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Meryl Streep Reportedly Says 'Toxic Masculinity' Doesn’t Just Hurt Men, It 'Kills Them'

Jaimie-lee Prince
Jun 05, 2019
06:00 P.M.
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Meryl Streep is opposed to the phrase "Toxic Masculinity" and thinks that it hurts more than helps our boys. 


The controversial comment was made during a question and answer session for season two of "Big Little Lies." Co-star Nicole Kidman mentioned that a male fan told her just how much he enjoyed the show's first season.

That prompted Streep to bring up the topic of labels and more specifically, the phrase "toxic masculinity," which she effectively described as offensive towards men. 


She said

"Sometimes, I think we’re hurt. We hurt our boys by calling something toxic masculinity. I do. And I don’t find [that] putting those two words together … because women can be pretty [expletive] toxic. It’s toxic people."

She continued

"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. We’ve got to make it work."

Streep's comments drew a frenzy of responses from outspoken personalities and celebrities alike. Piers Morgan was one person who agreed with her in a tweet. 


Others suggested that Streep's use and meaning of the phrase toxic masculinity appeared to be inaccurate. According to the Good Men Project, the term is defined as:

"A narrow and repressive description of manhood [defined by] violence, sex, status, and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness."


An opinion piece from Huffington post pointed out that toxic masculinity is not meant to be understood as saying that all men are "problematic." Rather, it highlights the negative traditional restrictions that pressure men to be a certain way.

According to the Mary Sue site, toxic masculinity helps men because it brings awareness to the suppressive nature of social constructs that often leads to violent outbursts from men who bury their emotions. 


This isn't the first time Streep has expressed her opposition to emerging labels . In 2015, she denounced the term "feminist" and instead promoted herself as a "humanist."

The comments come amid Streep's recent co-founding of the "Time's' Up Movement" whose goal is to protect women from all forms of sexual abuse and prejudice in the entertainment and film industry. 

Streep has three daughters herself and welcomed her first grandchild, a baby boy, back in March when Daughter Gummer gave birth to her first son with fiance Mehar Sethi.