According to the evidence, Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier is a sexist, misogynistic, woman-hater.
The evidence, of course, refers solely to a meme he posted yesterday urging supporters to “take the red pill” by voting for him. The meme includes deliberately cheesy photographed images of Maxime Bernier’s head on Laurence Fishburne’s body from the famous red pill/blue pill scene of The Matrix.
It’s not the first time Bernier has invoked the Matrix, but this time it piqued the interest of BuzzFeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko, who tweeted at Bernier a number of times demanding an apology, retraction and explanation for his tweet.
Unbeknownst to Bernier—and pretty much everyone else on the internet, “The Red Pill” is also the name of a Reddit forum where men talk about their sexual conquests. It’s also been used as a slogan for the men’s rights activist community (which is why a documentary about MRAs was titled The Red Pill.)
But no application of the term is as widely known as the original, correct meaning—those who take the blue pill live in blissful ignorance while those who take the red pill see the world as it truly is, however unpleasant.
Oh how true that is.
Bernier refused to apologize, saying he was referring only to The Matrix. People still accused him of “dog whistling”—when you say something that someone else decides is offensive, regardless of intent.
The outrage wasn’t limited to social justice warriors, however. Gerald Butts, Lisa Raitt, and Erin O’Toole urged Bernier to retract the tweet and apologize.
The point of the red pill is that truth can be painful, but is necessary. Bernier proved that, albeit unintentionally.