If you click the link below, you’ll find the new advert (that’s, commercial, for my readers in the USA and Canada) from Gillette. Supposedly, it’s controversial.
According to some negative feedback, it’s “emasculating men” and “insulting” to men’s rights and labels all men as being terrible people…. hmm. Really?
Watching it, I see images from the past adverts as well as attitudes that are now outdated. The advert recognises what men were thought to be, in fact Gillette even uses some of its old marketing, which for the time, was geared in that direction. And that’s just it, we’re talking about the depiction of what “masculinity” and “being a man” was seen to be in another time.
What the advert does is challenge those preconceptions and asks us men-folk “Is this the best we can be?” In the present, we have children committing suicide because of bullying, we have women angry at being treated as second-class citizens as well as other women scared of being abused (by no means am I saying women are weak, I’m trying to say they’ve had enough and are fighting back at those who deserve to be fought), and of course, dickhead behaviour seems to be on the increase by just about everyone.
For anyone who has followed me for a while, you will know I have written about masculinity before, I have even given an on going talk on the Masculine Principle in Paganism, I say on going because it’s a talk that constantly evolves, but my conclusion, so far, is the same….. read them and find out. 😉 nb: those articles are old now and I need to retouch them from the last time I did the talk in 2018.
Personally, I found the Gillette advert inspiring and uplifting. As a gentleman myself, I have always believed that everyone should do better. I loved the message behind it: by being better, we can inspire others, in inspiring others, we can inspire the next generation, in inspiring the next generation, we can make the world a better place. At no point did I feel the advert was saying all men were the supposed cruel, evil beings that some men are claiming the advert says….. if anything, their reaction says more about them.
The advert isn’t asking men to be anything less, it’s not about being “Woke” it’s about doing the decent thing. It’s about challenging our behaviour and attitudes and being something better. It’s not telling us to be soft or weak it’s asking us to be better. It takes strength to separate a fight, it takes courage to call somebody out and it takes bravery to stand up for someone…. this is “masculinity” at its best.
It’s not even about leaving our problems for the next generation to solve; it’s telling us to make a stand. Now. Right now. Our actions define us and people take note of them.
People are loud when it comes to shouting about “Toxic Masculinity” it’s the buzz-word of this portion of the 21st Century. Yet there’s hardly any encouragement or even any push for “Positive Masculinity”. And this advert is just that. It’s not saying “All men are asses” It’s saying there is Positive Masculinity and it should be encouraged.
As far as I’m concerned, Positive Masculinity is being the better man, it’s calling out when someone else is being a dick (about race, sex, gender, religion) it’s standing up for someone who can’t stand up for themselves, it’s doing the right thing. It’s taking responsibility for ourselves, our children and the world around us. It’s also not falling into the trap of reacting emotionally to any criticism of our gender and adopting a victim mentality.
On my FB post for New Year’s I wrote a message about everyone being more kind in the world and I seriously meant this. Even if it means doing at least one kind act everyday, those acts of kindness can be infectious. The amazing thing is that there seems to be a call going on for this and it’s world wide. This gives me hope for Humanity as a whole. And the Gillette advert, whether you like it or not, is now part of that.
It’s not just men who need to do better, it’s everyone. We all need to be better in ourselves and be better with each other. And to paraphrase one commentator on Twitter:
“If you feel ’emasculated’ because of an advert on TV, then you’re doing masculinity wrong.”
Nb: as much as I salute Gillette for their advert, I’m not a customer….. I’ve been a Harry’s Razors man since Sept 2018, when I trialled their razor and found it a better cut than my Mach 3…. soz.