Someone in the Proctor & Gamble corporate boardroom apparently decided that their long-running slogan – Gillette: The Best a Man Can Get – was either a problematic, misogynist anachronism in the age of #MeToo or a perfect springboard to show the world how WOKE they are to the demands of intersectional feminism. Or perhaps some combination of both. Whatever the reasoning was, it inspired them to come out with a new commercial “short movie” in which Gillette challenges men to be “better.”
The 90-second movie currently has 60,000 likes on YouTube.
That would be a hell of an achievement, except for the fact that it also has 320,000 dislikes, making it one of the most hated videos on YouTube since the website’s own “Rewind” video last year.
In the video, men and boys are shown making cracks about women on sitcoms, bullying their classmates, sexually harassing passers-by, and treating all of the above with a shrug and a “Boys will be boys” chant. Meanwhile, news clips sharing stories from the #MeToo era play in the background, letting us know that something has gone terribly, awfully awry in modern society…and that it’s the responsibility of men to fix what’s wrong with themselves.
Presumably, this is not done (solely) by purchasing Gillette razors, but by breaking up fights in the backyard between kids, urging our friends not to wolf-whistle at girls as they walk by, and looking lovingly and solemnly into the eyes of our young, impressionable children.
“Some are already doing this,” the narrator tells us. “But some is not enough, because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
Mmm, powerful stuff.
“This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own,” Gillette’s Pankaj Bhalla told The Wall Street Journal. “We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our ‘best’ together.”
So, do high school girls never bully each other?
Do women never dismiss the opinions of a man in the workplace?
Has a woman never sexually harassed a man?
If Gillette had taken this idea a step further and used their platform to CELEBRATE heroic men who are fighting wars, policing our streets, running successful companies, and making a real difference in the world, it would have had an impact a thousand times greater. You don’t lift people up by tearing them down. You don’t inspire men to be better by telling them how badly they’re failing. You spotlight the good guys and you leave it at that. Those who will be inspired will be inspired, and the rest, well, they may be beyond help. But that’s not a problem with MEN or MASCULINITY, that’s a problem with human nature. A problem Proctor & Gamble is unlikely to solve with a commercial.
Instead, they went for the low-hanging fruit by pandering to the feminist left. We suppose they’ll get some kind of award from NOW for their bravery, but we don’t imagine they’ll be increasing their razor sales.