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January 19, 2019

Gillette’s “Toxic Masculinity Ad” Exposes Nicks in the Fabric of our Society.

 

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A new ad by razor manufacturer Gillette bashing toxic masculinity has some viewers cheering and others vowing to boycott the company’s products.

The “We Believe” ad begins with a twist on Gillette’s famous tagline, “The best a man can get.”

A narrator asks, “Is this the best a man can get?” as scenes of sexual harassment, cyber-bullying, and workplace inequality unfold.

“We can’t hide from it. It’s been going on far too long,” the narrator says. “We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.” The viewer watches as a line of men stand outside grilling, arms folded, chanting, “Boys will be boys” in unison.

“But something finally changed,” the narrator continues as the ad displays news coverage of the #MeToo movement. “And there will be no going back. Because we—we believe in the best in men. To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are,” he says as we watch men interrupt sexual harassment and bullying. Another man holds his female toddler up, teaching her to say, “I am strong.”

But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow,” the ad ends with a series of close-ups of boys’ faces.

While many have spoken out to praise the ad, the reception has been controversial.

The ad, which has garnered more than 21 million views on YouTube, currently has more than one million dislikes—twice as many as its likes.

Some outraged viewers are threatening to boycott Gillette’s products.

Others are seizing the opportunity to point out long-standing gender inequalities:

With many men coming forward to provide guidance, such as:

And, as always, the controversy has inspired humor on social media:

and this gem:

What do you think after watching the ad?

A positive sign of the times and a critique of the patriarchy, rather than men as a whole? Or condescending?

We welcome your mindful comments below.

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author: Lynn Shattuck

Image: Gillette / Facebook

Image: Elephant Journal on Instagram

Editor: Julie Balsiger