Common Dreams, January 15. 2019
"I was expecting something controversial. But this ad basically says, 'Don't be a jerk. Don't raise a jerk. Call out other men being for jerks.'" —Mikel Jollett
With men's rights activists attacking the shaving accessories company Gillette for its new ad campaign pledging to promote positive images of masculinity in its future advertisements and work to combat bullying and sexual harassment, a number of observers on Tuesday noted that the company must be doing something right.
Gillette, which is owned by the multinational corporation Procter & Gamble, released a two-minute ad on Monday challenging their own longtime tagline, "The Best a Man Can Get."
Showing a boy being bullied, men sexually harassing women, a man condescending to his female colleague in a meeting, and a group of men helplessly repeating the familiar phrase, "Boys will be boys," the company asked its audience, "Is this the best a man can get?"
"The subliminal message is clear," in the ad, wrote Morgan at the Daily Mail. "Men, ALL men, are bad, shameful people who need to be directed in how to be better people."
In fact, the ad shares a positive view of how men are capable of acting respectfully, while the company accepts responsibility for its own role in promoting images of toxic forms of masculinity in decades past.
In light of the #MeToo movement and the current political moment, the narrator says, now, "We believe in the best in men. To say the right things, to act the right way."
"Some already are in ways big and small," the ad continues, showing a man protecting a boy who's being bullied and another man pulling two children away from each other during a physical fight. "But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men tomorrow."
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