Is Game Changers an anti-feminist take on veganism?

Game changers is the next documentary set to take the stage and change views on the plant-based lifestyle using athletes and cutting edge research to back up its claims. But is the documentary just anti-feminism gone plant-based?

Unlike previous non-animal consumption-based documentaries like Cowspiracy and Earthlings, Game Changers focuses on physical fitness and health, instead of animal rights. This clear division is what categories Game Changers as a plant-based documentary, not a Vegan one. Being plant-based myself I was delighted that a new documentary about this lifestyle made headlines and got people talking. But like most things, there were those who stood in arms against it.

However, instead of listening to the usual plant-based backlash of ‘Where do you get your protein?’ ‘Humans are meant to be meat-eaters’ or ‘I love cheese and meat too much to give it up’ we are used to hearing, Game Changers literally changed the game and was scrutinised for its apparent male-focused depictions and anti-feminist presentation of women.

When I first read the headlines related to Game Changers being an anti-feminist documentary I rolled my eyes and let out a defeated sigh. Why? Because this simply isn’t true.

From the multiple articles, I read about this topic many highlighted that the women used in the documentary were shown as primed, perfect and generally very attractive. While males were shown as being strong and sexually focused. Female athletes such as Morgan Mitchell hit screens as she crouched down at the starting block with her perfectly manicured nails, tight runners shorts and slow-motion flicked back ponytail. Naturally, writers took to their keyboards fuelled by rage to beat down the appearance-focused presentation of women in the documentary. But what many writers failed to address or even consider was that men were shown in exactly the same light.

Watching the trailer to Game Changers the first image you see is a young, muscular and oil-slicked Arnold Schwarzenegger posing on stage for a bodybuilder competition. He stands wearing only Speedos, completely hairless and primed to perfection. Clearly an appearance focused representation of Arnold. Side by side both Mitchell and Schwarzenegger are presented in exactly the same way. As athletes wearing their sports kit and showing their strength and skill through perfected poses.

Size counts

Many writers then go on to criticise how the documentary is anti-feminist as proceeds to focus on measuring the size and duration of nighttime hard-ons for male athletes by comparing their dick sizes after a plant-based meal, against a meat-based meal. The plant-base meal came out on top, with size and duration being increased by up to 300% when compared to the effects of the meat-based meal.

Writers took to the stand and claimed that this comparison was anti-feminist because it focused on male sexual tendencies. But again writers missed the point. This comparison was included to challenge the prestige of ‘only big, tough, strong men eat meat by the bucket load’ whereas vegetarians and vegans are weak because all they eat is plants.

Something the documentary explicitly pokes fun at by including the fight between Nate Diaz, a Vegan, vs Conor Mcgregor, a full-time meat-eater who ate 2 steaks a day before their fight. The fight ended with vegan Nate Diaz beating Mcgregor.

Challenging the prestige that men should be strong and eat meat like a caveman is completely feminist. It brings in another narrative that men don’t need to scoff down 10 steaks a day to be seen as manly, regardless of what meat-based marketing teams try to tell us.

Game Changers is a plant-based documentary that’s evidently trying to break the narrative that only meat makes people strong and therefore more attractive by targeting the people who feel the greatest pressure to be seen as strong. Men. Game Changers wants to equal out the pressure on men by including facts and evidence that say ‘it’s okay to not eat meat, you won’t be seen as less of a man’. Something pop-culture feminism is still failing to address.

Written by

Content executive, charity co founder and (almost) published author for 2021.

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