We've all heard of the most recent media controversy to sweep the Internet since the Colin Kaepernick Nike ad. Only this time, men's razors are being tossed in the toilet instead of the iconic swoosh. Here is the commercial in case you haven't had the time (or the stomach) to watch the cause of the Internet debates:
We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) www.youtube.com
The men (and some women) of the Internet are boycotting Gillette due to believing the company is trying to degrade masculinity and what it means to be a man.
I may be crazy, but this might be the new blue/black yellow/white dress mind trick because I don't know how two people can view the commercial and receive completely opposing messages.
The commercial focuses on the issue of bullying that is prevalent among young boys and the crude sexual jokes, harassment, and general disrespect for women some men participate in. The commercial is even titled "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be."
Do we not strive for a society where everyone improves himself or herself to be more loving of one another? What is considered so offensive about the message of anti-bullying and anti-sexual harassment?
If your answer is "They are just attacking masculinity and that is not right," (like half of the Internet claims) then here is a short lesson for you.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of masculinity is "having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man."
As a society, we define what is appropriate for a particular gender. All too often we have heard the phrase "boys will be boys" in order to excuse certain actions when boys are growing up. Well, those little boys grow up to be men, and it's up to you to decide if you're ok with those qualities in your son, husband, brother, etc.
Gillette's entire focus with their new commercial is to change the norm and make it inappropriate to act in those ways that were portrayed. They were seeking to amend certain actions of men, not rid the world of masculinity.
Masculinity itself is not a problem and it was not under attack by Gillette. However, certain toxic traits that some men participate in are a problem and were being recognized by the company. These traits are what "toxic masculinity" refers to. Yet another controversial subject.
Lesson #2, toxic masculinity refers only to aspects of masculinity that are bad for society (bullying, sexual assault, degrading women, etc.). It is not a term used to say that all masculinity is toxic, because being a man and doing the things that men like to do is NOT what anyone's talking about here. Whoever claimed that was just trying to stir a pot of ignorance and hate.
After clearing these two things up, if someone still wants to claim that the ad was an attack on men, I only have one thing to say: Call me old fashioned, but masculinity to me is equivalent of being a gentleman, not a source of violence or harassment.
To all the ladies who are discomforted by the fact that so many men have boycotted this commercial and claimed how awful it was and it's attack on men, here is one very important and very true little life tidbit you should understand right now: Get you a man who is empowered by the Gillette ad, not threatened by it.
You deserve a man who will hold other men accountable for their actions. A man who is not angered by a commercial with the message of treating women and other men right. A man who will always treat you with respect and know your worth as a human being and not as a set of body parts.
The Gillette commercial was advocating for common human decency. Being a respectful, non-violent person is not a political issue, it's a human issue.
If that threatens you then it's time to take a step back and become self-aware before considering if a men's razor commercial is the actual problem here.