Men: Women are so insensitive. Stop being such snowflakes!
Gillette: Men, we can be better.
Men: THAT’S SO INSULTING. ARE YOU GENERALIZING ALL MEN AS CONTRIBUTORS TO TOXIC MASCULINITY? I’M THE BEST I ALREADY CAN BE. BOYCOTT GILLETTE.
Gillette released a short film four days ago, and it already has racked up 19,000,000 views, 500,000 likes, and 940,000 dislikes. If you’ve been living under a rock lately and somehow haven’t seen the video or the controversial uproar about it, I’d suggest you take a look first.
Gillette’s new short film addresses topics like sexual harassment, bullying, and toxic masculinity to prompt a change in today’s society — specifically, to encourage men to “be the best they can be.”
Many people — primarily men — have expressed their outrage with the video. An overwhelming amount of reactions claim that it portrayed men as something that they are not and that Gillette placed the term “toxic masculinity” on all men.
The phrase “toxic masculinity” makes a distinction between actual masculinity and an unhealthy version of it. Targeting toxic masculinity only credits what is healthy, and this video highlights that it is an issue that has yet to be addressed — that it can start with men “challenging themselves to do more”.
So what exactly is offensive to these people promoting the boycott of Gillette? Was it the part about men groping women? The part about fighting verbal abuse? The part about dealing with bullying? Or was it the part about breaking up fights between children to discourage unhealthy aggression and fight the stigma of “boys being boys”? Please enlighten me, I’m dying to know.
These issues are all aspects that need immediate change. To sit here and say that we have no room to improve is disgusting. Sexual harassment shouldn’t be accepted. Bullying shouldn’t be tolerated. “Boys will be boys” shouldn’t be a justifiable excuse.
The ad shows how much power a man can hold over situations by intervening. Men (and women!) will often not step into toxic situations or even rationalize them. People stepping in and reaffirming that behavior like sexual harassment is not tolerable, despite the acceptance its been granted within the years prior, can significantly help reduce the stigmas placed on these issues.
We live in a society that is constantly changing, evolving and gaining new influences and promotional messages. Why is it that when ads place women into a degrading categorized groups nobody says anything but when one ad suggests that men can be better if they so choose, men freak out and can’t handle it? Was it because they didn’t even get to the most powerful moments of the video because they stopped watching after realizing they can’t find sexual harassment funny anymore? Probably.
If this ad offends you, you’re apart of the problem.