Even if you're not a fan of Gilette's history, from its involvemet with NFL players known for their violence to their gendered razors (what even are those?), the company's new ad about toxic masculinity hits a nerve, highlighting outdated masculine tropes, some from the 1980s, that today's world has definitely outgrown and is ready to move away from. Some are labeling it a marketing ploy but the company is actually working to dismantle toxic masculinity, beginning with Girls and Boys clubs, and it's a wonderful new beginning.
Many men are affronted by the commercial, and while facing uncomfortable truths is often unsettling (I still have to deal with everything from my white feminism to terf-like thoughts), they need to recognize that the behavior is not only harmful to women but to men, and that they can start changing it today. Like many women, I cried watching the commercial, especially for the young man watching his father intervene on the bullying situation. I've heard so many men say, "Boys will be boys" all my life and my own husband suffered the same rhetoric from his own upbringing. Can you imagine a world where kindness and care are beloved masculine traits?
There's a lot to unpack here, 80s men, but how about we start by listing some fantastic masculine qualities we can celebrate? Kindness and caring are great beginnings; how about funny, helpful, nurturing and creative? What do you think are your best masculine qualities? Or if you want to go deeper, what qualities are you tired of seeing as being labeled masculine and want to see changed?