I can’t believe I had to lift my knuckles off the floor to sit in front of a laptop, so I can write this. If you haven’t seen the ad yet watch it here and when done read the rest of the verbal diarrhoea I am about to have on the subject of the Gillette ad and “toxic masculinity”:
Can we all address the biggest elephant in the room regarding this ad? You know the one where a multinational company whose net-worth is billions of dollars is preaching morality to a certain section of the population not to mention their own customers. You know the company Procter & Gamble who owns the brand, who have infamously tested their products on thousands of animals, polluted the Fenholloway River with up to 50 million gallons of wastewater. Not to mention supporting brutal and repressive regimes, not even mentioning their habit of corporate censorship, poor working conditions, mistreatment of employees the list goes on and on! –Source–
There is a delicious irony when a company tries to preach morals its consumer base while being one of the industry’s worst offenders, even more, ironic when people jump to Gillette’s defence. But hey mindless consumerism is the best type of consumerism right guys? But as the saying goes: “See no evil hear no evil speak no evil.” The second annoying the about this ad is how they divide men into two categories. The toxic men and the complicit men, basically collectivizing men as a group. There is no room for the idea that most men, in general, are decent people who try and do the right thing on a daily basis. This ad employs what we call the “apex fallacy” they are using the small percentage of the very worst of men and using that as a representation of men as a whole.
People like myself are sick of corporations co-opting sensitive issues in order to sell products, and let us be all honest here for a second. They don’t give a flying fuck about social issues, they are here to sell you a product and make money. This was an ad designed to go viral by insulting masculinity for the purpose of selling more razors. And it worked. Gillette is supposed to appeal to a demographic, not throw them all under a bus and label them something they aren’t. Let me break it down even further as to why people reacted negatively towards the ad. A company that sells shaving products making a moral ad about something most men already know is beyond stupid and assumes men don’t know how to be decent human beings.
Imagine a Tampax ad telling women to “be better” and showed a bunch of instances of women screaming at their husbands and boyfriends mistreating them and using their period as an excuse, would that ad make it out the door? Most likely not! Then there is the term “toxic masculinity” being thrown around by people discussing the ad. I would like to know what aspects of masculinity are explicitly not toxic because the concept of “toxic masculinity” is becoming increasingly unclear. Having said that if a man isn’t sensitive and emotional and docile he is automatically accused of perpetuating toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is a phrase invented modern-day feminism to castigate and criticize men. I will only say this once: Masculinity isn’t a toxic trait it is admirable.
[Editorial Note:] Here is an idea for you, Gillette. If we want our young boys and men to do better, we need to stop discriminating against them and teach them to value their masculinity instead of treating it as something they need to be ashamed of.