January 23, 2019 by thewashingteenian
by Maysa Haj-Mabrouk
It was shocking to see Terry Crews come to the frontlines of the men-speaking-out-against-sexual-harassment movement, and that is absolutely at no fault of his. It’s not that Terry Crews himself was a surprising, controversial figure at all, it was more so the question of how could someone like Terry go through that?
His words were spoken with tenderness and strength. He spoke with his heart and his head. He, with a figure as large as his, literally and figuratively, was vulnerable in a court that does not sympathize with both women and men alike in instances of sexual harassment and humiliation. Women, who are left in the dust for the integrity of men, and men, who are expected to fight back and reinstate the men=aggressive rhetoric; crews addresses both sides by saying that men, in general, must be held accountable for their actions not only towards women, but towards other men as well.
His words resonated with me. This wasn’t just a product of feminist theory and liberal politics, this was a statement of human integrity, dignity, humiliation, feeling smaller than another, and being subject to the abuse by the authority of another who had the upper hand in that very moment. Why was the predominant opposing response to his testimony about him not fighting back? Why was this an issue, and why was this the expected response? Was this testimony not about dismantling that toxic masculinity that is so prevalent in the opposing response? It pains me to think that there is such a gap in understanding between even men themselves, let alone men and women.
I cannot fathom not understanding and practicing basic human decency. Maybe this was a political statement. Maybe this was more complicated than just human individualism. Maybe i’m missing something. But yet, the nature of the issue still transcends politics. This isn’t a Democratic situation, or a Republican issue. This is so much more than that, or better yet, so much simpler!
I applaud Terry Crews. Though his reaction should be the norm, I applaud him for the work he has done speaking against not only his own experience, but also taking responsibility for educating and stopping other men from doing the same wrongdoing he so passionately talks about. His testimony was not just an opposition to traditional feminist argument, the entire “well, men are abused too!” assertion; rather, he takes its point not as a counter but rather an additional drive to the fight, another statement to scream out to be heard, another sentiment to be felt. He does all of this in the optimal way.
I cannot even begin to explain my admiration for Terry Crews. This piece was not meant to prove anything, or educate, or be formatted in any particular powerful method. I felt the need to reflect and share.
This was inspired by the recent Gillette commercial that has recently be released. The commercial has been faced with a lot of controversy- though it’s better for one to see for themselves.