Men Are Mad that Gillette Wants Men to Be Less Terrible

Gillette

Are men OK?

Razor brand Gillette is facing a swell of online backlash after it … *checks notes* … asked men to help end sexual harassment, not bully LGBTQ+ people, and generally be decent. On Monday, the shaving brand released an ad titled “We Believe,” which showed boys just being boys:  bullying a “sissy,” fighting each other, mansplaining, and laughing at casual sexual harassment.

According to Gillette, the ad marks the beginning of a campaign called “The Best a Man Can Get,” which will focus on respect, accountability and role modeling. Gillette launched the campaign after conducting a study of 1,188 U.S. adults about what it means for a man to be “at his best.” The results emphasized “soft” skills like honesty, moral integrity and respect.  

And that’s what the ad shows. By the end, the ad asks men to step up and break the cycle of toxic masculine behavior by intervening in instances where young boys learn behavior that would otherwise end up leading them to be terrible adults.

And all this softness just did not sit right with some men out there, who like their beers cold and their weaklings bullied. After the company tweeted out the ad on Monday afternoon, it received significant backlash, especially from conservatives who claim there’s a “war on men” happening around us that, like a dog whistle, the rest of us can’t see or hear.

Leading the testosterone crusade is Piers Morgan, a man for whom imagining a world without sexual harassment or bullying is a bridge too far. After the ad debuted, Morgan wrote on Twitter:

“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,” he wrote. “Let boys be damn boys. Let men be damn men.”

Since it was posted Monday, Morgan has either tweeted or retweeted about the ad 30 times(!). You can go through and read his laundry list of red herring and slippery slope arguments on his Twitter, but you could also love and cherish yourself.

Conservative author Mark Dice also joined the fray, with a series of satiric posts criticizing the company for not prominently featuring transgender and gender nonconforming people.

“Notice there were no transgender men!!???,” he wrote. “Way to support trans-ERASURE, and  CONTINUE to perpetuate the hegemony of the cis-gender hetero-normative WHITE PRIVILEGE PATRIARCHY THAT IS DESTROYING OUR ENTIRE PLANET!!!!!!!!!!  SHAME!!!! YOU'RE NOT AS WOKE AS YOU THINK YOU ARE!!!!”

 

The ad has also been horribly ratioed on YouTube, with over 314,000 dislikes as opposed to about 67,000 likes.

Other companies have joined the pile-on, either directly or with a cheekier approach.

Hip millennial online grooming retailer Dollar Shave Club tweeted, “Welcome to the club” yesterday as the online chatter ensued.

Who knew that an ad asking men to be good would bring out such bad behavior?

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