Hannah Gadsby calls out "good men" in blistering speech

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Emily Reynolds
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“I want to speak about the very big problem I have with the good men”.

Comedian Hannah Gadsby has delivered a blistering speech decrying the “good men” who draw false lines between themselves and “bad men”, saying that “all men believe they are good”. 

Speaking to an audience at The Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment Gala, Gadsby pondered the problem of men being the ones to draw a line on misogyny.

“I want to speak about the very big problem I have with the good men, especially the good men who take it upon themselves to talk about the bad men,” she said.

“I find good men talking about bad men incredibly irritating, and this is something the good men are doing a lot of at the moment.”

Men like “the Jimmys”, Gadsby says, believe that there are “only two types of bad men”. 

“There’s the Weinstein/Bill Cosby types who are so utterly horrible that they might as well be different species to the Jimmys. And then there are the FOJs: the Friends of Jimmy. These are apparently good men who misread the rules—garden-variety consent dyslexics. They have the rule book, but they just skimmed it.”

And these men, she says, will draw a “different line for a different occasion”. 

“They have a line for the locker room; a line for when their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters are watching; another line for when they’re drunk and fratting; another line for nondisclosure; a line for friends; and a line for foes,” she said.

“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.”

Gadsby shot into the limelight this year with her Netflix special Nanette, an eviscerating look at comedy, mental illness, patriarchy and trauma.

The show has found fans in Roxane Gay, Lily Allen, Thandie Newton and more. Monica Lewinsky even recently penned an essay on the star for Vanity Fair’s 2018 Hall of Fame.

“She forces the audience to sit with these experiences and, in doing so, creates a new framework to understand shame and humiliation,” Lewinsky writes. “She had us at: ‘There’s nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself’”. 

Images: Getty