Men aren't quite the Neanderthals they used to be, says Meryl Streep, and she can tell by reaction to her film roles. Guys used to like her meek character in the Deerhunter, but now they're comfortable with her turn as ice princess Miranda Priestly in the Devil Wears Prada, she told Barnard graduates. This is "gender progress," writes Rececca Traister at Salon—"this ability of men to not simply look down on or fall in love with a deflated and unthreatening female character, but instead to identify with a powerful, bossy, and intense one."
Streep elaborates in the commencement address: "Things are changing now. And it’s in your generation that we’re seeing this. Men are adapting. They are adapting consciously and also without realizing it for the better of the whole group. They are changing their deepest prejudices to accept and to regard as normal things that their fathers would have found very very difficult and that their grandfathers would have abhorred." (Read more Meryl Streep stories.)