A Feminist’s Opinion on the Gillette #TheBestMenCanBe Commercial

The new commercial released by Gillette for the #TheBestMenCanBe campaign has caused major controversy in just a short period of time. Debate over whether it belittles a man’s disposition, encourages respectful behavior, and/or stimulates war on toxic masculinity was one that many twitter users took to heart after the video’s release. Many people, including celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Piers Morgan, seemed to have a strong opinion on the entirety of the campaign and have publicly voiced their support or disapproval of Gillette. You can probably already guess who did what.

 

And, if you have not yet seen the commercial, please take a look.

 

I, a feminist and strong believer in holding men accountable for their actions, have my own opinion on the commercial, which continues to grow stronger after each viewing.

 

The commercial itself contains b-roll of diverse men, women in everyday life, news updates of sexual assault allegations, remarks on the #metoo movement, sexist television scenes from decades ago, and even a comment by actor, activist, and former NFL player Terry Crews. His firm statement, “Men need to hold other men accountable” is one that aligns with the purpose of the campaign; excusing rough, discourteous actions with the justification that “boys will be boys” is what leads to continuous sexism and unwanted sexual attention.

 

The audio message superimposed with the b-roll coincides with Crews’ statement. Men need to act like men and build one another up to be their best selves: to be men who respect women, men who stand up for what is right, men who stop other men from contributing to the shame & blame culture we live in today, and men who are role models for their young boys, who will become the men of our future.  

 

In my opinion, the commercial does just that. It creates a solution for a problem in today’s society, and one that doesn’t victim blame. Displaying what panties a woman wore while being assaulted does not solve the problem we are facing. Nor does it promote respectful behavior, by men or women. Ironically, some men can’t handle being blamed for their actions so they instead place blame on others. Hypocritical, yes, but unfortunately the world in which we live.

 

That doesn’t mean it has to be like this forever, though.

 

We need not figure out why a woman was assaulted, but why the man who assaulted her did it.

 

And to do that, the attention needs to be turned to men. Gillette understood this. Gillette did this more beautifully than I, or any other feminist, could have hoped for. The attention was not malicious nor did it create a negative image of masculinity. Instead, it was accomplished in a positive light, showcasing a true man’s potential for growth and maturity.

 

And if a boy still fears backlash from acting graciously, the commercial inspires him to neglect the title of toxic masculinity and accept one that is far more noble. Behaving like the idolized men in the commercial does not make you any less of a man. In fact, it makes you the best man you can be.

 

Thank you, Gillette for motivating a new generation of young boys to become admirable men. And, more importantly, thank you for addressing what needs to be talked about and shaping our future by doing so, allowing a new generation of young girls to feel less fear and more hope wherever their path leads.