Halle Berry has said she is already teaching her five-year-old son Maceo Martinez to overcome gender stereotypes so the future will be “different”.
The Perfect Stranger star said she is teaching her son about gender stereotypes because she wants him to be “determined not to just accept” preconceived ideas about identity and self-expression.
Speaking during a Sundance Film Festival virtual panel, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, on Saturday (30 January), Berry said: “If we want to have a future that’s different, that is where it starts.”
During the panel event, which was titled “Women Breaking Barriers: An Industry Shift”, Berry opened up about her struggle to ensure that her son does not grow up believing sexist stereotypes.
“I see how he’s taught to feel like he’s superior, at five, than girls are,” Berry said.
Halle Berry ‘challenges’ her son on gender stereotypes.
“I’ve had to really break that down for him and give him a new perspective, and challenge those thoughts and ask him to identify where that comes from, and if he believes that or not and challenge what he’s subconsciously getting from somewhere.
“I can tell that because we’re having those conversations he is going to grow as a deep thinker on the subject. He’s going to be determined not to just accept it. I keep challenging him all the time, like, ‘Well, why is that a ‘girl colour?'”
Berry’s comments come after she shared a video on Instagram in March 2020, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, of her son walking about their home in a pair of high-heeled leather boots. Naturally, countless bigots waded into the comments, claiming that the actress would make her son “gay” by allowing him to wear the boots – because that is exactly how sexuality works.
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But the Catwoman star delivered a swift put-down when one commenter referred to her son as “she”, replying: “Well it’s a he and he is having a ball. Tryna cope the best he can. Laughter helps a lot right now! It’s tight on these kids right now. Let’s have a laugh and some compassion.”
However, just months later, Halle Berry upset many in the LGBT+ community when she announced that she would be playing a transgender man in a film. Days later, Berry pulled out of the role after queer people rushed to point out that a cisgender woman is not right person to play a transgender man.