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January 15 2019

Cutting Edge: Gillette Razor Company Condemns "Toxic Masculinity" in New Advertisement

by Charlotte Hays

Gillette, the razor blade company, has put out a new advertisement taking on the theme of "toxic masculinity."

Unfortunately, the heavy-handed and sanctimonius advertisement pretty much condemns masculinity in general as toxic. CBS Boston had a good description of the ad:

The digital ad starts off by reframing Gillette’s iconic slogan to – “Is this the best a man can get? Is it?” That’s followed by clips of bullying, wolf-whistling, a man grabbing a woman’s behind and a male boss being condescending toward a female employee. Then a chorus of men say “Boys will be boys” while watching two children fight.

The voiceover then says, "But something finally changed,” acknowledging the MeToo movement. The company put out this press release:

“As a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man,” Gillette said in a statement. “From today on, we pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette.”

 Does Gillette consider the countless millions of men who have bought their product over the years hopeless louts in need of moral instruction from a grooming product vendor?

Gilette is doing this at a time when men and masculinity are under attack from the elite culture.

A report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that not all guys like to be portrayed as jerks:

“The video is sad and depressing while putting ALL men in a bad light,” one Twitter user wrote. “Men aren’t just waking up to bad things that are going on. There have always been good men. Bad ones too, yes, but the same can be said about women.”

The new Gillette ad was meant to inspire positive behavior but spends too much time exposing the behavior that men have been criticized for, said Susan Cantor, chief executive of branding firm RedPeak. “Men are saying, we feel marginalized, criticized and accused rather than feeling inspired empowered and encouraged.”

I can't imagine this ad is going to make men feel less marginalized--or sell lots of razor blades.

But give it an A + for virtue signaling.





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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