January 19, 2019

On Watches, Razors, and Men

This ad says, "We see the good in men." This is a vital aspect of the "conversation" which is being mostly ignored by "woke" social justice warriors. Kudos to Egard Watches and their ad team for delivering a message which builds people up!

Gillette, as you surely know by now, has released an ad which many claim to be little more than an attack on men. After viewing the controversial Gillette ad, I have mixed feelings about it. Let's start with the good points...

I love the clip of Terry Crews they included. He's on point with his comments. Accountability is huge, and men SHOULD hold each other accountable. This is a Biblical principle, too. We read in Proverbs 27:17 that, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:6 reveals that, “Wounds inflicted by the correction of a friend prove he is faithful.”

I am sure that I agree with Gillette that men who behave in a toxic manner need to be called out and put in their place, and that men of good character should be well-equipped to do just that. Assuming that this was the goal, then the Gillette ad could and should be considered to have good intentions.

But as the saying goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

The Gillette ad fails by presenting a picture of men through a single, narrow lens; an unfair stereotype no better than other unfair stereotypes (some examples being the barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen housewife, the lazy shiftless negro, the dumb blonde, the stupid drunk redneck, the greasy Mexican, the thug from the hood, etc - all of which are poor, negative, and even hateful representations of the demographic in question).

Of course, the difficulty with stereotypes is that they are true, or at least they are SOMETIMES true. There are individuals who fit into every category I mentioned above, and yes, that definitely includes men who are toxic.

And let me be clear: I completely agree with Gillette that toxic men who treat women badly, who bully and intimidate others, and who resort readily to violence are far from “The Best a Man Can Get.” Those traits are not even masculine, really. Those guys are not, in fact, men... at all. They are immature overgrown children who never learned how to be men.

As a friend of mine posted just yesterday, we used to call these guys "douchebags." We also used to understand that they do not represent men as a whole. But that differentiation is sadly being replaced by a militant feminist view of men in which any individual with a Y-chromosome is seen as being inherently evil or toxic in some way. Gillette's ad fails by seeming to openly accept this distorted view of men.

There is one point in the ad where things go irrevocably wrong, and it hinges on ONE WORD:


For all of their good intentions, Gillette fails by accepting the notion that most men are the problem, and only some are doing right. In other words, they have it exactly backwards.

That point - that ONE WORD - turns what should be a fair challenge for all men to hold each other accountable into just another overly “woke” sound bite. An unfair stereotype, if ever there was one.

Gillette and those who love the ad would say that they are challenging men to do what’s right, and I would agree that challenging men to do what’s right is a good thing. But have they accomplished this, or have they simply chastised men in general for the bad behavior of a few?

It's very easy to see why many were offended by the ad, yet the good intentions behind it are also pretty clear. So what should we do when good intentions fail to produce good results?  We have all failed to deliver good results alongside our good intentions at some point. The Gillette marketing team, in trying to address a societal problem, has delivered results which many find offensive.

Being offended is not necessarily unreasonable, but how should we respond after we are offended? Do we respond in kind? Do we lash out with (self) righteous indignation? Or might we be better served to forgive the transgressors for their shortcomings and work toward resolution?

We all will most certainly be better served by men who stand for what’s right, even when (especially when) faced with all that is wrong with the world. That’s a point which we should all agree on, and it seems like a good place to start.

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