A controversial independent film about the men’s rights movement is being shown in Red Deer this weekend.
The Red Pill is being shown Saturday (Oct. 27) at 1 p.m. at the Snell Auditorium, downstairs at the downtown branch of the Red Deer Public Library.
Released in 2016, the film follows the journey of feminist filmmaker Cassie Jaye as she set out to document the "mysterious and polarizing world of the men’s rights movement." Jaye ultimately began to question her beliefs about the movement being misogynist and a hate-group.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Albertan YouTube personality Karen Straughan and Tom Matty with the Equitable Child Maintenance & Access Society. The event is being facilitated by the Canadian Association For Equality (CAFE).
CAFE Edmonton’s community development officer and national board member Monique Dietvorst says the documentary is ‘balanced’ and that her organization's focus is on marginalized gender issues.
“We find The Red Pill to be a very helpful tool to start some of the discussions that are sometimes very difficult to broach,” she says. “I can’t speak for everybody, but men’s issues seem to make people really uncomfortable. There could be some socialized or biological reasons why we’d be uncomfortable listening to an angry man.”
Dietvorst says those who haven’t seen the film should wait until they do before rushing to judge it as being “anti-women.”
“I’m a humanist myself and I don’t really give myself many more labels than that. But I’d say I’m fine with women’s rights, with children’s rights, and with men’s rights,” she says. “All human beings, no matter their gender, have a right to express in a constructive fashion when their needs aren’t being met. If they feel like they’re being discriminated against in family law, for example, or they’re not getting as much funding for healthcare, I would say those are reasonable issues to bring up.”
Past scheduled screenings of The Red Pill have been cancelled and/or received strong backlash in cities like Melbourne and Ottawa, as well as at the University of Calgary.
In March 2017, the U of C’s Wildrose club was found to have sent an email out promoting the film's screening with the message “feminism is cancer.” The Wildrose club backed out after firing the person who sent the email, but the film was still screened by the Canadian Advocates for Freedom and Liberty.
“As far as I know, feminism is an ideology and it’s a very strong juggernaut in all of our institutions,” Dietvorse concludes. “I don’t see how a constructive conversation about any ideology such as communism or capitalism, especially in an academic setting, would be an issue.”
Tickets to Saturday’s screening in Red Deer are available through Eventbrite.
(With files from the CBC, The Calgary Herald and theredpillmovie.com)
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