If the Gillette commercial offended you, check yourself
January 23, 2019
The razor company Gillette recently put out a controversial commercial that tackled various aspects of toxic masculinity, such as sexual harassment and violence at a young age. This, unsurprisingly garnered a lot of heat from many people and calls for boycotts of Gillette and their parent company, Procter and Gamble. But my biggest question about the backlash is this: If you are such a “good man”, then why did this offend you?
The commercial had different scenes that all had one thing in common, which was males were doing negative activities that have just been overlooked for a long time. Whether it be a boss getting handsy with a female associate in the workplace, or fathers allowing their sons to get into brawls because “boys will be boys”, everything addressed showed ways that men are not acting in ways that are beneficial for society as a whole, and are actually partaking in potentially harmful activities for both males and females.
The message of the commercial is that men can do better, not that all men are scumbags or that all men are toxic. Nobody is perfect, everyone can do better no matter if they are male or female. Even if a man does not harass women and teaches his sons to be respectful to others, that does not mean that they do not have room to grow. Maybe that growth can come in calling out men who are being toxic in situations that they normally look the other way in. Or maybe they can speak out against the toxic masculinity that happens elsewhere. Everyone has a great deal to improve upon, and if you do not think so, you are lying to yourself.
The backlash from this commercial was mainly from men who were offended at the company calling out toxic masculinity that is present in society. Many said they would boycott the company and start using other companies’ products, like Dollar Shave Club. I do not understand how someone could take offense to this commercial unless they were guilty in participating in some of the events that the commercial focused on. These men probably felt shame or anger and they felt called out, and lashed out in a negative way in order to hide from the fact that they have a lot to work on as a man.
All in all, I felt that the Gillette commercial had a powerful and relevant message behind it and delivered in the perfect way. It got the people talking and got all eyes on them. The people who took offense to the message, particularly the men, are part of the problem that the commercial was addressing. It is up to men to decide if they want to be better, or continue being a problem.
Jack Kirk is a senior at Robinson and the Sports Editor for the Knight Writers and RHSToday. He is a sports junkie, music lover and chicken tender expert....