By David Futrelle
So Cassie Jaye‘s execrable “Men’s Rights” documentary The Red Pill has been causing a bit of a stir in Australia. Yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald published a lengthy puff piece on Jaye and her film.
You’d think Jaye would be overjoyed, but no: she’s kicking up a shine over some of the exceedingly mild criticisms that somehow found their way into the otherwise utterly credulous piece.
Specifically, she’s upset that writer Greg Callaghan suggested at one point that “viewers were owed a more balanced back-story” on A Voice for Men’s notorious founder Paul Elam. “You don’t have to dig very deeply,” Callagham noted,
to learn that the now 60-year-old Elam once created a website called RegisterHer, which encouraged men to name and shame women who supposedly made false rape allegations.
This is such weak sauce that I’m not even sure if it even qualifies as criticism. Elam did indeed, with the help of his former best buddy John Hembling, set up a site called Register-Her that was intended to “name and shame” not only alleged false accusers but also assorted other women Elam and other AVFMers had taken a dislike to, including:
Actress Katherine Heigl, who was put on the site after making a humorous public service announcement for the site Funny or Die promoting the spaying and neutering of pets. Register-Her charges her with “endors[ing] male targeted sexual mutilation.”
Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti, who was put on the site for several newspaper columns that the site misrepresents in an attempt to show that she is guilty of “an ongoing pattern of anti-male bigotry and advocacy for the eradication of constitutional rights based primarily on sex.”
A number of young women who attended a protest against Men’s Rights icon Warren Farrell at the University of Toronto. Register-Her used Twitter Tweets from some of the women, clearly intended as jokes, as evidence of genocidal intentions towards men.
And “name and shame” is perhaps the mildest possible way to describe what the site was intended to do. Indeed, when the site first launched, a giggly Elam explained on the A Voice for Men internet radio show that:
If Mary Jane Rottencrotch out there wants to say that her husband beat her just for the sake of gaining leverage in a divorce he will now have a resource where he can come and post your name, your picture, your work telephone number, your address, perhaps even your route you take to get to work, if you bother to have a job.
While Register-Her never made good on its initial promise to post this sort of personal information about its targets, the site was clearly a major part of Elam’s oft-stated goal to “fuck their shit up” — with “they” meaning pretty much anyone Elam dislikes. Indeed, he once warned a critic of the site that:
I find you, as a feminist, to be a loathsome, vile piece of human garbage. I find you so pernicious and repugnant that the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection. …
[Y]ou fucking moron. Your only real hope is to keep your mouth shut and pretend AVfM and register-her.com does not exist for as long as you can. Because, as you can see right now, anything you say or do will be thrown back in your face like holy water on a vampire.
We are coming for you, and we are coming for all the liars out there that have been ruining people’s lives with impunity. …
You are SO fucked.
Jaye’s response to Callaghan ‘s sort-of-criticism? Well, she may not have mentioned Register-Her in her two-hour documentary, but she did leave some footage about it on the cutting room floor!
No, seriously, that’s her response.
— Cassie Jaye (@Cassie_Jaye) July 28, 2017
RegisterHer is a part of the 98% of footage not included in the final film. Greg is insinuating I didn't ask enough questions, but I DID ask
— Cassie Jaye (@Cassie_Jaye) July 29, 2017
Luckily for us, she’s put the “raw footage” of her discussion with Elam about Register-Her on YouTube. Apparently she thinks it makes her look good — here she is, asking Elam the tough questions! — but she could not be more wrong. In fact, it reveals her to be an utterly credulous interviewer happy to accept Elam’s dishonest spin about his site as a truthful account of “what ‘RegisterHer’ is about.”
Incase anyone is wondering what "RegisterHer" was about: https://t.co/pewAClNjJC
— Cassie Jaye (@Cassie_Jaye) July 29, 2017
If you watch the clip — and I strongly recommend that you do, however infuriating it might be — you will see not only that that Elam’s description of his site is utter bullshit, but also that the highly accommodating Jaye challenges precisely zero of Elam’s assertions, responding to his utterly misleading and at times simply false account of the site by declaring “this all seems completely reasonable.”
That’s apparently her idea of a followup “question.”
If you want a true picture of what Register-Her was really about, check out my post on it here, which goes into more detail than I have in this post. (I borrowed some of this post from my earlier post, but there’s a lot more there I didn’t include here.)