Our Hero Terry Crews Dropping Serious Truth Bombs About Feminism, Misogyny, and Toxic Masculinity
Stay rad, Terry.
Terry Crews, seriously, all allies should aspire to be as excellent as you.
Speaking with Dame Magazine, Crews spoke eloquently about gender and how we represent ourselves when talking about how much of himself he brings to his character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. “Every man and every woman has both sexes in them […] We have to embrace the duality that we are,” said Crews. “I’m an artist – I love painting and drawing, and I play the flute, and people go, ‘Man, that’s feminine!’ But why is that feminine? That’s just human. If you feel that is feminine, you’re judging yourself based on what other people’s reactions might be.”
The former NFL player, who is now married with five children (four of whom are girls) and one granddaughter, said that he has had to do some “serious thinking” about the world in which he’s raising his children, and that’s part of what made him want to actively speak out about feminism and the fight for equality. “When I see the world and the way people are treated, I see so many domination and control issues,” said Crews. “The truth is, everyone is equal and valuable, and everyone is necessary, but there tends to be a dismissal of certain groups.”
But, Crews clarifies, he’s not trying to speak for women, but rather to be the best ally he can. “Women are more than capable of handling themselves, and have been doing so wonderfully for years,” explained Crews. “What I am saying is, as one man to another man, examine your own mind-set. Examine what makes you tick. Because if you feel that you are more valuable than your wife and kids, that’s a problem.” In his book Manhood, Crews cites male pride as something that stops men from changing their outlook on how they treat women.
Crews also spoke at length about rape culture and its prevalence in the world of sports and football, noting that he’s known many men who believed women were responsible for their own sexual assaults because of how they were dressed. “Once I realized that I was part of that culture, I knew that I had to change it,” Crews said, citing 50 Shades of Grey as an example of pop culture projecting abuse as romance, and said that it’s simple in our society for men to use lies, guilt, and shame to control women – something he’s seen at length in his work with the Polaris Project to stop human trafficking.
“We’re not talking Game of Thrones stuff,” added Crews. “we’re talking very subtle mind games that change cultures, and change how people live. We’ve got to address these mindsets that say that’s cool. A reaction I get from certain people is, ‘Hey man, chill, it’s not that deep.’ Everything’s that deep. Don’t wash your hands, and serve food at a restaurant, and you’ll find out how deep things get real quick. It starts with one small thing, and you can cause a whole chain reaction.”
If you want to check out the whole interview – and I think you should, because this dude is awesome – head over to Dame Magazine.