Halle Berry Reveals How She Confronts Sexist Stereotypes with Her Seven-Year-Old Son

"If we want to have a future that's different, that is where it starts."

milan, italy december 05 halle berry walks the red carpet ahead of the 2019 pirelli calendar launch gala at hangarbicocca on december 5, 2018 in milan, italy photo by jacopo raulegetty images
(Image credit: Jacopo Raule)

Halle Berry isn't afraid to confront sexist stereotypes head-on with her seven-year-old son.

Last weekend, the actress talked about challenging her son's subconscious beliefs about gender in Women Breaking Barriers: An Industry Shift, a virtual panel hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the Sundance Film Festival. Also present during the conversation were Zendaya, Robin Wright, Sia, and Andra Day.

"I have a seven-year-old son, and I have realized what my job is in raising him. If we want to have a future that's different, that is where it starts," she said of her son, Maceo Martinez, per People (opens in new tab).

She continued, sharing that she has already noticed the way her son's views on gender are being implicitly shaped. "You made me think of how many conversations I've had with him, say, since he's turned five years old, about the differences in boys and girls, and I see how he's taught to feel like he's superior, at five, than girls are," said Berry.

"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," she continued. "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 color?'"

Berry makes her U.S. directorial debut with Bruised at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

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Chelsey Sanchez is the Associate Social Media and News Editor for Harper’s BAZAAR, where she covers politics, social movements, and pop culture. She lives in New York City.