Sean Penn accused of ‘toxic masculinity’ after whining about men becoming ‘feminised’

Sean Penn promoting his film Flag Day at a press conference at the 74th Cannes Film Festival

Sean Penn has made the claim that “cowardly genes” is the reason why people are allowing men in American culture to become “feminised”.

The Hollywood actor first shared his view about masculinity during a prior interview during which he stated: “I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminised… I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them.”

In a follow-up chat with The Independent, the 61-year-old was asked to clarify his remarks. He then said: “I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminised.

“I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them.”

Sean Penn and his daughter Dylan Penn

Sean Penn and his daughter Dylan Penn (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Penn added: “There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.”

The interviewer – who was speaking to the actor and Dylan Penn, his daughter and Flag Day co-star, in a joint chat – then pointed out that his daughter went “quiet” following the statement and began “staring into space”.

Considering the actor played Harvey Milk in the 2008 biopic about the iconic gay rights activist and politician, many were disappointed by the I Am Sam star’s statements.

One shocked reader wrote: “Sean Penn who played Harvey milk? Surely he’d had a stroke.”

“Man he’s gonna be mad to find out about all the rich Victorians that dressed their little boys in pink dresses,” another tweeted, while one fan added: “Like in Scotland?”

One female Twitter user joked: “Sean Penn will cower when he sees my trouser suit collection. Toxic masculinity at its finest.”

“I will f**k Sean Penn up and I will do it in a cute little mini skirt,” another tweeted.

Indeed, the comments are surprising after Penn previously used his 2009 Academy Award win for his portrayal of Harvey Milk to call for the film to help the queer community’s fight to legalise same-sex marriage in the US.