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Streep on 'Toxic Masculinity': 'We Hurt Our Boys' With That Term

Actress made comments during 'Big Little Lies' panel this week
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2019 7:00 AM CDT
Meryl Streep attends the premiere of the second season of HBO's "Big Little Lies" at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Wednesday in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Meryl Streep was one of the first big names to sign on for the Time's Up campaign, and she has spoken up about "inexcusable" behavior she has experienced personally in Hollywood. But there's one term you won't find her throwing around in talks about gender interactions: "toxic masculinity." Per ABC News, Streep attended a panel discussion Wednesday in New York City for her HBO show Big Little Lies, along with co-stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Laura Dern, and the topic of toxic masculinity came up while Kidman was talking about a male fan of the show. "We hurt our boys by calling something toxic masculinity," Streep said, per InStyle. "Because women can be pretty f---ing toxic. It's toxic people."

She added, "We have our good angles and we have our bad ones. I think the labels are less helpful than what we're trying to get to, which is a communication, direct, between human beings. We're all on the boat together." At least one person thinks, though, that Streep has "zero idea" what the term really encompasses. "Toxic masculinity ... does not mean men themselves are problematic," writes Alanna Vagianos for HuffPost, citing an elaboration from the Good Man Project: "Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression." Arwa Mahdawi agrees, writing for the Guardian that toxic masculinity "doesn't hurt men, it kills them." She explains that US men are more likely to commit suicide than women—in part, experts say, because men suppress emotions and are less likely to seek professional help. (Read more Meryl Streep stories.)

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