Stagnant. A stagnant society is what some people seem to admire. One filled with the same excuses. With the same violence. With the same harassment. With the same inequality and sexism and bullying. With the same low standards of human decency… How unappealing does that sound? And why do some people fear positive change so much? I will never understand why people push for stagnancy when there is so much room for improvement and a better quality of living in every aspect of life.
So I ask again: Why are some people so afraid of positive change?
Gillette's new commercial has sparked a lot of unnecessary anger and by unnecessary I mean absolutely blind and ignorant contradictory anger. If you haven't seen the commercial yet I strongly advise you do, because it is incredible. The commercial is a minute and 49 seconds long and is called "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" and illustrates a better nation that stands up to violence, and bullying and condemns sexism and sexual harassment. In reality, not a single second of it is offensive or bashing, but yet it has received a lot of negative attention and a heap of mocking responses along with many customers vowing to boycott their products.
I personally applaud Gillette. I personally applaud any company that uses their platform to bring attention and awareness to movements and social justice.
The video challenges men to stray away from excuses and become held accountable for their actions. It believes there is room for improvement just as there is room for improvement in every aspect of life. The video encourages men to be better role models today, to pave the road for the generation of tomorrow.
Setting higher standards for our society, seemed to personally attack millions of people across the nation and for everyone hurt by the standards set I ask, why are you taking it so personally?
People who have a problem with the video when it encourages men to call other men out on their bullshit need to ask themselves why they're so upset over a calling for a better society.
What is offensive about calling out sexual harassment?
Why does it hurt people's feelings when Gillette says that violence is bad?
What's wrong about taking responsibility for one's actions?
Do you really want your sons to be raised as bullies?
"We expected debate," Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette's North America brand director, told CNN, although, we're not sure that boycotts from hate groups are exactly what Bhalla had in mind. Bhalla specifically says that "the ad is not about toxic masculinity. It is about men taking more action every day to set the best example for the next generation."
How did an ad that encouraged people to do better lead to men flushing their razors down the toilet and swearing to never buy their products ever again?
It seems that people are mad about the generality of the video, how it puts all men under the same umbrella and paints them all as evil, (to anyone who believes that, you are seeming to neglect the positive). What a lot of people seem to neglect is that the video does acknowledge the good in men and it is not stereotyping all men to the contorted culture. The entire second half is dedicated to men who are uplifting, role models who stand up to bullying, violence and conforming culture and are shadowed by younger boys who can mimic these actions and carry the baton of respectful human decencies to the generations following their influencers.
If you see yourself getting angry at the video. Ask yourself why. Ask yourself why you resonate with the first half and don't aspire to be like the second or (see yourself relating and being proud of resonating with the second). Ask yourself why a razor company used their platform to bring attention to the harsh reality of our messed up society because so many others are afraid of the controversy. (Props to all of the other companies who do the same as well). Ask yourself why we need to change and become a part of that movement.
Keep in mind that it is because we need change, a positive one and this video does a beautiful job at capturing all of the little things that can make a huge difference.
Otherwise, we can remain stagnant. The hair on peoples faces can continue to grow while members of our society continue to believe that the way things are our perfect, while things like sexual harassment, sexual assault, misogyny, bullying, and violence plague our society.
Gillette simply made a commercial asking men "is this is the best man can be?" If you believe the answer to the question is yes and react with anger, insult, or a mocking response the answer is a contradictory no, this version of society is not the best it can be and we have so much room for improvement.
It seems to me that the only people who are offended by it are the same ones who mock the serious messages they portray and completely invalidate the seriousness of sexual harassment and violence.
Shaping the men of tomorrow starts with the actions we take today. So men need to stop taking offense to society for calling for positive improvement.
Asking to do better in a society that can majorly approve, is not really a lot to ask at all.