Terry Crews' Escape from the 'Masculinity Cult'
Masculinity is a cult, in my opinion. It’s something you’ve been taught that makes you blind to the truth. When I was a kid in Flint, Michigan, I recall asking my buddies for advice on how to approach a lady I loved. To keep her off-balance, I was ordered to lie to her. It was all about manipulating ladies, getting them to give you sex, and then putting them away when you had “game.” You’re also trained as a male to keep your daughter in line and retain control. But you can’t love and dominate someone at the same time. Only the things that are under you are in your control.
I was a card-carrying member of the cult of masculinity, as well. For years, I was hooked to pornography, and my need was driven by the belief that I was more valued than my wife. Watching our mom and sisters being abused taught me and other young guys in my town that we were worth more than the ladies in our life. I recall thinking, “Fuck this, I’ll just go get another lady,” when my wife ultimately declared she wanted out of our marriage. However, a small voice inside me kept saying, “Perhaps it’s me.” And I couldn’t get that notion out of my head. It was impossible to put the egg back together after it had been shattered.
Eight years ago, I went to rehab and subsequently performed a 90-day sex fast. I wanted to remove the element of sex from the equation and perceive my wife as a human being. Everything changed once I was deprogrammed. We cannot address our issues with the same mentality we used to create them, as Einstein pointed us; we must rise beyond them. Men need connection, even if we’re taught not to admit it. We want someone to see us for who we are and love us anyhow. However, in order to achieve actual closeness, you must be emotionally open. You must be open to being vulnerable.
I’m going to spend the rest of my life apologizing to my wife. Even yet, it’s a relief to be out of that culture. It also feels nice to speak up about the harassment I’ve experienced—to be heardbeing groped by some Hollywood player.
I can just shake my head when I see these men steeped in this attitude. They’re sipping Kool-Aid in Guyana. I’ve been called a pussy and told that “all your muscles are useless.” The question isn’t, “How powerful are you?” but rather, “How strong are you?” “Who is the actual adversary here?” it asks. Deprogramming is an eye-opening experience. When you call yourself out on your nonsense, you start seeing it all over the place. And now no one can take away my happiness.