Jan 16, 2019 16:46:34

Gillette and Toxic Masculinity

by @davidneuman | 304 words | 🐣 | 45💌

David Neuman

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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.

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    @davidneuman well said. I like your last para - being a person for others, with honor and integrity. I found it strange that men see this ad as an attack on masculinity in general. I wonder...Perhaps it feels like an attack to some men because they saw their behaviour mirrored in the ad?

    Jason Leow avatar Jason Leow | Jan 21, 2019 13:55:15
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    @davidneuman
    #VirtueSignaling & #SJW by a global conglomerate cheap trick.

    They want to help women? Charge the same price for lady's razors as the mans.

    Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Jan 17, 2019 15:07:00
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    @davidneuman Well stated David. Gillette is just the latest of a number of brands looking to connect with their audience at a more personal level by taking a stance on a polarizing issue. I agree the execution here may not have been exact, but they were bound to receive criticism regardless, simply by addressing the topic. I commend them for stating what they believe to the best of their ability. Now, will they sell more or less razors because of it?

    Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Jan 16, 2019 18:22:39
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      @jeffriddall Great points, Jeff. Companies take a risk by putting their view out there. We'll have to see how this campaign plays out for their bottom line!

      David Neuman avatar David Neuman | Jan 16, 2019 19:31:37
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      @davidneuman Yes, companies are taking a risk, but they're also trying to be more human and build an audience of consumers who "believe the things we believe."

      Jeff Riddall avatar Jeff Riddall | Jan 16, 2019 21:13:53
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