Terry Crews, the star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, just gave an incredible interview to Dame magazine where the tough-guy former NFL player talks about his devotion to his wife, why he’s a feminist and how he plans to help change the world for women everywhere.
We’re officially in love.
The entire Dame interview is worth reading, but here are some of the best bits from Terry Crews’ interview that prove he’s a real-deal feminist with a message.
On the ladies in his life
“I’ve been married for 25 years, and I have four daughters and one son, and a grandbaby who’s also a girl — she’s 5,” he says about his feminist inspirations. “And I did some serious thinking about the world that they’re coming up in. I want my girls to have every opportunity to do whatever they want.”
Don’t let the muscle-bound exterior we first came to love in those Old Spice ads fool you — this is a guy who has spent quite a bit of time thinking about how women are treated by society and what he can do to change things. He says he saw firsthand as a player in the NFL how attitudes about women can even make sexual assault downright casual.
On why Fifty Shades of Grey is dangerous
“Coming up in the sports culture, I saw it was nothing for guys to say things like, ‘Oh, you know she wanted it.’ I knew guys who had the attitude of, ‘You know you shouldn’t have walked out the door looking like that, girl,’ thinking they had the right to feel on her or to rape her, because of what she was wearing. Once I realized that I was part of that culture, I knew that I had to change it.”
Which is why, he adds, he thinks Fifty Shades of Grey is dangerous, because it tells us that women really just want to be submissive to their man, an idea many men, he says, can so easily internalize and use to justify their own mistreatment of women.
“Every art form has a message, and the message I’m getting from Fifty Shades is that it’s OK to dominate and control women,” he says. “And not only is it OK, it’s sexy. And even worse, deep inside, she wants it. That’s the most dangerous mind-set you can have, and our mind-set will determine where we end up.”
On “pimp culture”
Crews has also thrown his weight behind Polaris Project, a group that is trying to fight human trafficking. He says he sees parallels between the way women around the world are abused and marginalized and the “pimp culture” of his youth.
“Well, the way I grew up, there was this pimp culture where you were praised for having multiple girlfriends,” he told Dame. “That was the message — don’t tell them the truth. Play games with them, and keep them off balance. And I listened to this, and this is the same stuff that a slave owner would do to a slave.”
The rest of the interview with Crews includes charming revelations about his love of painting, that he plays the flute, why he’s not a motivational speaker and thoughts from his recently released book, Manhood.