I thought I would share my thoughts on the recent polarizing Gillette advertisement which addresses "toxic masculinity", for whatever it's worth. I don't plan on getting political often through my posts, but I think this is an important topic. This is my opinion, of course. Feel free to chime in below.
My initial reaction to the video was positive overall. Gillette's message, in my eyes, is not that masculinity is inherently "evil". The ad's slogan conveyed around the mid-mark of the video is as follows: "we believe in the best in men". What I glean from this is that men are capable of being men; that men have the ability to exhibit masculinity with confidence and respect towards both women and other men.
I'm reading that many men perceived this advertisement as an attack against masculinity in general, leading to comments about boycotting Gillette (a subsidiary of the conglomerate, P&G). Now, the ad may not have done a perfect job at getting its message across - it could be argued that "catcalling" was not portrayed accurately, not only men can be bullies, and that it is normal for young boys to wrestle with each other (albeit not at a BBQ around friends and family). But I think criticism like this misses the point of the overall message.
In my opinion, men should take this advertisement not as an attack against what makes them men, but as a reminder that we have the ability to embrace masculinity while treating other men and women with decency and respect.
My high school days at Loyola taught me to be a "man for others", and my father would always tell me to be a "mensch", a Yiddish term defined as "a person of honor and integrity". Let's set an example for the future generation of mensches.