“The Matrix” is a film that has encapsulated and shaped our culture for better but also for worse in many ways. With its one-of-a-kind iconography, blending of different genres and subgenres, its themes of feelings out of place with time, space or even your body and the iconic “red pill” that awakes the main character, Neo, to knowledge and truth, “The Matrix” is supposed to be a film about different paradigms and how the world you live in does not have to define you. However, one certain group of individuals, the “men’s rights” movement, has co-opted the term “red pill” to define men who are controlled by women by traditional gender norms or some crap like that.
All of this, however, has not come across to local man Peter Mangold, who lists “The Matrix” as one of his favorite films, and constantly references “red pill” whenever something mind-blowing happens, creating uncomfortable moments for the people around him.
Sarah Mendel, one of Mangold’s coworkers, hears him constantly reference “red pill” and is curious to know if he knows what that exactly means now.
“I can’t really tell if he’s an open men’s rights activist or if he just likes referencing a movie that’s 18 years old,” Mendel said. “He’s a nice guy so I don’t think it’s the former. I just wish he’d see another movie.”
Other friends have brought this up, relaying annoyed confusion that their friend is either ignorant or just sexist.
“I know he likes ‘The Matrix’ a lot, but hasn’t he seen some asshole on Twitter using that term by now and figured out what’s wrong with it?”
We tried to ask Mangold whether he knows about what “red pill” now means, but even we did not want to know.