Scoot: Is new Gillette ad an attack on “toxic masculinity?”

January 16, 2019 - 1:42 pm

A new ad from razor-maker Gillette asks the question: “Is this the best a man can be?” The ad is drawing praise AND criticism.

Critics of the new Gillette ad condemn the ad for a negative portrayal of men and for a sinister interpretation of the saying, “boys will be boys.”

The New American, a conservative magazine, criticized the ad because it reflects “many false suppositions” and further states - “Men are the wilder sex, which accounts for their dangerousness, but also their dynamism.”

The new ad from Gillette is an attack on “toxic masculinity” and is no doubt inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Immediately following the release of the new ad there was reaction from around the world. British journalist and host of “Good Morning Britain,” Piers Morgan sent out this tweet:

Andrew P Street, an Australian journalist tweeted this:

Behavioral scientist, Lebanese-Canadian Gad Saad had this criticism of the new Gillette ad:

And openly conservative Hollywood actor, James Woods tweeted he would now boycott Gillette:

The ad also generated praise from many who applauded Gillette taking on the issues of bullying, sexual harassment and objectifying women. The ad opens with these words: “Is this the best a man can get?” Thirty years ago, Gillette adopted the tag line, “The best a man can get.”

Here is the essential content of the Gillette ad:

Is this the best a man can be?

We can’t hide from it - it’s been going on far too long.

Making the same old excuses - “boys will be boys.”

But something finally changed and there will be no going back because we believe in the best in men.

To say the right thing, to act the right way -

Some already are - in ways big and small.

But some is not enough -

Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.

Many may argue that men are no longer allowed to me men, but that is not true. The recent exposure of widespread sexual harassment in America, particularly among mainstream media elites, is forcing us to define “masculinity” in terms that appropriately reflect modern society.

How do you define being a “man?” Is a real man defined by his sexual conquests, by the amount of hair on his chest and back, by his physique, by his hunting trophies? Is a real man defined by the man who understands that women are sex objects (unless there’s consent) or a man is not defined by his ability or position to bully someone? A man is not defined by wearing hunting attire to every social situation or by the display of testicles dangling from the bumper hitch of his pick-up truck.

The definition of a real man is a man who embraces his masculinity without feeling the need to manifest it in neanderthal fashion. A real man knows when and how to be strong - while reserving his ability to be sensitive and caring. A real man is a man whose masculinity is not threatened by his embrace of a feminine side or the feminine side of others.

A real man is a man who knows how to be a decent human being without the need to draw attention to his masculinity.

I applaud Gillette for their new ad and question whether critics are truly secure with their own masculinity.

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