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Meryl Streep says term 'toxic masculinity' hurts boys: 'Women can be pretty f***ing toxic,' too
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

Meryl Streep says term 'toxic masculinity' hurts boys: 'Women can be pretty f***ing toxic,' too

Straight talk

Acclaimed Hollywood actress and women's advocate Meryl Streep raised eyebrows this week when she told an all-female audience that she doesn't approve of the progressive term "toxic masculinity," saying she believes it hurts boys.

What are the details?

Streep was promoting the upcoming season of the HBO show "Big Little Lies" with fellow cast members at a women-only workspace called The Wing in New York on Wednesday when she discussed the importance of men being able to relate to female protagonists.

"You know, sometimes I think we're hurt by saying ... we hurt our boys by calling something 'toxic masculinity,' I do," Streep said, "and identifying those and putting those two words together ... because women can be pretty f***ing toxic."

The audience laughed, and Streep promptly assured the other panelists she was not referring to them.

"It's toxic people," the 69-year-old actress continued. "People, you know, we have our good angels, we have our bad ones. And um, yeah, I think the labels are less helpful than what we're trying to get to, which is communication, direct, between human beings ... we're all in the boat together. We've got to make it work."

(The video starts sideways but corrects itself at the 43-minute mark.)

According to the Independent, "toxic masculinity refers to certain behaviors and attitudes commonly associated with men that are perceived as being harmful, such as repressing emotion and acting in an aggressive manner."

Anything else?

Earlier in the interview, moderator and Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones had asked "Big Little Lies" co-star Nicole Kidman about how her role in the show had led her to become an advocate for victims of domestic violence.

Leading up to the question, Jones said, "For your character, Nicole, you now are faced with — as a single parent, as a widow in the show — with raising two boys who have, you know, a probably higher than average chance of becoming violent themselves because of the way that their father was."

"And, it's kind of, it's an interesting moment to think — in particular, about raising boys in an era where, you know, we talk openly about toxic masculinity," Jones continued, "we talk more about sexual assault and harassment than probably we ever have before there still aren't necessarily clear paths to, you know, resolving those problems."

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