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Gillette came out with a new ad the other day… and it’s driving people completely up the wall. It focused on the fact that toxic masculinity is still a huge issue and that if we want the future generation of men to be great, we need to stop excusing bad behavior. It doesn't mean that all men physically, sexually, or even verbally attack each other, but a lot of men do sit back and do nothing. That in itself is toxic masculinity and it adds to the problem. They pointed out that there’s still a huge issue with this domino effect of bullying, harassment, and blatant sexism and their message is that men can do better. That they don't need to act like this and they need to stand up to the ones that do. It shows that men also need to teach little boys who are going to be the men of tomorrow to always act decent, responsible, and not like animals. To always do the right thing even when it's not exactly easy or convenient.
The ad honestly had me tearing because it was just so powerful and full of truth. It wasn't in your face, it wasn't aggressive, it was sobering and positive. However, so many people found it to be insulting; as if it was an attack on all men. People actually want to form a boycott against the company just for pointing out that men need to just set a better example for each other and the next generation to come. As if basic human decency is so controversial. The people that are angered by this are missing the entire message of the ad: No, not all men are toxic, but let’s stop the ones that are. Let’s teach them that this behavior isn’t cool by any means. Let’s teach the young male minds of tomorrow that being predators, being sleazy, being violent, and acting like a general asshole isn’t acceptable.
One of the first comments I saw in the Gillette thread on Twitter was a mom of three Marines outraged over this. She acted like it was a personal insult to them as men and their service. Another mom said how she didn’t want her sons to grow up weak so that’s why she rejected the ad. Many other men thought it was an attack on them and acted like it was all a "stunt" of political correctness. They tweeted pictures of them tossing their razors out. They complained, saying how they’ve been a customer for decades and that they were switching to something new. As someone said before on Twitter, defending Gillette—if you're offended by this, you don’t need new razors, you need new standards.
The fact that both men and women outraged by the ad can’t see the message in it is beyond me. I want to live in a world where movements like #MeToo don’t HAVE to exist. I want to live in a world where men treat women and each other with respect. I want to live in a world where women don’t have to feel like they’re being talked over and treated different. I want to live in a world where men don’t talk down to each other about how "unmanly" they are. I don’t see how these people don’t want the same? Gillette is merely making a message that states men in this country need to do better. Why is “men doing better” such an problematic message? Why are people still acting as if men are exempt from criticism?
The fact of the matter is, this is not an attack on men. If anything this is an ad of empowerment. Empowering men to be truly genuine and be a part of what's good. I think that it's incredible that Gillette is making this giant step forward because I don’t know many companies that would. I’m proud of the men that support this ad too because it shows that they honestly want better too. However, to the men who are smashing, tossing, chucking their razors out—maybe consider the fact that you are a part of the problem by behaving like this. You may not be one of those men that are physically or sexually assaulting women or even one another, but how you act, the way you reject this ad as a whole shows that you side—even in the smallest way—with the men who do. Toxic masculinity is not going to go away if you don't change your close-minded perspectives. Be accountable for your actions. Hold other men accountable, too. Be a part of the solution. It doesn’t mean you’re kissing someone else’s ass or acting weak; it means you’re empathetic and wise enough to want to evolve and want progress.