terry crews toxic masculinity

Terry Crews Doesn’t Hold Back in Talking About Toxic Masculinity, Saying It “Can Be a Cult”

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In a truly fantastic discussion at the ninth annual Women in the World summit, Terry Crews talked about issues of toxic masculinity, and he did not hold back in his criticism, saying “masculinity can be a cult.”

“And when I say cult, it’s no different than David Koresh, it’s no different than Jim Jones,” he continued, referencing the leaders of the Branch Davidians of Waco, Texas, and of the Jonestown (“Kool-Aid”) massacre, respectively. Crews even compared the mentality of toxic masculinity to that of a slave owner, not seeing slaves as fully human and therefore not understanding or caring that they are in pain. He says men view women similarly, that there is “a lack of empathy.”

“Men who are in this cult,” he says, “you can see as a woman, they talk, but a guy is not looking at you as even all the way human. And this is what you have to understand, there is a humanity issue here. You’re like, ‘Why don’t you hear me? Why don’t you see my feelings?’ And they’re like, ‘But you’re not all the way human. You’re here for me. You’re here for my deal.’ And this is real.”

Most women have long known this is real. It’s why when a man claims he obviously respects women because he has a wife/mother/daughter, it’s clear that he doesn’t see the difference between respecting woman and valuing women’s basic humanity.

Crews has clearly come a long way in this struggle, fighting toxic masculinity not just in other men, but in himself. “I am guilty,” he said from the stage of the event. “I am guilty. I believed simply because I am a man, that I was more valuable than my wife and than the other women in my life.” He describes going to strip clubs with his teammates in his football days, and how off-putting the men would find it when the dancers would talk about their lives. “Because you’re becoming a human before my eyes.” The mentality as Crews describes it is “I don’t want you to be a human. I want you to be an object. I want you to be something pretty to look at. But as you talk, you’re making things too real for me.” That, he says, is “so scary.”

As a bonus aside, that panel also featured Lauren Duca, who, as you would expect, had some fantastic things to say about sex and sexuality. Namely, that “sexuality is not a coin to be traded; it’s a renewable resource.” Her language, though, as she talks about complicated sexual politics in the internet era and not having “to live [her] feminist theory while [she’s] getting fucked” is a tad NSFW.

You can also watch the full 25-minute panel discussion here.

(via HuffPost, image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.