Gillette ad backlash proves reality of toxic masculinity

Men should use commercial as example to help better themselves


Kate Schneider

Gillette’s latest ad calls out men for bullying, sexual harassment and other displays of toxic masculinity. All it asks is for men to be decent human beings and prevent the next generation from making the same mistakes. Men who reject the message of the ad are the same ones who continue to perpetuate those actions associated with toxic masculinity.

After dismissing decades of poor behavior with the excuse of “boys will be boys,” Gillette has called out those turning a blind eye to men’s inappropriate behavior. Everyone should be collectively celebrating any company, especially one as large as Gillette, that stands up for the improved treatment of not just women but everyone.

Disappointingly, the majority of reactions were resentful towards Gillette and denied many of their accusations. Certain men are calling out Gillette on Twitter for trying to get rid of their masculinity. The ad is by no means telling men to stop being men; it simply tells them to respect and not take advantage of others. Those saying catcalling, mansplaining and bullying are normal and acceptable behaviors to teach their sons just further prove how badly our society needs a reminder of what basic human decency is.

Journalist Piers Morgan wrote a scathing article on the advertisement, accusing Gillette of calling all men monsters and rapists. According to Morgan, Gillette believes, “Men, ALL men, are bad, shameful people who need to be directed in how to be better people.” If Morgan and other men see trying to improve societal norms as attacking masculinity, then they need to take a step back and look at themselves in a different light. These men, who are unable to see their own faults, are the exact reason why this commercial was needed in the first place.

Even those who do not fit these descriptions of toxic masculinity feel called out by Gillette’s advertisement. They use the “not all men” argument to explain why the ad is unfair and stereotypes all men as horrible people. While these individuals have done nothing to earn any hate for their actions, they also should not be celebrated and praised for simply being an average and decent human being.

Men are vowing to never use Gillette razors again, in light of the new commercial. This raises questions about these individuals’ morals and values. Some men may be feeling angry because their toxic actions are displayed in this commercial. They should take it as an opportunity to see their wrongs and improve their behavior. They should help the next generation of boys learn from their mistakes and to understand how to value the lives of those around them.

Men must take responsibility for their actions and cannot dismiss toxic behavior as part of being a man any longer. It is about time someone stood up for what is right and helped those who cannot speak up for themselves. The outrage and backlash from men about the Gillette advertisement shows how real toxic masculinity is in our society and why we need to fix it now. Gillette’s advertisement should inspire us all to be the best that we can be and teach the next generation how to value the lives and feeling of others around them.