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)

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100 Responses

  1. Corbin Larson says:

    As someone who is strongly against feminism, I appreciate you and this

  2. Th3Snipe says:

    3:58 VERY important point. We have to respect and embrace our differences instead of insinuating the opposite when someone actually embraces our differences.

  3. Koin says:

    They should keep this video in DeusExMachina, it will save 70 years for the next generation.

  4. Chris Freeman says:

    wow that was the best ted talk i have heard in a long time !!!!!

  5. Sum Buddy says:

    4:44 if I’m not wrong it got shut down because the owner was being harassed by supposed feminists

  6. the random guy says:

    7:07 my dad knew that so they didn't get divorced in court

  7. Derek O'Hara says:

    Nice to hear

  8. XXthekingofyouXX says:

    She seems soooo huggable.

  9. Nishio Maeda says:

    Thank you. That is all.

  10. BElle Driver says:

    lady, do your research first – feminism was never about excluding men. what a weird idea. since Olympe de Gouges and her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen – written as a response to the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789 – feminism has always been about including women in the civil rights movement, about having equal rights and having equal worth as human beings. being each of us free, equal and self-determined idividuals regardless of what we are born with between our legs. feminism is all about dialogues – sad you didn't understand that. also sad you didn't just plain fact check some of those MRA's beliefs – they might not be misogynist per se, but nevertheless not really accurate either… I mean "everything was built by men" – hello? is no one else seing the logical flaw in this sentence?? and so on…

  11. Richard Marchant says:

    well said young lady 👍

  12. K M says:

    This is very enlightening. I tell everyone who preaches an agenda bubbled by some group identity, to think about what they're doing. Are they not neglecting other issues by focusing too much on that side? Are they putting others down and becoming emotive of their agenda? Why do they need to feel like it is a necessity to label yourself under a certain group? Is there not more merit to claim as a human-rights activist, or in turn a more general labeling to show that you are more open minded about issues?
    Turns out, even the most 'educated' don't agree with this and it shows that many humans can't put emotion to their side much of the time…
    But I appreciate that Cassie managed to turn around and come out with a new correct insight.

  13. G stoP says:

    Just want to say thank you.

  14. bmaw says:

    Wow, great talk. I really enjoyed it.

  15. Cameron Barnes says:

    Male getting killed while working us y we earn what was it like $1.25 more then women

  16. 1ongview l says:

    I really thight thus video was gonna be toxic but it sums up alot of poems with activist movements

  17. Just A Guy says:

    Massive respect for this woman

  18. Free Thinker88 says:


  19. private pie says:

    These are the kind of feminists we need in this world. Ones that make sense, think about what men say to them longer and are genuinely smarter in this situation that has been going on for years

  20. William Stacey says:

    what a saint

  21. carston nyenhuis says:

    This is true journalism. She is someone who was willing to objectively cover something. And look where she ended up?
    8:16 for those who want to hear some truth

  22. Tony Childers says:

    Unfortunately the damage done to men in general by Feminism will last a very long time as well as the result of the abuses. She should not expect to be forgiven any time soon and won't be. It took being attacked by them for her to see the viciousness and hate filled rhetoric they have spewed against men for so many decades. Outright court biases and crooked judges and criminal court workers must be addressed before this will settle.

  23. ED-GAMING says:

    Women’s rights? Na. Men’s rights? Na. Equal rights for all, as long as you are human, you have rights

  24. Atti Ylänen says:

    I applaude you and I love you.
    You are not afraid to speak the truth, especially when speaking the truth means you will be hated by some.
    Those who were once your friends.
    You speak because you feel it's the right thing to do. I appreciate.

  25. Bronson Barnett says:

    Aaand that’s what most Feminists anyways

  26. TheBen Dover says:

    Nearly 7k people did not hear the message they hoped for when they clicked on this.

  27. Jesse Baldwin says:

    Most of us have been a victim of many of the horrific acts stated in the video by 929 yeah I'm glad that you have some sympathy for us

  28. Cody Hoskin says:

    I wish I could keep liking this! So amazing!!! Love this.

  29. Killer Keemstar says:

    Let’s just agree that men have their issues and women have theirs

  30. Joseph Stapleton says:

    This is an absolutely incredible human being right here.

  31. Jacob Clemmons says:

    My little, sister she's my step sis her dad left when she was born n ima, boy

  32. Jhon Smith says:

    Good lord , please stop swallowing in the mic

  33. Gridlock 180 says:

    She went from
    SJW: REeeeeeeeeEee I am a triggered femenist


    Normal intelligent woman: femenist movement is cancer

  34. Joel Karlström says:

    The fact that feminists see the men's right movement as an enemy just tells you how much they really are about "equality".

  35. Ephus says:

    If feminism is equality, why is it named feminism?!

  36. Danny Jones says:

    Honesty always wins

  37. tyler maloney says:

    Look at all them women, they all got made cause of a man.

  38. David Boston says:

    It took you a year too interview four people? Should have gotten a man to do it

  39. Ye Yeet says:

    Refreshing perspective.

  40. the Omega Concern says:


  41. the Omega Concern says:

    Interesting. Only a partial standing ovation

  42. Samuel Rowland says:

    This is why listening and taking in others words is extremely important. Most feminists are generalized to be crazy due to not listening to the other group, and assuming they are the only one with problems. To the feminists that disagree with this and think I’m crazy, try to listen to the others before changing stuff for the worst.

  43. SAVY says:

    I'll say this.. if you have an opinion about anything and believe it's true always search the opposite.. an opinion is like a ballets say.. if your ball is made out of steel it will never break no matter how hard you hit it.. but if it's made out of paper it will be destroyed.. the problem is that some people never hit their ball to see what it's made of and keep living thinking their opinion is the right one and cannot be destroyed by anyone..

  44. The_Pranic Element says:

    As a woman and a mother to three beautiful sons, I support you <3

  45. 3000i 678g says:

    This is a war against Men and Boys. Feminism is full of hate.

  46. Seth Yeak says:

    The problem of speaking up comes a lot of times without listening. People take a nice catch phrase and repeat it like a chant, like a herd, like a mindless mob e.g."Bigots shouldn't be allowed to speak", how bigoted is that, yet they repeat it endlessly like it is gospel truth. But sometimes it is actually our own selfishness, self-centredness blinding us to the truth

  47. Gene Thompson OPP supporter says:

    Well said ma'am, well said.

  48. refl3ktor says:

    Wow! After 30 years, she can now hear men speak! Congrats! Salut! Mazel Tov! Give her a medal!

  49. shadowhawk says:

    MEN in the past, and today, continue to TRY, to PROTECT WOMEN from the issues that disproportionately affect us.

  50. Rob Adams says:

    If we are honest with one another we all have our bias. It is how and what we do with this bias. "I wasn't actually listening, I was anticipating". If we truly think about how we have responded to certain people when they have spoken to us, we can all identify with this. Those of us who have developed values in our lives possibly are most bias when we listen to others. Our minds are like a filter seeking out to find that which agrees with our values and possibly somewhat reject those things with which we disagree. Are we willing to listen and analyze what the other is saying from a logical rather than an emotional position? Are you thinking deeply about the issues or are you just another lemming following the emotions of another? This was a very well thought through presentation. We all need to learn to listen to the other side(s) and not seek to silence them.

  51. Dolphin life Bob says:

    careful shes a hero

  52. Andy Cocchia says:

    Well damn. Well said

  53. Nicholas O'Brien says:

    It’s too late, the majority of good men want nothing to do with these man haters, plus the majority of them are female chameleons, they’ll stab you in the back first chance they get.

  54. Shaun Pierce says:

    I would defo smash

  55. Bull Jordan LLC says:

    one of the best talks ive seen, shes brilliant.

  56. Posing Art says:

    6.9k dislikes


  57. Daniel Han Rong Liew says:

    I have fallen in love with this amazing woman

  58. cubensis Golden says:

    8:50 Damn, we have a lot of problems gents.

  59. ResurrectionX says:

    Good girl 👍

  60. trqster says:

    Beautiful woman inside out. I take my hat off.

  61. Z J says:

    I thought it was common knowledge mens rights were the bane of feminists existence?

  62. Phoenix xxxtencgam says:

    she is a beautiful example of a well-being human

  63. gentle norwegian says:


  64. Mark Swanton says:

    I am in tears, speechless, impressed, proud even but disappointed it took so long for her to come to that realization, who knows maybe things will change in the future.

  65. Aidan Redding says:

    I really wish more people could be like this.

  66. marc wilson devela says:

    Heres equality


  67. Joanna Jinks says:

    Good for you … something about you though ……. But anyone who can publicly critique themselves 💯…

  68. Forex_Sh4rk says:

    nice tits

  69. Add Text Here says:

    Wow, a person with common sense. Good job, took you long enough.

  70. James Poynor says:

    The success and fulfillment of our species isn't a zero sum game. We can all rise together. Good on her for finally seeing it.

  71. noonze1 says:

    Need to put this on pause so I can start looking for engagement rings…

  72. MrDutchjohan says:

    she is a verry clever woman, she had my respect

  73. Nightli says:

    bless this womans heart we need people that can really look at facts like this.

  74. Raven3-3g 101ABN says:

    Somebody give this woman the Nobel Prize

  75. Mike Whit says:

    She still spent 10 years of her life in a warped mindset, feeding hatred. She's still backwardsly apologizing for it while minimizing common sense and data. This is someone who in a TED talk said the words about men, "sub-human". Then, her own community attacked her, because duh, they also are hateful. I think it is time for people to wake up and see that San Francisco has become infected with hate, bad economics, drugs and crime. This is the result of the hippie movement of the 1960's gaining enough power to show how out of touch it really is. Why?

  76. Christopher Forsyth says:

    That one small statement pretty much sums up the self inflicted Victimhood of all the groups. " I was LOOKING for something to be offensive " !!!

  77. Christopher Forsyth says:

    This Ted talk is Actually worth watching !!!! So many these days it's simply a platform for SJW'S to spew their hateful agenda !!!

  78. Josiah Black says:

    Still gonna stay single though

  79. Dominic says:

    I need to see this movie. Great Ted Talk btw 🙂

  80. Kalin Knight says:

    I want to marry this woman I know if we got a problems well over come it

  81. mckay Smith says:

    Wow, a very brave talk at a time when this kind of narrative is quickly demonized. Your honest approach is what is needed in this world. Well done.

  82. C.G Gaster says:

    I now follow this woman, she deserves my following. Exposing yourself to the world and going against your past ideals for the truth. she is now on the way of a true humans rights activist.

  83. Martin Allen says:

    Let's call it Human Rights….wait! 🤔

  84. briank05 says:

    6.9k down votes she pissed off a lot of feminazis

  85. Donny Danko says:

    "Everything you see was built by a man" the truth hurts certain people but it's still the truth nonetheless.

  86. therandomofrandom says:

    She's really hot

  87. LeftysDeadHand says:

    Wow we changed her mind

  88. Fernando Centeno says:

    The issue here is that a woman has to say this. What would have happened if a man made this same speech? Just think about it. He would’ve been called sexist

  89. Scott Lavoie says:

    Why can't we just be human beings and try to care for each other?

  90. NaeMuckle says:

    She's basically just said that women's rights activists are sheep.

  91. B I says:

    Its seems like most of the issues that would end or ruin someone's life permanently is mostly male issues. Female r mostly serious inconveniences. Mostly not all

  92. Roman Raines says:

    You goooooo girl ! I can imagine how you Dad feels…… he's saying that's my girl !!!!!

  93. Timothy Brown says:

    One of the best TED talks of all time. This should be shown in every gender studies course imo

  94. chris owens says:

    I stopped listening when you said , documentary film maker and you traveled
    so where does a documentary film maker make money on the type of films you do…and how is that enough money to travel the states

  95. chris owens says:

    she made a comparison to the man saying go outside and look, men built all that you see….and then says women gave birth to everyone

    apples and oranges… cant have babies…..but men and women can build

  96. amir avdic says:

    It all simply points to her being a horrible listener/analyst before. Which is a shame

  97. chris owens says:

    mens rights ..womens rights…both sides are playing victim

    as I have said before…we have got to get out of this victim culture…..if we are all victims….who will save us

  98. MrPritt420 says:

    The lesson is the grass is greener somewhere else

  99. Lorenzo D says:

    Its sad how most feminists can't think logically

  100. Josh S. says:

    Any man who feels intimidated by womens equality is a closest case, as most overly macho men are. However there's a good point if a man is going through a sensitive phase, even many women will ignore them and tell him to "man up". Most women when say they want a sensitive man what they want is for him to be sensitive to HER emotional needs, not a babbling cry baby going through a rough time who can't get his head together due to stress or emotional distress. Most men will also tell that man, "Man up". And honestly the best advice is get back on your feet and not wallow in self pity. Women can be better at thatt then men, they cry more often but pull their act together, cause everyone is supposed to give them a little emapthy or even symapthy. Women do have some advantages in traditional/modern culture. It's a clcihé but often true, if both are working I have seen women take their pay for themselves and half the pay of their man for costs of living. In that case many men are saying, "Equal means equal, right?"

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