MEETING THE ENEMY A feminist comes to terms with the Men’s Rights movement | Cassie Jaye | TEDxMarin


Translator: Isabella Boux
Reviewer: Queenie Lee In 2013, I decided to meet my enemies. I was a 27-year-old, award-winning
documentary filmmaker and a proud feminist. And I was determined
to expose the dark underbelly of the men’s rights movement. At that point, all I knew
of the men’s rights movement was from what I’d read online, that it’s a misogynistic hate group
actively working against women’s equality. Well, the vast majority
of my previous work was about women’s issues. I directed documentaries
about reproductive rights, single motherhood, and the need for more girls
to get into STEM education. So when I learned that no one had ever
documented the men’s rights movement in a film before, I saw it as an opportunity
to continue fighting for women’s equality by exposing those preventing it. So for one year, I traveled North America meeting the leaders and followers
of the men’s rights movement. I spent anywhere
from two hours up to eight hours, interviewing each individual
men’s rights activist, also known as MRA, and I filmed 44 people total. And there is an important rule
in documentary filmmaking. As an interviewer, you do not interrupt. So I’m asking questions,
and I’m getting their full life story. And in the moment, I didn’t realize it, but now looking back I can see, that while I was conducting my interviews,
I wasn’t actually listening. I was hearing them speak, and I knew the cameras were recording, but in those moments
of sitting across from my enemy, I wasn’t listening. What was I doing? I was anticipating. I was waiting to hear a sentence, or even just a couple
of words in succession that proved what I wanted to believe: that I had found the misogynist. The ground zero of the war on women. A couple of times, I thought I had it. There was one men’s rights activist that said to me, “Just walk outside and look around, everything you see was built by a man.” Oh! That statement felt anti-women. I felt my jaw clench, but I sat quietly,
as a documentarian should, while removing all the space
between my upper and lower molars. (Laughter) After my year of filming, I was reviewing the 100 hours
of footage I had gathered, replaying and transcribing it, which believe me when I say no one will ever listen to you more
than someone who transcribes your words. You should write that down. (Laughter) So, I was typing out every word meticulously, and through that process,
I began to realize that my initial knee-jerk reactions
to certain statements weren’t really warranted, and my feeling offended
did not hold up to intense scrutiny. Was that statement about men having built the skyscrapers
and the bridges anti-women? I thought, well, what would
be the gender-reverse scenario? Maybe a feminist saying: Just look around, everyone you see was birthed by a woman. Wow! That’s a powerful statement. And it’s true. Is it anti-male? I don’t think so. I think it’s acknowledging our unique
and valued contributions to our society. Well, luckily, while I was making The Red Pill movie, I kept a video diary which ended up
tracking my evolving views, and in looking back on the 37 diaries
I recorded that year, there was a common theme. I would often hear
an innocent, valid point that a men’s rights activist would make, but in my head, I would add on to their statements,
a sexist or anti-woman spin, assuming that’s what they
wanted to say but didn’t. So here are two examples
of how that would go. A men’s rights activist,
an MRA, would say to me, “There are over 2,000
domestic violence shelters for women in the United States. But only one for men. Yet, multiple reputable studies show
that men are just as likely to be abused.” I would hear them say, “We don’t need 2,000 shelters for women. They’re all lying about being abused. It’s all a scam.” But in looking back
on all the footages I’ve gathered of men’s rights activists
talking about shelters and all the blogs they’ve written and the video live-streams
they have posted on YouTube, they are not trying
to defund women’s shelters. Not at all. All they’re saying
is that men can be abused too, and they deserve care and compassion. Second example. A men’s rights activist would say to me, “Where is justice for the man
who was falsely accused of raping a woman, and because of this accusation, he loses his college scholarship and is branded with the inescapable
title of a rapist.” I would hear them say, “A woman being raped isn’t a big deal.” It’s as if I didn’t hear the word
“falsely” accused of rape. All I heard was, “He was accused of rape.” Of course, rape is a big deal, and all the men’s rights activists I met
agreed it is a horrible thing to have happened to anyone. I eventually realized what they are saying is they are trying to add
to the gender equality discussion, who is standing up for the good-hearted, honorable man
that loses his scholarship, his job, or worse yet, his children, because he is accused of something
he absolutely did not do? (Sighs) Well, I couldn’t keep denying
the points they were making. There are real issues. But in my effort to avoid agreeing
with my enemy completely, I changed from putting words
in their mouth to acknowledging the issue
but insisting they are women’s issues. So here are two examples
of how that would go. A men’s rights activist would say to me, “Men are far more likely
to lose their child in a custody battle.” And I would counter: “Well, because women are unfairly
expected to be the caretaker. It’s discrimination against women
that women get custody more often.” Yes. (Laughter) I am not proud of that. (Laughter) Second example. An MRA would say to me, “Men are roughly 78% of all suicides
throughout the world.” And I would counter with: “But women attempt suicide more often. So ha! (Laughter) Ha? It’s not a contest. But I kept making it into one. Why couldn’t I simply learn
about men’s issues and have compassion for male victims without jumping at the opportunity
to insist that women are the real victims. Well, after years of researching
and fact-checking, what the men’s rights activists
were telling me, there is no denying that there are
many human rights issues that disproportionately
or uniquely affect men. Paternity fraud uniquely affects men. The United States Selective Service
in the case of a draft still uniquely affects men. Workplace deaths: disproportionately men. War deaths: overwhelmingly men. Suicide: overwhelmingly men. Sentencing disparity, life expectancy, child custody, child support, false rape allegations,
criminal court bias, misandry, failure launched, boys falling behind in education, homelessness, veterans issues, infant male genital mutilation, lack of parental choice
once a child is conceived, lack of resources for male victims
of domestic violence, so many issues that are heartbreaking, if you are the victim or you love someone who is the victim
unto any one of these issues. These are men’s issues. And most people can’t name one because they think, “Well, men have all their rights;
they have all the power and privilege.” But these issues
deserve to be acknowledged. They deserve care, attention, and motivation for solutions. Before making The Red Pill movie,
I was a feminist of about ten years, and I thought I was well-versed
on gender equality issues. But it wasn’t until I met
men’s rights activists that I finally started
to consider the other side of the gender equality equation. It doesn’t mean I agree
with all that they’ve said. But I saw the immense value
in listening to them and trying to see the world
through their eyes. I thought if I could get my audience
to also listen to them, it could serve as a rung on the ladder, bringing us all up
to a higher consciousness about gender equality. So in October 2016, the film was released in theaters, and articles and critic reviews
started to roll in. And that’s when I experienced
how engaged the media is in group think around gender politics. And I learned a difficult lesson. When you start to humanize your enemy, you, in turn, may be dehumanized
by your community. And that’s what happened to me. Rather than debating the merit
of the issues addressed in the film, I became the target of a smear campaign, and people who had never seen the movie
protested outside the theater doors, chanting that it was harmful to women. It certainly is not. But I understand their mindset. If I never made this movie, and I heard that there was
a documentary screening about men’s rights activists
that didn’t show them as monsters, I too would have protested the screenings or at least sign the petitions
to ban the film because I was told
that they were my enemy. I was told that men’s rights activists
were against women’s equality. But all the men’s rights activists I met
support women’s rights and are simply asking the question: “Why doesn’t our society
care about men’s rights?” Well, the greatest challenge I faced
through this whole process, it wasn’t the protests against my film, and it wasn’t how I was treated
by the mainstream media – even though it got
pretty disgusting at times. The greatest challenge I faced was peeling back the layers
of my own bias. It turns out I did meet
my enemy while filming. It was my ego saying that I was right, and they were subhuman. It’s no secret now that I no longer
call myself a feminist, but I must clarify I am not anti-feminist, and I am not a men’s rights activist. I still support women’s rights, and I now care about men’s rights as well. However, I believe if we want
to honestly discuss gender equality, we need to invite all voices to the table. Yet, this is not what is happening. Men’s groups are continually vilified, falsely referred to as hate groups, and their voices
are systematically silenced. Do I think either movement
has all the answers? No. Men’s rights activists
are not without flaws, neither are feminists. But if one group is being silenced, that’s a problem for all of us. If I could give advice to anyone
in our society at large, we have to stop expecting to be offended, and we have to start truly,
openly, and sincerely listening. That would lead
to a greater understanding of ourselves and others, having compassion for one another, working together towards solutions because we all are in this together. And once we do that,
we can finally heal from the inside out. But it has to start with listening. Thank you for listening. (Applause) (Cheering)

100 Replies to “MEETING THE ENEMY A feminist comes to terms with the Men’s Rights movement | Cassie Jaye | TEDxMarin”

  1. If two best friends quarell,the best way is to let them quarell.
    They will ultimately understand and drop their voices down,they will again be friends but the way we solve problems is not the way for we call others.

    The way problems are solved is by listening to others ,not listening to people who have the same view of life,I feel the best way is listen the other person.

    At least if not it we need to learn from our innocent girls and boys.

  2. It's funny how this woman is being applauded for learning basic human rational thinking. That's how ridiculous todays western feminism is.

  3. That's the problem! Women are cynical! They think with their screwed up emotions and not their hearts! They are in fact sexist!

  4. "The greatest challenge I faced was peeling back the layers of my own bias" – THIS IS THE PROBLEM! THOSE LAYERS ARE BEING PLACED ON WOMEN THROUGH SUBLIMINAL SUBVERSION TO MARXIST IDEOLOGY, BY LEFTISTS WHO ARE DETERMINED TO DESTROY THE FAMILY AND THEY DO THIS BY CONTROLLING THE OPINIONS OF WOMEN WITHIN FEMINISM! Turn her into a selfish brat, and she can break that whole family and destroy her family, and the society in the process through SELF-PRESERVATION. Women have become cynical selfish brats!

  5. Unfortunately there will need to be a men's right movement, as more and more social groups that aren't white men are becoming "protected classes"

  6. Wow, her speech brought me to tears. I am a men's rights activist and I'd walk through fire to support any of her causes.

  7. "When you humanize your enemy, you will be DEhumanzied by your community." This scares me for how true it is. I personally really want to try and understand the most misunderstood groups in society, but even speaking their name can get you snarled at online. And I'm a member of a minority group, so it's hard enough living in a society that wasn't built for people like me. The idea of my community, my found family, turning against me because I try to understand someone Other? Makes ME feel like I'm not totally accepted by my community. Which is terrifying, so I try to suppress that desire to understand, that curiosity. Which isn't healthy for anyone…

  8. "all I knew was what I read online"
    you read the smear articles liberal social justice warriors wrote, like they weren't going to be completely biased, because it reinforced your preconceived notions of the "oppressive man"
    It wasn't your fault though because it was what you read online…

  9. There is a plan to depopulate the United States and bring in many 3rd world migrants to destroy the freedom and liberty the US represents. Feminism is one of those devices and silencing men's issues is another. Feminism has caused many women to think having children is a bad thing and the amount of women not having children has double in the last 30 years. Feminism is now pushing open boarders, socialism and demonizes men. While men in the US are suffering and committing suicide in record numbers. The social engineers are steady at work. With fewer American babies being born; American men killing themselves and more illegals entering in the ideals that make this country what it is are slowing being chipped away. We are getting into perilous times.

  10. to all the people downvoting: you are the fascist cancer in this society. you think you are the righteous ones fighting for "freedom" but all you do is push an increasingly dominant, rigid, punishing and, most of all, FALSE ideology down everyones throats. my respect goes to everyone who actually takes time and educates themselves and try to listen to EVERYONE, not just your ideological allies.

  11. Thats why I don’t believe in the idea that women have to be in more positions of power or influence. Instead we make it fair game for men and women and the best candidate wins. It doesn’t matter what gender is in control. Sure they don’t have a full perspective, but no one does. What matters is that the people you put into positions of authority have the right value set you agree with. When it comes to governments. It could be 50/50 men and women but they are misogynists and or misandrists. What really matters is do the people we put into office have the compassion and empathy to listen and comprehend issues that affect different types of people. A number of people would think like she did that when I say I disagree that it should be 50/50 representation that I want men to have a disproportionate representation. I don’t. I just want the best Congress and other officials as possible irregardless of gender. They could be 100% women for all I care so long as they are compassionate and empathetic to the issues that can face men or any other body of citizens that comes before them. It sometimes ain’t so cut and dry and there’s a trade off that needs to occur, but you still treat all affected parties with humanity and dignity.

  12. r/mgtow in their rules it clearly states no feminists so yeah, if you were seeking for the enemy then go there you will def find them, there is no reasoning with them

  13. As long as my dinner's ready and my house is clean when I get home that's what's up oh-so lesbiens are the Liberals no wonder they're so b*** all the time always whining and crying will go figure should have saw that one coming

  14. Smart, she is for equal rights for both men and women. I thoroughly enjoyed this talk.  I'm better for hearing it.  Thank-you!

  15. Socrates – when the debate is lost slander becomes the tool of the losers.
    So true of the modern left and the media, sjws and feminists.

  16. Today I was at the Core Mall in Calgary to view and take pics of the Devonian Indoor Garden to share on FB.

    I didn't even notice my surroundings because I was focused on the garden. Well, there was a playground in there with mothers amd children.

    I think I was there for about 15 minutes when 3 large, male, mall security guards approached me and told me there were complaints that I was hovering around the children playing there. I told them what I was doing, but in disbelief, told me to show them the pics on my phone that I took. Well, it was all garden shots and no pics of kids. The guards told me to leave anyways because my presence among theor children threatened them.

    So, I left. What could I do.

  17. If everyone were like this, our country would be a more healthy and successful nation. The two-party system is a failure…

  18. It's funny seeing tons of dudes coming here to cheer for and swoon over this woman because of what she says. While what she's saying is true, a lot of dudes are cherry picking certain parts that fit into their worldview that feminists hate men are easily offended over everything. If that's the message you took from this talk, then you didn't listen to and understand the parts where she talked about listening and understanding. That's the message of the talk, not "feminists are wrong and we should listen to men more than we already do."

    Also she doesn't really talk about the root of many men's issues, which is most often other men and patriarchal values. Things like few shelters for abused men, high suicide rates of men, men being drafted, etc all stem from patriarchal values like "men are stronger than women and don't need protection like women do." MRAs hardly do anything to address men's issues and just blame everything on feminists, because actually addressing the issues would mean challenging patriarchal values. Patriarchy harms both men and women, and many (but not all) feminists acknowledge this. If we want to seriously address issues, then MRAs and anti-feminists have to stop getting offended and ranting about SJWs ruining everything anytime they hear someone say "patriarchy." That's the root of everyone's problems, we all need to confront and dismantle it.

  19. here we have a rare case of a woman smart enough to be able to put into words her experience of the major effects of the human brain slowly but surely undoing all the brain washing caused by modern feminism, listening to her train of thoughts was entertaining and it shows that we may hate feminism and feminists because of what they do right now and how bad things have been for men and women but in the end they are just humans and not the monsters they are made out to be
    well…
    the overwhelming majority of them that is,i can't vouch for the individuals who set out to brain wash her and many more. or any type of individual who seeks to indoctrinate the masses and bet them against each other those people are the real monsters,they are the real enemy.

  20. Men's rights helped me get my kid back. Took 3 years. All these people fussing about families being separated at the border. And nobody cares.

  21. I think key to the evolution of her beliefs was bypassing the media’s slant; speaking to the community directly; and seeing them for what they actually are.

  22. Damn i had to come to america and become american😎 and wait generations for a real alpha mind set female to speak with reason facts and evidence thank you girl 👍

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