"Boys will be boys..."
"I think what she's trying to say is..."
When was the last time you noticed some subtle sexism weeding its way into a conversation? Toxic masculinity, in language, culture, politics, society, anywhere, is a massive problem, and one that has only started to be addressed by massive movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp recently.
But while these movements are largely centred around women, the problem of how toxic masculinity affects (and can be prevented by) men is an issue that is still unresolved.
The Best Men Can Be
Gillette has taken a step to address that. The men's shaving brand, well-known for its tagline "The Best a Man Can Get", has made waves online with the release of its new advertisement, in which it deals with bullying, sexual harassment and gender roles. It also implores men to take responsibility for their, and other men's, actions.
With a whole new tagline, reading "The Best Men Can Be", the ad shows a variety of different situations in which toxic masculinity rears its head; whether it's a father's response of "boys will be boys" when his son is in a fight; or a chorus of laughter at a sexist joke on a TV show.
Related: Stop talking about the definition of toxic masculinity
and start tackling the problem
The ad then goes on to show how men can, in the words of Terry Crews, "hold other men accountable" — calling out sexism when they see it, correcting friends' problematic behaviour and stepping in to defend others against injustice.
In such a time of change, where men and women are unsure of how to handle difficult situations like these, Gillette makes the important point that setting a good example is not just important for now; it's important for future generations too.
Not everyone is pleased
The men's brand is one of the first to make a stand in their advertising against sexism and toxic masculinity, but it hasn't been well received by everyone. Many social media users made crude jokes in response to the ad, and many Twitter users accused the brand of 'pandering' to the media, and of 'virtue signalling'.
However, many others were huge fans of Gillette's work and praised them for their brave stance.
the only ones lauding the Gillette ad work in media/advertising. everyone else sees it for what it is: a smarmy, condescending virtue signal aimed at the hardworking decent men they been price-gouging for years.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) January 15, 2019
I've used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity.
Let boys be damn boys.
Let men be damn men. https://t.co/Hm66OD5lA4
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 14, 2019
THIS is how you use your brand. THIS is how you engage with your audience. Gillette being aware of mostly having a male audience and using their influence as a global brand to make a change for the better. other companies take notes pic.twitter.com/KCdxKDLji0
— laq saw endgame (spoiler free) (@spidervesre) January 15, 2019
Thanks for this Gillette. I agree. We absolutely as men can do a better job instilling better morals and behavior overall with one another. Handing those core values down to our kids is paramount. And don’t tell me it doesn’t exist. Not all of us sure. But enough to change. https://t.co/3UVbnq2WtO
— Max Gonzalez (@GassyMexican) January 15, 2019
Watch the ad here:
— Gillette (@Gillette) January 14, 2019