Does The New Gillette Commercial Go Too Far?

There is a lot of buzz right now about an advertisement by Gillette that shows men and boys doing a variety of different things – including intervening in fights between boys (just look up the video on YouTube if you haven’t seen it already).

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Some men are furious about the Gillette  advertisement and are supposedly boycotting the products. As for whether New England Patriots fans will boycott home football games at Gillette Stadium, that remains to be seen!

Being that I’m not a man, I can’t know all of what would go through a male “mind” watching this commercial. My husband, who is a fairly progressive sort of guy, said he didn’t really mind the commercial. I guess in light of the #metoo movement, I can kind of understand why some men watching this might feel like they’re being picked on and punished for the transgressions of others – even if they’ve done nothing themselves. I mean…just because Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed countless actors/actresses it doesn’t mean EVERY guy has sexually harassed women – does it? Not every guy is going to rape a woman the first chance he gets, is he?

Of course not! It’s become kind of a scary climate in terms of political correctness. Say you don’t like a particular person/ thing and you can get accused of “shaming” it.  I want to live in a world where me and other women don’t have to constantly worry about being raped or touched inappropriately (seriously is that REALLY too much to ask). Yes, there are sleazebags out there. I get it. There are sleazebags of ALL genders. Women using sex as a weapon. Men using sex for power. We are ALL human and have ugly, carnal urges even if we make our best efforts to do the “right” thing.

Maybe the Gillette ad made things a bit TOO black and white. We all have our “shades of grey.” The message I got from the ad was “Be a goody-two-shoes – or be an asshole.” Men are unique individuals first and foremost. Don’t lump them all together as a group. For the record, I don’t hate men! Which makes me unpopular in some feminist circles.

I like men to be…men in all of their complexities. Sometimes they’ll surprise you by putting gas in your car before you have to work early in the morning. Sometimes they’ll walk a mile (drunk) in the wee hours to put a cooler in the car so that raccoons can’t get into it.  Sometimes they’ll belch inappropriately. Maybe they punched a hole in the wall in a couple of apartments way back when out of anger.  Sometimes they’ll blurt out, “Check out those tits.” Men aren’t perfect – and neither are women – and neither are the people responsible for making that Gillette advertisement! I may not want to be raped or touched inappropriately, but I still want men to have personalities and be who they are –  not act the way the “PC Police” say they should act!  Crossing a line is still crossing a line, of course – and there is a time and place for everything. And it works both ways. I know I say and do PLENTY of inappropriate things! Such as a few years ago when someone asked how my husband had injured his hand. Here was my answer…

Fisting your mom.

What if an advertisement used the same tactic with women? Sent the message that’s it’s not OK for women to not be catty to other women, talk behind other women’s backs and climb the corporate ladder by f—ing the “right” people. Yes…women have used sex as a weapon, too! Women are NOT always victims and can be just as predatory – if not more so – than men when they set their sights on particular things.  I remember working in a temp capacity about 15 years ago or so and jokingly asked a colleague:

Whose dick do I have to suck to get a permanent job around here?

And that colleague said to me in response:

Careful who hears you say that – they just might give you an answer.

As for the Gillette ad, I didn’t have any serious problems with it –  but I can kind of see how it might rub some guys the wrong way. Which brings me to this old ad campaign slogan from the 1990s that REALLY infuriated and offended me – and was directed exclusively at women:

Have a happy period.

And I’m just going to leave this here!

 

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