There’s more than one way to be a man.
That’s the message Brooklyn 99 star Terry Crews is spreading as he comes clean about his previous mindset of toxic masculinity in interviews and a new book called Manhood: How to Be A Better Man – Or Just Live With One.
Crews gave the keynote speech at an anti-violence-against-women conference called “What Makes A Man: Maps to Manhood” and sat down for an adjoining conversation with Elamin Abdelmahmoud, in which he critiques the domineering mindset so many men equate with manliness.
Here are some excerpts from the interview (emphasis added).
Why men are afraid of feminism:
I think the big thing about feminism is that it scares men because, you know—the big deal is that people are scared of being controlled…I want to be clear that feminism is not saying “women are better than men.” That’s not what’s going on… What it is is that we’re talking about gender equality, true gender equality… but the problem is that men have always felt like they’re more valuable…I have been that guy where I felt I was more valuable than my wife and kids.
On how attitudes of sexual entitlement leads to rape culture:
I get a lot of guys who are like, “You know, that’s good, man. That’s cool,” and I also get guys who are like, “What are you DOING?”…It’s like, what is the big deal? But it’s [that I’m] telling. [I’m] telling. “It’s MAN CODE, dude. Man Code! C’mon.”…but does Man Code work when it’s your daughter who gets raped? Man Code—does that work when your mom gets abused?
…I’m living in the real world and you can drink the Kool-Aid all you want. A lot of guys love the Kool-Aid. The sports world is Kool-Aid world… You can do anything if [you win]… What happens is they win and they go, “You know that girl? She’s my trophy. I deserve that girl. In fact, she don’t even want to be with me, but I don’t care. I’m going to take it.” What kind of mindset is that? Never never never never never should that ever be accepted. That’s not “code.” That’s Taliban. That’s ISIS.
Why men speaking up against sexism is paramount:
I kind of relate it to slavery. Or even civil rights. Let’s not even go back to slavery, let’s go to civil rights—the people who were silent at the lunch counters, when it was the black lunch counter and the white one or the schools were segregated…and you were quiet. You were accepting it. Same thing with men right now. If you don’t say anything, you are, by your silence—it’s acceptance. I’m not going to be silent.
Watch the full conversation below: