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January 14, 2019
Gillette's #TheBestAManCanBe Ad Assumes Toxic Masculinity is a Real Thing
Spend all your time on Huffington Post or Vox, and you'd believe all men are "toxically masculine." As in they condone the sexual harassment of ladies, bully without end, and shrug their shoulders at anything resembling responsibility. Here to echo the sentiment that too many men are "toxically masculine" Gillette. As in the company selling razors to men.
Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It's only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. To say the right thing, to act the right way. We are taking action at http://www.thebestmencanbe.org.
The obvious point which needs to be made, as we live in truly stupid times: the message that men can be better than bullying and harassment isn't wrong per se, it's wrong in its assumption, delivery, and tone. It was wrong for Gillette to assume most men condone sexual harassment. It was wrong of Gillette to assume men just give the pass to bullying. It was wrong for Gillette to assume "toxic masculinity" is a problem which needs to be addressed by a brand best known for a hot man shaving only to have a hot lady caress his freshly shaven face. Related: Sorry, Losers! Men Can Like Hot Ladies. Ladies Can Like Successful Men.
As a lady (note that byline), I try to be cautious when discussing the male issues as to not be accused of woman-splaining. But gosh, had this video been gender swapped as is the trend these days, and a female razor company assumed I was just a bitch like Regina George from Mean Girls, who talked down to other woman, who was a catty, selfish, shallow slut, with the solution being I needed to be told off by other women for being those negative stereotypes, I might be a tweensy bit turned off. Call me a bunny-killing psycho.
That's the problem here: the assumption of negative stereotypes as the norm, and the lecture to correct it. From a company which sells to men.
Also, masculinity isn't a problem. Masculinity is a solution. Look at this hot tweet:
Gillette is free to make whatever advertisements it likes. But if I may offer a word of advice: stick to selling positive, uplifting messages for and about men. Not sanctimonious, erroneous lectures about what knuckle-dragging cretins they are since birth. Related: Psychologist Group Says Masculinity is a Problem for Men and Boys. Wrong.
It would be terrible if Gillette's marketing firm read my open letter to men: Screw Off, Feminists: An Open Letter To Men From A Real Woman.