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12 Dec 2018 9:20
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  •   Home > News > International

    Hannah Gadsby unpacks debate about 'good men' in #MeToo speech at Hollywood Reporter event

    The Australian comedian, whose 2018 Netflix special Nanette brought her international acclaim, said she found "good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating".

    Comedian Hannah Gadsby has argued men have too much power defining good and bad behaviour, saying in a speech in Los Angeles she does not want to hear men "monologue about misogyny".

    Gadsby, whose 2018 Netflix special Nanette was praised for its social commentary and brought her international acclaim, told The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment gala she found "good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating".

    "I am sick of turning my television on at the end of the day to find anywhere up to 12 'Jimmys' giving me their hot take," Gadsby said.

    "My problem is that according to the Jimmys, there are only two types of bad men. There are the Weinstein, Bill Cosby types, who are so utterly horrible that they might as well be a different species to the Jimmys.

    "And then there are the FOJs — the friends of Jimmys.

    "These are apparently good men who misread the rules. Garden variety consent dyslexics. They have the rule book, but they just skimmed it."

    She said when "good men" talked about "bad men", they drew a line in the sand separating what constituted acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

    That was wrong, Gadsby said, because "women should be in control of that line" — and that, inevitably, men would draw a different line for every occasion.

    "They have a line for the locker room, a line for when their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters are watching, another line for when they're drunk and fratting, another line for non-disclosure, a line for friends and a line for foes.

    "You know why we need to talk about this line between good men and bad men? Because it's only good men who get to draw that line. And guess what? All men believe they are good.

    "Guess what happens when only good men get to draw that line. This world — a world full of good men who do very bad things and still believe in their heart of hearts that they are good men because they have not crossed the line, because they move the line for their own good."

    The speech drew a strong and varied response on social media.

    Some people argued it was unnecessarily divisive and admonished those who were trying to do the right thing.

    Others felt it was spot on, drawing attention to the nuanced problem of men who try to be allies while continuing to exert their power.

    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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