You can now click on the above “LISTEN ON SPOTIFY” (WHEN AVAILABLE) to hear this in audio!
I stumbled upon a TEDx Talk speaking event where a woman, by the name of Cassie Jaye of Jaye Bird Productions, was discussing her initial attempt to explore and expose the Men’s Rights Movement back in 2013. Cassie was doing leg work via exploring and documenting on the subject of men’s rights. Prior to Cassie’s choice to work on this project, it is rather fair to call her an active, staunch feminist. Cassie was involved in a number of Feminist Movement related documentaries. The initial objective to dig up as much dirt on the misogynists as possible! Cassie saw the documenting of the Men’s Rights Movement, as it was never yet attempted, as a ground breaking project. However, as she started filming and transcribing over 100 hours of video footage, she started to hear stories and the plight of different men that she had encountered. She started realizing that women were not the only group with major issues that were in need of a solution. She started thinking about men’s issues that evolved her way of viewing the world and both genders as a whole.
Here is the link to review the “Meeting The Enemy” YouTube video clip for yourself:
“No one will ever listen to you more than someone who transcribes your words”
Cassie started interviewing and listening to the men she was video documenting. She felt her initial “knee jerk reactions to certain statements weren’t really warranted”. She listened and cringed at an often key phrase used, “just look around the skyscrapers and bridges that men had built”. She asked herself if that phrase was considered “anti-women”? She then thought of a feminist rebuttal, “just look around, everyone you see was birthed by women”. Over time, she started to believe that her feminist views and feelings of being offended could not hold up to intense scrutiny. She started to feel that the statements made by both sides demonstrates the unique contributions brought by both sides. Cassie started to build a more open mindset via listening to the men’s issues in a manner that doesn’t take anything away from the issues that women face.
Over time, Cassie had realized her diary had served as proof that her views starting evolving. Initially, she was adding on statements that she had “assumed” were to follow the topic. These were comments that she strongly thought that men wanted to say but was withheld at the time. Over time, she listened even more and thought about the things men actually lost as a result of various false accusations. Men that were falsely accused of rape then cleared of charges have permanently lost things such as college scholarships, job opportunities, or access to his children. She then spoke about how the subject of rape is a woman’s issue. After awhile of trying to control the narrative and define the proper “victim”, Cassie realized that it just became a “pissing” contest between genders. One must ask yourself what purpose does this serve? Who benefits from the gender competition? Many will say it is hard to make men a victim when they are perceived as holding all of the power in society.
No matter who brings the issue, it all adds to the discussion of gender equality. She was hoping that through the discussion of different viewpoints, it would bring people onto a higher conscious level on the subject of gender equality. Cassie discovered, upon the release of her 2016 documentary on men’s rights, how the media plays their role on “group think on gender politics”. Her documentary worked to humanize the men, known as the “enemy”, who offered input in the film. During the process of humanizing an opposing group, Cassie discovered that she was being de-humanized by her own community. Unbeknownst to her, both Cassie and her documentary became the target of various smear campaigns post release. As a result of this experience, Cassie no longer calls herself a feminist. For the sake of clarity, she doesn’t consider herself an “anti-feminist” either. Cassie’s ears are open to the plights of both men and women on various issues throughout society. It appears that she learned a powerful lesson on her journey. A lesson that she didn’t see coming.
Here are some of the take away lessons learned from the video:
- Listen to the thoughts of others. You may hear something that evolves your thought process.
- According to the media, one must pick a group and think along their group’s ideology.
- The media does not benefit from peace. They benefit from drama and conflict.
- The media has a powerful hand at influencing people to think guilty as opposed to innocent.
- When you humanize the enemy, you unravel yourself and become a target of scrutiny.
- There is much power when you stand up and accuse a person of a crime. Use honestly and wisely.
- False allegations have powerful impacts that can last for the rest of a person’s life.
- When a person attempts to listen to both sides, there are many who will target you for that.
- No one will ever listen to you more than someone who transcribes your words.
- Taking time to listen to opposing views is not a popular idea in society.
- Invite all voices to the table to discuss gender equality issues & develop solutions.
- Stop expecting to be offended by opposing sides.
- Any form of change starts with listening.
Comment and let me know if you see a lesson that I missed?
As a person who loves to listen to opposing views and understanding them, this video was highly appreciated. I have realized that the listening quality is rare and not encouraged by society. I had felt this prior to listening to Cassie’s story. Her journey just re-enforces that theory. We all are lumped into categories that we do not necessarily agree with all terms of the group. I was just having a chat today with my co-host about belonging to the feminist group. We would like to think our way of being belongs to a group labeled as “independent“. Melissa and I would like to believe that we are not members of the feminists group. However, our choices to blaze our own trails and become strong, independent career women seems to put us in the group. She and I just wanted to survive so we made our own path and see nothing wrong with it. She and I do not feel oppressed with the wage gap myth. We both strongly believe that people should be held accountable and responsible for their own actions. Melissa and I like men and are not into bashing them at all. I actually have a bias and I gravitate towards men more than I do women. We see men’s behaviors for what they are and move accordingly.
Sadly, we both believe that men of today are not the men of generations before. We feel that men have gained more feminine qualities somehow. Men are not made of the grit and determination that we deem acceptable. How did that happen? We know of many male role models, of previous generations, who took charge, worked hard, and were responsible for their families. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for 20’s to 30’s aged men to be living at home, playing video games, with no purpose, and running away from various responsibilities. Did the school system strip away masculine qualities and force upon a softer more feminine ideology? Has society taken away a man’s incentive to start a family (via unfair rulings in a courthouse)? What happened to our men? All kids receiving participation trophies did not help our young boys and girls at all. I agree with many of Cassie’s TEDx Talk talking points. I believe that both sides need to listen and come together to heal and evolve with the overall societal mindset. How does that happen? There is nothing to be gained by being a victim. There is nothing to be gained by creating an enemy. There is nothing to be gained by continuing to feed the ideology of the theoretical enemy. The only thing to be gained is figuring out the root issue and working to resolve it.
Leslie M. Jasper
-Author & Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast on Spotify (coming soon)
*I am going to write a future post about the qualities that modern men want to see in modern independent women in order to determine that they are marriage material. Stay tuned!*
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