Terry Crews made a surprising tweet in which he essentially asserted that children need both a mom and a dad — read, a woman and a man — otherwise they will be “malnourished.”
Since the backlash, the tweet has been deleted, but I feel this is something that still needs to be addressed. Although he has since recanted his statement, which is a great start and a clear moment of learning, I worry other people will not be following suit, learning at all and ultimately standing firm in their bigotry.
Now he elaborated a bit to include that he meant family such as grandmothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, etc., but the main point is still problematic. If I understand correctly, Crews genuinely believed that kids need a woman and a man to raise them in order for the child to experience both masculine and feminine traits and takeaways.
However, masculine does not always mean male and feminine does not always mean female. Thankfully, Terry Crews came to understand this, but for those who have not, more learning must take place.
Raising a child should be a concern of love and care, not gendered influences. Love for a child is not something inherently masculine or feminine, it is something that all parents regardless of gender should have for a little one they bring into this world.
Crews’ comment also discredited the parental ability of same-sex couples. I would rather see a safe, loved child with a nontraditional set of parents than a disregarded child with the traditional mom and dad parents. That should be common sense.
Comments and sentiments like these may not seem blatantly homophobic, but blatant or not this is a harmful opinion to vocalize. Believing that masculinity or femininity has anything to do with how well you can raise a child is a mask for the belief that the correct parental model features a man and woman.
It sounds so ignorant to think that gender has an influence on your child, or the way your child will grow up in the world. As someone raised by a single mom with no dad, I think I turned out okay.
For others with two dads, two moms or two non-binary parents, they all seemed to turn out okay too, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health in 2014, because above all their parents taught them love, compassion and empathy that relies on no gender to exercise.
That should be the norm.
It is also intensely frustrating to watch someone who previously has stood for gender equality and the end of toxic masculinity have these misinformed thoughts — recanted or not — and then share them with their massive following.
Celebrities have a different kind of social influence than regular society which gives their words more weight. Words like these should definitely not be awarded that luxury.
I think in this case we can all learn from Terry Crews. Not necessarily from his initial statement, but in the art of apology and accepting when oneself is wrong. While initially frustrating to read, I am glad that he took the time to educate himself and arrive upon the correct conclusion, something that more people could stand to do.