Gillette's Toxic Masculinity Ad - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

Gillette – the razor company whose slogan is “The Best a Man Can Get” – has released a new ad that takes aim at bullying and harassment, but public reactions are mixed.

It shouldn’t be controversial, though. The ad, which you can watch here, is called “We Believe.” It shows some of the worst male behavior – sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying – and says that we can’t keep “making the same old excuses,” such as “boys will be boys.”

But after it puts all the bad behavior on display, the ad shows men stepping up and doing better. It says, “It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can be our best” as it depicts intervention against sexual harassment, a dad teaching his daughter to have confidence in herself, and choosing peace over violence.

TV personality Piers Morgan was one of the first to say that he’ll boycott Gillette because of the ad, and now others are saying that this is an attack against normal male behavior. And on Fox & Friends, host Brian Kilmeade said he’s terribly offended by the ad.

Kilmead said, “Let’s point out all the bad things that you might say about men, put them into an ad, make men feel horrible, and then say, ‘Overpay for a razor.’”

Others say that the ad – and others like it – have been a long time coming.

The ad came out just a few days after Fox & Friends hosts lambasted guidelines issued by the American Psychological Association on treating boys and men. The guidelines, which were issued in August of 2018, suggest that sometimes the traditional ideas of what masculinity is can actually hurt men and boys. According to the report, “Socializing for conforming to traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior … and negatively influence mental health and physical health.”

The guidelines are targeted to psychologists so they can help their patients – but the Fox & Friends hosts (including those without psychology degrees) disagreed strongly and suggested that the guidelines were nothing more than a “political theory” and said they have “nothing to do with science.”

The APA’s chief of professional practice, Jared Skillings, stressed that the guidelines are indeed evidence-based.

“They are based on a review of 40 years of scientific literature and underwent a rigorous review process by experts in the field,” Skillings said.

What Do You Think?

Have you seen the new Gillette ad or the APA’s guidelines for treating men and boys? I’d love to hear your opinions, so please share them on my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino