The Red Pill, Discussion – A Feminist explores MRAs

On the day of the worldwide release of Cassie Jaye‘s latest documentary “The Red Pill”, The Gender & Sexuality discussion group will be meeting and discussing the film and the issues raise around domestic violence and abuse, parental custody, prison sentencing, mental health, workplace injuries, and patriarchy v gynocentrism, and whether these are gendered issues and outcomes and if so how are feminism(s) and MRM(s) dealing with them, and if they are, are they doing so equally?

The Red Pill Film Trailer

Extended Sneak Preview

Q&A Movie Discussion Panel

On the 18th (and 19th) of January this year the film was screened here in Norwich. The screening was followed by a Q&A with a few special guests – including the filmmaker herself, on her first visit to the UK. Video of the panel Q&A with Erin Pizzey, Cassie Jaye, Paul Elam, Dr Randomercam, Mike Buchanan, Lucinda Bray, Jess Austin, Katy Jon Went:

And a further between showings and panels discussion among: Erin Pizzey, Cassie Jaye, Paul Elam, Dr Randomercam, Mike Buchanan & Nikita Coulombe:


GAS Event:

Opinion – Katy Jon Went

Watching the film and participating in the discussion panel twice made me realise that the battle of the sexes is still alive and well, but at times and in certain contexts it seems the social war between men and women has shifted its balance in favour of women. The intersectional feminist in me would rage, that no, the patriarchy (if it can still be said to exist – the gender neutral kyriarchy may now be a better word) still discriminates against women.

The age of Feminism and Men’s Rights Movements has marked some gains in equality but also some marked paradigm shifts in the experience of that equality.

Health and life expectancy favours women over men. One could argue that men live more dangerous lives, workplace injury, war, gang violence etc, women had maternity death risks, domestic violence etc, but for the last 200 years they’ve lived longer and healthier than men, and that gap is only now beginning to narrow.

Hearing how men’s experience can be just as hellish as women’s in different ways, more combat and work stress, parental rights deprivations etc than overt sexism or sexual assault, but degrees and differences of privilege, patriarchy and matriarchy or gynocentrism.

Domestic abuse, sexual violence, and coercive control can affect 1-in-5 men (UK, 1-in-4 USA) just as it does with 1-in-3 women. And yet, count up how many men’s DASV shelters there are? You’ll only need the fingers on one hand.

Gender roles, “the boy code”, “man up”, “be a man”, “you’re the provider/protector”, “boys don’t cry/blab”, all serve to trap men, discourage them from seeking help in relationships, around mental health – and when they do attempt suicide, they are invariably more lethal in taking their own lives.

The Red Pill may be hard to swallow but it needs to be seen and engaged with, and as Paul Elam said, some men need to be “heard, even in their anger”. What was less palatable from some voices was the feeling and some campaigning that women’s services and funding should be reduced in order to fund men’s services. Whilst men’s DASV support, and numerous other services absolutely need funding, it should be in addition to the already cut back women’s services. It should not be a battle of the sexes or the services, or the public/charity sector money pot, but the putting of people before profit, health before gender, ending violence and abuse before stereotyping one sex as the aggressor and the other as victim.

LGB+ Sexuality – can it be legislated or proscribed?

LGBT History Month falls during the 50th year since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK (1967). How has sexuality been proscribed in the past? Were there times when it was more free and less stigmatised than now? Has gradual legal change affected the public perception of LGB sexuality? Have legal protections and freedoms changed its moral perception by religions? What has the public sphere even to do with the private sphere of sexuality? Will religions evolve in their treatment of LGBT+ people? Homosexuality remains criminalised in 74 nations and punishable by death in 13, mainly in religious jurisdictions.

Facebook event, discussion at Norwich Millennium Library, Tuesday 7 Feb, 6-7pm

Decriminalisation of Homosexuality

The first American state to decriminalise sodomy was Illinois in 1961. It took until 1969 for another US state – Connecticut to do the same. The 1970s-80s saw decriminalisation across the majority of the US. The 14 states that did not repeal these laws until 2003 were forced to by the landmark United States Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas.

UK Legal History and Homosexual ‘Crimes’

The last person sentenced to death at the Old Bailey for sodomy was John Spencer in July 1860, although the death sentence was never carried out. It was only 31 January 2017 when ‘Turing’s law’ posthumous pardons were issued for those prosecuted for ‘homosexual crimes’ which would now have been legal.

“Throughout the eighteenth century and up until 1861, all penetrative homosexual acts committed by men were punishable by death. Following this date, hanging was replaced by life imprisonment, and after the passage of the Labouchere Amendment in 1885, by up to two years’ incarceration. Sex between men remained illegal in parts of the United Kingdom until 1982.

The rules of evidence, however, ensured that relatively few men were actually found guilty of sodomy. Fewer still were executed. For most of this period, to prove sodomy one needed at least two eyewitnesses and evidence of both penetration and ejaculation. As a result most trials in the Proceedings are for the lesser offence of “assault with sodomitical intent” rather than for sodomy itself.” – Old Bailey trials archive

Psychiatric Pathology

1973 saw the partial depathologisation of homosexuality but it was not until 1987 that it completely disappeared from the DSM. The concept of ego-dystonic sexual orientation still remains as a vestigial diagnosis in the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

Language played its part in the 1800s.

Degeneracy became a widely acknowledged theory for homosexuality during the 1870s and 80s. It spoke to the eugenic and social Darwin theories of the late 19th Century. Benedict Augustin Morel is considered the father of degeneracy theory. His theories posit that physical, intellectual, and moral abnormalities come from disease, urban over-population, malnutrition, alcohol, and other failures of his contemporary society.
An important shift in the terminology of homosexuality was brought about by the development of psychology’s inquisition into homosexuality. “Contrary sexual feeling,” as Westphal’s phrased, and the word “homosexual” itself made their way into the Western lexicons. Homosexuality had a name aside from the ambiguous term “sodomy” and the elusive “abomination.” As Michel Foucault phrases, “the sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species.” –

Religious Pathology

Whilst Ancient Greece and Rome were quite liberal towards bisexuality, with the main issue being about who was the penetrator and questions of class, education and property being more important than gender, it was Christianity with its Jewish background, that changed the morals and laws of the last two millennia.