Sean Penn Says Men Have Become “Quite Feminized,” Attributes Shifting Gender Norms to “Cowardly Genes”
Sean Penn is expounding on comments he previously made about his views on masculinity and men who are becoming “wildly feminized” in today’s culture.
In a new interview with The Independent promoting his recent film Flag Day, Penn discussed how his character — a conman and bank robber — in the movie adaptation of Jennifer Vogel’s 2004 memoir is connected to “white American male entitlement.” The actor, who has explored masculinity with many of his roles throughout his career, said it’s something he’s witnessed in so many around him today.
“Or rather, I should say, [in the] belief that this American Dream that was promised [to] them entitles them to it. And that is a very hard wiring to correct,” he added.
Following these comments, Penn was asked to clarify a previous interview statement he made about men in American culture becoming “wildly feminized” in the ongoing effort to address and challenge gender roles and norms.
“I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminized. I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them,” Penn told the outlet. “There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.”
Representatives for Penn declined comment.
In a Jan. 14 interview with U.K. outlet iNews about working on Flag Day with his daughter Dylan, his political activism, his mixed feelings about journalism and the tribalism of social media, the actor said that he is seeing an “absence of male behavior” nowadays.
“I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminized. I don’t think that being a brute or having insensitivity or disrespect for women is anything to do with masculinity, or ever did,” he said. “But I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them.”