This Comment On Gillette's Controversial New Ad Reveals Why Men Don't Understand Masculinity

"It's not an attack on our masculinity; it's an opportunity to use it."

It’s been less than three days since Gillette launched an advertising campaign encouraging “positive masculinity.”

The two minute video already has 6,421,072 views, and features news clips of reporting on the #MeToo movement, as well as sexist film scenes, an awkward boardroom interaction and boys fighting, with a voice over saying: “Bullying, the MeToo movement against sexual harassment, toxic masculinity, is this the best a man can get?” In response, they have been bombarded with both praise and abuse.

Those that like the video argue that it is possible to have a positive impact on society at the same time as making money (see Duncan Fisher, head of policy and innovation for the Family Initiative’s comment: “Obviously this is an advert created by an agency to sell razors but it represents an attempt to change the dialogue”). Others, however, disagree not just with the company cashing in on the movement, but the message itself, saying that it is wrong to broadly condemn hyper masculinity.

This idea has been repeated underneath the video across all of Gillette’s social media platforms. From Instagram; “MaScULinItY iS BaD “……say that to the men who stormed the beaches on D-Day and beat that nazis ….without masculine men , weak people like you would have became lamp shades and paper weights,” to Youtube; “There is no ‘TOXIC MASCULINITY!’ Only TOXIC brands,” the add seems to have upset a lot of men.

However, as one insightful Twitter comment points out, they are missing the point.

As Mr Thompson points out, getting rid of sexual harassment and bullying does not equate to getting rid of hyper masculinity; it means channelling it in a more positive way. Much like the aggrieved Youtube commenters’ heroes saw something wrong with the world and channelled their energy into fighting it, the add—if you actually watch it—encourages us all to do the same.

“This commercial isn’t anti-male. It’s pro-humanity,” wrote Bernice King, daughter of the late civil rights legend Martin Luther King. “And it demonstrates that character can step up to change conditions.”

As reported by The Guardian, Duncan Fisher, head of policy and innovation for the Family Initiative, also welcomed Gillette’s revolutionary shift: “There are a lot of men who want to stand up for a different type of masculinity, but for many there has not been a way for men to express that, we just need to give them a voice.”

Others took a different tack, calling out those criticising the add in typical Twitter style…

Gillette themselves also chimed in, claiming the add was no hollow gesture:

But switched on commenters pointed out that, if all goes to plan, the add could make them more money than they donate.

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