|A scene from the Gillette ad that takes on "toxic masculinity"|
I'm still not sure why so many (mostly conservative)
viewers hate it.
The way some guys see it, the ad was meant to make all men feel bad about themselves.
I've seen the ad a few times now, and I'm still at a loss as to how this ad is offensive to guys.
It seems to call out the worst among us, and offer up the best of us as an antidote. It encourages us to be the best we can. You'd think that wouldn't be too controversial, but whatever.
I'm a gay guy, so there's some people who would probably say I have no right, or at least no knowledge of what "masculine" is. But men of any orientation can be masculine.
The Gillette ad to me is a throwback. It seems to illustrate what I was taught masculine meant decades ago when I was a kid.
A "real" man, I was taught, stands up for himself and others who are unfairly targeted. Masculinity is all about being respectful to others without letting other people disrespect you. A masculine man is a class act, ready to help out others in need, but is never a chump.
Masculine men stand up for what they believe, in word and deed. They don't try to disempower others, thinking that somehow builds them up. They don't lie, cheat or try to game the system. Masculine men are not bullies. They love to win, but only if the fight is fair.
A masculine man can be physically powerful, but that muscle isn't entirely necessary. The masculine man expresses his power by intervening in a situation that is wrong. A masculine man is brave, willing to promote an unpopular stand, if he thinks it's right.
A straight masculine man of course wants to have relationships with women. But this masculine man backs off when she says no. It's the right thing to do, and it's a matter of pride to be a mensch.
This is all stuff I learned from my father when I was growing up. I married a man who has all these traits, which is why I know I married well.
All that seems to be the theme of the Gillette ad.
Then how is it making men "feel bad" about themselves, as the critics claim? I see no evidence that the ad is trying to insult all men.
"If Gillette made a commercial predicated on women being bad & this is how they can all do better....the same radical feminists loving this ad would go nuts," Piers Morgan tweeted.
Oh Piers, where does it say in the ad that all men are bad? Come on, I'm waiting.
Karol Markowicz in the New York Post complained the ad tells us men are "universal aggressors and rapists" and that we need to "stop insulting men."
No, we only insult the men who are jerks.
The theme I kept seeing in the Gillette criticism is was somehow calling out men for being men. Which is the real insult to men. Do most men really want to be the worst they could be, not the best? Some of these critics doth protest too much.
I get it that Gillette put the ad out in part to get people to talk about the brand and maybe be inspired to pick up some of their products. Even if some snowflake-y people boycott the firm. Gillette wants to sell stuff, everybody knows that.
Gillette isn't always practicing what they preach, either, as The Today show points out. There is sort of a "pink tax" on products like razors marketed toward women that cost more, even though these products are identical to what men pay for basically the same products.
The ad is probably a logical extension of the "Me Too" movement. I guess they were trying to say that men can be allies in that movement. That's not such a bad thing
For what it's worth, here's the Gillette ad so you can see it again: