The “Tootsie” discussion
“The criticism of Hoffman for speaking about this issue as a privileged white man, for being lauded for restating what women have been saying for years, is certainly valid. As Tyler Coates of Flavorwire aptly noted, “When men come to great conclusions about how sexism exists (usually too late and with great amounts of self-satisfaction), they’re granted hero status; when a woman does it, she’s bitter, sensitive, angry, man-hating, etc.” Truly, the sexism evident in our society’s willingness to listen to a man speak about this issue over women is deeply problematic.
“But at the same time, is it not equally if not more damaging to condemn men who try to speak about the way they are brainwashed into these beliefs, encouraging them to forever remain silent and complacent? So often — because we do live in a sexist society that has brainwashed men into ignoring women who fail to meet unattainable beauty standards – conversations about this strand of sexism do largely occur amongst women. Whether justified or not, this can often lead men to conclude that they have been categorized as the enemy rather than invited to be allies.”
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