The Gillete Ad Is Not Man-Bashing
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Politics

No, Gillette Isn't Attacking Masculinity; Only The Toxicity

There's an important distinction between masculinity and toxic masculinity.

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No, Gillette Isn't Attacking Masculinity; Only The Toxicity

On January 13, 2019, Gillette dropped its latest advertising campaign with the slogan "The Best Men Can Be." The ad, roughly two minutes in length, addresses issues such as bullying, violence against women, toxic masculinity, and the overall takeaway of being a better person for the good of others as well as setting a positive example for the next generation. Not exactly a bad message, right?

Well, some people seem to think it is.

While many applauded the company for taking a stand on a prominent social issue, others felt that the advertisement was attacking masculinity. I personally enjoyed the video and its message, but I can't even begin to wrap my head around why backlash exists against a campaign that just wants people to treat others like, well, people.

From what I viewed, the general consensus of the opposition is that the ad is saying it's not OK to be a man and traditional "manly" habits are immoral. However, that's not the case at all.

Toxic masculinity consists of words and actions that are generally dismissed under the guise of "boys will be boys." It is meant to excuse violence, the perpetuation of rape culture, sexism, and harassment just because society accepts these things as just what men do. Masculinity, on the other hand, is simply just what one associates with being a man.

The ad is not making all men out to be evil creatures who don't have enough self-control to not be a horrible person. All it's saying is that these toxic things happen and they need to be called out by peers. Toxic masculinity exists because one person will do or say something problematic and another person validates it by agreeing or just not speaking out against it at all.

Another opinion seems to be that the radical notion of being kind to each other makes someone less of a man and therefore more feminine. Masculinity and femininity are entirely based on preconceived ideas on what it means to be a man or woman which is why (speaking stereotypically) men are seen as needing to be stoic, tough, and not afraid to get dirty, while women are seen as being emotional, frail, and leaning towards domestic activities. Does this mean a man showing emotions and the bare minimum of sympathy means he's more feminine? Absolutely not; it means he's a decent human being (and being feminine isn't a damn crime anyway).

The ad is not man-bashing; only calling out people who participate in toxic behavior. If you're not guilty of that, there shouldn't be a problem here.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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