“The Red Pill” is the title of a documentary by feminist Cassie Jaye. “When I decided to make a film on… men’s rights,” she confessed, “I never anticipated questioning my feminist views. But the more MRA’s [men’s rights activists] I met, the more I felt compelled to remind myself why I was a feminist.” The Red Pill metaphor comes from the movie The Matrix, in which Morpheus offers Neo the choice between a blue pill, which allows him to live in the comfortable fantasy world of the Matrix, or the red pill, which brings harsh reality.
After discovering the manner in which men are discriminated against in our culture (whether in family courts, workplace accidents, criminal violence, drug addiction, unemployment or suicide), Ms. Jaye could no longer call herself a feminist. She concludes, “For society to accept anything being said on behalf of women’s rights and then to shame any dialogue about men’ rights and call it hate speech, is precisely the problem.” Of course, vocal opposition came from other feminists, claiming that it was simply “misogynistic propaganda.”
Camilla Paliga warns of this radical feminist perspective when she states, “…Elite discourse about gender has become so nonsensical and removed from reality that rowdy outbreaks of resistance and rebellion are unsurprising.” Men are feeling left behind, observes Owen Strachan: “They have been taught they have no innate call to leadership of home and church, and accordingly have lost the script for their lives.” Men are realizing that politically correct culture constrains free thought and speech, so they opting out of it. However, Strachan notes, “Men are disappearing, but they are not vanishing. They are moving out of the mainstream, and into the shadow… many men are angry, flailing, and dangerously volatile today.”
Men, we are not to live as victims in the present political climate, but rather in our true masculinity. We need to take the “red pill,” of harsh reality, joining the spiritual awakening among men, taking responsibility for our inner story of pain and loss, thus allowing us to flourish in the gender wars. Old school patriarchy is dead, but it certainly cannot be replaced by such a movement as #AllMenCan. Why? “When you try to prove you’re not a misogynist,” observed Denise C. McAllister, “you will become enslaved to women’s will and whims… You will never be able to do enough to prove that in the deep recesses of your heart you’re not what these women think you are – a sexist pig.”
I agree with Mark Walstrom that many men are angry, confused and depressed because they have lost their identities, resulting in the loss of soul. Instead of responding as victims in the gender wars, men are starting to come to grips with their own inner story, learning to deal with their soul life. I share Walstrom’s perspective on the spiritual awakening among men, “The challenge many men are encountering on their path of spiritual awakening is how to integrate their more sensitive inner qualities into their way of living without losing touch with their masculine ‘warrior’ energy. The goal, it seems, is not to become a sensitive, new-age guy but instead embrace one’s wholeness.”
Wholeness is found in our uniqueness as men. We declare with the Psalmist, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it” (Ps. 139:14 NLT). In being shaped uniquely as men, it is imperative that we become aware of what is “under the hood” – that is, in our soul life. This calls for a new male sense of “consciousness” that is much more than skin deep.