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Terry Crews on Feminism: "I'm Not Going to Be Silent"

Terry Crews may be the perfect man to bring clarity to masculinity: a former NFL player and current actor (main role: police chief), Crews has also been married for 25 years. In his new book “Manhood: How to Be a Better Man - or Just Live With One,” Crews recounts his life story and details the values that have defined his relationship and sense of self. As the keynote speaker at Toronto’s What Makes a Man 2014 conference, Crews sat down with writer Elamin Abdelmahmoud to share some of the ideas in his book. Among them, feminism and modern day masculinity. On challenging inequality, Crews said, “We’re not battling people, we’re battling mindsets.”

He continued:

I think the big thing about feminism is that it scares men because, you know—the big deal is that people are scared of being controlled...I want to be clear that feminism is not saying "women are better than men." That's not what's going on...What it is is that we're talking about gender equality, true gender equality...but the problem is that men have always felt like they're more valuable...I have been that guy where I felt I was more valuable than my wife and kids.

Crews (also, by the way, the yelling star of Old Spice commercials) went on to underline the importance of men supporting feminism:

I kind of relate it to slavery. Or even civil rights. Let's not even go back to slavery, let's go to civil rights—the people who were silent at the lunch counters, when it was the black lunch counter and the white one or the schools were segregated...and you were quiet. You were accepting it. Same thing with men right now. If you don't say anything, you are, by your silence—it's acceptance. I'm not going to be silent.

Watch the rest of the interview for Crews’ stories about parenthood, views on gender norms and, at the very end, words of wisdom for college boys.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for GQ