JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Sean Penn
Sean Penn is speaking out about his views on gender.
In a recent interview with The Independent alongside daughter Dylan Penn surrounding their movie Flag Day, the 61-year-old actor/director touched on comments he made earlier this month to U.K. news outlet i, when he said, “I am in the club that believes that men in American culture have become wildly feminized.”
“I don’t think that being a brute or having insensitivity or disrespect for women is anything to do with masculinity, or ever did. But I don’t think that [in order] to be fair to women, we should become them,” he also said.
Speaking with The Independent for the interview published Friday, Penn doubled down on his comments, saying, “I think that men have, in my view, become quite feminized.”
“I have these very strong women in my life who do not take masculinity as a sign of oppression toward them,” he added. “There are a lot of, I think, cowardly genes that lead to people surrendering their jeans and putting on a skirt.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Sean Penn
“We don’t know what’s a fact in many of the cases,” he said, adding, “Salacious is as soon as you call something a movement that is really a series of many individual accusers, victims, accusations, some of which are unfounded. The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women.”
Penn said that from the women he’s spoken to — “of all walks of life” — he has gathered that “there’s a common sense that is not represented at all in the discussion when it comes to the media discussion of it.”
“The discussion where ‘If Sean Penn says this, so and so is going to attack him for saying this because of that,’ ” he said. “I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed onto in great stridency and rage and without nuance. And even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance is attacked.”