His film "Don Jon" told a story of a man with a skewed perspective on women. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt talked to Ellen about it, and why he thought it was an important story to tell.

He told Ellen how his mother has influenced his thinking. "That was something that my mom would always point out to my brother and me, that our culture does often portray women especially… like objects. For example, we would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders come on, 'Okay, so look, here's the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty.' She didn't mean any offense to any individual woman who was working as a cheerleader, but she wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and on magazines all the time. And if you don't stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality." 

"I do call myself a feminist. Absolutely!" Joseph explained. "It's worth paying attention to the roles that are sort of dictated to us and that we don't have to fit into those roles. We can be anybody we wanna be."

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189 days ago

I have always championed equality and respect within the human species. The point about feminism is about what it is be human. Ever since humans became erect, so to speak, our species has been dominated by one gender and who says that gender has got all or even anywhere close to all the answers? It's just crazy. Time the females claimed the rightful place and that is along side males. We could NOT possibly do any worse than the status quo!

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Brian Brinkley
194 days ago

Oh Pahleese Brett Caton, you cite the most extreme examples much like the homophobes of the world.

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Brett Caton
194 days ago

It's pretty sad to see a man embrace a movement that sees him as inferior on the basis of his genetic code, whose members talk openly of 'reducing' or outright exterminating men in books lining the shelves of feminist bookshops, books with no negative reviews by feminists (but Not All Feminists Are Like That - just the ones running the show... just like not all nazis ran concentration camps).

It's especially poignant in that many elements of the movement won't have him any way; they might accept him as an 'ally' but his genitalia offend them so mightily that no matter how many of his brethren he sacrifices, he'll never appease them.

But every day he'll don his hair shirt, and pull out that lash and scream "I'm so sorry for being born a man!" (*whip*) and hope, maybe this day, maybe THIS day, it'll be enough, and he'll be accepted, at last, as one of them...

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Michael Hawthorne
195 days ago

What a great interview! I've loved JGL since 'Third Rock'. So great to see how he's matured into his adulthood... And Good on his Mom!! She raised him right!

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196 days ago

Smart mom. I did the same thing with my son and daughter. My son is a very hands on dad who co-parents, not "babysitting" and my daughter got herself into law school. Very proud of both of them.

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196 days ago

So smart. As a kid I never had any doubts about women being equal with men but it would've been great to have my parents point out what his mom pointed out in respects to the media. Instead I realized it much later in college. It's a great thing to be aware of though, really tantamount for the development of all women's identities.

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