Gillette Is Not Wrong

 

Is the new Gillette razor ad a radical feminist attack on masculinity – the commercial embodiment of a woke sensibility? I was prepared to think so. But having watched it twice, I find a lot to like. The ad has been panned by some conservative commentators. With all due respect, I think they are falling into a trap. They seem to have accepted the feminist framing. Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It’s women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate “toxic masculinity.”

Understandably, this rubs conservatives the wrong way. I’ve risen to the defense of masculinity many times myself. But is the Gillette ad really “the product of mainstream radicalized feminism—and emblematic of Cultural Marxism,” as Turning Point USA’s Candace Owen put it? Is it part of “a war on masculinity in America,” as Todd Starnes argued on Fox News?

Conservatives stripping off their coats to get into this brawl are like the man who, seeing a barfight unfold, asks “Is this a private quarrel or can anyone join in?”

Let’s figure out what the fight is about before taking sides.

There were a couple of undercurrents in the Gillette ad that suggested feminist influence – the term “toxic masculinity” should itself be toxic – but overall, the ad is pretty tame, even valuable. I have no idea if it’s the best way to sell razors, but as social commentary, it’s not offensive. “The Best Men Can Be” begins by showing men looking the other way as boys fight, shrugging “boys will be boys.” It shows men laughing at a comedy portraying a lout pantomiming a lunge at a woman’s behind. It shows kids teasing a boy for being a “freak” or a “sissy.” These are followed by more uplifting images of men breaking up fights, interfering with men who are harassing women, and being loving fathers to daughters. We hear a quote from former NFL star Terry Crews, saying “Men need to hold other men accountable.” These images didn’t strike me as a reproof of masculinity per se, but rather as a critique of bullying, boorishness, and sexual misconduct.

By reflexively rushing to defend men in this context, some conservatives have run smack into an irony. Imaging themselves to be men’s champions, they are actually defending behavior, like sexual harassment and bullying, that a generation or two ago conservatives were the ones condemning. Sexual license, crude language, and retreat from personal responsibility were the hallmarks of the left. It was to epate la bourgeoisie that leftists chanted “Up against the wall, [expletive]” on college campuses. Liberals were the crowd saying “Let it all hang out,” “If it feels good, do it,” and “chaste makes waste.” Feminists were the ones eyeing daggers at men who held chairs or doors for them, and insisting that a “woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

The left won that cultural battle. Standards of conduct for both sexes went out the window. Whereas men had once been raised to behave themselves in front of women — “Watch your language, there are ladies present” – they were instead invited to believe that women deserved no special consideration at all.

As I’ve written many times, the MeToo movement may conceive of itself as a protest of “traditional masculinity,” but that’s only because memories are short. It’s actually a protest against the libertine culture the sexual revolution ushered in. Some men are behaving really badly – harassing women, bullying each other, and failing in their family responsibilities. Some women are too, though the MeToo movement doesn’t acknowledge that aspect of things. But these behaviors are not “traditional.” They’ve always existed, of course, but they went mainstream with the counterculture, which is now the culture. In any case, everyone, left and right, who values decent behavior should be able to agree that encouraging men to be non-violent, polite, and respectful is not anti-male. It’s just civilized.

Conservatives should applaud that aspect of the Gillette message. Progressives, in turn, should grapple with the overwhelming evidence that the best way to raise honorable men is with two parents. We may wish it were otherwise, but fathers — as disciplinarians, role models, and loving husbands — are key to rearing happy, healthy, and responsible sons, as well as self-confident, happy, and high-achieving daughters.

That’s the cultural reform we so badly need. Any corporate volunteers? Apple? Google?

There are 186 comments.

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  1. Skyler Coolidge

    Moderator Note:

    Completely ad-hominem attack.

    [redacted]

    • #1
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  2. Vance Richards Member

    Mona Charen: These images didn’t strike me as a reproof of masculinity per se, but rather as a critique of bullying, boorishness, and sexual misconduct.

    With the assumption that those are part of traditional masculinity and now “something finally changed.” What changed? Men didn’t always break up fights, stand up to bullies, protect women?

    Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein are perverts. Knowing that means men are bad and all of them need to change? Lots of people, including men, knew about Weinstein and did nothing about it because they put their careers ahead of doing the right thing. If just one of them had shown some real toxic masculinity they would have stood up to him and put and end to this years ago. Problem with masculinity in America today? It is not toxic enough.

    • #2
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 23 likes
  3. Vance Richards Member

    And grilling is bad now too?

    • #3
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Rodin Member

    Mona’s take isn’t much different than Ann Althouse’s take on her blog:

    The ad is full of men stopping other men from doing bad things. That’s one of the best things men do, and it’s what the ad highlights. The ad ends with shots of beautiful boys and — in the logic of the sequence of images — they are learning — from men — how to be good men.

    I had not looked at the ad until it was embedded in Ann’s post and I think Ann and Mona have a good point on content.

    But the larger question is why are corporations selling products through virtuousness? We want companies to sell to us based on the value of their product to us, not on cultural messaging. I think that was a poor decision by Gillette…and Nike…and Safeway bombarding me at the pay station with the opportunity to donate to their charity du jour

    • #4
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:46 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  5. T-Fiks Member

    Whereas Mona may have developed a lingering case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, I still welcome her role in the conservative movement. There has to be a dialectic here to help all of us define what we believe and what we don’t believe. Frankly, I think her point about mistakenly conflating boorish behavior with traditional masculinity is a good one.

    I do think she fails to fully recognize how the ad makes no distinction between the useful and destructive applications of typically masculine tendencies such as stoicism or solving problems with physicality. One could watch the ad and see it as an attack on those masculine tendencies rather than an attack on the misapplication of those tendencies.

    • #5
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Henry Racette Contributor

    My principle objection to this bit of moralizing from Gillette is its lazy “round up the usual suspects” quality. The great social problems in America, those relating to the [two] sexes, do not stem from boys letting other boys fight, or from some boys calling other boys “sissies,” or even from men making humorous grabs at women’s posteriors. The problem — the real, serious problem — is that we pretend that men and women are or should be the same.

    The very people most responsible for establishing and maintaining our broken status quo will applaud Gillette’s message. But the better message from Gillette would have been something like this:

    Men, ladies aren’t men, and you can’t go treating them like men. Treat them like ladies, with the respect and protection due weaker, more vulnerable creatures. Admire them, be gentle with them, watch your language when you’re around them, and do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to. They’ll appreciate you for it. Oh, and they’ll appreciate good grooming, too, so choose Gillette.

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    • #6
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:48 AM PDT
    • 26 likes
  7. RufusRJones Member

    T-Fiks (View Comment):
    Whereas Mona may have developed a lingering case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, I still welcome her role in the conservative movement. There has to be a dialectic here to help all of us define what we believe and what we don’t believe.

    Agree.

    • #7
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Brian Watt Member

    I don’t need Starbucks to converse with me about race. I don’t need Audi to tell me that men naturally discriminate against women and hold them back from achieving. I find it bordering on evil that Target proclaims that it’s all right if transgender men use the Ladies room meant for real women and little girls. And I don’t need Gillette to tell me that most men are misogynist pigs when they’re not. You have a razor product. Fine. Tell me what it does and let me consider purchasing it. But don’t lecture me on how toxic you feel masculinity is.

    You want to play this game? Should we anticipate that Proctor & Gamble will start airing commercials for Secret deodorant that instructs women schoolteachers that they shouldn’t be sexual predators of young boys? Where are the Pampers and Luvs ads that condemn abortion and Planned Parenthood?

    • #8
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 32 likes
  9. Drusus Coolidge

    I had the same reaction: what is exactly so offensive about this commercial? I found much to be celebrated – chivalry, positive masculine role models, channeling male violence into constructive ends – not something to be derided. The grilling thing was a little annoying, but they are just riffing off the old sitcom standby of the schlubby dad. 

    If you felt personally indicted by this commercial to the extent that you felt that it was a denunciation of all men and masculinity in general, I fear that you might actually be the snowflake. 

    And stop the Mona Charen ad hominems. It’s lazy and boring. Not to mention unjust. 

    • #9
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  10. Guruforhire Member

    Its not morally different than American Airlines (Random large international brand, I am not picking on them) inviting black people to join the Klan to learn not to steal, prominently featuring Richard Spencer.

    You can talk about the actual crime rates all you want, but at the end of the day, its still just a barf of bigoted hate. Going around saying, ya know maybe, the alt-right has a point, isn’t going to win friends and influence people.

    • #10
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Rodin Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Its not morally different than American Airlines (Random large international brand, I am not picking on them) inviting black people to join the Klan to learn not to steal, prominently featuring Richard Spencer.

    You can talk about the actual crime rates all you want, but at the end of the day, its just a barf of bigoted hate.

    Well, OK then!

    • #11
    • January 16, 2019, at 11:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Guruforhire Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Mona’s take isn’t much different than Ann Althouse’s take on her blog:

    The ad is full of men stopping other men from doing bad things. That’s one of the best things men do, and it’s what the ad highlights. The ad ends with shots of beautiful boys and — in the logic of the sequence of images — they are learning — from men — how to be good men.

    I had not looked at the ad until it was embedded in Ann’s post and I think Ann and Mona have a good point on content.

    But the larger question is why are corporations selling products through virtuousness? We want companies to sell to us based on the value of their product to us, not on cultural messaging. I think that was a poor decision by Gillette…and Nike…and Safeway bombarding me at the pay station with the opportunity to donate to their charity du jour.

    The answer to your question is that brand marketing is aligned, (i can’t find the link to the research) with the far far far left. So, they don’t know that this is offensive, and that millennial’s want political content in their marketing (this is a commonly held belief that is destroying basically every major digital media brand).

    So if you are looking at it from a business perspective, its because their lack of diversity has created a nonfunctioning information system, which leads them to be blind to the fact that pretty much nobody is in the 8% of the population being represented by their marketing departments.

    • #12
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:02 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Michael Brehm Member

    Gillette is wrong in that they got into their heads the presumption that their job was to create a better sort of man.

    That is not their job. In actuality, their only job –the sole thing that justifies the corporation’s existence– is to create sharp little bits of steel and to sell those exorbitant scraps of metal to a man regardless of his moral standing. 

    In fact, if they can manage to succeed in commerce honestly, they will be doing more to make the world a better place than a thousand of these indulgent “better men” campaigns. 

    • #13
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  14. Terry Mott Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    When I want preaching, I go to church.

    The issue for me isn’t the message, per se, it’s the self-righteousness and condescension. Why am I not surprised that Mona is a fan?

    • #14
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:10 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  15. Front Seat Cat Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My principle objection to this bit of moralizing from Gillette is its lazy “round up the usual suspects” quality. The great social problems in America, those relating to the [two] sexes, do not stem from boys letting other boys fight, or from some boys calling other boys “sissies,” or even from men making humorous grabs at women’s posteriors. The problem — the real, serious problem — is that we pretend that men and women are or should be the same.

    The very people most responsible for establishing and maintaining our broken status quo will applaud Gillette’s message. But the better message from Gillette would have been something like this:

    Men, ladies aren’t men, and you can’t go treating them like men. Treat them like ladies, with the respect and protection due weaker, more vulnerable creatures. Admire them, be gentle with them, watch your language when you’re around them, and do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to. They’ll appreciate you for it. Oh, and they’ll appreciate good grooming, too, so choose Gillette.

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    You are over-simplifying it. Men and women both, as Mona said above, are bearing the fruits of liberal policies that have taken extreme measures resulting in a new battle of the sexes. The ad is well done and doesn’t bash men. Do you realize how many men have abandoned their family duties, and would rather play video games, watch porn or skateboard like a 10 year old does – Our culture dishes out irresponsibility in music lyrics and videos, movies (how many more comic books can we use to make a movie?) – women have also been conditioned to see men as toxic – and are now ultra-sensitive. Many young people have no interest in marriage or having families – and are living at home. This post is saying there are too many knee jerk reactions on both sides, but serious problems are not being addressed. 

    • #15
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. DonG Coolidge

    OK, so we agree that men should be civilized and not Lord of Flies animals. Can we not also agree that the “men are bad” message is wrong?

    • #16
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:12 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  17. Henry Racette Contributor

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My principle objection to this bit of moralizing from Gillette is its lazy “round up the usual suspects” quality. The great social problems in America, those relating to the [two] sexes, do not stem from boys letting other boys fight, or from some boys calling other boys “sissies,” or even from men making humorous grabs at women’s posteriors. The problem — the real, serious problem — is that we pretend that men and women are or should be the same.

    The very people most responsible for establishing and maintaining our broken status quo will applaud Gillette’s message. But the better message from Gillette would have been something like this:

    Men, ladies aren’t men, and you can’t go treating them like men. Treat them like ladies, with the respect and protection due weaker, more vulnerable creatures. Admire them, be gentle with them, watch your language when you’re around them, and do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to. They’ll appreciate you for it. Oh, and they’ll appreciate good grooming, too, so choose Gillette.

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    You are over-simplifying it. Men and women both, as Mona said above, are bearing the fruits of liberal policies that have taken extreme measures resulting in a new battle of the sexes. The ad is well done and doesn’t bash men. Do you realize how many men have abandoned their family duties, and would rather play video games, watch porn or skateboard like a 10 year old does – Our culture dishes out irresponsibility in music lyrics and videos, movies (how many more comic books can we use to make a movie?) – women have also been conditioned to see men as toxic – and are now ultra-sensitive. Many young people have no interest in marriage or having families – and are living at home. This post is saying there are too many knee jerk reactions on both sides, but serious problems are not being addressed.

    Cat, I think the driving force of most of the problems you describe is the misguided idea that men don’t owe women special protection, special support, special consideration, and special respect.

    That is why so many men are willing to act in the unmanly ways you describe. That, I would argue, is behind essentially everything you condemn in your comment.

    Men will rise as high as they have to rise in order to win the prize of female companionship. That’s Male 101.

    We need to encourage women to put themselves back on pedestals.

     

    • #17
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  18. Rodin Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    We need to encourage women to put themselves back on pedestals.

    Yes. This. 

    • #18
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Brian Watt Member

    The Babylon Bee stings again:

    Gillette Now Including Free Manly Side Bag With Every Purchase.

    • #19
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  20. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    Gillette is wrong in that they got into their heads the presumption that their job was to create a better sort of man.

    That is not their job. In actuality, their only job –the sole thing that justifies the corporation’s existence– is to create sharp little bits of steel and to sell those exorbitant scraps of metal to a man regardless of his moral standing.

     

    Their job is to sell little bits of steel that are substantively identical to the bits of steel of their competitors, but at a much higher price.

    In other words, their job is to sell little bits of steel to customers who are too foolish to see through the scam.

    In other words, this sort of advertising campaign might be a perfect fit for Gillette’s customer base.

    • #20
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. George Townsend Inactive

    Drusus (View Comment):

    I had the same reaction: what is exactly so offensive about this commercial? I found much to be celebrated – chivalry, positive masculine role models, channeling male violence into constructive ends – not something to be derided. The grilling thing was a little annoying, but they are just riffing off the old sitcom standby of the schluby dad.

    If you felt personally indicted by this commercial to the extent that you felt that it was a denunciation of all men and masculinity in general, I fear that you might actually be the snowflake.

    And stop the Mona Charen ad hominems. It’s lazy and boring. Not to mention unjust.

    AMEN!!

    • #21
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Terry Mott Member

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My principle objection to this bit of moralizing from Gillette is its lazy “round up the usual suspects” quality. The great social problems in America, those relating to the [two] sexes, do not stem from boys letting other boys fight, or from some boys calling other boys “sissies,” or even from men making humorous grabs at women’s posteriors. The problem — the real, serious problem — is that we pretend that men and women are or should be the same.

    The very people most responsible for establishing and maintaining our broken status quo will applaud Gillette’s message. But the better message from Gillette would have been something like this:

    Men, ladies aren’t men, and you can’t go treating them like men. Treat them like ladies, with the respect and protection due weaker, more vulnerable creatures. Admire them, be gentle with them, watch your language when you’re around them, and do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to. They’ll appreciate you for it. Oh, and they’ll appreciate good grooming, too, so choose Gillette.

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    You are over-simplifying it. Men and women both, as Mona said above, are bearing the fruits of liberal policies that have taken extreme measures resulting in a new battle of the sexes. The ad is well done and doesn’t bash men. Do you realize how many men have abandoned their family duties, and would rather play video games, watch porn or skateboard like a 10 year old does – Our culture dishes out irresponsibility in music lyrics and videos, movies (how many more comic books can we use to make a movie?) – women have also been conditioned to see men as toxic – and are now ultra-sensitive. Many young people have no interest in marriage or having families – and are living at home. This post is saying there are too many knee jerk reactions on both sides, but serious problems are not being addressed.

    Men and women are both bearing the fruits of liberal policies, but only men are blamed for it.

    • #22
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:29 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  23. Guruforhire Member

    Misthiocracy secretly (View Comment):

    Michael Brehm (View Comment):

    Gillette is wrong in that they got into their heads the presumption that their job was to create a better sort of man.

    That is not their job. In actuality, their only job –the sole thing that justifies the corporation’s existence– is to create sharp little bits of steel and to sell those exorbitant scraps of metal to a man regardless of his moral standing.

    Their job is to sell little bits of steel that are substantively identical to the bits of steel of their competitors, but at a much higher price.

    In other words, their job is to sell little bits of steel to customers who are too foolish to see through the scam.

    In other words, this sort of advertising campaign might be a perfect fit for Gillette’s customer base.

    They did create the basis for international tax law by arguing that advertising is their principle source of value, and that the marketing department is in Switzerland so the tax man can shove it.

    If I were to create a rational basis for the commercial, I would say its because as you say they sell an undifferentiated consumer product whose sole source of value is in advertising, and that women’s razors cost more than men’s razors. So the ad is for the consumption of millennial progressive women. So attracting more women to buy higher margin products, at the expense of a lower margin more price sensitive demographic. Its a commercial targeting progressive women who want to have their prejudices flattered, so they will forget that they are pissed off at the pink tax on women’s consumer products.

    • #23
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:31 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Mitchell Morgan Thatcher

    As I’ve written many times, the MeToo movement may conceive of itself as a protest of “traditional masculinity,” 

    It does indeed conceive itself so. As do the people who made the ad and executives at Gillette who approved it and put it out there. The blatant subtext of the ad is that men are basically deplorable (to borrow Ms Clinton’s word). It’s unsurprising that Ms Charen refuses to acknowledge it and frankly it’s this kind of thinking is why a lot us are increasingly losing patience with and tuning out supposedly conservative writers who make excuses and otherwise provide cover for people who would happily put us all against the wall if they could.

    It’s actually a protest against the libertine culture the sexual revolution ushered in.

    Yeah, no. You are in an extremely tiny minority of people who interpreted the ad this way. There’s a fine line between being hopelessly naïve and deliberately obtuse, Ms Charen. Consider a similarly themed ad targeted to women: “Hey ladies! Stop being manipulative gold-diggers! Buy our shampoo!” I doubt very seriously that you would write a post defending it on the grounds that some women are indeed manipulative gold-diggers and that it’s a good thing for a shampoo company to point this out.

    Subtext matters. A LOT. The Left understands this completely and uses it to devastating effect. Many among The Right refuse to do so and it’s one of the BIG reasons why they are losing. Willful blindness is not a winning strategy.

    • #24
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 23 likes
  25. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Drusus (View Comment):

    I had the same reaction: what is exactly so offensive about this commercial? …. The grilling thing was a little annoying, but they are just riffing off the old sitcom standby of the schluby dad.

    There were two moments in the commercial that struck me as genuinely bad: 1) Having the TV list “masculinity” among “bullying” and “sexual harassment” at the beginning; and 2) Having the line of grilling dads chant “Boys will be boys.” That latter one was particularly cheap and, as Henry said, route.

    (As an honorable mention, it was ambiguous whether the boys interestingly at the BBQ were supposed to be fighting or just rough-housing; that matters).

    That said, I don’t think the commercial can be seen as an indictment of masculinity: To me, it’s (confused, ham-handed, and unsuccessful) message was that men should be better men.

    • #25
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  26. Barfly Member

    I use cheap disposable razors; they deal best with my world-class manly beard. Gillette razors are for people who still believe the superhero cartoons.

    I hope Gillette dies an ignoble corporate death. The only negative thing I can say about Wyoming is that it has a city named Gillette.

    • #26
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. Vance Richards Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):
    (As an honorable mention, it was ambiguous whether the boys interestingly at the BBQ were supposed to be fighting or just rough-housing; that matters).

    Hard to tell from that clip but good point because boys playing rough truly is boys being boys, and that’s a good thing. Whereas boys beating the crap out of someone is, obviously, bad.

    • #27
    • January 16, 2019, at 12:58 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  28. Terry Mott Member

    Terry Mott (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    My principle objection to this bit of moralizing from Gillette is its lazy “round up the usual suspects” quality. The great social problems in America, those relating to the [two] sexes, do not stem from boys letting other boys fight, or from some boys calling other boys “sissies,” or even from men making humorous grabs at women’s posteriors. The problem — the real, serious problem — is that we pretend that men and women are or should be the same.

    The very people most responsible for establishing and maintaining our broken status quo will applaud Gillette’s message. But the better message from Gillette would have been something like this:

    Men, ladies aren’t men, and you can’t go treating them like men. Treat them like ladies, with the respect and protection due weaker, more vulnerable creatures. Admire them, be gentle with them, watch your language when you’re around them, and do the heavy lifting so they don’t have to. They’ll appreciate you for it. Oh, and they’ll appreciate good grooming, too, so choose Gillette.

    That would have been a bit of preaching I could have gotten behind.

    You are over-simplifying it. Men and women both, as Mona said above, are bearing the fruits of liberal policies that have taken extreme measures resulting in a new battle of the sexes. The ad is well done and doesn’t bash men. Do you realize how many men have abandoned their family duties, and would rather play video games, watch porn or skateboard like a 10 year old does – Our culture dishes out irresponsibility in music lyrics and videos, movies (how many more comic books can we use to make a movie?) – women have also been conditioned to see men as toxic – and are now ultra-sensitive. Many young people have no interest in marriage or having families – and are living at home. This post is saying there are too many knee jerk reactions on both sides, but serious problems are not being addressed.

    Men and women are both bearing the fruits of liberal policies, but only men are blamed for it.

    Further, the liberal policies you’re decrying were largely the result of the demands of women in the ’60s and ’70s. Women need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, remember? But it’s men’s fault that they’re responding to the incentives established by women.

    Get back to me when Venus blades put out an ad encouraging chastity and modesty, and encouraging women to treat men with dignity and respect.

    • #28
    • January 16, 2019, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Terry Mott Member

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    Drusus (View Comment):

    I had the same reaction: what is exactly so offensive about this commercial? …. The grilling thing was a little annoying, but they are just riffing off the old sitcom standby of the schluby dad.

    There were two moments in the commercial that struck me as genuinely bad: 1) Having the TV list “masculinity” among “bullying” and “sexual harassment” at the beginning; and 2) Having the line of grilling dads chant “Boys will be boys.” That latter one was particularly cheap and, as Henry said, route.

    That’s as far as I got in the ad. I’d seen enough at that point.

    (As an honorable mention, it was ambiguous whether the boys interestingly at the BBQ were supposed to be fighting or just rough-housing; that matters).

    Not if your idea of a “good” man is basically a woman with a penis.

    That said, I don’t think the commercial can be seen as an incitement of masculinity: To me, it’s (confused, ham-hammed, and unsuccessful) message was that men should be better men.

    Again, get back to me when we’re seeing ads demanding that women be better women.

    • #29
    • January 16, 2019, at 1:08 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  30. toggle Inactive

    Dear Experts in Masculinity,
    I’ve lived in and visited countries where men whistle at girls. For example, was in a taxi in Rome when we passed by a ragazza on a scooter; the driver whistled, put his arm out, started pounding his hand on the side of the door, while with other, was honking the horn. He kept driving on, as she did too.
    Even today (even if not literally today, but literally nearly everyday), where I live, there are a lot of people not born in the US (most ?) who I hear whistle and honk at girls. Everyone moves on.
    Granted, I’ve noticed this where the weather is warm and the girls’ outfits hot, yet not so much where it is cold.
    Is it just the weather ? Or is masculinity different in different places ? Is it OK to whistle ?
    Signed,
    Man Confused, Seeking Answers

    • #30
    • January 16, 2019, at 1:08 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
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