In yet another incident of fathers’ rights activist harassment, a Canadian Screening of The Red Pill was cancelled by a Calgary Theatre following feminist’s complaints – on the basis that the film promoted misogyny. Although the screening was reinstated following objections from female men’s rights activists, the initial complaints are emblematic of the routine and often unreported harassment of activists who dare to question the status quo and demand that fathers should have substantially the same rights as mothers when it comes to seeing their children.
The Red Pill is a 2016 documentary chronicling filmmaker Cassie Jaye’s personal evolution from ardent feminist to feminist-questioner, while covering what is commonly known as the Men’s Rights Movement. Calls to ban the documentary have erupted in nearly every location where the film was screened including in Australia and the United Kingdom. And, harassment ranges from run of the mill calls, social media postings and e-mail campaigns to threats and demands to silence the film and its makers. In the words of one protester, Andrea Llewellyn who admitted that she hadn’t even deigned to see the film, was quoted as saying that the film is “such a toxic film that it’s just really inappropriate to be providing a platform for it at all.”
The constantly recurring leftist anthem of “you are so offensive that I do not even need to hear you to know how offensive you are” has created a swath of misery – and not only on college campuses. Silencing disagreeing voices, creating safe spaces and requiring all who occupy one’s space to refrain from micro-aggression leads to only one result – misery. This is the same voice of force that propelled the 2015 Yale Halloween Costume Controversy and numerous other attempts to silence dissenting or questioning voices in both the public and private sphere. It is also the same tactic used by religious extremists and cults – and by the societies that support them.
A properly democratic civil society cannot make itself victim to such silencing. In a civilized society, unpopular views must be heard, reasoned and dealt with. And, with respect to the specific question of father’s rights, one simply needs to ask oneself: how comfortable would we be with the opposite extreme – current Islamist or 19th century Christian world in which women have virtually no rights with respect to their children and where only the father holds the power and the cards, and we need to question why are feminists aligning themselves, yet again with radical Islam and ossified concepts of human rights?