Terry Crews has a rad feminist take on manhood

Former NFL football player, celebrated actor, and current star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Terry Crews stands 6 ft. 2 inches tall and weighs in at 245 pounds. He’s jacked and incredibly handsome and on first glance looks like the poster child for conventional hyper-masculinity. Well that old adage of not judging a book by its cover proves itself time and time again, and it certainly doesn’t let us down when it comes to Crews. Forget every mental image you have of a feminist and now picture Crews. He is a staunch critic of conventional masculinity and an unabashed feminist.

Coming off of the release of his book Manhood: How To Be A Better Man Or Live With One Crews recently took part in the What Makes a Man 2014: Maps to Manhood Conference, sitting down for a mega powerful interview with Elamin Abdelmahmoud, where he proceeded to school everyone on the harmful nature of traditional masculinity and the importance of feminism. We’ve pulled out some of the most quotable (and important) quotes, but the entire interview is an absolute gem so build in some watching time. And read the quotes that head us emphatically nodding “yes!” below.

Crews on the future of manhood

“I’m very, very optimistic because now, when you talk about young men coming up . . . wondering what’s going on and looking at the results, they can make a choice. Whereas before, there was only one way to be. ‘To be a man you must hide all your feelings’ and that was pretty much the way it was.”

Crews on why he identifies as a feminist

“I want to be clear that feminism is not about women being better than men That’s not what is going on. And some people totally see it as that . . . What it is, is that we’re talking about gender equality. True gender equality. That’s the deal.”

Crews on the harmful nature of “Man Code”

“Man Code doesn’t work when your daughter gets raped. Man Code, does that work when your mom gets abused? Come on, dude, I’m living in the real world, and you can drink the Kool-aid all you want . . . what happens is [men] win and they say ‘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 gonna take it.’ What kind of mindset is that? Never, never, never, never, never should that ever be accepted. That’s not a code. That’s Taliban. That’s ISIS. People are being victimized and abused. That doesn’t work.”

Crews on the importance of consent

“The big thing, for me, is just that when you see another person as your equal there are things you just won’t do. The problem is how you see them versus you. You would only go ahead after someone says ‘no’ if you feel you own them, or if you feel you’re above them. You would only rape someone if you felt that she was property.”

Crews on why men need to be vocal allies 

“If you don’t say anything, you are, by your silence, it’s acceptance. I’m not going to be silent. I’m not going to be silent but I know that [men] need a man like me to say something because then they go ‘Oh, okay, it’s okay. They didn’t pelt him with rocks and garbage . . . He’s all right, he’s still living, he’s doing his thing, so it’s okay.’ People are just trying to see if it’s okay to step outside.”

Can we get an, “Amen?”

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