Sean Penn’s comments on masculinity smack of old-school misogyny


yesJean Penn is not in great form when it comes to defending the brotherhood. After a bewildering amount of “yike” moments over the years, the Hollywood heavyweight’s latest misfire comes in the form of comments made to the independent about his rather rigid views on gender. “I think, in my opinion, men have become quite feminized,” Penn said while promoting her new movie, Flag Day. In Penn’s eyes, this is definitely not a good thing. “I have these very strong women in my life who don’t take masculinity as a sign of oppression towards them,” Penn continued, appearing as either an inflated Jordan Peterson fan or an incel in a Saint Laurent leather jacket. “I think there are a lot of funky genes that lead people to give up their jeans and wear a skirt.”

Duplicating a similar statement made earlier this month (“I don’t think [in order] to be fair to women, we must become them,” he said. The I), Penn seemed to imply that there is something wrong with the concept of fluidity between traditionally masculine and feminine traits. It’s something that smacks of old-school misogyny, more suited to the aging movie star she plays in the recent hit movie. licorice pizza. In Paul Thomas Anderson’s brilliant vintage-style flick, the 60-something actor from Penn puts his charmless moves on wide-eyed Alana Haim, Alana Kane, a 20-something young enough to to be his daughter, who he assumes is there for little more than his enjoyment. Until now, in the 1970s, but almost 50 years later, you would have expected the real-life Penn to be a little more enlightened.

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Penn’s latest comments are problematic in a myriad of ways, from the suggestion that wearing a skirt is a defining feminine characteristic: Sean, man, I’m literally wearing jeans right now! – to the idea that “giving up” masculinity is somehow equivalent to cowardice. What’s wrong with a little ambiguity, Sean? Why not take a little leap across the spectrum between increasingly outdated notions of what is supposed to define women and men? Maybe you like it.

Sean Penn’s history of controversy includes criticism of Hollywood’s #MeToo movement


With his insistence that men are being bullied by feminism into being more like women in some sort of fabulous lady-led coup, what Penn fails to consider is that maybe a little less tomboy in the modern man might be something good. The classic masculine traits of aggression, assertiveness, and the inability to put together a decent coordinated ensemble are all things that could well be imbued with the supposedly feminine attributes of empathy, sensitivity, and humility. Fewer blatant penis-banging by our world leaders and perhaps the world would not be in such a mess today. Just a thought.

That Penn’s comments were made in front of his daughter: Dylan Penn, 30, stars alongside his father in Flag Day and was also part of the interview, adds another layer of grossness to his position. The fact that Penn is currently divorcing a woman a year younger than Dylan, 29-year-old Leila George, we’ll leave it here.

Let’s also look at Penn’s less-than-excellent history with feminism, including a 2018 rejection of #MeToo, which she called “not intellectually honest” while airing suspicions of baseless accusations within the movement. The same year also saw the publication of a dubious poem defending alleged abusers, including talk show host Charlie Rose, who was fired from his job at CBS after a series of sexual harassment allegations, as well as comedian and public masturbator Louis CK. The poem featured as an epilogue to Penn’s debut novel, the satirical Bob Honey who just does things, which scored a whopping 2.1 out of 5 on GoodReads, where the top-rated readers’ review began with the immortal line: “One of the worst things I’ve ever seen; and I work as a paramedic.” Instead of offering his support as an ally, like fellow actor George Clooney, Penn’s response to #MeToo was to defend the men who were denounced and accuse the movement of being “run by mania.”

But despite all this, Penn also has a history of progressively using his platform, supporting gay marriage in his 2009 Academy Award acceptance speech and staging a series of Hemingway-style humanitarian relief efforts: helping with rescue missions. in the earthquake in Haiti and after the passage of Hurricane Katrina. All of which could have done just as well with a sexy skirt.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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