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The Red Pill Documentary : A Feminist's Journey into the Men's Rights Movement

wiltingwilting Registered User regular
edited October 2016 in Debate and/or Discourse
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This thread is NOT about MRAs or men's issues in general. This thread IS about a documentary about MRAs. Please keep your comments relevant to the context of the film. Helpful talking points are featured at the end of the OP 2.

I am perfectly aware that MRAs are not well regarded hereabouts, please let us have a nice civil friendly thread.

The OP has ended up being too long, and has to be split into two parts, don't skip OP 2!

Full disclosure: I backed the crowdfunding campaign to the tune of $25 US in order to get access to a digital copy. I will try to keep the OP fairly neutral.

The OP is not as comprehensive as I would like. There's tons missing, the citation could use improving. Honestly, I'm exhausted from working on it. Please don't come at me for leaving out an important criticism/defence of Jaye or part of the story (there's lots more), trust me, I'm aware. It will give me stuff to comment in the thread I suppose. There comes a time when you have to let your babies fly. I'm just going to post it for now and spruce it up a bit later.


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The Red Pill

Premiering on October 7th, The Red Pill is a documentary about not just the men's rights movement, but the journey the director Cassie Jaye went on while making it. Depending on your outlook, it may represent a chance for important perspectives and issues to finally be represented fairly in the mainstream, a cautionary tale of how an outsider can be seduced by a harmful worldview, or just an unprecedented look at an hitherto unexplored subject. If it is actually any good or not - we don't know yet. How the film came to be, the director's journey, the making of it, the coverage of it, it's crowdfunding campaign, the controversy surrounding it and how it may be received are stories unto themselves that this thread will attempt to explore.

The OP will explore:
- The meaning of the title of the film
- The personal history and past work of the director
- How the director came to make the documentary
- The personal journey the director went on while make the film
- The ups and downs of the films crowdfunding campaign
- And the controversy surrounding the film once it was successfully funded



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"The Red Pill"

The men's rights movement is nothing if not controversial, and from the outset this film could not escape that. The very title is a subject of some consternation that requires some clarification. MRAs and Red Pillers, of Reddit fame, generally don't like to be conflated with one another. Jaye thoroughly addressed the question of the title in her Reddit AMA.
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In an early interview with Paul Elam, Jaye also stated that she felt the title was appropriate as "that symbolism was the closest to what the process has been like to me."



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The Director
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Cassie Jaye grew up Seattle in an Evangelical Christian household. She describes herself as having been "a bit of a theatre kid". Her first "life transformation" was beginning to question and leaving the Church in which she was raised. At the age of 18 she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film acting career. Jaye soon became upset with her role in society and the portrayal of women in film: "the blonde girl dying in the woods with her shirt torn". Her expressions of frustration at her experiences as a young woman in Hollywood were characterised as feminist by her friends & family.
So, that’s when I looked up feminism, before I started using that label, and I found it to mean just being for women’s rights and gender equality and thought ‘ Well that’s simple enough I already believe in that so I guess I’m a feminist.’

Jaye pursued acting for four or five years, before the writers strike of 2007/2008 made it difficult to find work. She began to spend a lot of time watching films, where she says she fell in love with the genre of documentaries.
So I fell in love with documentaries and really just knowing people’s stories and experiences and, I guess I found making documentaries as a way to go on the journies that I want to go on for just my own selfish reasons.

As we will see, a common thread throughout Jaye's work is using it to explore her own worldview, and a strong conviction in fairness to both sides of an issue.

See: AVFM Interview 01 to 04 mins, 31 to 32 mins. Sargon of Akkad Interview 08 to 11 mins.



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Daddy I Do

Jaye started working on feature documentaries alongside her Mother, Sister, Uncle and other friends & family, founding a production company called Jaye Bird Productions.

Her first documentary, Daddy I Do, started filming when Jaye was 21. The film is about Purity balls and the debate between abstinence only and comprehensive sex education. Jaye, who attended a Christian High School, was herself a purity pledger as a teenager, wearing a purity ring and growing up with the abstinence only programmes. She describes herself as having been familiar and sympathetic to the abstinence only side, and believing people in the abstinence only movement to be well intentioned.
So that’s the world that I came from but when I started the film I was starting to question how I was raised and what I believed and really look at the statistics and see if there’s anything that I could uncover that maybe kids shouldn’t be taught abstinence only.

Daddy I Do was shown at ten independent film festivals and won 6 best documentary awards. Jaye attributes the reception of the film to it's unbiased approach.
So, the film was really just the battle between the two and from the film making standpoint we took a fly on the wall perspective, which is just share people’s different views and stories. And there was no narration, there was no, you know, anyone telling you, what to believe, what side you should come out of the film believing or being on.

Jaye says she thought it would be unfair to create a narrative that supported one side and didn't allow the other to give their best argument. She describes as unfortunate the tendency of documentaries to take a one sided approach, suggesting that a film that motivates people and ends with a call to action "is the anatomy for a more successful film".

Jaye ultimately personally concluded that, given the evidence, comprehensive sex education is best for society as a whole.
You can I think explore all sides to realise that there is something that’s best for the nation.

See: AVFM Interview 03 to 12 mins.



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The Right to Love

Jaye's next film, The Right to Love: An American Family, about marriage equality, followed the gay couple behind the Gay Family Values YouTube channel in California particularly around the period of the Prop 8 vote.


Jaye, describing herself as sheltered, says that she didn't think she knew any gay people prior to working on the film, but that friends began coming out to her after she started working on it. She recalls herself and others who worked on the film as undergoing a "huge transformation" in the process of making the film. Jaye suggests that their naivety on the topic as heterosexuals may have been an asset in making the film accessible to heterosexual audiences, as well as seeing the lives of a loving family with children.
In some ways I think it’s great to make a film that you don’t know a lot about to begin with, because then you address those areas where the mass public may also not know a lot to begin with.
I think the biggest change I had from making The Right to Love was realising that if you’re silent about a minority group being discriminated against then you’re part of the problem.




See: AVFM Interview 11 to 17 mins.



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Origin of The Red Pill

Warning: This section contains:
- Discussion of rape culture
- Discussion of rape cases
- Link to A Voice for Men post (Misogyny)


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After the release of The Right to Love Jaye was unsure of what project to pursue next, going through a creative slump around late 2012 and early 2013. She considered a film on the legalisation of prostitution, but her attention was grabbed by the the concept of 'rape culture', which she first heard of due to the Delhi Bus and Steubenville rape cases being in the news. While researching rape culture, she stumbled across an article by Paul Elam on A Voice for Men, titled The Unspoken Side of Rape. This article carries a warning that its intent is to shock to draw the readers in further, and that is precisely the effect it had on Jaye, her initial reaction being "shocked and appalled" and "this is the rape culture that I’ve been hearing about".

Jaye was fascinated to uncover a perspective she hadn't seen before, and spent about a week pouring over articles on A Voice for Men, before putting it aside and returning to work on other ideas. But she found herself getting pulled back to "‘What is this men’s rights movement? They terrify me but I want to know more."
I kept on coming back to A Voice For Men and saying you know I want to know more about them and I don’t know what it is, they kinda scare me. They’re intimidating, I didn’t know what I was going to find or uncover by talking to you [Elam] or meeting the other MRAs and so I took a leap of faith and said “I want to know more” and I realised that this was really going to challenge myself because I’ve only known the feminist side up until that point.

Jaye thinks of herself as someone who can talk to anyone and try to understand them. She also describe herself as someone who always looking for a new project to challenge herself with. Jaye says she doesn't see the point in working on a film on a topic you already know everything about. If you aren't challenging yourself, you aren't growing, and she found MRAs views very challenging. She decided to contact Elam and the project grew from there.

I was absolutely terrified of the idea of meeting Paul Elam, and when I did meet him he's like 6'5" or something like that. It was intimidating, but my protection was having a camera with me at all times. So, I committed to making a film about the MRM but I never in my wildest dreams thought I would also become a subject in the film. That came later, when I realized I was going through a transformative journey myself.

See AVFM Interview 23 to 29 mins, Sargon of Akkad Interview 01 to 13 mins, Cassie Jaye AMA.



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Down the Rabbit Hole
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Jaye had filmed herself when working on Daddy I Do, with the expectation that she would undergo a transformation worth capturing. In the end however she wasn't consistent enough in filming herself to include in the film. The Right to Love also proved a transformative experience:
When we’d do Q&A’s talking about The Right to Love and said where we were coming from, you know, growing up very religious and never really knowing any gay people, people in the audience would say “You know, your story should have been in the film”

Jaye anticpated that making a documentary about the MRM would probably cause a lot of internal struggles or questions about what she believed. So she decided to document her process.
So right from the beginning of deciding to make a film about the men’s movement I started doing what I called video diaries and it’s just me by myself in a room with a camera and just talking about my thoughts, feelings, concerns, questioning everything.

This time Jaye stuck with the filming.
You can see the wheels turning and starting to change. I mean there’s even early video diaries that I did where I don’t believe what I said back then but it’s interesting to see how that way of being brought up and thinking for so long could affect how I processed interviewing MRAs and see that change.

One thing Jaye emphasises is that including her personal journey in the film is not intended to compromise her even handed approach, and that she doesn't want to lead the audience to same conclusions as herself.

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See AVFM Interview 26 to 29 mins




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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
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    Crowdfunding Campaign

    Warning: This section contains:
    - Milo Yiannopolis

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    Nearly a year ago today, on the 12th of October 2015, Jaye launched a crowdfunding campaign for post-production and distribution of The Red Pill. Jaye describes the first two weeks of the Kickstarter campaign as a "sinking ship" with "no light at the end of the tunnel". Jaye's Reddit AMA took place during this period, on the 23rd of October, where she expressed her concerns about the campaign and the reasons for going to Kickstarter.

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    Then, on the 26th of October, everything changed.
    Then, we had an article by Milo Yiannopolis come out on Breibart and talk about my experience with difficulty getting funding for this film and support and that’s when many people who believed in freedom of speech and anti-censorship came in and saved the kickstarter.

    That article, ‘The Red Pill’ Filmmaker Started to Doubt Her Feminist Beliefs… Now Her Movie Is at Risk, went into more detail about the funding and production challenges Jaye encountered.
    Jaye is concerned about funding the film with angel investors, who she says often want creative control: “We weren’t finding executive producers who wanted to take a balanced approach, we found people who wanted to make a feminist film.”

    The second option was funding via grants. Jaye says, “I started to see the bias towards women’s films and against men’s. There are no categories for men’s films though there are several for women and minorities. I submitted the film to human rights categories, and was rejected by all of them.”

    According to Jaye, her sincerely-held opinions on the men’s rights movement have made her movie almost unfundable and support has dried up: “Films that support one side and act as propaganda do better than those that try to have an honest look. I won’t be getting support from feminists. They want a hit piece and I won’t do that. ”

    Jaye also ran into stumbling blocks during production. “I started to invite feminists to be interviewed for the film, making up about 25 per cent of the interviews scheduled,” she explains. “We had a popular feminist author who was scheduled to be in the film. After we drove down to Los Angeles, she cancelled the night before claiming she felt ‘unsafe.’”

    Jaye also had a paid animator drop out of the project because he didn’t want to be part of a project that sympathised with the men’s rights movement.

    On the 27th of October Mike Cernovich pledged to match donations up to $10,000.
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    On the 26th and 27th, contributions to the Kickstarter exploded.
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    On the 28th, so did the controversy.

    See Sargon of Akkad Interview 15 to 17 mins.


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    Controversy

    Warning: This section contains:
    - Links to We Hunted the Mammoth posts (Misogyny, Misandry)


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    Wilting's Comment: Okay, I find it really hard not to editorialise here. I will try to limit it to "here are some things someone said" and "here is some info that might contradict the thing a person said"

    On the 28th, David Futrelle of We Hunted the Mammoth posted An Open Letter to Cassie Jaye, director of the Red Pill, "congratulating" her for the Kickstarter reaching its goal. In it he essentially makes the accusations that:

    - Promotion and donations for the crowdfunded film coming from MRAs in particular and the manosphere in general means it can't be impartial
    - Paul Elam is happy about the film being funded, therefore the direction of the film is concerning, because Paul Elam is bad
    - Jaye used details designed to pander to Yiannopolis and his readers in her interview
    - Jaye had been playing Futrelle in their previous conversations about a potential interview when she assured him that the film would show the ugly side of MRAs
    - Jaye herself had been played by MRAs putting on a friendly face in her interviews (also noting that Futrelle himself had spent "five years of watching, and writing about, and dealing with, the Men’s Rights movement")

    Futrelle, a noted anti-MRA blogger and potential interview subject for the film, describes himself an outside observer. He suggests terrible harm will come to Jaye's reptuation, and that she will learn the hard way that when Paul Elam likes something it is bad.

    Futrelle also suggested the clips for the film look like propaganda and portrayed AVFMers as "heroic underdogs rather than the misogynists and malicious harassers that they really are." (Presumably referring to the sneak preview which included media reports of MRAs as women haters, Dr Michael Kimmel suggesting the men's rights movement is the gender equivalent of the white nationalist movement, and 'Big Red' speaking about receiving threats).

    Futrelle concluded by ruling out contributing his perspective to the film in an interview as they had previously discussed.

    During this period Jaye was making appearances on various streams, where the accusations and general feminist reaction to the film were discussed, but she didn't immediately respond to the accusations.

    On the 31st, Futrelle followed up with Is "Red Pill" director Cassie Jaye's Cannes award a fake? Signs point to "yes"

    This time Futrelle characterised Jaye featuring coat-tail Cannes Independent Film Festival award in promotional material for Daddy I do as "trumpeting an award from a phony festival as if it were a real award". He added that it's "not only dishonest; it’s kind of pathetic." Futrelle notes that coverage of Daddy I Do sometimes mistakes the independent festival for the actual International festival, and links to a Cannes Guide article which calls the festival a scam.

    It worth pointing out that Jaye's own youtube channel features videos of news reports regarding Daddy I do that both mix up the festivals and get it right.

    On November 3rd, Jaye responded with a both a video statement on her channel and a written statement on the Kickstarter page.


    She later elaborated on calling Futrelle's accusations "misogynistic".
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    In a subsequent interview with Sarkon of Akkad, Jaye made some additional comments:
    To that I would like to say that the Men’s Rights Activists who have been supporting this campaign, all of them, I’ve never seen anyone message me saying ‘This better be for Men’s Rights’. All of them are saying ‘We’re just thrilled to have, to be fairly shown in a film, in context without manipulation and have a fair shake at this conversation’. Rather than be, you know, glossed over and just made out to look evil.
    I don’t think I’ve said this anywhere else but David Futrelle was also emailing me privately, two different emails since the Kickstarter and, you know so I made a statement video I think a week ago. Trying to put something on record where I’m explaining the, false allegations that Futrelle is reporting and so I have my say out there on record. And something that maybe I should have included in that was that, it hasn’t just been his articles and tweets. It’s also been private emails. Well, I think the word that would most closely describe it is bullying.

    See Sargon of Akkad Interview 13 to 25 mins.




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    Talking Points

    - Is it possible for a documentary (or indeed admirable to try) to be fair to both sides, or is that a false equivalence?
    - A common criticism Jaye encountered from feminists is the question of "Why are you giving them a platform"? Are there some subjects that shouldn't be documented?
    - Is it detrimental or helpful for a creator to become the subject in their own documentary?
    - How appropriate is Jaye's characterisation of Futrelle's attack as misogynistic?
    - Given that Crowdfunding donors don't normally get a creative role (and that this would be a violation of Kickstarter policy), and that Jaye's reason for pursuing crowdfunding was editorial freedom, is the "funded by the subjects" criticism a reasonable one?
    - Is it fair or appropriate to judge Jaye and The Red Pill for who covered and backed it? When success/failure depends on getting any of the coverage/backing you can?
    - Similarly, is it fair to criticise an independent creator trying to make it for accepting minor coat-tail awards?
    - Do Futrelle's (and others) criticism basically come down to "not making your documentary to fit my agenda, and with due regard to this being my stomping ground"?
    - What might the film bode for the perception of MRAs? If it increases awareness, but the perception remains negative, would that still be a win from their perspective?
    - What do people think to Futrelle choosing to criticise Jaye rather than participating in the documentary? Would he have been better served by getting his word in on the inside?

    Wilting's comments:

    I don't really have answers to a lot of these questions myself.

    I'll dig it up later but Elam made the point that The Red Pill being filmed before the first International Conference in Detroit (where filming wrapped) meant that Jaye and the team had met many MRAs before they met each other . The idea of agenda driven bloggers like Manboobz and Mancheeze who spend their time being angry at the manosphere on the internet talking down to Jaye that she doesn't know what shes getting into, someone with a history of impartiality and self-examination who has spent hundreds of hours in face to face conversation with dozens of MRAs, something nobody had done before - not even themselves - and then went and asked a bunch of feminists what they think about all this stuff - strikes me as pretty ridiculous. Not to mention all the fact checking and research required for a project like this. Its unprecedented and one could argue The Red Pill production team (her Mom Nena deserves way more credit than she has gotten in this OP) are the closest thing to a highest authority on the men's rights movement that exists. She pretty much stole Futrelle's thunder. (Bear in mind I haven't seen the film and it could be terrible, I definitely want to see the ugly side of MRAs covered)

    Things absent from the thread: Some articles about the film and Jaye's reaction to media coverage in general (she started to sympathise with mra's complaints about 'cherry picking', 'yellow journalism' and out of context reporting), a couple of agenda driven reviews which don't really tell us anything, discussion of potential MRA/ feminist reaction etc, more sources for similar things Jaye has said, filling out why Jaye decided to include herself and interview feminists (she felt she was no longer able to provide good counter arguments to MRAs).



    PS: There are no links to any crowdfunding projects in these posts ;)

    wilting on
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  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck the search for the means to put an end to things an end to speech is what enables the discourse to continue ~ * ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) excelsior * ~Registered User regular
    Warning: This section contains:
    - Milo Yiannopolis

    trigger warning; milo

    i love it

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  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    I'm not sure what the intent of going through Ms. Jaye's entire filmography was, but it seems to reveal a pattern of her approaching a topic with the initial intent to be impartial, but nearly always begins to sympathize with her subjects.

    I believe Futrelle's heart was in the right place, he was trying to warn her that the people she was documenting are extremists and possibly dangerous. His work in documenting the "movement" has been vital in exposing them as the sad craven people they are.

    The well is poisoned already for MRAs and their ilk, and a documentary is not going to change that no matter how friendly a face they put on for the cameras.

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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    This is really difficult to read. And I don't mean that it's emotionally difficult, I mean that this seems like a really cluttered way to present the topic, jumping from the film to the community behind it to the director to other films to the crowdfunding campaign (and I only knew it was a crowdfunded movie once you started talking about how crowdfunding almost failed).

    Beyond that, the biggest issue I see with this film is that, by the time it comes out, it's already going to be obsolete. The MRA community is very flexible and while I've never delved deeply into it, both the baseline "theories" they subscribe to, the common attacks/cultural criticisms, and hangers-on have changed dramatically over the years and change dramatically with whatever has cultural resonance. They are always capable of presenting an "acceptable" face because they ball the solutions to "legitimate" if overblown problems in some sort of male-dominant ideology, but never a consistent one.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    An incredibly informative couple of OPs, but it doesn't really give much of an impression about the film itself... which I guess it to be expected since the film isn't out yet?

    I take it the film is only getting a limited release and is mainly going to be available through digital platforms? I would be interested in hearing what you think about the film once it's out.

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  • milskimilski Their Will comes, at last, to Earth, to the Neath, as a storm crosses the sea. Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    Anyway, to answer the questions:

    - Is it possible for a documentary (or indeed admirable to try) to be fair to both sides, or is that a false equivalence? It depends on how far you have to go to be "fair." If presenting the sympathetic side of a group requires omitting key context or disproportionately presenting the negatives, it hardly succeeds at being an accurate depiction of a group.
    - A common criticism Jaye encountered from feminists is the question of "Why are you giving them a platform"? Are there some subjects that shouldn't be documented? Giving a group a platform and a sympathetic view can legitimize them. While I hesitate to say you "shouldn't" do something, it's perfectly reasonable for feminists to wish people weren't trying to paint MRAs as sympathetic.
    - Is it detrimental or helpful for a creator to become the subject in their own documentary? No opinion.
    - How appropriate is Jaye's characterisation of Futrelle's attack as misogynistic? I believe that characterizing his attack as misogynistic if the MRA movement is not characterized as misogyny-dominated in the documentary would be inappropriate. Beyond that, I think that a binary "misogynistic/not misogynistic" is silly; his attack may have some implicit misogyny (I did not dive into it) but that doesn't place it on the same tier as MRAs.
    - Given that Crowdfunding donors don't normally get a creative role (and that this would be a violation of Kickstarter policy), and that Jaye's reason for pursuing crowdfunding was editorial freedom, is the "funded by the subjects" criticism a reasonable one? Yes, because a significant portion of the marketing/advertising surrounding this movie became about the fact she "doubted feminism" and it implicitly has Milo's name attached to it. That is probably inextricable from the film.
    - Is it fair or appropriate to judge Jaye and The Red Pill for who covered and backed it? When success/failure depends on getting any of the coverage/backing you can? It is fair to note that TRP and Milo's backing presented the film's concept in a different light and implicitly assured backers it would be supportive of the MRA movement, and to believe that could influence the director.
    - Similarly, is it fair to criticise an independent creator trying to make it for accepting minor coat-tail awards? Not sure what this means.
    - Do Futrelle's (and others) criticism basically come down to "not making your documentary to fit my agenda, and with due regard to this being my stomping ground"? To some extent, yes. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're wrong, any more than a climatologist would be wrong for criticizing Crichton's later novels for not presenting themselves as scientific while denying global warming based on a total lack of expertise.
    - What might the film bode for the perception of MRAs? If it increases awareness, but the perception remains negative, would that still be a win from their perspective? Any publicity is good publicity.

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  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    Regarding the first talking point:

    What does it mean to be fair to both sides? If, for example, one interviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and asked exactly the same questions of each of them, would simply playing both interviews without any further context be a fair presentation? I dunno how much time the film devotes to exploring Elam's nastier aspects (or whatever), but I'm going to make an ass out of mumptions and go with "not enough."

    Regarding the fourth talking point:

    The way she seems to conflate "mistrust of this particular woman's judgment" with "mistrust of a woman's judgment" strikes me as either misunderstanding or disingenuity, neither of which bode well. Perhaps there are examples of Futrelle actually being misogynistic (which I admit would surprise me), but the examples provided don't read that way to me.

    Regarding the ninth talking point:

    I think there are legitimate issues affecting men that deserve attention, and if this brings more awareness of those then that's a win. I don't think it would be a win for the MRA movement, because my opinion of the movement as a whole is that it is more concerned about being anti-women than pro-men. I consider myself a feminist (albeit not an academic one or anything) and I can explain to my satisfaction the causes of, and derive reasons to care about, all the legitimate issues the MRA movement has using a feminist perspective. Because of this, I have been unable to reconcile the movement's vehement anti-feminism with its professed concern for legitimate issues except by concluding that there must be some fundamental disagreement as to the causes of those issues; namely, that women are at fault. Thus, I don't think "the movement" would consider those issues being addressed a win, though I do believe many individual members would.

    Disclaimer: I have spent some time in the past... "enjoying" We Hunted The Mammoth. Ethics in journalism and all that.

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    I haven't seen the documentary or read through the links to dig into the controversy, but some of the questions you ask are I think general enough to be answered:

    - Is it possible for a documentary (or indeed admirable to try) to be fair to both sides, or is that a false equivalence? It is possible and to be desired. A documentary that doesn't treat its subject fairly is a propaganda piece. That said, "fair" and "equal/equivalent" are two different things; something the US news media have forgotten. Being fair means treating two unequal things in unequal ways, and in fact treating them equally is inherently unfair. An Apollo 11 documentary that mentions in passing the moon-landing-hoax and laughs it off is fair. One that gives it equal time to the lunar mission and treats the possibility of a hoax as equivalent to the possibility they really went on the moon is unfair.

    - A common criticism Jaye encountered from feminists is the question of "Why are you giving them a platform"? Are there some subjects that shouldn't be documented? This threads the line between documentary and propaganda from my earlier answer. There are no topics that shouldn't be documented and discussed and analyzed. There are topics that shouldn't be advocated or normalized. MRA are one such topic.

    - Is it detrimental or helpful for a creator to become the subject in their own documentary? It is a common feature of many documentaries I've seen. They discuss not just the facts but how they uncovered the facts, the journey they went on. When done properly it is a good framing device and adds an enriching human element to an otherwise dry story.

    - How appropriate is Jaye's characterisation of Futrelle's attack as misogynistic? No opinion.

    - Given that Crowdfunding donors don't normally get a creative role (and that this would be a violation of Kickstarter policy), and that Jaye's reason for pursuing crowdfunding was editorial freedom, is the "funded by the subjects" criticism a reasonable one? From what I understand of the OP, the interviews were already done and the documentary advanced or finished by the time of the Kickstarter. In that case, the criticism is very much unfair. If the subjects truly had no editorial say (which seems to be the case) and Jaye was not influenced by this (which also seems to be the case), then their contributions are not pertinent to the content of the movie.

    - Is it fair or appropriate to judge Jaye and The Red Pill for who covered and backed it? When success/failure depends on getting any of the coverage/backing you can? Jaye perhaps. But not The Red Pill - it is a documentary and should be judged by documentary standards (e.g. does it cover its topic in good depth, does it bring new information, does it correctly represent the opinions of people interviewed, etc.), not based on who liked it.

    - Similarly, is it fair to criticise an independent creator trying to make it for accepting minor coat-tail awards? Not to the extent Futrelle did. In the scientific world, there are bad conferences, low-impact not-peer-reviewed money-making schemes, and getting a publication there is a negative on your CV. I don't know if the coat-tail Cannes thing Faye got is the movie equivalent of that, but if so it won't look good for her. But my understanding is that Futrelle is saying she is deliberately misleading people with that award, when the award itself is designed to be misleading and coat-tail on Cannes. That's hardly Faye's fault, until someone gives me evidence she is actually going around claiming to have a real Cannes award and not simply calling it by its real (if misleading) name.

    - Do Futrelle's (and others) criticism basically come down to "not making your documentary to fit my agenda, and with due regard to this being my stomping ground"? No opinion.

    - What might the film bode for the perception of MRAs? If it increases awareness, but the perception remains negative, would that still be a win from their perspective? The impact will probably be slim to nil. I mean I had never heard of this person, this documentary, or the others she did, prior to this thread, and I like to think I'm relatively well informed. I doubt she will reach a large enough public to have a significant impact on the perception of MRAs.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    - Jaye used details designed to pander to Yiannopolis and his readers in her interview

    Filmmaker talks up certain elements of her movie in order to get funding? That's unpossible!

    Futrelle has some good points in his open letter (hey look, it's a blog post where I talk about someone using 'you' instead of 'her') but that one is pretty funny.

    Otherwise I'll echo the thought that she seems to have a pattern of becoming overly sympathetic to her subjects as she films, which can be a good thing in moderation because you don't want to end up with a movie that just says 'these are all bad people who think and do bad things', but when it goes too far into agreeing with their viewpoint you're running the risk of turning your documentary into propaganda.

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    milski wrote: »
    This is really difficult to read. And I don't mean that it's emotionally difficult, I mean that this seems like a really cluttered way to present the topic, jumping from the film to the community behind it to the director to other films to the crowdfunding campaign (and I only knew it was a crowdfunded movie once you started talking about how crowdfunding almost failed).

    Hmm I will see what I can do about this, thanks.

    Speaking of emotionally difficult, I imagine this documentary is going to be a tough one to watch. Daddy I Do and The Right to Love are both tough films to slog through.


    knitdan wrote: »
    I'm not sure what the intent of going through Ms. Jaye's entire filmography was, but it seems to reveal a pattern of her approaching a topic with the initial intent to be impartial, but nearly always begins to sympathize with her subjects.

    It was pretty much to show this, and because Jaye's credibility of a filmmaker was questioned, to put that in context. I guess I just find the evolution of her worldview interesting.


    knitdan wrote: »
    I believe Futrelle's heart was in the right place, he was trying to warn her that the people she was documenting are extremists and possibly dangerous. His work in documenting the "movement" has been vital in exposing them as the sad craven people they are.

    Relevant section from Jaye's statement:
    Blogger David Futrelle has launched a misogynistic smear campaign against me. He has waged unfounded and baseless attacks against my character and reputation, I believe in an effort to discredit myself and The Red Pill movie so that others - who have not been actively following the truths of this film and the Kickstarter campaign - will then write-off this film entirely, which will create roadblocks for us when we're attempting to obtain distribution, festival screenings, and reviews from film critics who may have otherwise been supportive of this film.
    I interviewed many feminists for The Red Pill who told me “go to David Futrelle’s website, he’s done all the research you need to know about the Men’s Rights Movement, he is the best source.” I intended to interview David Futrelle and use his findings and research in the film, but how can I accept him as a credible source now?

    To all the people who are warning me about attacks I will receive from Men’s Rights Activists, please present a mirror to your own.

    And from her interview with Sargon:
    I don’t think I’ve said this anywhere else but David Futrelle was also emailing me privately, two different emails since the Kickstarter and, you know so I made a statement video I think a week ago. Trying to put something on record where I’m explaining the, false allegations that Futrelle is reporting and so I have my say out there on record. And something that maybe I should have included in that was that, it hasn’t just been his articles and tweets. It’s also been private emails. Well, I think the word that would most closely describe it is bullying.

    "Heart in the right place"?



    Surfpossum wrote: »
    I think there are legitimate issues affecting men that deserve attention, and if this brings more awareness of those then that's a win..

    This is essentially why I started the thread. I'd be most disappointed if I felt like the film didn't do a good job of showing men's issues.


    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    An incredibly informative couple of OPs, but it doesn't really give much of an impression about the film itself... which I guess it to be expected since the film isn't out yet?

    I take it the film is only getting a limited release and is mainly going to be available through digital platforms? I would be interested in hearing what you think about the film once it's out.

    Thanks! Yes pretty much. There are oscar qualifying screening runs in New York from the 7th to the 13th, and Los Angeles from 14th to the 20th (which also means more critics review the film, or something?), this was a prominent goal in the Kickstarter. I'm interested in seeing what the Q&A sessions turn out like, Michael Kimmel will be at the one in New York along with a bunch of MRAs. People are organising screenings in other places via Tugg; Lewisville, Fairfax, Berkley, Melbourne, Berlin, you might find one in your area by keeping track of the website/twitter or whatever. I'm not sure when I'll be able to see it as a backer.


    Follow up question:

    What do people think to Futrelle choosing to criticise Jaye rather than participating in the documentary? Would he have been better served by getting his word in on the inside? I would have been interested to see him in it.

    wilting on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Sorry, but Jaye's claim that Futrelle's criticism is misogynistic is a load of disingenuous gooseshit. He isn't saying that she doesn't understand what is going on because she's a woman, but because the MRA movement is good at playing people who aren't well versed in the movement. And her using her gender as a shield is problematic, because it's an attempt to shut down legitimate criticisms, like the fact that Jaye reneged on her statement of not accepting any funding by parties involved in the documentary.
    What do people think to Futrelle choosing to criticise Jaye rather than participating in the documentary? Would he have been better served by getting his word in on the inside? I would have been interested to see him in it.

    He did the right thing. When she was independently funded, he could see the film as being balanced between both sides, but once she made the choice to openly accept funding from her erstwhile subjects, allowing her to interview him would have just given a veneer of respectability to a compromised project (similar to how portraying Jack Thompson as the "other side" in the debate on video game content lent him undue legitimacy.)

    Also, we've got a review on the film, and it backs up the criticisms made:
    I feel comfortable calling her “propagandist” because of my own “research” (ie. “reading the top search results”). Here's something Elam wrote on A Voice for Men in 2010: “Should I be called to sit on a jury for a rape trial, I vow publicly to vote not guilty, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the charges are true.” What excuse would any serious documentarian have for not asking Elam to explain that?

    You don't even have to put in that tiny bit of online legwork to suspect that something's hinky with Jaye's film. (It's a Kickstarter job, and A Voice for Men and Reddit's most misogynistic MRA subs were active in the campaigns.) Jaye acknowledges in the opening and closing minutes that MRAs sometimes spew nasty garbage online, but she never presses them on this in her many interviews. Instead, she lets them moan about how hard it is to be a dude in 2016, endorsing their anecdotal complaints about unfair family courts, incidents of men being tricked into being fathers, and — I didn't quite follow this one — one father's conviction that the women who had custody of his son were systematically trying to make the boy fat. That story drags on forever, and Jaye cuts from it to footage of herself tooling around in her car, driving past a Supercuts.

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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    That's a good explanation for his motivation.

    That review directly cites Futrelle, doesn't exactly come across as impartial now, whether the criticisms are valid or not.

    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating. He achieves:
    - Not having his perspective in the film
    - Driving Jaye further into the arms of MRAs (attractive young women former feminist is an ideal advocate to them)
    - Gives them 'male feminist harasses female filmaker' propaganda coup
    - Comes across as a goose to unfamiliar observers, weakening the credibility of his criticisms of MRAs

    It's pretty much perfect from their point of view.

    Maybe it was lose lose from his perspective, but I would have liked to have seen that film.

    Regarding the 'backers compromising project' argument; we aren't talking about editorial control by a single studio or organisation here, it's a crowdfunding project, the filming was largely finished, the whole premise of the Kickstarter was 'help me make the balanced film I want to make.' As has been pointed out, the majority of funding came after the Yiannopolis article, how much comes from MRAs really is questionable. There isn't a 1:1 crossover between Breibert readers and MRAs at all. I don't think MRAs backing it had much expectation of getting glowing coverage, the comments from backers are pretty much 'I'm not an MRA but this is interesting' and 'Thanks for sharing our story Cassie', many were sceptical. Elam argued that it didn't really matter what portrayal would be:
    So does it matter if Cassie Jaye is a evil sneak that set out to undermine the men’s movement and make this movie to make us all look bad? No! If she did that, it might even help us more than hurt us. I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think what you got from her today is what’s going to happen in the movie. I could be wrong, who knows, nobody knows for sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is that more and more people start looking at this stuff and challenging their own ideas and that’s already happening. But we’re not going to get there by worrying every time a journalist writes something that’s nasty. Just spell the url correctly, spell my name right, get it out there, get more people to the site.

    (This quote made me wonder if Elam would deliberately stoke controversy regardless of if he perceives the film positively or not).


    wilting on
  • BurnageBurnage Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating.

    I think you might be overestimating the impact of this film. I, at least, had never heard of it (or Jaye) before this thread.

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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    (FYI somebody has linked to this thread on the Men's Rights subreddit)

  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    What does it mean to be fair to both sides? If, for example, one interviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and asked exactly the same questions of each of them, would simply playing both interviews without any further context be a fair presentation? I dunno how much time the film devotes to exploring Elam's nastier aspects (or whatever), but I'm going to make an ass out of mumptions and go with "not enough."
    How much time do you spend ad hominem-ing vs. how much time do you spend on the ideas the person puts forth? Is the documentary about certain individuals or their actual arguments?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    That's a good explanation for his motivation.

    That review directly cites Futrelle, doesn't exactly come across as impartial now, whether the criticisms are valid or not.

    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating. He achieves:
    - Not having his perspective in the film
    - Driving Jaye further into the arms of MRAs (attractive young women former feminist is an ideal advocate to them)
    - Gives them 'male feminist harasses female filmaker' propaganda coup
    - Comes across as a goose to unfamiliar observers, weakening the credibility of his criticisms of MRAs

    It's pretty much perfect from their point of view.

    Maybe it was lose lose from his perspective, but I would have liked to have seen that film.

    Regarding the 'backers compromising project' argument; we aren't talking about editorial control by a single studio or organisation here, it's a crowdfunding project, the filming was largely finished, the whole premise of the Kickstarter was 'help me make the balanced film I want to make.' As has been pointed out, the majority of funding came after the Yiannopolis article, how much comes from MRAs really is questionable. There isn't a 1:1 crossover between Breibert readers and MRAs at all. I don't think MRAs backing it had much expectation of getting glowing coverage, the comments from backers are pretty much 'I'm not an MRA but this is interesting' and 'Thanks for sharing our story Cassie', many were sceptical. Elam argued that it didn't really matter what portrayal would be:
    So does it matter if Cassie Jaye is a evil sneak that set out to undermine the men’s movement and make this movie to make us all look bad? No! If she did that, it might even help us more than hurt us. I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think what you got from her today is what’s going to happen in the movie. I could be wrong, who knows, nobody knows for sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is that more and more people start looking at this stuff and challenging their own ideas and that’s already happening. But we’re not going to get there by worrying every time a journalist writes something that’s nasty. Just spell the url correctly, spell my name right, get it out there, get more people to the site.

    (This quote made me wonder if Elam would deliberately stoke controversy regardless of if he perceives the film positively or not).


    First, reviews aren't meant to be impartial. The point of a review is for the reviewer to give their opinion on the item being reviewed. In addition, this is something that we discuss all the time in the AmPolMedia thread - the pursuit of balance at the cost of the truth is a major problem with our media. Though from what the critic pointed out, Jaye wasn't all that impartial in the first place. Which leads to the second point - her funding.

    You keep on trying to focus on the funding being through Kickstarter and not a studio, while ignoring that MRA and MRA-adjacent groups and individuals were pumping money into said Kickstarter. Sorry, but Jaye doesn't get to ignore the actual source of funding, just as if a documentarian received funding from a front group. At the least, taking the money creates the look of impropriety. But from the looks of things, the concern is validated by the actual content of the documentary - MRA interviewees are softpedaled, while critics are portrayed negatively. (Which is another reason Futrelle chose to withdraw his interview offer.) And no, her having finished primary shooting also does not indemnify her - a lot of the value of any film is what happens in editing in post.

    As for Futrelle handing MRA's a victory, I doubt it. Futrelle is one of the leading critics of the movement, and is well regarded, while Jaye is a young documentarian who has a disturbing tendency to go native.

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  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    That's a good explanation for his motivation.

    That review directly cites Futrelle, doesn't exactly come across as impartial now, whether the criticisms are valid or not.

    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating. He achieves:
    - Not having his perspective in the film
    - Driving Jaye further into the arms of MRAs (attractive young women former feminist is an ideal advocate to them)
    - Gives them 'male feminist harasses female filmaker' propaganda coup
    - Comes across as a goose to unfamiliar observers, weakening the credibility of his criticisms of MRAs

    It's pretty much perfect from their point of view.

    Maybe it was lose lose from his perspective, but I would have liked to have seen that film.

    Regarding the 'backers compromising project' argument; we aren't talking about editorial control by a single studio or organisation here, it's a crowdfunding project, the filming was largely finished, the whole premise of the Kickstarter was 'help me make the balanced film I want to make.' As has been pointed out, the majority of funding came after the Yiannopolis article, how much comes from MRAs really is questionable. There isn't a 1:1 crossover between Breibert readers and MRAs at all. I don't think MRAs backing it had much expectation of getting glowing coverage, the comments from backers are pretty much 'I'm not an MRA but this is interesting' and 'Thanks for sharing our story Cassie', many were sceptical. Elam argued that it didn't really matter what portrayal would be:
    So does it matter if Cassie Jaye is a evil sneak that set out to undermine the men’s movement and make this movie to make us all look bad? No! If she did that, it might even help us more than hurt us. I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think what you got from her today is what’s going to happen in the movie. I could be wrong, who knows, nobody knows for sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is that more and more people start looking at this stuff and challenging their own ideas and that’s already happening. But we’re not going to get there by worrying every time a journalist writes something that’s nasty. Just spell the url correctly, spell my name right, get it out there, get more people to the site.

    (This quote made me wonder if Elam would deliberately stoke controversy regardless of if he perceives the film positively or not).


    First, reviews aren't meant to be impartial. The point of a review is for the reviewer to give their opinion on the item being reviewed. In addition, this is something that we discuss all the time in the AmPolMedia thread - the pursuit of balance at the cost of the truth is a major problem with our media. Though from what the critic pointed out, Jaye wasn't all that impartial in the first place. Which leads to the second point - her funding.

    You keep on trying to focus on the funding being through Kickstarter and not a studio, while ignoring that MRA and MRA-adjacent groups and individuals were pumping money into said Kickstarter. Sorry, but Jaye doesn't get to ignore the actual source of funding, just as if a documentarian received funding from a front group. At the least, taking the money creates the look of impropriety. But from the looks of things, the concern is validated by the actual content of the documentary - MRA interviewees are softpedaled, while critics are portrayed negatively. (Which is another reason Futrelle chose to withdraw his interview offer.) And no, her having finished primary shooting also does not indemnify her - a lot of the value of any film is what happens in editing in post.

    As for Futrelle handing MRA's a victory, I doubt it. Futrelle is one of the leading critics of the movement, and is well regarded, while Jaye is a young documentarian who has a disturbing tendency to go native.

    Where did you see the documentary?

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    That's a good explanation for his motivation.

    That review directly cites Futrelle, doesn't exactly come across as impartial now, whether the criticisms are valid or not.

    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating. He achieves:
    - Not having his perspective in the film
    - Driving Jaye further into the arms of MRAs (attractive young women former feminist is an ideal advocate to them)
    - Gives them 'male feminist harasses female filmaker' propaganda coup
    - Comes across as a goose to unfamiliar observers, weakening the credibility of his criticisms of MRAs

    It's pretty much perfect from their point of view.

    Maybe it was lose lose from his perspective, but I would have liked to have seen that film.

    Regarding the 'backers compromising project' argument; we aren't talking about editorial control by a single studio or organisation here, it's a crowdfunding project, the filming was largely finished, the whole premise of the Kickstarter was 'help me make the balanced film I want to make.' As has been pointed out, the majority of funding came after the Yiannopolis article, how much comes from MRAs really is questionable. There isn't a 1:1 crossover between Breibert readers and MRAs at all. I don't think MRAs backing it had much expectation of getting glowing coverage, the comments from backers are pretty much 'I'm not an MRA but this is interesting' and 'Thanks for sharing our story Cassie', many were sceptical. Elam argued that it didn't really matter what portrayal would be:
    So does it matter if Cassie Jaye is a evil sneak that set out to undermine the men’s movement and make this movie to make us all look bad? No! If she did that, it might even help us more than hurt us. I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think what you got from her today is what’s going to happen in the movie. I could be wrong, who knows, nobody knows for sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is that more and more people start looking at this stuff and challenging their own ideas and that’s already happening. But we’re not going to get there by worrying every time a journalist writes something that’s nasty. Just spell the url correctly, spell my name right, get it out there, get more people to the site.

    (This quote made me wonder if Elam would deliberately stoke controversy regardless of if he perceives the film positively or not).


    First, reviews aren't meant to be impartial. The point of a review is for the reviewer to give their opinion on the item being reviewed. In addition, this is something that we discuss all the time in the AmPolMedia thread - the pursuit of balance at the cost of the truth is a major problem with our media. Though from what the critic pointed out, Jaye wasn't all that impartial in the first place. Which leads to the second point - her funding.

    You keep on trying to focus on the funding being through Kickstarter and not a studio, while ignoring that MRA and MRA-adjacent groups and individuals were pumping money into said Kickstarter. Sorry, but Jaye doesn't get to ignore the actual source of funding, just as if a documentarian received funding from a front group. At the least, taking the money creates the look of impropriety. But from the looks of things, the concern is validated by the actual content of the documentary - MRA interviewees are softpedaled, while critics are portrayed negatively. (Which is another reason Futrelle chose to withdraw his interview offer.) And no, her having finished primary shooting also does not indemnify her - a lot of the value of any film is what happens in editing in post.

    As for Futrelle handing MRA's a victory, I doubt it. Futrelle is one of the leading critics of the movement, and is well regarded, while Jaye is a young documentarian who has a disturbing tendency to go native.

    Where did you see the documentary?

    The point was made in the review linked above. Are you going to argue that the reviewer's assessment is wrong?

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    wilting wrote: »
    That's a good explanation for his motivation.

    That review directly cites Futrelle, doesn't exactly come across as impartial now, whether the criticisms are valid or not.

    I wonder if Futrelle handed MRAs a victory by not participating. He achieves:
    - Not having his perspective in the film
    - Driving Jaye further into the arms of MRAs (attractive young women former feminist is an ideal advocate to them)
    - Gives them 'male feminist harasses female filmaker' propaganda coup
    - Comes across as a goose to unfamiliar observers, weakening the credibility of his criticisms of MRAs

    It's pretty much perfect from their point of view.

    Maybe it was lose lose from his perspective, but I would have liked to have seen that film.

    Regarding the 'backers compromising project' argument; we aren't talking about editorial control by a single studio or organisation here, it's a crowdfunding project, the filming was largely finished, the whole premise of the Kickstarter was 'help me make the balanced film I want to make.' As has been pointed out, the majority of funding came after the Yiannopolis article, how much comes from MRAs really is questionable. There isn't a 1:1 crossover between Breibert readers and MRAs at all. I don't think MRAs backing it had much expectation of getting glowing coverage, the comments from backers are pretty much 'I'm not an MRA but this is interesting' and 'Thanks for sharing our story Cassie', many were sceptical. Elam argued that it didn't really matter what portrayal would be:
    So does it matter if Cassie Jaye is a evil sneak that set out to undermine the men’s movement and make this movie to make us all look bad? No! If she did that, it might even help us more than hurt us. I don’t think that’s going to happen, I think what you got from her today is what’s going to happen in the movie. I could be wrong, who knows, nobody knows for sure, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is that more and more people start looking at this stuff and challenging their own ideas and that’s already happening. But we’re not going to get there by worrying every time a journalist writes something that’s nasty. Just spell the url correctly, spell my name right, get it out there, get more people to the site.

    (This quote made me wonder if Elam would deliberately stoke controversy regardless of if he perceives the film positively or not).


    First, reviews aren't meant to be impartial. The point of a review is for the reviewer to give their opinion on the item being reviewed. In addition, this is something that we discuss all the time in the AmPolMedia thread - the pursuit of balance at the cost of the truth is a major problem with our media. Though from what the critic pointed out, Jaye wasn't all that impartial in the first place. Which leads to the second point - her funding.

    You keep on trying to focus on the funding being through Kickstarter and not a studio, while ignoring that MRA and MRA-adjacent groups and individuals were pumping money into said Kickstarter. Sorry, but Jaye doesn't get to ignore the actual source of funding, just as if a documentarian received funding from a front group. At the least, taking the money creates the look of impropriety. But from the looks of things, the concern is validated by the actual content of the documentary - MRA interviewees are softpedaled, while critics are portrayed negatively. (Which is another reason Futrelle chose to withdraw his interview offer.) And no, her having finished primary shooting also does not indemnify her - a lot of the value of any film is what happens in editing in post.

    As for Futrelle handing MRA's a victory, I doubt it. Futrelle is one of the leading critics of the movement, and is well regarded, while Jaye is a young documentarian who has a disturbing tendency to go native.

    Where did you see the documentary?

    The point was made in the review linked above. Are you going to argue that the reviewer's assessment is wrong?

    It sounded like you had watched the movie yourself. I read some of the "review", and it reads like an alt right trump supporter reviewing a documentary on BLM.

    Apothe0sis
  • SurfpossumSurfpossum A nonentity trying to preserve the anonymity he so richly deserves.Registered User regular
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    What does it mean to be fair to both sides? If, for example, one interviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and asked exactly the same questions of each of them, would simply playing both interviews without any further context be a fair presentation? I dunno how much time the film devotes to exploring Elam's nastier aspects (or whatever), but I'm going to make an ass out of mumptions and go with "not enough."
    How much time do you spend ad hominem-ing vs. how much time do you spend on the ideas the person puts forth? Is the documentary about certain individuals or their actual arguments?
    By nastier aspects, I did not mean the nastier aspects of Elam as a person. I probably should have said the MRM's nastier aspects, but Elam, as the head of AVFM, seems to be the movement's face or whatever. At least as far as this documentary goes.

    And by nastier aspects of the movement, I mean the misogynistic undercurrent that runs through it, the one that leads to "gynocentrism" (ie women) being at fault for all the issues (real or imagined) men face. It's not some fringe latching on to a worthy cause, it is the core.

    Any representation of the movement that doesn't address that is, in my opinion, not being "fair."

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    The Voice has standards for what ads they'll run?

  • ArchArch Neat-o, mosquito! Registered User regular
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    Surfpossum wrote: »
    What does it mean to be fair to both sides? If, for example, one interviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and asked exactly the same questions of each of them, would simply playing both interviews without any further context be a fair presentation? I dunno how much time the film devotes to exploring Elam's nastier aspects (or whatever), but I'm going to make an ass out of mumptions and go with "not enough."
    How much time do you spend ad hominem-ing vs. how much time do you spend on the ideas the person puts forth? Is the documentary about certain individuals or their actual arguments?
    By nastier aspects, I did not mean the nastier aspects of Elam as a person. I probably should have said the MRM's nastier aspects, but Elam, as the head of AVFM, seems to be the movement's face or whatever. At least as far as this documentary goes.

    And by nastier aspects of the movement, I mean the misogynistic undercurrent that runs through it, the one that leads to "gynocentrism" (ie women) being at fault for all the issues (real or imagined) men face. It's not some fringe latching on to a worthy cause, it is the core.

    Any representation of the movement that doesn't address that is, in my opinion, not being "fair."

    I'm going to agree with this. While I followed Futrelle for a long time, I'll admit that his posts on this subject haven't been....the best. I'm not sure I'd call them misogynistic. Especially in the context of the Feminism/MRA debates, I shy away from throwing around accusations of misogyny and misandry these days, because they quickly begin to lose meaning.

    That being said, I'm going to respond to two of the questions, and disagree with Richy here in his answers (because his was the first I landed on, scrolling up, no offense buddy.)
    Richy wrote:
    - Given that Crowdfunding donors don't normally get a creative role (and that this would be a violation of Kickstarter policy), and that Jaye's reason for pursuing crowdfunding was editorial freedom, is the "funded by the subjects" criticism a reasonable one? From what I understand of the OP, the interviews were already done and the documentary advanced or finished by the time of the Kickstarter. In that case, the criticism is very much unfair. If the subjects truly had no editorial say (which seems to be the case) and Jaye was not influenced by this (which also seems to be the case), then their contributions are not pertinent to the content of the movie.

    - Is it fair or appropriate to judge Jaye and The Red Pill for who covered and backed it? When success/failure depends on getting any of the coverage/backing you can? Jaye perhaps. But not The Red Pill - it is a documentary and should be judged by documentary standards (e.g. does it cover its topic in good depth, does it bring new information, does it correctly represent the opinions of people interviewed, etc.), not based on who liked it.

    I disagree with both of his answers here- or rather, I think that the funding source is important to keep in mind. If we think about this through Jaye's dogged desire to remain fair to both sides, the MRA movement was largely critical of Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter being funded by an outpouring of feminist support. We can make the same arguments here, in the interest of being "fair and balanced."

    I also echo Futrelle when he says this
    One thing I have learned in five years of watching, and writing about, and dealing with, the Men’s Rights movement, is that if Paul Elam is happy about something, that thing is almost certainly terrible.

    And make no mistake, Elam is happy about this.
    The discussion reminds me of disclosing conflicts of interest during academic manuscript publishing. In both cases, the documentary and the scientific reporting, in theory the "facts" presented in each work should be the same despite who funded the project. However, in practice, funding sources typically exert subtle pressures on what data to report, how to structure the manuscript, and what points to focus on. Similarly, while Kickstarter is anonymous, it isn't hard to see that (at least from the clips and materials presented in the OP), that Jaye has been influenced by her donors (and interviews with them). She's been taking a line of persecution since her campaign almost fell through, and has been riding it ever since. This immediately makes me suspicious that she's going to present an accurate portrayal of the movement, especially now that she is using quite a lot of their language (labeling any criticism of a woman as misogyny, either outright claiming or insinuating that feminists don't want you to see this documentary, etc etc).

    There is a lot of terrible shit that the MRA community (and Paul Elam, in particular!) has done in the last few years. It isn't "fair to both sides" if one ignores the real toxic behaviors of a community in an attempt to present their story. Their story is, and has been for years, one of hatred. Where that hatred comes from, why these people feel the way they do, and why they take it out on women specifically is an interesting topic, and what I think Jaye ultimately wants to show, but if you present that without also engaging with the outcomes of that hate, then that's hardly being fair at all. And, ultimately, if your project was saved at the last minute by someone, human cognitive biases kick in, and it's much harder to escape the implicit positive bias you'll have towards that group, anonymous donations or not.*


    *and let's not pretend it isn't well-known that the MRA community saved her film.

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  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    Edit: Really good OP btw, lots of work put into it, thanks for taking the time.

    My judgement of the film itself would have to be reserved until I see it, but I am glad it was made. This is not a topic that has been so thoroughly and fairly explored that we can comfortably dismiss attempts to do so as unnecessary or dangerous ("don't give them a platform").

    Personally, the resistance Jaye faced while making this makes me think it was a good thing to make. Almost without fail, whenever I see that sort of pushback I find myself wanting to explore the topic further and find out Why, and I doubt that reaction is unique to me. You'd think people would have realized by this time that the best way to suppress ideas and ideologies they find abhorrent is to shine a bright light on them. Suppressing attempts to do this generally just leads to further calcifying.

    The crowdfunding was a bit worrying but that may be my own bias. If this had been a feminist film with feminist funding I wouldn't be that intrigued but I also wouldn't be worried about where the money came from. On that note, I'm going to look into previous attempts on the subject. Offhand is anyone aware of something similar being done by neutral academics?

    AngelHedgie described Jaye's tendency to "go native" and that's an interesting way of putting it. It raises the question, what do we expect from such documentaries? Apparently we expect an opinion or theory to be explored and confirmed, fin. Is that really good? I don't think so.

    Frankiedarling on
    armageddonboundspool32Apothe0sis
  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    When you are looking for verification of an ideology, Paul Elam saying "fuck feminists" being presented as evil, yet Futrelle saying the same thing about MRA's (however you define that) wouldn't bat an eye. I think a documentary about some people who acted shitty is less useful that one that levies a critical eye at ideas. Having said that, you also have to call out people that you are actually interviewing, for bullshit they have pulled in the name of their cause.

    For the record, I've never heard of any of the people named, before today.

    Apothe0sis
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    First, reviews aren't meant to be impartial. The point of a review is for the reviewer to give their opinion on the item being reviewed. In addition, this is something that we discuss all the time in the AmPolMedia thread - the pursuit of balance at the cost of the truth is a major problem with our media. Though from what the critic pointed out, Jaye wasn't all that impartial in the first place. Which leads to the second point - her funding.

    You keep on trying to focus on the funding being through Kickstarter and not a studio, while ignoring that MRA and MRA-adjacent groups and individuals were pumping money into said Kickstarter. Sorry, but Jaye doesn't get to ignore the actual source of funding, just as if a documentarian received funding from a front group. At the least, taking the money creates the look of impropriety. But from the looks of things, the concern is validated by the actual content of the documentary - MRA interviewees are softpedaled, while critics are portrayed negatively. (Which is another reason Futrelle chose to withdraw his interview offer.) And no, her having finished primary shooting also does not indemnify her - a lot of the value of any film is what happens in editing in post.


    Of course she gets to ignore the source of her funding! Contributors to Kickstarter get no control over what's done with the money and have no ability to recover it if they don't like the result. I don't get to tell Mike & Jerry how to make Thornwatch, they don't have to care about my opinion on their game.

    Suggesting that this is different is a huge reach.

    DevoutlyApatheticApothe0sisFrankiedarlingchrishallett83
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    @wilting , dude, we've talked about this. Many times. Many times. Over the years, you have defended MRAs, promoted their viewpoints, promoted talking about them and giving them credibility. You insist up and down you personally are not a MRA, you're just very concerned about the same issues they promote and discuss. You show up in every single thread on gender issues, feminism, sexism, and related topics to say "hey guys, but there's real problems affecting men in this society!". You show up in threads on sexual harassment and assault of women to derail it into a conversation about men's issues. You are "what about the meeeeeeen?" personified.

    I have tried to give you a lot of rope here, to basically assume that like John Bain and a lot of other people, you're not necessarily an awful person but you've got some specific hang-ups and can't understand why maybe, just maybe, the things you do and say are not only not helping your causes but actively harming the discussion.

    Why, exactly, did you write a series of posts totaling nearly four thousand words about this film and this topic? Why was this necessary? Because you think it's "interesting"? Because you were concerned nobody was talking about it?

    Maybe nobody should be talking about it! Maybe it doesn't deserve a thread or a controversy or discussion? Maybe, if you're not a MRA (a point you insist over and over again despite evidence to the contrary), you don't need to signal-boost this bullshit?

    Why have you never made a thread about non-profits like the Campaign Against Living Miserably? Why don't you ever make threads about the legal counsel groups that help men with custody issues? You never talk about the people making real progress and real efforts. You signal-boost MRAs, and then insist you aren't one and ask that people not talk about MRAs.

    Like, dude, try to see it from other people's perspectives: Imagine a theoretical forumer named bilting. bilting seems to care an awful lot about the problems affecting white people in society, but he never actually talks about meaningful ways to address those issues or promotes positive action groups trying to tackle these things. Instead, bilting goes into every thread about race, or racially-motivated topics like police violence against black people, to derail the topic with "but what about white people?"

    People, naturally, assume bilting is racist but he insists he's not racist. He just thinks these issues are important, you guys.

    Then he makes a thread about a documentary on Stormfront, that was funded and promoted by Stormfront with the express purpose of making them look reasonable and compassionate. He tells you that this thread isn't about racism, white supremacy, or discussing those topics. He just wants to talk about this Stormfront documentary and gives you talking points and questions so the thread stays on the topic he wants and makes it look like a fucking promotional piece on Stormfront is a reasonable thing to take seriously.

    Is that purely theoretical dude not a racist? Really? Because it seems an awful lot to me like that purely theoretical dude is a cowardly, craven racist who can't be honest about his beliefs because deep down he knows how socially reprehensible they are.

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  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I think it reflects pretty well on the forums that our usual suspects on the MRA stuff just stick to raising concerns and being worried rather than feeling bold enough to admit they support that nonsense, though.

    I do wonder if you guys think people don't recognize your names and think 'Oh right, he's always not-an-MRA-buuut in these threads'?

    PonyfurlionFeral
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    Like, another theoretical for you: A while back two stand-up lads named Jordan Owen and Davis Aurini made a "documentary" called the Sarkeesian Effect. It was all about how Anita Sarkeesian is an awful person because she criticizes video games and something something feminism is bad something something white nationalism? (Davis Aurini is a white nationalist and sticks that shit into everything he does, it's fuckin' weird).

    We didn't have a thread on it on these forums, so far as I know. If we did, someone can feel free to correct me on this and be like "um dude we totally did here it is". If that thread exists I am probably safe in assuming it was a garbage fire.

    Now, the main reason nobody made a thread on it is because it didn't deserve one. It was a racist, misogynistic piece of garbage propaganda made by two tinea-infected ballbags. But even if it was made by a RESPECTABLE DOCUMENTARIAN it still wouldn't be worthy of note or discussion, because all there is to it is pro-Gamergate/MRA/Objectivism/New Misogyny/Alt-Right horseshit.

    If someone, especially someone who had a long history of defending Gamergate and defending attackers of Anita Sarkeesian, made a thread about the Sarkeesian Effect and spent thousands of words trying to make it seem respectable and worthy of honest discussion, everyone would be right in thinking that person is a stooge for alt-right politics. Even if they kept insisting oh no, no no, I'm neutral, I just think we should discuss this, guys!

    C'mon. C'mon man.

    AngelHedgieSpaffyKamarRiemannLivesAndy JoeA Dabble Of TheloniusNarbus14357
  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    So we're like, skipping past the topic to accuse people of being MRAs and such? Classy stuff right there. Top notch D&D.

    DevoutlyApatheticAiouaObiFettFiendishrabbitarmageddonboundLostNinjaNobodycckerberosApothe0sisStabbity StyleAntinumericPLA
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    So we're like, skipping past the topic to accuse people of being MRAs and such? Classy stuff right there. Top notch D&D.

    Speaking of folks who show up in every thread to derail it into being about men's issues or to low-key promote alt-right talking points, it's Frankiedarling! :bzz:

    Holy shit, broseph, like Kamar said do you honestly think we don't notice these patterns of behavior? Do you honestly think that every discussion on these issues on these forums isn't a countdown to a "usual suspects" coming out of the woodwork to harp the same tunes?

    I have a complex relationship with this forum I've posted on for more than a decade. There are times I take hiatuses of weeks, months, or even a year, but end up coming back because I do have friends who post here and I start to miss my friends. Yet, every time I come back, there's just specific clades of people doing specific things while insisting they are not, they are not, the sort of folk those values they promote represent.

    And after over ten years of posting here I'm kinda weary of dancing around this reality of such distinguished gentlemen and their politics, like we all know what you're about but everybody treats every thread like they're talking to you for the first time. They're not.

    I'm done pretending. I am done acting like I ain't got your number.

    Pony on
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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    I dunno Pony, this seems kind of like a witch hunt

    I don't keep track of forumers' issue preferences, but I do know that you generally like dialing things to eleven when they were at like, 2.

    Paladin on
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  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    Pony wrote: »
    So we're like, skipping past the topic to accuse people of being MRAs and such? Classy stuff right there. Top notch D&D.

    Speaking of folks who show up in every thread to derail it into being about men's issues or to low-key promote alt-right talking points, it's Frankiedarling!

    Holy shit, broseph, like Kamar said do you honestly think we don't notice these patterns of behavior? Do you honestly think that every discussion on these issues on these forums isn't a countdown to a "usual suspects" coming out of the woodwork to harp the same tunes?

    I have a complex relationship with this forum I've posted on for more than a decade. There are times I take hiatuses of weeks, months, or even a year, but end up coming back because I do have friends who post here and I start to miss my friends. Yet, every time I come back, there's just specific clades of people doing specific things while insisting they are not, they are not, the sort of folk those values they promote represent.

    And after over ten years of posting here I'm kinda weary of dancing around this reality of such distinguished gentlemen and their politics, like we all know what you're about but everybody treats every thread like they're talking to you for the first time. They're not.

    I'm done pretending. I am done acting like I ain't got your number.

    Ok dude.

    Im not shy about disagreeing with you and others on these topics, all even though we do agree on a great deal of base ideology. If you can't stomach the idea that people can share many of your values while disagreeing on certain points, then that's on you.

    Alt right, el o el. Just throw it out and see if it sticks, eh?

    You're going to get the thread locked and that is EXACTLY what you want.

    Frankiedarling on
    armageddonboundApothe0sis
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    I dunno Pony, this seems kind of like a witch hunt

    I don't keep track of forumers' issue preferences, but I do know that you generally like dialing things to eleven when they were at like, 2.

    I think it's a fair criticism to level at me for being belligerent. I'll accept that. People can take my general abrasiveness with all the grains of salt they wish.

    At the same time, I'm not going to give wilting a pass for this, when I have given him so many passes in the past for this kind of thing and we've had multiple conversations that have gone nowhere in terms of trying to get him to come to terms with his own dangerous love affair with this ilk.

    Nor am I going to pretend that a fellow gently cradling his chin with his hand and nodding all "Oh, yes, pip pip, jolly good for making this discussion wilting, this is definitely a topic worthy of serious conversation" isn't exactly what it is.

    AngelHedgieKamarRiemannLivesOneAngryPossum
  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I'm usually not a fan of Pony's, uh, unique approach to discussion on the forums, even when I agree with him.

    But these threads play out this way every single time.

    It's hard to debate or have discourse when one side wants to pretend they're not on that side.

    PonymilskiKipling217dispatch.oDarkewolfeFeraljakobaggerNartwak
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    I'd rather read threads on whatever anyone wants to discuss and let them die or be locked on their own merits (or lack of merit :biggrin: )
    This is a private forum and it's moderated so if something is not allowed then it won't be allowed.

    to turn the snark up a bit, if you don't want to see it don't participate. It's also pretty offensive to suggest that by even talking about something that some poor weak minded forumers will be swayed by this and just jump right over to start hating women.

    Frankiedarling
  • FiendishrabbitFiendishrabbit Registered User regular
    If the MRA movement was only about those issues lifted in the documentary promo. Well, then I'd be all for it. Because that promo video is putting the spotlight on the fact that men who do not conform to the patriarchal image of what a man should be (always in control, unemotional, invulnerable, concerned with manly things, physically able) are in a very vulnerable position. Suicides are high among men, not just because certain mental disorders are more common among men but because the patriarchal society views men as expendable. To be a man and in need of comfort, emotional nearness or support...it's a desolate wasteland out there with only a few hard-to-find and far between oases of hope.

    Unfortunately that's not the whole truth about the MRA movement, because there are a fucking lot of misogynists in it, even among of the spokespersons of the movement. Sadly this is also true about parts of the feminist movement, except we'd have to replace misogynist with misandrist.

    "The western world sips from a poisonous cocktail: Polarisation, populism, protectionism and post-truth"
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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    Kamar wrote: »
    I'm usually not a fan of Pony's, uh, unique approach to discussion on the forums, even when I agree with him.

    But these threads play out this way every single time.

    It's hard to debate or have discourse when one side wants to pretend they're not on that side.

    Precisely. I don't feel it's necessary for people to loudly proclaim what their viewpoints, biases, or stake in a discussion is before they engage. I feel that would probably be a bad thing? But that said, there are definitely folks whose viewpoints on these issues are abundantly obvious from past behavior and expressed views. If their views have changed or the interpretation other people have of what they think is accurate, I feel that's on them to clarify rather than by flippantly dismissing that criticism with "lol whatever dude".

    I am absolutely, completely wearing what I think on these particular issues on my sleeve. It should be abundantly obvious to anyone where I stand. It's impossible for me to have meaningful, honest debate or discourse with folks who will not be intellectually honest and sincere with their expressed views and values. I am so tired of the hiding and the attempts to speak out both sides of their mouth.

    AngelHedgieKamar
  • FuzzytadpoleFuzzytadpole Registered User regular
    I question the idea that someone who cares about equality would go to the likes of Milo, Sargon, or Paul Elam for help.

    I mean the documentary's poster looks like a straight up propaganda piece.

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  • FrankiedarlingFrankiedarling Registered User regular
    Kamar wrote: »
    I'm usually not a fan of Pony's, uh, unique approach to discussion on the forums, even when I agree with him.

    But these threads play out this way every single time.

    It's hard to debate or have discourse when one side wants to pretend they're not on that side.

    It's not easy. I often find myself in a position where I disagree with the forum orthodoxy, but it is difficult to express that without being immediately painted as "the other side".

    I agree there is lots of toxicity to the MRA movement. I don't argue that point. But I dislike shutting down entire lines of thought with the logic of "this is bad make it go away", I dislike the black and white dichotomy we frequently--cut that--always resort to. Strongly held beliefs make the world seem black and white, and I fervently believe that if our base reaction to dissenting views is "shut up and go away" than we are failing ourselves.

    If that makes me alt right than ok. My alt right self will still vote this year and not for Trump :/

    armageddonboundApothe0sis
This discussion has been closed.