Last week, actor Terry Crews went on Good Morning America to share his personal experience of being the victim of sexual assault. His story is all too familiar in the post-Weinstein era. While women are much more likely to be victims of this type of crime, male victims, like Crews, do exist. They just rarely come forward. After all, the same societal pressures that tell men that if they are sexually assaulted they cannot be “real men,” tell women that they are to blame for their own harassment.
As Crews acknowledged in his interview, it was women sharing and finding strength in each other’s stories that empowered him to speak out about his assault. “I was in support of these women. They were called liars, [that] they were looking for a payday. I was like this is not what it’s about.”
“If I would have just retaliated, in defense, I would be in jail right now and that’s one thing I knew, being a large black African American man in America. I would have immediately been seen as a thug” said Crews, reminding us that the same hierarchy that favors men over women favors white men over men of color. It is up to us to dismantle the gender and racial stereotypes that allow sexual harassment and assault to go unpunished in our society. That’s why this week, we’re asking you to watch and discuss this video with friends or family. Together, we can support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team