Terry Crews is not here for any macho-man bullshit.
“ Masculinity can be a cult, ” Crews said at the Women in the World Peak in April. “ And when We say ‘ cult, ’ it’ s no different than David Koresh. It’ s no different than Rick Jones. ”
And the “ Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor knows the cost of poisonous masculinity all too well. Amid the Me Too reckoning this past fall, Deck hands publicly arrested Hollywood executive Adam Venit of groping him in a party in 2016. His tale gave a face and a system to many other male survivors, plus reminded the public that men are physically assaulted, too. But it hasn’ big t been easy.
“ When I enter a room, guys are split throughout the middle with me and my tale, ” Crews told HuffPost associated with his experience since going general public. “ But I’ m OKAY. ”
Crews, 49, pressed charges towards Venit in December, but the Los Angeles Region Attorneys office dropped the case due to the statute associated with limitations. Although Venit will not face criminal charges, Deck hands is still suing him in municipal court .
While Crews’ name has been around the headlines more than usual the previous few months, he’ s simply no stranger to activism. The former NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE player, husband and father associated with five has advocated for women plus criticized strict gender roles given that he published his book regarding men and masculinity, Manhood: How to Become a Better Man — or Just Experience One , in 2014. Since then, he’ s frequently called out there sexism , supported sexual assault survivors and advocated for feminism .
Recently, Crews was chosen as one of Time’ t “ Silence Breakers” for the magazine’ s Person from the Year issue. He’ s furthermore being honored alongside Me As well founder Tarana Burke at the anti-sexual violence organization Safe Horizon ’ s Annual Champion Awards Gala next week.
Deck hands spoke to HuffPost about what it’ s been like to come ahead with his story and the next measures in his fight against the “ cult” of masculinity.
What’ s your experience already been like as straight black guy, coming forward as a sexual attack survivor?
Well, it’ s really, really hard because you’ re going up against a attitude that has been ingrained in our culture for the long, long time. The big thing I’ ve encountered is that people anticipate a guy like me to always be tough. However the thing is, as a black man, the only real time you’ re really named being victimized is when you’ re dead. Otherwise you don’ t get hurt, you don’ t get tired… it’ t like people think you’ lso are supposed to jump through the air plus dunk from one place to the next.
Something I’ ve realized is that, because George Orwell said, “ Much more universal deceit, telling the truth turns into a revolutionary act. ” I’ mirielle just telling my truth. I’ m saying what happened to me. I’ m not speaking for anyone otherwise. I’ m just saying that this really is ridiculous, and this is not acceptable. Nobody ― no man, no lady, no child ― should actually put up with being treated less than individual. Ever.
As a black man, the only period you’ re really recognized as getting victimized is when you’ lso are dead. Terry Crews
America’ s full of conspiracy ideas, but you can never really prove a conspiracy theory. But complicity ― complicity is a whole other matter. You are able to prove complicity. Complicity is a program. Complicity is when you look another way. Complicity is when nobody steps forward, no one actually really does anything about these wrongs. That’ s a complicit system. Which is what we have.
At the Women in the World conference recently, you said “ masculinity can be a cult . ” Can you talk to me a little more about that?
I love being a guy. I’ m a dad. I’ m a husband. I love exactly what being a man is. But when you’ ve twisted up the definition, whenever all of a sudden I have to do everything you state in order to be a man ― that’ t a cult. ’ Cause cults are about control. If you walk out of line, you’ re consuming Kool-Aid and we’ ll need to. That’ s the whole point of the cult. Anybody who steps beyond what they deem as this definition of male organ you’ re gonna find yourself in the particular cross-hairs.
I’ m guilty of this, too. I’ m not right here pointing fingers at anybody. I used to be a card-carrying member, and all the particular sudden I had the wake-up contact of my life. I said to me personally, “ You got all of this wrong. ” I feel like I dodged the bullet because I easily might have lived and died as a member of the thing. I had to be deprogrammed, as they say.
What do you think would be the next steps in the Me As well movement for men, whether as survivors or allies?
Men are afraid. Men are very, very scared at this time. My thing is to concede. We want men to concede. We want men to say, “ You know what? We’ re wrong, we goofed that will up. ” I inform people I think it’ s going to be messy. This is not gonna be considered a neat, clean transition.
Yes, these systemic issues are going to have a long time to correct.
Exactly. It’ s going to take a while since we’ re talking about people’ s i9000 mindsets. We’ re discussing very, very strong mindsets. It’ s i9000 good that we’ re discussing it, though. Ten years ago a person couldn’ t even bring these things up. The next generation is understanding so young, my boy and my daughters are we were young in a different world than their own dad did.
This particular Me Too reckoning seems to have arrived at some men but not all males. It’ s alarming that R. Kelly has had dozens of women and underage girls accuse him of sexual assault, rape , sexual intercourse slavery and child abuse but somehow it has however to tarnish his stardom.
What are your thoughts on L. Kelly and the recent campaign to get justice to get his victims , specifically proper rights for black women?
The thing is, there are black men on the Black Lives Matter rally seeking at a woman and saying, “ Bitch, sit down. ” And it’ s like, wait a minute, this really is about equality. But they don’ to see women as equal inside their own community. So , the L. Kelly thing was like, “ Hi man, he’ s just as being a man. ” He’ s performing what you do as a guy, if you can overcome on ’ em do it.
Men need to be deprogrammed. Terry Crews
It’ s so crazy to me since, again, men need to be deprogrammed. It’ s like this cognitive dissonance that develops. Women have been saying this permanently. Unfortunately, what we need is a man to express stop this. Men have to contact out other guys on problems.
Women need allyship.
Right. We need someone from the problem party to wake up and say, “ We gotta stop this. ” I feel like there are a lot of men that are now starting to get it, yet we need more. I think it is important we need to do is to continue to speak. We need to continue this conversation.
After I told my story, I had had thousands and thousands of men, possibly online or in person, who show me, “ Dude, that happened in my experience. ” They’ re like, “ Man, thank you, thank you, thank you for stating something. ” And that’ s how I know I’ meters doing the right thing.
This interview has been edited plus condensed.