Terry Crews surprised many last fall when he came forward with his own story of sexual assault, which served as a reminder that the traumatizing effects of predatory behavior aren’t in any way diminished by physical strength. Crews’ vulnerability has since found him taking action, both through filing criminal charges against his high-powered abuser and by speaking out against the ever-boiling subculture of toxic masculinity that gives way to this kind of male entitlement.
The above clip was taken at the ninth annual Women in the World summit, where Crews proclaimed that “masculinity can be a cult” and thus sent the internet’s most insecure flocking to his Twitter mentions. “And when I say cult,” he adds, “it’s no different than David Koresh, it’s no different than Jim Jones.”
Citing a “lack of empathy,” Crews explains how society and culture have essentially programmed men to see women only in terms of what they can do for them, thus rendering them less than human. “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.”
He’s also quick to point out his own transgressions. Saying that he once “believed simply because I am a man, that I was more valuable than my wife and than the other women in my life,” he recalls going to strip clubs and bristling at the women who talked about their personal lives because they were “becoming a human before my eyes.”
Obviously, despite what the mouth-breathers on Twitter say, Crews isn’t out here declaring “men are bad.” Rather, he’s asserting the importance of recognizing and investigating one’s own behaviors, acknowledging societal biases and pushing against them.