Cassie Jaye, the director of the Red Pill, released several videos of her unedited interviews from the film. I found her interview with male feminist Michael Kimmel particularly interesting. Kimmel is well-known for his anti-male stance, most notably his complete dismissal of physical and sexual violence against men and boys.
His essential argument is, “women’s violence toward male partners certainly does exist, but it tends to be very different from that of men toward their female partners: It is far less injurious and less likely to be motivated by attempts to dominate or terrorize their partners.”
His concern for women’s violence against men is not that the men and boys can be and are victims. Indeed, he dismisses such violence as merely women defending themselves against male abusers. His concern is purely on how “acknowledging” — if one can call it that — women’s violence against men could help prevent violence against women.
This is precisely the attitude Kimmel displays in his interview with Jaye. He simply lies about the men’s rights movement, lies about their concerns, and lies about their methods. He also ignores men’s experiences, giving the false impression that men essentially have no legitimate fears or concerns.
Yet like many feminists, Kimmel is incapable of maintaining the lie for very long because he wants to convince men that they should side with feminists. As such, he inadvertently undermines his own argument, particularly the feminist argument about male power.
The interview is a thing to behold simply because you are watching intellectual dishonesty at its finest. In the interview, Jaye asks Kimmel if we live in a rape culture. Kimmel states:
Here’s the question: Do you know any women who don’t think about this when they go out at night? Do you know any women who don’t say, “Well, jeez, I’m parked in a kind of remote parking lot. It’s a little late.” Or you know, “Gee it’s getting kind of late, should I stay in the library any longer? Maybe I should go back to my room. Maybe I should go back home.” You Know, “I don’t know about going out it by myself late at night down in this neighborhood.”
You Know any women who don’t think about that? Okay, so we live in a rape culture. We live in a culture in which rape is on people’s minds, on women’s minds. If 51% of the population is concerned about something and the 49% who loves them and care about them, who are married to them, who love them, who are their fathers, who are their sons, who care about them. If we all don’t think about this a lot, then yes we live in a rape culture.
This is a common feminist response to this question, and it is one that is most infuriating because it completely ignores men’s experiences. Kimmel’s argument is that women are afraid of assault, implying that men are not afraid. Kimmel implies that unlike women, men do not think to themselves, “This is a really remote parking lot and it’s kind of late.” Men do not think, “It’s getting late. Should I stay in the library or go home?” Men do not think, “I don’t know, this is a dodgy neighborhood. Maybe I shouldn’t be out here late at night.”
In Kimmel’s world, like in many feminists’ world, men neither experience or face any risks in life. A 20-something man can walk down a dark street with $100 bills hanging off his clothes and no one would touch him. It is not as if a well-known actor working as an activist could get robbed at gunpoint while walking down a Washington D.C. street. It is not as if men are statistically between two to four times more likely to experience assault compared to women.
The evidence is clear: men face greater risk of violence than women. The evidence also shows, however, that as a society we teach women to be fearful of what can happen to them while we teach men to keep it to themselves. As a result, women are more likely to express their fear of doing things while men are more likely to keep it to themselves, act tough, or joke about it. The fact remains, however, that there is a far greater risk for Kimmel to be assaulted walking alone at night than there is for Jaye.
The twist that Kimmel attempts to use is playing on men’s desire to protect those they love. The problem with this approach is that the fear that women experience is irrational and illogical. They simply are not likely to be victims of rape. The majority of women — at least 75% of women — will never experience any form of sexual violence. While a 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 chance is rather high, it remains true that it is still not likely to happen to you.
To put this in perspective, 1 in 4 Americans are lactose intolerant, and yet one still finds that most restaurants offer diary products, that ice cream shops are still in business, and that people will still put cheese on virtually everything. In proportional comparison, there are more lactose intolerant people than there are female victims of sexual violence, yet no one would suggest making people fear they will become lactose intolerant or convincing those without the intolerance that they live in a “lactose intolerant culture”.
Later in the interview, Jaye tells Kimmel that men’s rights activists see feminists as presenting women as victims and men as perpetrators. Kimmel states:
Well see, this is the point that i don’t agree with. I think that the the feminist movement is based on the idea that women have been victims, but Not that men have been the perpetrators.
Then who victimized women? If is is not a person or group, how has this system magically missed men as a group?
This is Kimmel trying to weasel out of the obvious problem with feminism: it blames men not only as a collective, but also as individuals, for women’s problems. You cannot call the source of women’s problem “The Patriarchy”, argue that this “system” grants power and benefits to men as a group and individually, argue that men created and perpetuate this “system,” and then argue that you are not presenting men as the perpetrators. Kimmel never argues that women caused or contribute to any of these problems in the interview. So if it not women, and apparently now not men, who is to blame for the situation?
Kimmel has no answer for that, even though it is fairly obvious to anyone paying attention to his comments in the interview: the blame lies with men.
Where Kimmel slips is in admitting that men do not really have any collective power. He argues that feminism has a “symmetry” to its doctrine: it argues that women lack group and individual power, and that this resonating with women’s experiences. He then states:
Men as a group are in power of course. Obvious. Look at every one of those boards and corporations and universities or whatever and you’ll see men are in power.
That is not evidence that men as a group are in power. It is evidence that men hold positions of power within those institutions. In order to show that men as a group are in power, one would need to show that any man could get said position. We all know that it is not true. One’s race, ethnicity, religion, and economic background all factor into a man’s ability to get one of those positions. Merely being male is not good enough in the majority of situations, so Kimmel disproves his own point.
And then you say, men must therefore feel powerful and that’s where you lose men because most men, if you say, “And therefore most men feel powerful” will look at you like, “What are you talking about? I have no power. My Wife bosses me around. My boss bosses me around. My kids boss me around. I’m completely powerless.” […] The contradiction for men is that all the power in the world didn’t trickle down to individual men feeling powerful. This is really important because most men don’t speak from a position of feeling powerful; they speak from a position of feeling powerless.
And therein lies the problem. Most men are not powerful. Most men do not have any ability to control their situation, and they certainly do not feel in control. Yet the feminist message to men is that they have power even if they are unaware of it, and denying the power is merely an extension of said power. They give men no way out and no potential recognition for their unique experiences of powerlessness.
Now, in case one is tempted to think Kimmel would leave this admission sitting there unmolested, one would be wrong. He immediately states:
And that feeling of powerlessness is real and I think we have to pay attention to it, but I don’t think it’s true in the sense that it’s not an accurate analysis that therefore since you don’t feel powerful men aren’t powerful as a group.
And that is feminism in a nutshell. In one breath, you admit that men lack any power individually, which would suggest they would lack power as a group since individuals should be able to manipulate or benefit from any group power. Yet in the next breath — in this case in the same sentence — you reject that claim by stating the feeling is real, but isn’t true. In other words, men feel powerless as individuals, but they actually do have power as individuals.
What happened is that Kimmel caught himself before he let the truth get too far out of his hands. One cannot argue that someone’s feelings are real, but lack any truth after stating that the feelings are a direct result of their actual experiences.
Kimmel is lying. There is nothing to call it. He knows what he said is false. He simply does not want to give men’s rights activists a single concession because doing so would beg the question why Kimmel and other feminists dismiss these claims when they clearly know the claims are right. He does not want to admit the bias within the feminist movement, and so he lies. He lies about feminists’ motives. He lies about the feminists he knows and their attitudes toward men. He lies about statistics. He lies about the men’s rights movement’s position of domestic violence prevention.
The more untruth he can put out there, the better. Unfortunately for Kimmel and feminists like him, Cassie Jaye is an honest person. Instead of peddling their lies, she placed the feminist statements against the men’s rights statements and let the viewer decide.