Sean Penn’s new book includes a #MeToo movement poem - and it’s every bit as awful as you’d imagine it to be

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Sean Penn at the 69th Annual Cannes Festival in 2016.
Sean Penn at the 69th Annual Cannes Festival in 2016.

A celeb writing a book is nothing new. Many have tried – some have succeeded, others have failed dismally.  

What sets Sean Penn apart from almost every other celebrity is that his book release exposes that he is probably the world’s least self-aware man and that just because you have the resources to do something, doesn’t mean you should.

And it’s also no reason to include a #MeToo movement poem, that according to The Cut, has absolutely nothing to do with the book.

READ MORE: #MeToo won't change anything for women in Hip Hop

In the poem, which you can read on The Huffington Post if you’re feeling inclined to do so, Penn rips into #MeToo movement, calling it toddler’s play and coming to the defense of Louis CK and Charlie Rose and laments the fact that comedy can’t be comedy because it’s rife with so much accusations.

It’s almost as if he places more value on the art of being able to spew and do whatever you want without facing any consequences for it. Almost, but that could just be me.

The fact that he appears to defend Louis CK, who has actually admitted to the stories of sexual misconduct against him, is very telling.

Not only that, but judging by the reviews of the book so far, the book is a special kind of mental torture.

Folks at the New York times have lauded this book as a “riddle wrapped in an enigma and cloaked in crazy.” They also likened to the book as an experience that’s close to Stockholm syndrome, saying that “you admire the novel just because you’re surviving it.”

Pretty harsh indicator of just what you can expect.

Reviewers on Goodreads also had a field day with the book, with yet another person using the survival metaphor to describe her reading experience.

READ MORE: 5 books that explore the damaging effects of rape culture

It’s interesting to note that this book was published in the U.S. by major publishing house Simon & Schuster. These were the same publishers who thought it was a good idea to publish right wing extremist Milo Yiannopolous’s book, Dangerous, and only dropped the book after it emerged that Yiannopolous, in a recording, endorses sex between older men and young boys.

While they eventually did the right thing, no one can deny that this is a book that shouldn’t even have been picked up in the first place. But to me, and others in the literature industry, it was clear that the company was banking on his controversy for the sake of their sales.

It’s the same thing I’m seeing here, and this time around not only is the book bad, but they’ve enhanced and given Penn – who, according to The Daily Beast, has an alleged and chequered past involving domestic abuse and violence towards ex-wife Madonna – an extra platform not only to publish what the world is labelling drivel, but to dismiss the validity and the trauma of the women who are still fighting to make their voices heard.

WATCH: Tarana Burke on how the #MeToo movement started and where it's headed.


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