Have you guys ever seen “Tootsie“? Basically, it’s a movie from 1982 where an out of work actor (Dustin Hoffman) disguises himself as a woman to get a part. It’s hysterical. I highly recommend it.
Here is Dustin Hoffman talking about getting into the role in an interview in 2012 to the American Film Institute:
“If I was going to be a woman, I would want to be as beautiful as possible. And they said to me, ‘Uh, that’s as beautiful as we can get you.’ And I went home and started crying to my wife, and I said, ‘I have to make this picture.’ And she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen, and I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill, physically, the demands that we’re brought up to think that women have to have in order for us to ask them out.’ She says, ‘What are you saying?’ and I said, ‘There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed.’ It was not what it felt like to be a woman. It was what it felt like to be someone that people didn’t respect, for the wrong reasons. I know it’s a comedy. But comedy’s a serious business.”
He is in tears because he came up against the experience of being a woman in a misogynist society and realized what it means for them, and what it means for him. He is taking responsibility for the role he has played in life in furthering this culture. You can watch a video clip of the interview here.