The actor and activist said men often don’t see women as “all the way human.”
…True to form, Crews took a moment to point out how masculinity contributes to issues of sexual violence and gender inequality.
“Masculinity can be a cult,” Crews said. “And when I say ‘cult,’ it’s no different than David Koresh. It’s no different than Jim Jones.”
He said that men ― whether consciously or unconsciously ― rarely see women as “all the way human.”
by KARA CUTRUZZULA
What does consent look like in the #MeToo era?
Actor and former NFL player Terry Crews joined journalists Joanna Coles and Lauren Duca to discuss toxic masculinity, consent, and dating post-#MeToo
In an honest and enlightening debate about the new rules of sexual engagement moderated by Zainab Salbi, host and executive editor of the PBS series “#MeToo, Now What,” two female journalists joined a male actor and activist to discuss the issues and share their own stories.
….“People have to understand that masculinity can be a cult, and when I say cult, it’s not different from David Koresh, it’s not different from Jim Jones,” said activist, actor and former NFL player Terry Crews.
He likened the detachment of men to slavery, when slave masters would observe slaves being beaten and feel nothing. “There’s a lack of empathy from men who are in this cult,” he said. “A guy is looking at you that is not all the way human, and there is a humanity issue here.”
Before changing his attitude about equality, he was guilty of this as well, he said: “I believed simply because I was a man I was more valuable than my wife and the other women in my life.”
When he was a football player, the guys would go to strip clubs, where they shied away from any kind of personal interaction with the dancers. “If a woman there talks about kids or anything in her life, it’s like, Stop, stop!” Crews, who played for the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers during his NFL career, said. “Because you’re becoming a human before my eyes. And I don’t want you to be a human, I want you to be an object. You’re pretty to look at, but as you talk you’re making things too real for me.”
“How did we get here?” asked Salbi. “Do you think we’re socialized to dehumanize women?”
Coles blames pornography, which she describes in her book as like chewing gum: all artificial flavor. “One of my great anxieties is the ubiquity of porn on digital devices, and it’s becoming the de facto sex education for an entire generation of young men and women,” she said. Young women often say that men expect them to behave like porn stars in bed, not understanding that “porn sex isn’t real sex—it’s made for camera angles that aren’t comfortable in real life.”
… Crews, who has described himself as a former “porn addict,” highlighted another confusion: “Love and sex have been thrown around as the same thing, and they’re not. You’ve got to understand how guys think. Guys know that if they keep talking about love to you, that will spark sex. They’re not talking about love. They don’t want love.”
When Crews was growing up, he said, friends told him to lie to the girls he liked and tell them that he loved them. Sex and love was all a game, but the truth, he said, is that “all men want intimacy. We want people to know us for who we are and know the good and bad and love us anyway. That’s true intimacy.”
…It’s almost impossible to have good sex regularly with strangers, said Coles. “The hookup culture is like eating French fries” –delicious when you’re eating them off someone else’s plate, but half an hour later you’re full of remorse. “There is nothing empowering and there is nothing fun about waking up in someone’s bed and not knowing if you’ve been sexually assaulted.”
As the conversation about navigating consent progresses, Crews was asked how men can help. “Men tend to be manipulated by pride,” he said. “We speak two different languages and the way women tend to be manipulated is fear.” His own solution to toxic masculinity? “I had to kill my pride and then you can see things as they really are. I don’t speak for women, but when I talk about being manipulated by fear, you have to do the opposite. Be fearless. The antidote to fear is to own your power.”
“That’s beautiful, but there are physical realities to fear,” responded Duca, pointing out that for many women, just walking home alone at night is cause for fear.
With that, the conversation had to end, but no doubt the debate will rage on.
Men Depicted as Victims Part 2 – “Depressed, Repressed, Objectified: Are Men the New Women?” by E. Day – Or: Is it Scientifically Plausible That Men Are Innately Dumber Than Women And Do Men Biologically Prefer to Fail School?