girls or women
is gonna get them attention.
What are we gonna do? Start a
campaign, bring back our boys?
Oh, wait, they're dead.
Never mind, right?
The men...
The people in Boko Haram,
they're chivalrous.
If those girls were boys,
they wouldn't be
getting education,
they'd be dead.
They wouldn't be sold
into slavery
with the hope of escape.
They'd be dead.
Boko Haram has been fighting
for Islamic rule
in Nigeria since 2002.
Its members have killed
hundreds of people.
Finally, brother,
after a while...
At least 69 dead,
although some reports put
the number at about 150
and scores more injured.
For that day when we shall
lay down our burden
and study war no more
finally, brother,
after a while
the battle will be over
for that day when we shall
lay down our burden
and study war no more
finally, brother,
after a while
the battle will be over
for that day when we shall
lay down our burden
and study war no more
finally, brother,
after a while
the battle will be over
for that day when we shall
lay down our burden
and study war no more
finally, brother,
after a while
the battle will be over
for that day when we should
lay down our burden
and study war no more
one of the most important things
the men's movement is doing
is being able to say
men need compassion
and men deserve compassion.
And to have that happen,
I'm not expecting it
in my lifetime.
It's an ocean of pain out there.
This stuff we're talking about
has been going on for so long,
and nobody listens,
nobody cares.
It's one thing when you look
at what happens to women
and you feel normal
healthy outrage about it,
and that should happen.
But when you can look at
what's happening
in our courts to men,
in our medical
establishment to men,
in our schools to men,
and yet we remain
so cerebral about all of it,
yes, well, that is certainly
something to consider.
If it were happening
to any other group,
we would be having protests
from coast to coast.
And the fact is that
it is happening to men
every day right
in front of our eyes,
and people will get angry at you
if you try to talk about it.
That's how deep
the prejudice runs.
No more
but there have been protests,
not with the intention of
shining light on men's issues,
but rather with
the goal of silencing
any discussion of men's issues.
Like at Ottawa university,
when professor Janice Flamengo
attempted to give a lecture
that questioned
the feminist narrative.
We'll take a moment
until we enforce
some decorum in the room.
So you think this is a victory?
What are you so frightened of...
Yeah, why are you so frightened
of hearing an opinion
different from your own?
Then there was the first
international conference
on men's issues in Michigan,
where even "Ms. magazine"
urged its readers
to protest the conference
in hopes of shutting it down.
But perhaps the most
well known protest
of a pro men's rights event
happened in April, 2013,
at the university of Toronto,
when the Canadian
association for equality
hosted a discussion titled
"from misogyny and misandry
to intersexual dialogue."
Fuck the patriarchy!
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
Women hold up half the sky!
A feminist group
protesting the event
illegally pulled the fire alarm
and successfully
shut down the event.
Okay, let's go.
We got a fire alarm!
Once outside the lecture hall,
feminist protesters
and men's rights activists
got to speak face to face.
So, number one.
Number one!
Shut the fuck up for a second.
Feminists do not want you to
lose custody of your children.
The assumption that women
are naturally better caregivers
is part of patriarchy.
Feminists do not like
in which bumbling dads
mess up the laundry
and competent wives have
to bustle in and fix it.
The assumption that women...
This is a list
of the things
that we're working toward.
Now if you would
shut the fuck up
for the 50th billionth time...
These are things
we agree on, actually.
These are things
that we're agreeing on,
and these are things you've all
got skewed fucking views on.
You think that feminists are trying
to take away your fucking rights,
but as a matter of fact,
what we're trying to do
is we're actually trying to work on the
same things that you're working on,
except the fact
that you're so...
You're just too busy
hating women...
You're a fucking hate group.
You can't see we're trying to
work on those same situations.
Are you conflating feminism,
which is an ideology,
with women, which is
a demographic of society?
Okay, mister
derailing for dummies.
So, really, your hatred
is for feminists.
- You're still a hate group.
- An ideology, yes.
I hate also hate
a lot of other "isms".
- So you admit, though.
- Racism, sexism.
Oh, bullshit, bullshit.
Bullshit, you hate sexism,
but you're an MRA.
Okay, no. Point taken.
We... like, we win.
You obviously haven't read
our literature.
Sorry. Okay!
You don't actually work
on anything.
You're creating any change
in the fucking world.
Your website,
your fucking website,
the hate website
against feminists...
You're not actually
creating any change.
Feminists do not want you
to have to make
alimony payments.
Alimony is set up
to combat the fact
that women have been
historically expected
to prioritize domestic duties
over professional goals,
thus minimizing
their earning potential
if their traditional
marriages end.
I'm right here.
You don't have to yell.
I'm reading, fuckface.
- It's for the fucking camera.
- I'm trying to fucking...
I'm letting everyone else
hear it, okay?
It's not just for you,
mister entitled.
The assumption
that wives should...
Why do you think
the men's rights movement
is at odds with feminism?
What has created that clash,
that war between each other?
Well, one, feminism
has spent the last 5o years
demonizing men, which is
sort of one of the problems.
Feminist scholars
have characterized men
as inherently violent,
inherently bad,
inherently predatory,
inherently oppressive.
They have postulated that
masculinity is a disease.
Feminists aren't
the only problem.
The problems didn't start
with feminism.
So when I start
criticizing feminism,
I want you to know you're
just part of the problem.
They're just part
of the problem.
You calling men oppressors
and women oppressed
demonizes men,
and I believe diminishes
women at the same time.
It's a way of telling men
to shut up.
It's a way of telling men
that their experiences
don't matter.
You tell a man he's privileged,
therefore, anything
he's gone through
or anything he has to say
doesn't matter.
His lived experiences
don't matter
because he's privileged.
So how old were you when you started
calling yourself a feminist?
Or how many years ago?
It was probably, about three
years ago, I guess you can say.
I'm relatively new, yeah.
But I'm pretty loud, so...
Silence only helps the
oppressor, not the oppressed.
A lot of MRAs say that feminism
doesn't fight
for the rights of men.
What would you say to that?
Cry me a river, really,
because feminism is a movement
about the discrepancies
when it comes
to women's equality.
Because we're not up.
We're still not there yet.
You know, don't even
start with that whole
"oh, but you don't think
about the men's issue."
Well, then you know what?
Start your own goddamn
movement, which they have,
but maybe make it a little
more about legitimate issues
like custody and alimony
and things that
you think are unequal,
which all stem from patriarchy,
not from, "oh, my god,
feminists are trying
to take away our kids."
No, dipshit.
That's not what
we're trying to do.
We're not trying to do that.
I mean, if they look
at the root causes of why,
for example, women get custody
more often than men do,
women are supposed to
be the mothers.
They're supposed to be
the natural born caregivers.
So, obviously, duh,
you has a vagina,
so, obviously, you're gonna be
able to take care of the kiddies.
That's really what it is.
It all stems from
sexism against women.
It's just, the oppression
dialectic needs to go.
It's so hard to convince people
to look at men's rights
activism and support it
without first allowing them
to at least escape
the stranglehold that
feminism has on their minds.
I do believe it is dogma.
It's zealotry.
There are good people
in the feminist movement.
There are not good people
in the radical
feminist movement.
That system is based on hate,
and hate... in my opinion,
hate's the most destructive
force in the world.
They're so quick to call us
man-haters or misandrists.
Misandry for life.
They're so quick to say that,
when all we're doing
is talking about
patriarchal societies
and structures
that we want to dismantle.
Nothing against men
in particular,
but just saying, hey, this is
the system that we live in
and this puts men above women.
And it's not necessarily
their fault,
but, hey, recognize
what's happening here
and let's work together
to dismantle it.
The omnipotent,
ever-present patriarchy,
the invisible force that directs
all of our lives, right?
And causes all oppression
and all suffering, right?
Our devil.
And the beautiful,
wonderful force for justice...
Feminism, the way.
It's the way.
It sounds like religion.
It sounds like religion.
And, oh, my goodness,
for a moment that's only
about equality
and isn't blaming of men,
they named the force
for evil after men
and the force for justice
after women.
They're really angry,
and they're angry at women,
they're angry at feminist women.
Yes, men have gotten
a crappy deal,
but it's not the fault
of women or gay people.
when feminism says that they
have no part in any of this,
I think they're not
being honest about it.
I don't blame feminism
for all of it,
but I think they've had
a role in it.
They've written laws
that discriminate against men.
They've fought
to protect those laws,
in domestic violence areas.
And for many, many years,
second wave feminism
would go through the statutes
and change everything
that was gender specific
to something gender neutral
unless it was something
that benefited women,
like the domestic violence laws.
They didn't change those.
Other types of areas,
like fathers in prison,
there are statutes that specifically
give mothers certain benefits
that fathers in prison
don't have.
And I challenged that
as well, legally,
but we didn't win on that one.
When I wanted to get
a commission on men
like the county has
a commission on women,
the feminists fought that
tooth and nail.
When prop 209 was before
the California voters,
which was to end
affirmative action,
every feminist
organization opposed it.
Every time men's rights groups
try to pass
joint custody legislation,
feminist groups fight them.
They fought us
on paternity fraud.
The biggest opposition
that I have faced
has been from the radical
feminists that said,
"we don't want truth
to be the standard."
Because if we did,
they wouldn't oppose
automatic DNA testing at birth.
And in countries like France,
they're saying, "well,
DNA should mean 'do not ask,"'
'cause it's now illegal
to even get a test.
And if you get a test without
the mother's permission,
you will be
criminally prosecuted.
In Sweden, they
tried to create a man tax.
In India, the men's rights
movement is trying to get
the rape laws
to include male victims,
and the feminist groups
apparently are fighting that.
I'm not saying
all feminists are this way.
But I think the ones who
are affecting public policy,
who have the lobbying power,
I think they are.
If you just look
at their actions,
they don't want
equality for women.
They want special privileges
for women and girls.
And even though they know
in a lot of areas
men do not have equality,
they are silent.
The commander
of the marine corps
said that he thinks,
and I quote,
all eligible and
qualified men and women
should register for the draft,"
talking about selective service.
Do you think women
should also have to register
for selective service like men?
I have to think about whether
I think it's necessary
to go as far as our military
officers are recommending.
The idea of having
everybody register
concerns me a little bit,
unless we have a better idea
of where that's gonna come out.
Where I want people to register,
I want every young person
to register at the age of 18
to be able to vote
And I think if...
What's the motivation?
People don't ask,
what's the motivation?
Do we need
a men's rights moment?
No. We need common sense.
But if there's gonna be
this woman's movement
and this is the movement that's
gonna do all these things,
then maybe we need
a counterbalance,
something called
a men's rights movement,
or men's movement.
I hate to see
either one of them.
I think it's a shame.
I think it's destructive.
I'm hearing what the men's
rights activists are saying.
And I'm finding the sources
to support what they're saying.
Men are just as likely
to be victims
of intimate partner
physical violence.
Men have little to no control
over their parental destiny,
especially when he's tricked
into fatherhood
or he's raising a child
that he later finds out
isn't his.
The sentencing disparity
between men and women
is six times larger
than the sentencing disparity
between blacks and whites.
So while a black man
may be sentenced
to ten percent more prison time
for the same crime
as a white man,
a man is sentenced
to over 60% more prison time
than a woman arrested
for the same crime.
Boys are falling behind
in education.
They are enrolling
at lower rates
and earning
less college degrees.
And while not all MRAs
agree on the issue
of infant male circumcision,
most MRAs do believe it is
a human rights violation.
I spent months learning about
infant male circumcision,
but it only took me
watching a five-minute
medical training video
to convince me
this is a barbaric practice
that needs to stop.
Okay, so first thing,
make sure he's well restrained.
So the foreskin. Okay?
And we repeat the process with
just one end on and clamp.
Anything that gets clamped
gets cut.
All that was
left, a partial penis
and his tiny testicles.
Rhodes says Ashton urinates
through a hole in his penis.
She says she can't imagine now
what she'll say to her son
when he's old enough
to understand
what's happened to him.
How could you explain it
to your child
that you don't have a penis
or you might never be
able to have kids?
Yes, men are the majority
of workplace deaths
and injuries,
war deaths, suicides.
They have a shorter
life expectancy.
Warren Farrell
makes the argument
that prostate cancer
and breast cancer
mortality rates are similar,
but funding
disproportionately supports
breast cancer research
and awareness
over prostate cancer.
The red pill is about
looking at these issues
in an honest way,
even when it's uncomfortable.
And these things
are uncomfortable.
But without the willingness
to set aside the programming
and to set aside the false
beliefs about what power is
and what women are
and who women are...
Part of what we do is a pretty
serious critique of both sexes.
It's brutal.
But critiquing the sexes
is a real valuable thing.
Feminists don't want you
to do it, though,
unless you're portraying
women as the victim
and men as perpetrator.
The red pill is
about understanding
men and women like
everything else in life.
It's a mixed bag.
You've got victims
and perpetrators
on both sides of the fence.
And that's all.
It's real simple.
It's just not easy.
I... I think I agree
with everything you said.
But there's... there's still
some kind of unsettling doubt,
and I don't know
where that's coming from.
I'm recognizing all of these
very serious
men's rights issues.
But what I don't understand
is how I could be agreeing
with men's rights activists.
Is this the same
misogynist hate group
I originally discovered online?
The Southern poverty law center
has classified that group
and men's rights groups
as hate groups.
I looked into what I
was hearing from feminists
and the mass media about
the men's rights movement.
I've read a lot
and I've heard a lot
that the men's rights movement
has been labeled a hate group
by the Southern poverty
law center.
- Is that correct?
- Yeah, that's not quite true.
No, they got it wrong. No.
This was somehow written up
on some kind of
anti-men's rights websites
as us having listed them
as hate groups and so on.
That we didn't do.
He wrote a piece
declaring the month
of October to be
"bash a violent bitch month."
"I mean, literally
to grab them by the hair
and smack their face
against the wall," he wrote.
I then discovered
that Paul Elam's famous
"bash a violent bitch" article
was written in response
to this article
by Jezebel called...
The article cited
a study that revealed
70% of non-reciprocated
was perpetuated by women.
The author then went on to say
that she conducted an
informal survey at the office
and the gist of her findings
was that many women had
physically assaulted their man,
and it was interpreted
as either being funny
or he was asking for it.
I couldn't help
but see the hypocrisy
in a major feminist website
making light of abusing men,
and MRAs stinging back
only to have the media
paint them as the abusers.
After my year of filming men's
rights activists and feminists
my descent into the rabbit hole
was not slowing down.
My education on gender politics
was really just beginning.
I learned about other sectors
of the online manosphere,
like MGTOW,
"men going their own way,"
and forum on reddit
called "the red pill,"
which is separate from
the men's rights community,
and they do not see eye to eye.
I'm told an easy way
to remember the difference
is that while MRAs want
to change the system
reddit's the red pill want to
take adv ant age of the system,
and MGTOW want
to leave the system.
There are so many
perspectives on gender,
and I believe they're
all worthy of listening to.
However, the conversation
is being silenced.
For a society to accept
anything said
on behalf of women's rights
and then to shame any
dialogue about men's rights
and call it hate speech
is precisely the problem.
This is what men's
rights look like'.!
I don't know where I'm headed,
but I know what I left behind.
I no longer call myself
a feminist.
Just think about it
put on some borrowed kicks
hang all your notions up
it's never what it is
wisdom is asking why
there is another side
down where
the rabbit lives
my world will
blow your mind
just have a look at it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
just think about it
don't gotta
change your mind
just try to open it
I'll let you use my eyes
see what I'm dealing with
people with
different stories
divided by
different categories
and reasons why
the smart speak
the wise, they listen
the wise, they listen
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
just think about it
just think about it
think about it
think about it
think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
think, think about it
you gotta think about it
think, think about it
think, think about it
come on and think about it
there is another side
down where
the rabbit lives
I'll let you use my eyes
see what I'm dealing with
think, think about it
just think about it
think, think about it
just think about it