You know that Gillette commercial you’ve been hearing about?
The one that your old-fashioned uncle probably shared on Facebook with a comment that was probably something like, “This generation is too soft! I was punched repeatedly in the face as a kid, and I turned out fine!”
Well, that commercial was about more than just razors. Chances are, it’s about more than whatever your sexist uncle said it is.
It’s becoming common for brands to endorse certain messages these days, and it’s still more common for people to riot over it. But let’s actually take a look at what Gillette was saying.
The message, my friends, was quite clearly stated at the end of the video: “It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best.” But, do more of what?
Throughout the video we see a number of things happen. Young boys being bullied. Sexist sitcom jokes. The patronizing of women in the workplace.
Gillettes recognizes that it’s easy, and even traditional for men to adopt and condone this behavior. But really, isn’t it time to change? Time to stop oppressing women? Time to let your young boys cry? Time to teach children that violence isn’t the answer?
Men have consistently been proven to be more aggressive and violent than women. If we as a society can stop this, isn’t it our responsibility to do it for both the safety of men and women?
Personally, I think this commercial is brilliant. It forces men to take a look at the impacts of their actions. One of my favorite parts is the “boys will be boys” message, which has been used time and time again as an excuse for boys’ inappropriate behavior. We need to raise boys and girls the same way.
We need to combat toxic masculinity.
Here’s where a lot of the “protests” about this video come in. Some people watched this video and thought, “How dare Gillette tell me that being a man is evil! To hell with them!”
If calling for people to be decent human being is somehow “evil,” we have a lot more work to do as a society.
Gillette is not saying that being masculine is bad or evil. Gillette is recognizing an all-to-common culture among men.
Being masculine is cool, sure. So is being not masculine. So is being anything in between. But what’s not cool is being an asshole and mistreating women.
Watch the video a second time.
If you still take issue with the message, you’re part of the problem.