A new Gillette ad titled "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be" has been taking the internet by storm because apparently, it is controversial to say that men should want to constantly improve themselves and become better people. The ad touches on how men should hold each other accountable to prevent issues like sexual assault, mansplaining, and bullying. Men too often shrug their shoulders and allow their male family, friends, colleagues and so on to be violent and sexist because "boys will be boys." This phrase is repeated multiple times in the ad as a way to emphasize how ridiculous it truly sounds because toxic masculinity should not be accepted. Boys should be taught how to be compassionate and respectful, not abusive.
These all sound like wonderful things to be broadcasting to the public, right? No one would say it is offensive to tell men to do better...right? Unfortunately, this is not the case. The majority of the men that have watched the Gillette ad refuse to believe that toxic masculinity is real and believe instead that the ad is promoting "toxic liberalism."
The overwhelming response to the ad has been that Gillette is trying to shame men for being strong and that they should instead make themselves weak and docile. These men are only proving how real toxic masculinity is because instead of reflecting on how their own actions could be oppressing women and putting them in danger, they dig their heels in and refuse to stop being "real men." If being a real man means having no regard for anyone but yourself and using brute force to overpower others, then you should not want to be a real man in the first place. Toxic masculinity is instilled in men from the moment they are born and I think it is amazing that Gillette is trying to show men how much of a difference they can make by teaching their sons that they are not entitled to women's bodies and that there is nothing wrong with being sensitive.
The real reason why so many men are getting defensive after watching this ad is that they know that they contribute to toxic masculinity but they do not care because it would require them to put forth the effort to unlearn their entitlement. They want to be able to comfortably continue taking advantage of women and expressing themselves through unhealthy aggression. It should concern everyone that there are hundreds of thousands of men furious at an ad for telling them to hold each other accountable. How is it offensive to be told to stand up for women's rights? How is it offensive to be told to communicate without violence? These are all positive actions, yet men are acting as if Gillette told them to cut off their hands and feet for the sake of feminism.
I have seen men claiming that they were offended by Gillette's ad because it labels every single man as a rapist. Listen closely, because this has already been repeated many times by many individuals: if you are not a rapist, then you should not feel targeted. The reality is that there are a significant amount of men that rape women and this issue is not going to be ignored in order to spare the feelings of the men that are not rapists. Frankly, if you feel that upset over awareness being brought to the fact that toxic masculinity makes men feel justified in raping women, then you are most likely a toxic male that has raped a woman. You have a guilty conscience and you want the topic to be avoided so you do not have to face the repercussions of your actions.
I do not want to hear the "not all men" argument come out of the mouth of a single person ever again. We all know not all men are rapists, but there are too many of you that are. Fighting back against toxic masculinity and demanding accountability from men is a good start for making the world a safer place for everyone and I am glad that Gillette decided to use their platform to spread this message.