As if social media, news pundits and pussy-hat protesters weren’t bad enough, you now get to take high-handed moral advice from….your razorblade company?
Gillette – you know, the shaving company that used to be about…well, shaving? – is taking a page right out of the left’s playbook and launching a piggybacked #MeToo campaign against “toxic masculinity,” seeking to capitalize on the Millennial/Generation Airhead trend of man-hating to sell more face lotion.
Gillette is embracing the #MeToo movement in a new digital ad campaign aimed at men, the latest message from an advertiser attempting to change societal norms.
The ad, dubbed “We Believe,” opens with audio of news about the current #MeToo movement, bullying and “toxic masculinity.” A narrator then goes on to dispute the notion that “boys will be boys,” asking, “Is this the best a man can get? Is it? We can’t hide from it. It has been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.”
The ad includes footage of little boys being told not to roughhouse, inter-spliced with clips of men cat-calling women on the street or talking over women in a board meeting, all ostensibly to convince men to be "better."
So here's a quick note from this woman, in response to this shaving cream ad-that-wasn't: Give. Me. A. Break.
Let me boil this down to its very simplest degree: Owned by Proctor & Gamble, Gillette’s a razor blade brand. They make shaving apparatuses. In fact, the only time I’ve ever thought about Gillette for more than about three seconds at a time is when I’m standing in the toiletries aisle trying to remember if my husband uses the foam kind of shaving cream or the gel. I’ve never once stopped and considered, “Gee, WWGD?” when making moral choices.
And by the way, as a woman, I definitely don’t look to a razor blade company to convince men not to harass me, much less assault me. I have Smith & Wesson for that.
In fact, this isn’t even about the absolutely ridiculous notion that masculinity is somehow “toxic.” That idea’s been debunked more times than the gender wage gap. On the contrary, it’s provably the blatant lack of masculinity, the lack of strong men raising strong boys to be strong leaders, that has largely contributed to a society rife with broken families, economic collapse and moral poverty.
But I digress. That’s not the point here. The point is that I, nor anyone else, need a toiletries supply company instructing us on Feminism 101. Just like I don’t need Enterprise Rent-a-Car lecturing me on the evils of gun ownership, or Nike informing me that actually, I should appreciate when someone disrespects the National Anthem. You guys rent minivans and make running shoes, not ethics standards.
And, while it’s unlikely that a company striking a moral stance on some social issue would ever be even marginally palatable, perhaps the most unappealing aspect of the entire charade is that it’s so obviously being done for profits. Gillette has nothing to gain from the betterment of men, assuming that “toxic masculinity” were some generally accepted social Boogeyman worth defeating. Both men who harass women and men who don't buy razorblades. As a company, they have nothing to gain from the difference.
They do, however, have an awful lot to gain from appealing to socially progressive Millennials who’ve come to see empty virtue-signaling as tantamount to George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware. And it's the overtly obvious pandering for dollars under the guise of moral righteousness that is perhaps the most odious part of this whole nonsensical farce, fueling a society that is far more concerned with appearing to be right than actually being right.
But they also have quite a bit to lose – as have other companies that decided to wade into the murky waters of social activism.
In fact, as of this writing, the Gillette ad has wracked up only about 2,700 "thumbs up" compared to a stunning 18,000 "thumbs down," and climbing.
This is a trend we've seen before. Dick’s Sporting Goods took a major hit in sales after the company decided to ban certain sporting rifles from their shelves. Pepsi struggled for nine months after airing an ad featuring Kendall Jenner handing a soda to a Black Lives Matter protester. And while Nike stock didn’t take a permanent hit, their investors were reportedly pretty pissed when the sporting goods company decided to plop unsigned quarterback-turned-political protester Colin Kaepernick front-and-center as their latest spokesperson in a clear effort to capitalize on anti-Trump sentiment.
A word to the wise over at Gillette – it’s pretty clear that masculinity isn’t toxic, but taking a stance on highly charged social issues sure seems to be. Stick to out-shaving Barbasol, and leave the activism to the picketers.