Economics, Politics, recent

Gillette’s Progressive Politics: ‘Corinthian Leather’ for the Progressive Soul

My father was never a big fan of television—in part because his attention span always has been shorter than your average late-20th-century commercial break. He also would become exasperated by the nonsense claims made by advertisers. We now live in separate cities, so we don’t watch television together. But I can only imagine what his reaction would be to Gillette’s new commercial calling out toxic masculinity.

Being a metallurgical engineer (as I, too, would later become), my father was especially irritated by ads for razors. In one well-known spot for the Vintage Stainless Steel Doubled-Edged Blade (this was before my time, but he often talked about it), an actor would be asked to compare a “Personna Stainless, seven shaves old” with another “well-known blade, brand new”—shaving half his face with each. The actor, of course, identifies the Personna as being the more comfortable of the pair. The announcer then hammers home the fact that the Personna prevailed despite being seven shaves old. But that fact was meaningless, my father would tell me (and others), because the main cause of shaving-blade degradation isn’t contact with skin. It’s the gradual oxidation that takes place when the blade dries off, over hours or days, after it’s been used—a phenomenon that wouldn’t apply to a blade that (as in this case) presumably had been used seven times in rapid succession.

It’s an example my dad would bring up repeatedly whenever a dumb commercial would come on TV, since the same general principle applies to most ad campaigns for mass-market products. Coca-Cola doesn’t make you smile. The “Rich Corinthian Leather” that Chrysler used to upholster car seats wasn’t actually from Corinth. And smoking Virginia Slims doesn’t actually mean “You’ve come a long way, baby.” It probably just means you’re going to die of lung cancer.

But misleading as that Personna ad may have been, it had more substance than most modern commercials. At the very least, it purported to extol the actual physical quality of the product being advertised—even if the evidence presented in support of that claim was thin. Coke, Chrysler and Virginia Slims (a 1960s-era spinoff of Benson & Hedges), on the other hand, were selling fairy tales based on happiness, wealth and liberation, respectively.

A close Mad Men-era analogue to Gillette’s new ad would be this Virginia Slims ad from 1967. It starts with a woman in 19th-century clothing, staring mournfully at her feet while a sad tune plays. “It used to be, baby, you had no rights,” intones a male voice saucily. “No right to vote. No right to property. No right to the wage you earned. That was back when you were laced in, hemmed in, and left with not a whole lot to do. That was back when you had to sneak up to the attic if you wanted a cigarette. Smoke in front of a man? Heaven forbid!”

And now—what’s this?—the woman has taken out a pair of scissors and she’s cutting away at her outfit, turning it into a stylish pant suit with a bare mid-riff. She offers a coy smile, too, and a few turnabout dance moves. Then the anthem starts: You’ve come a long way, baby, to get to where you’ve got to today…” And an announcer comes on “introducing new Virginia Slims, the slim cigarette for women only, tailored for the feminine hand. Slimmer than the fat cigarettes the men smoke, with the kind of flavour women like…in a slim purse pack.” The rousing last verse: You’ve got your own cigarette now, baby. You’ve come a long, long way!

In some respects, the act of watching that ad is a voyage to a distant land: It’s not just that cigarette ads have been illegal in western countries for decades (the woman actually takes a puff—right there on TV). But the very idea that “women” smoke with a small “feminine hand” also would constitute its own sort of transphobic thoughtcrime. Nevertheless, the basic Madison Avenue impulse behind the ad is recognizable to modern eyes: There’s this cool social trend out there. Let’s present our product as part of that cool trend. In the 1960s, the cool trend was empowering women. A half century later, it’s hectoring men. In the 1960s, being progressive meant expanding the range of permissible behaviour. A half century later, it’s about imposing constraints. In the 1960’s, the puritans were the bad guys. Today, they’re the ones setting the moral agenda.

Gillette’s new 48-second We Believe ad plays on the company’s longstanding tagline, “the best a man can get?” to address (with varying degrees of subtlety) bullying, harassment and sexism. “We can’t hide from it, it’s been going on far too long,” says the narrator. “We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses. But something finally changed. And there will be no going back. Because we…We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing. To act the right way. Some already are, in ways big and small. But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

“As a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man,” said a Gillette spokesperson this week. (The company also released a lengthy corporate-values manifesto titled Separating The Men From the Boys). That is, of course, complete nonsense: “The best a man can get” is what is known, at law, as “mere puffery”—i.e., “the exaggerations reasonably to be expected of a seller as to the degree of quality of his product, the truth or falsity of which cannot be precisely determined.” Gillette is “the best a man can get” in the same way that Carlsberg is “probably the best beer in the world”; switching to GEICO is “so easy a caveman can do it”; and Michael Jordan was an awesome basketball player because “it’s gotta be the shoes.” For Gillette to claim that they have some cosmically defined moral responsibility to detail exactly how they define “the best a man can get” is akin to L’Oreal (“Because you’re worth it”) assigning itself responsibility for assessing the utilitarian value of a woman’s existence.

To watch the Virginia Slims and Gillette ads side by side is to observe an interesting transformation in tone, not just message. The Virginia Slims ads were fun and sexy (and, in fact, were often criticized by feminists—who properly objected to, among other things, the use of the word “baby”). The Gillette ad, by contrast, starts off earnest and sanctimonious—though some of the shots that appear in the tail end admittedly are quite “lovely,” and even inspiring. It’s essentially a high-budget public-service announcement about bullying and misogyny. These are real social problems—even if they are in decline thanks to increased public awareness, and it’s unclear why a razor company has any special insight into how to solve them.

But even if critics are correct that the Gillette ad carries a heavy-handed politically correct message about “male toxicity,” I’m not sure it makes sense to blame Gillette for hitching its wagon to a trendy horse. This is what companies do. For years, Gillette has been facing downward price pressure from web-based suppliers. And if they can’t compete on price, it makes sense to compete on wokeness—which, for millennials, is basically Corinthian leather for the soul.


Assuming the goal of advertising is to build brand awareness, the new Gillette ad should be seen as a staggering success: Within 48 hours, it already had about 5-million views on YouTube—even if the 3-to-1 dislike-to-like ratio wasn’t what the creators might have expected. Meanwhile, the share price of Procter & Gamble Co., Gillette’s parent company, has remained steady. James Woods may choose to boycott Gillette, but investors don’t seem to regard him as a representative consumer specimen.

* * *

The Gillette and Virginia Slims ads both provide high-flown answers to the challenge of product differentiation that has existed in our mass-retail economy since the mid-to-late 20th century. Filtered cigarettes are filtered cigarettes. Sugar water is sugar water. And razor blades are razor blades. During the early Cold War, when that Personna ad was pissing off my dad, there really were big differences among the various blades on offer—as each manufacturer had its own quirky products and features. Straight razors—a murder weapon you kept in your bathroom—gave way to safety razors, then removable blades, cartridges and disposables. Women’s razors also have evolved: In 1917, when Gillette marketed its first razor for women—the hilariously named Milady Décolletée, designed to “keep the underarm white and smooth,” and thereby avoid “an embarrassing personal problem”—it really was a completely different product from the razors sold to men.

But today’s razors look a lot like the ones I used 30 years ago—just with more blades than anyone knows what to do with. In 2004, The Onion published a satirical article titled Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades, purportedly written by Gillette’s president. A year later, the real Gillette produced the five-bladed Fusion, which it described, all too presciently, as “the future of shaving.” Since then, the company has rolled out different versions of these razors (some dispensing lubricating goop as a premium feature) but it’s basically the same product, and young men now take all those blades for granted.

Earlier this month, Uri Harris wrote an essay for Quillette about activists co-operating with high-tech companies to advance progressive causes—including, disturbingly, “restricting speech and behaviour,” which was Harris’ specific focus. The Gillette ad shows how the same trend is playing out in the retail sector for companies with a critical mass of high-end customers willing to pay more for brand image.

At my local Toronto pharmacy, a pack of eight Gillette “Fusion5™ ProShield™” razors goes for $42.14 (all figures in U.S. dollars)—a staggering $5.27 per razor. These are displayed, of course, at eye level, since they provide the highest profit margin. Stoop down to waist level, and you will find a package of three quad-bladed cartridges—in generic packaging, though they provide more or less the same quality shave as the Fusion5—for just $2.26 per razor. And if you’re willing to go down to ankle level, you can get a 10-pack of “Life” brand twin blades for just 60 cents each. (They’re marked “disposable,” but I often will use the same one for several weeks.) Do the math here, and you’ll see that we are talking about an almost 10-fold difference in price for products that—notwithstanding the many protestations I’m set to receive from hipsters who shave with hand-forged titanium blades stored in sealed alabaster canisters full of ionized gas—do the same basic thing.

Who are the men paying that ridiculous premium? Gillette’s marketing department can tell you: It’s the same well-paid university-educated knowledge workers who spend their days on their Mac laptops arguing about allyship and Facebooking socially conscious videos, and who are only too happy to onboard the message that buying overpriced razors will help bring down the patriarchy.

Not so long ago, these progressives would have been skeptical of moral pronouncements from multinational corporations—let alone a $229-billion company that controls half the U.S. razor market. Indeed, the presumption of corporate malevolence was pretty much the core mantra of leftist activism during the era of anti-WTO and anti-IMF riots in the early 2000s—inspired as it was by tracts such as Naomi Klein’s No Logo, which denounced brand marketing as a cynical, manipulative force in modern economic life. But as Harris notes, that era is over. And Gillette’s campaign likely won’t be the last time progressive puffery is used to sell us overpriced products we don’t really need.

Jonathan Kay is Canadian Editor of Quillette. Follow him on Twitter @jonkay.

 

245 Comments

  1. JWatts says

    I’m doubtful of Gillette’s success with this ad. Sure Nike got away with it to some degree. But Nike’s commercial was appealing to young, black men who are a core demographic for their shoes. And their commercial was inspirational.

    The Gillette commercial blames and stereotypes their core demographic. It’s a sexist commercial and it’s a terrible marketing move.

    • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

      @JWatts

      No, not sexist, you’re using the old definition. Just as it is impossible for a negro to be racist, because racism (new) = racism(old) + Privilege, thus, since negros don’t have Privilege they cannot be racist, so sexism (new) = sexism (old) + Patriarchy, thus, since wimin cannot be Patriarchs, they cannot be sexist. In the same logic, no put-down or stereotyping of men can be sexist either.

      So far has this kind of thing gone that all woke men can now only feel good about themselves if they feel bad about themselves. One is reminded of the medieval penitents:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfWHzA0huBg

      Tho I think these guys are more convincing:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awlKYHz5Mv0

      Nice religion, and it seems we’re picking up it’s finer points.

      • Steve says

        Is a white trans-man (woman who transitions to become a man) part of the patriarchy? If not, why not? Is “he” not a “real man” after all?

        • He is a real man, but he is also a minority. The patriarchy will not accept him, because the patriarchy only accepts hetero-cisgender men, therefore trans men are oppressed by the patriarchy and not a part of it.

      • Dirk Muscles says

        Well, I guess this is it: I’m gonna have to keep not buying their staggeringly overpriced products.

        I was just about to buy one. I was thinking, “I gotta get with it and buy a razor that’s priced at 25 times its production cost…”

        But then this ad!

        I’m so sick of people telling me what a “man” is. The next person who does that, I’m gonna punch him in the face, call him a “faggot”, and then go barbecue 10 baby seal steaks while yelling at joggers to show me their titties, just like I do every Wednesday.

        Funny corollary to this ad: apparently, the men who need to be corrected on their masculinity are ALSO the men who can afford expensive razors, houses, backyards, and barbecues in those backyards, along with kids. I guess toxic masculinity pays like crazy. Who knew?

        • scubajim says

          Love your post. I am going to up it to an even dozen baby seal steaks.

        • Warren Wilhelm says

          Check out Dorco/Pace. I believe they supply the Dollar shave club. Cut out the middle man. Good quality at reasonable prices. About half the price, or more, for their razors and cartridges.

        • Your comedy made me laugh. TV’s snowflakes don’t do that. As for the seals… well, I live in the North. How many do you need?

    • It’s a good question. Who is the “core demographic”? At first blush, it would seem to be men certainly. But who generally does the shopping? And – in general – women seem to be eating this up.

      • Many woman buying these razors for the man in her life henceforth is bound to get a bit of an earful though.

        • Stephanie says

          I would venture a guess that the women who are not only in long-term, stable relationships, but who shop for things only their husbands will use, are not going to be appreciative of the message of this ad. The girls who complain about patriarchy to the point this ad resonates with them are probably not the types to think to buy their boyfriends new razors, or even do most of the grocery shopping. I’d like to think they couldn’t handle that level of cognitive dissonance, but when knows these days?

          That being said, I’m sure Gillette did their market research and concluded after much deliberation and number-crunching that they would make money off of this. Hopefully they don’t, or we’ll have one of these every week

          • I deeply appreciate the sentiment of your post Stephanie. The number of women standing up for men on this issue is the single most impressive thing I’ve seen about it. It’s so refreshing to encounter women with man positive attitudes. Thanks.

          • Ned Flanders says

            You’d think, but a lot of the gender bender crap coming out of hollywood has tanked at the box office. They used to care about making money too.

        • More Awful Person says

          @Awful person

          If my wife bought me these razors, I’d beat her.

          Wait, am I not supposed to do that? Let me check the commercial…

      • I’m hesitant to get on board with shopping stereotypes one way or the other, but that’s a great point. Being woke is worth nothing in private, it seems unlikely that men would increase favor for a product sold to them via genuine scorn – that would surely be a first for the advertising world. And forget redefining “what it means to be a man”, we need to confront whoever decided that men are defined by their worst examples in the first place. Same goes for white people. That’s textbook sexism and racism, respectfully. Like everybody else says, “If it were any other group, the company would collapse overnight.” Amazing they got away with showing even one black dude, really.

          • pete chip says

            Yup, its not all males that are pure evil, its only white males. Gillette has hit SJW gold, an anti-male and an anti-white ad at the same time.

      • The target demographic is grocery-shopping house-husbands who shave a feminist power-fist into their pubes.

        Of course, their wives use the razors to shave their beards when getting ready for a date with Chad.

    • Pliny says

      For some reason, watching this ad makes me want to cry for no reason while eating a tub of Hagen Daz and watching a movie on Slice or W.

      Wonder if Gillette will do an ad for lady razors depicting women botching up the telling of jokes and glowering at their spouse/partner while saying “No, NOTHING is wrong!” ; )

    • I’m convinced now that the target market is not men at all, but the left itself. Bear with me.

      In the US for example, especially since Trump’s election, the Democrats have been incandescent with rage, and see Republicans as knuckle-dragging troglodytes. Note that Democrat voters are predominantly the very high earners, plus the very low earners and underprivileged. They feel good about themselves by looking down upon the besieged and shrinking middle class, which largely forms the core of Republican voters.

      The Woke see themselves not merely as holding to certain political ideologies, but, importantly as being *better human beings* than those backward rednecks, whether it be identity politics or (guilty of this one myself) climate change. So when they use the word ‘we’ in the advert, it means not merely ‘all of us men’, but we well-behaved men of the left against those wife beaters, bullies and misogynists of the right. Its a new class divide, not just a political divide.

      Given that, as many have pointed out, Gillette is an overpriced brand, this marketing makes some sense. Their market in the middle class may be shrinking, and this may capture the more wealthy, who are probably also more responsive to lifestyle branding in general.

      There are some other details in the ad which tend to confirm this hypothesis. For example, the line of men at the barbecues are massed, not aspirational individuals like those targeted by the ad. They are dressed down in cheap clothing, and their hair and beards are untidy. They are doing a cliched middle class activity. Look back at the upmarket cafe from which the black guy rushes to stop the white guy harassing the girl on the street. Look at the sumptuous head-high tiles and gold in the bathroom from the first scene.

      And lastly, look at the responses from the woke on twitter like Mr Valiquette above who has pledged to use Gillette specifically because those reactionary troglodytes have pledged not to. Take a moment to scroll down their twitter feeds, you may notice that their whole persona is built by othering the middle class and the right. Almost every post is about how stupid is someone from the right. This is the target market – the wealthy and woke.

      • DCvoyeur says

        Good luck with that approach. Every man uses razors! It doesn’t matter if they are blue collar or not. What they did was to take most of the non liberals and most of the independents who are tired of the SJW BS and made enemies of them. It is not as of they are going to replace these losses with the enlightened. I disagree with your grouping the upper class as woke (zealots). Many who attend colleges are sick of LEFT (communists) rhetoric and will also stop using Gillette and many P&G products. Have no doubt sales will suffer and heads (SJW heads) will roll from this fiasco.

        • I can’t find any other way to make sense of this as a marketing strategy. This campaign cost a lot, and many people will have scrutinised it. They may not all be SJWs (if they are, that itself confirms the feasibility of the strategy), but they are not all idiots, you have to at least assume that much. So there is something being missed. And the obvious market is hidden in plain sight.

          Yes most men use razors, but Gillette is at the expensive end of the disposable razor market. ‘Woke’ is a lifestyle market par excellence, because its *all* about attitude. And biblical-level righteousness, well that’s a much more powerful motivator than just some imagined connection with your lifestyle. It connects directly, because righteousness is what they are all about.

          Id love to see your evidence of any statistically significant backlash in campuses, but we know that feminist theory permeated the humanities, and we have to assume that for at least 20-30 years, they (and more recently schools) have been changing the attitudes of students. You probably follow the scandalous examples from campuses, but most people don’t, and least of all the students, unless they are directly affected. If I am right, Proctor and Gamble knows the numbers and attitudes better than anyone, and they’ve decided there’s a big fat market out there.

        • Another thing: Its quite a risk for them to change their long-standing tag line ‘the best a man can get’ to really mean ‘the best a man can be’. There’s no way known they would do that lightly.

    • Heath Wells says

      My wife just came back from shopping (that’s right she shops and I am the sole bread winner and she also manages ALL the money in the family – we are equal and One under God). She will never buy any Gillette products again doe to their “successful ad.” Also Nike’s decision to go they way they have has yielded yet another non-customer. I may be of the group that is now the enemy of the country (Retired Marine, Business Man, White, Christian) but I still have buying power and a voice. It is so dad to see where our country is headed.

    • Thylacine says

      If it’s terrible marketing, it has been working for a long time. Way back in the 1980s, Warren Farrell wrote a book (Why Men Are the Way They Are) with a chapter on men’s image in marketing. It was all the same nonsense back then: men are stupid, evil, ugly. The specifics change – the ways in which men exude stupidity, evil, and unattractiveness changes over the years – but the stereotype is as old as marketing.

  2. Here’s a point I would like to see made more often in all this: can anyone imagine a company putting an ad like this out for any other group?

    “Women, we know we depend on you for our profits, but we need to talk. You need to change. Stop taking everything so personally… (etc.)”

    I have had about enough of this anti-male nonsense now that it’s becoming part of the culture. I’ve also started to hear anecdotally about young men who take this garbage to heart and develop complexes about how awful they are.

    • George G says

      This is my pitch for the new Gillette Venus campaign, for dyed pink plastic razors marketed at feminists.

      Following from ” Is this the best a man can get?” campaign and updating the Venus razor ” feel like a goddess” campaign will be :

      the new Venus campaign “do you feel like a gold-digger?”

      Instead of the usual aspirational images of how smooth legs help women in sport (to wear shorts), or play with a golden retriever by the beach (in shorts) or to make boardroom presentations (in a short skirt), it will focus on “toxic femininity” and ask if those women really shave their legs in order to give a false representation of their body in an effort to be attractive to men and secure a partner who is otherwise out of their hairy legged league.

      “Is this what it feels like to be a gold-digger?” the voice over will ask.

      It’ll feature images of women using their smooth legs to trick men in to overestimating their attractiveness. It’ll also ask why all women gossip behind their “friends” backs and engage in other passive aggressive techniques to tear down other women and their own male partners. The ad whilst generalised to include all women as jealous, two-faced, passive aggressive gold-diggers will say that those who aren’t like that have a moral responsibility to stop their friends and daughters who are from their toxic gold-digger behaviour.

      My two cents on this whole circus:

      Most men, husbands or sons, don’t buy their own razors they are bought by the women; girlfriend, wife or mother, in their life who does the shopping for the family. What professionally outraged idiots like Piers Morgan don’t get is that is that Gillette’s #metoo ad wasn’t aimed at persuading men to buy razors , it was aimed at persuading women that Gillette and Proctor & Gamble who own them is a morally correct company. Even though they charge women more for pink products, use palm oil in their products and have been fined £280 million in the past for price fixing. Its cynical corporate, virtue signalling Gillette doesn’t care about #metoo any more than the care about the rainforest, all they care about selling razors to the people that actually purchase them, women.

      thoughts welcome

      • @George G

        Bingo. PT Barnum’s adage still applies and corporations are realizing that SJWs can be fleeced if you appeal to their smugness.

        • Cornfed says

          It’s a tried and true tactic. Organic is the biggest con ever. Just as good, for only twice the price! But the warm fuzzy virtuous feeling you get makes it oh so worth it!

          • Thylacine says

            Organic is not as good. It is more likely to be past its prime, contain e. coli, etc.

      • My Venus is the last Gillette product I’ll ever buy. And do men let their women choose their razor brand? I’d never let my guy choose what tampon I buy. Now, as my husband points out, women do the family pos shopping, but is this ad trying to get her to say, “Honey, I think you should switch to Gillette.” or just not suggest he try Harry’s or Dollar Razor?

      • I don’t think that’s how it works at all. I think internally such moves are justified by false promises of profits, for the purpose of appearing at least somewhat in line with what companies are about, however these measures get started by religiously committed SJWs and they then personally attack anyone who attempts to honestly analyze the proposal. That’s how all these companies are losing so much money on this sort of thing and they keep are doing it anyway – the people making sure that this happens aren’t shareholders and don’t give two shits about shareholder value. The SJWs have found an exploit in the system and they’ll keep exploiting it, leaving burning wrecks in their wake (and, rarely, by a stroke of luck, things can randomly work out for these companies), until the exploit is fixed. The only fix is for enough people to stop being afraid of being lied about by SJWs. There will be a tipping point, either the SJWs will bring about Soviet circumstances, or enough people will get fed up enough to stand up to them before then. Let’s hope the latter happens first.

      • Pliny says

        You may be right but I wonder how many wives/partners do in fact buy the razors for the men in their lives. Mind certainly doesn’t and never did and know several other guys who could say the same OR if their wives bought them it was only after being given explicit instructions as to what kind to get

        • Frangelina says

          Head nod to that – the explicit instructions are what happens in my house.

    • @Babbington It seems we didn’t learn the lesson of screwing up our young women with largely media driven self loathing ideals of perfect bodies and sexual magnetism to be of personal and social value, now we get to do it to our young men with a slight twist. Being male = privilege = inherent oppression and from there self loathing is an easy trap to fall into.
      As a former long haired hippie, and father of a wonderful young woman, I recall looking on Victorian England and the carefully cultured behaviors of gender roles, eg things like corsets and fainting powders, and misguidedly thought, we must be smarter than that. Not so.
      We are in a current era of highly choreographed, almost ritualized behavior that has taken truly meaningful values (IMO) such as equality, justice, and tolerance of differences, and has twisted the words into something that no longer represents the original intent.
      How else to explain former advocates of free speech and human rights now becoming arbiters that disagreeable speech must be banned as hate speech, and now actively advocate differential treatment of various social groups.
      Just as truly oppressed groups (e.g. Gays) who were persecuted during Victorian Times found ways to escape and subvert the pathology of the era, the current disenfranchised will continue to do so. I value Quillette for this reason.

      • Power has that effect. Especially on ideologues. Fifty years since the New Left laid out it’s strategy and tactics. And here we are.

    • Helga says

      The impact on younger men is exactly why women (whose admiration men generally seek) and self-assured older men need to be strident in publicly rejecting this harmful message.

      • Stephanie says

        Heiga, if you’re a woman who does that on social media, you get accused of being a male with a fake profile. Of that you’re controlled by your husband. Linda Sarsour isn’t the only one who wishes she could take people’s vaginas away.

      • @Helga

        Don’t forget mothers. Mothers are desperately needed to push back against this crap.

    • D-Rex says

      @Babbs, “I’ve also started to hear anecdotally about young men who take this garbage to heart and develop complexes about how awful they are.”
      Exactly, I’m very concerned for all of the younger males who will unfortunately get to watch this commercial. The boys I teach are often desperate for men to assert themselves in a more and more feminised industry (86% women). I’m almost retirement age but fortunately, our tech teacher is a young blokey guy and the boys love him.

  3. Well I am not part of Gillettes target market because I have avoided their products for some considerable time, not because of any ideological reason but because they are ludicrously over priced. That has become quite easy, but in the past it could actually be quite hard with shops providing no alternatives or introducing and then dropping alternatives very quickly. This suggested to me a market that was operating very poorly and with a suspicion that this was due to manipulation and unfair competition. Now I get razors delivered with sensible quality and features for roughly 15% of the cost that this includes delivery shows how over priced these products are.

    I really hope this advert causes a catastrophic fall in Gillettes market share. The cigarette advert for women may in hindsight seem reprehensible for a variety of reasons but it was positive about women. The gillette advert portrays men and masculinity as extremely negative, dangerous and needing to be controlled. That the group portrayed in this way are the target customers seems to be stupid but that does not detract from the fact that it is a deeply sexist and innacurate stereotype of a group which would be considered unacceptable if directed at almost anyone else.

    • Bubblecar says

      So you don’t think masculinity needs to be controlled? It’s a good job governments don’t agree with you, or the millions of male prison inmates (at least ten times as many female inmates) would still be roaming the streets.

      Controlling violent, aggressive and anti-social behaviour (“testosterone-fuelled”, as it’s often dubbed) has always been a crucial part of the socialisation process for males. Females too, but not to the same extent, and they have far fewer failures.

      It’s rather ironic that conservatives are often the first to point out (quite rightly) that there are significant psychological and behavioural sex-based differences, but then refuse to accept the unfortunate realities of “toxic masculinity” – by which we mostly mean masculine tendencies that have not been adequately civilized via childhood socialisation and ongoing social reinforcement of civil attitudes and conduct.

      The Gillette ad portrays men positively accepting their responsibility to behave in a civil manner, and encouraging their boys to do the same, so in fact sends a strong message of positive male characteristics.

      • Oh man, they should probably run this ad in prisons and just sit back and watch the rehabilitation.

        • Bubblecar says

          Meh, it’s just an ad, it won’t have much impact. But the message it sends is that men behaving in a shitty way is bad, and good men should take a stand against it.

          Why that is now seen as “controversial” by the Right just shows us how screwed up they’ve become.

          • Oh it’ll have an impact, it’ll impress the SJWs enough to buy their overpriced product while ignoring the company’s misdeeds like the pink tax.

          • Stephanie says

            @ Bubblecar, did you notice almost all the men behaving well were non-white, and almost all the men behaving badly were white? It isn’t just masculinity they’re attacking, it is specifically white masculinity. Of course that flies in the face of the disproportionate representation of non-white men in prison.

            If they were making an honest appeal to men’s higher virtues (something that JBP has done without inspiring such disgust from his target audience), and addressed the most objective form of toxic masculinity (criminals), we would have gotten a very different ad. No, this was just leftist talking points animated by bad actors.

          • Stewie Griffith says

            You’re absolutely correct Stephanie, the issue of framing extended far beyond just representing men as toxic.

            All the toxic men in the ad were white males, portrayed as slovenly and fat, all the bullies were white boys. All the redeemable males were men of colour, stepping in to save the feelings of the poor white girl.

            Nothing happens without a reason – these decisions were made with a specific impact in mind. It wasn’t just about shaming men for toxic masculinity, it was about kicking white men in the teeth. P&G are reprehensible and the Director of the ad is a complete cultural shit stain who should never be allowed to work in the industry again.

        • Nakatomi Plaza says

          Or run it now, and sit back and see if men get the message and stop bullying and raping so much.

          • D-Rex says

            I watched the add and immediately decided to cut my raping and pillaging by half. Now I feel really good about myself.

      • Robert Franklin says

        Men control their behavior every minute of every day. A tiny percentage of them fail to do so within societal norms and find themselves in prison. Men are treated far more harshly by the criminal justice system than are women. Should women have their behavior controlled?

        • @D-rex Hilarious! The sacrifices we make for a little self esteem!

      • “So you don’t think masculinity needs to be controlled? It’s a good job governments don’t agree with you, or the millions of male prison inmates (at least ten times as many female inmates) would still be roaming the streets.”

        Putting men in prison is controlling masculinity? Ok, so, men who dont go to prison are not masculine? Are women that go to prison masculine? Or is locking up women controlling femininity?

        Are you next going to look at the racial makeup of prisons and deduce that putting people in prison is controlling blackness?

        ” “toxic masculinity” – by which we mostly mean masculine tendencies that have not been adequately civilized via childhood socialisation and ongoing social reinforcement of civil attitudes and conduct. ”

        Which tendency exactly? Maybe you should go to a prison sometime and learn that, amazingly, the entire population is not even masculine. In fact, many of the prisoners in this country are quite un-masculine.

        Masculine tendencies dont need to be socialzed out of men. Men, by nature or being human, are social creatures. Masculine traits are reenforced in social circles, not diluted.

        • Bubblecar says

          “Putting men in prison is controlling masculinity? Ok, so, men who dont go to prison are not masculine?”

          As I explained in my post – read it again:

          “toxic masculinity” – by which we mostly mean masculine tendencies that have not been adequately civilized via childhood socialisation and ongoing social reinforcement of civil attitudes and conduct.”

          So the men who don’t behave in such shitty ways have had their masculine tendencies adequately socialised.

          As a young child I used to get into fights. Eventually I learned that fighting is bad, and you should try to resolve conflicts rationally and peacefully. Both can be portrayed as examples of “masculine behaviour” if you like, but one is socially negative and the other is socially positive.

          There was a time when conservatives understood, and actually promoted, this kind of thinking. I’m sure many still do, but not those who’ve immersed themselves in the anti-feminist “culture wars”.

          • “As a young child I used to get into fights. Eventually I learned that fighting is bad, and you should try to resolve conflicts rationally and peacefully. Both can be portrayed as examples of “masculine behaviour” if you like, but one is socially negative and the other is socially positive. ”

            Fighting isnt bad. Fighting is a very useful skill for men to have. Fighting is the exact appropriate response to conflict needed for certain situations. Indeed, fighting is very much socially positive under various circumstances. I hope, as one man to another, you can fight and regularly practice it. If you dont then it is not because you are less “toxic” in your masculinity, it is because you have been feminized.

            I dont want men to be feminized. Times will often call for men to fight. I want the men in my life to be able to fight and fight well for when those times come. I will push for the men in my life to be good fighters and I want them to do the same to me. There is exactly nothing toxic about that.

          • Bubblecar says

            @Ted

            “Fighting isn’t bad.”

            Yep, that’s a philosophy that’s very common in the prisons. And sure, in such environments it’s probably necessary to know how to fight. Most of the inmates were raised in environments in which dominating others by physical force was lauded as a virtue, rather than seen as primitive, unfair and socially destructive. So they keep getting into fights and keep getting into trouble.

            In civilized society, we have no need for recourse to violence except in self defence, and we try to teach children values of peacefulness and co-operation so as to minimise the amount of violence going on.

            But you’ve somehow missed out on all this, or perhaps you were taught decent values at some stage but have now decided that only “SJWs” think that way, and decent men should value physical domination and aggression, like those poor guys in prison.

            “I want the men in my life to be able to fight and fight well for when those times come.”

            If you’re talking about modern warfare – which sadly may still sometimes be unavoidable – this has little at all in common with masculine aggression and traditional, emotion-fuelled male violence. It’s all about remaining calm and rational while making efficient use of high-tech weapon systems, and not being distracted by emotional concerns. Modern soldiers – or at least those who win – are technicians, not warriors.

          • Thats not what it means at all and you know it. The whole idea is there is something inherently wrong with men that we have to strive every second of the day to control its bullocks. Women are no more inherently good or evil then men. They are less physically powerful though so it would be impossible for the bad one’s to run amuck physically as much as a man as they are much physically weaker. They are more apt to use emotional blackmail/mind games to commit there damage. Testosterone and agression zero wrong with either inherently. Just like there is nothing wrong with estrogen and being more passive and emotional on average.

          • Bubblecar says

            @Kevin

            There’s nothing wrong with aggression? So you’re cool with being sworn at or harassed by strangers, beaten up by bullies, robbed at knifepoint, raped etc?

            Surely it’s obvious that aggressive behaviour has a strong tendency to be anti-social, unfair and destructive.

            “The whole idea is there is something inherently wrong with men that we have to strive every second of the day to control”

            The Gillette ad makes no such suggestion, and neither do I. It’s second nature for adequately socialised men to behave in a civil manner (although everyone has minor lapses in their behavioural standards now and then).

            What the ad was addressing is the fact that some anti-social behaviours are still too common, and still too easily excused away as an example of “boys being boys” etc. That’s pretty obvious and it’s a worthwhile point to make.

          • Pirus says

            @Bubblecar

            Ok let’s create an ad about “toxic femininity” too just to educate how girls should be socialised to remove the “toxic” elements of female behaviour. I’ll leave it to readers to think of any such traits.

            Then we will all have a perfect society devoid of any toxicity.

          • Dirk Muscles says

            @Bubblecar:

            Notice something: you keep banging on about (1) conservatives, (2) prison, and (3) toxic masculinity.

            Were you by any chance tag-team prison raped by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld? Cuz it sounds like you got the pole right in the chili ring so hard your mind-brain stopped working.

          • Bubblecar says

            @Dirk “Were you by any chance tag-team prison raped by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld?”

            See, you’re what’s wrong with everything and this whole society. I’m just here on this comments board raising awareness with my word-fists and ideas and ideals and ideology. Because that’s what real men do. They raise awareness on Facebook, and talk peacefully about how great it would be if somebody else would punch a Nazi. And that’s what Gillette is doing. They are pointing out that what’s wrong is somebody else’s problem, and telling them they should fix themselves so the rest of us can be safe. I’m not the problem, you trogolodyke. Other people are the problem.

            HA! Your awareness has been raised up! I fooled you! My mind-brain is winning.

            And what Dick and Don and I had was polyamory. It wasn’t “rape.” Get your terms right, you Nannerthal. It wasn’t rape. He just got angry sometimes about the media lying in regards to him and making fun of his high, noble forehead. But I understood. I just bit the pillow and remembered that love is love. It wasn’t rape.

          • Bubblecar says

            Hi Quillette,

            Just an email to inform you that someone else has registered my posting name (Bubblecar) and is using it to post comments that are not by me.

            In the thread Gillette’s Progressive Politics: ‘Corinthian Leather’ for the Progressive Soul, this post apparently by Bubblecar was not posted by me:

            >Bubblecar
            January 18, 2019
            @Dirk “Were you by any chance tag-team prison raped by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld?”

            See, you’re what’s wrong with everything and this whole society. I’m just here on this comments board raising awareness with my word-fists and ideas and ideals and ideology. Because that’s what real men do. They raise awareness on Facebook, and talk peacefully about how great it would be if somebody else would punch a Nazi. And that’s what Gillette is doing. They are pointing out that what’s wrong is somebody else’s problem, and telling them they should fix themselves so the rest of us can be safe. I’m not the problem, you trogolodyke. Other people are the problem.

            HA! Your awareness has been raised up! I fooled you! My mind-brain is winning.

            And what Dick and Don and I had was polyamory. It wasn’t “rape.” Get your terms right, you Nannerthal. It wasn’t rape. He just got angry sometimes about the media lying in regards to him and making fun of his high, noble forehead. But I understood. I just bit the pillow and remembered that love is love. It wasn’t rape.<

            Sites like this don't normally allow registration of a handle already taken. It seems your software does allow this or someone has found a way to hack it.

            Obviously posters impersonating other posters seriously undermines your site's ability to function as a credible venue for serious debate, so I assume you will be attending to this matter.

            Regards etc

          • Toxic masculinity is a made up term/condition. The aim of this labelling is control and the attempted emasculation of boys and men. In my neck of the woods (an ex-industrial city) there has been no infiltration into schools and boys are gleefully boys having fun and not getting medicated or criticisied for being themselves.
            Also, those who hark on about ‘toxic masculinity ‘ should really look at how many young men are the product of environments that only have feminine influences (single mothers, schools employing majority women).

      • Bubblecar says

        @Stephanie

        “It isn’t just masculinity they’re attacking, it is specifically white masculinity.”

        They’re not attacking “masculinity”, they’re attacking anti-social behaviour and the traditional excuse that such behaviour can’t be helped because “boys will be boys”.

        And your description of the ad is inaccurate – a black man is shown breaking up a dispute amongst other blacks and persuading them to shake hands. This is what one would expect from an ad intending to promote civil male behaviour, regardless of race.

        And it’s a product of a capitalist corporation, reflecting mainstream middle class values, certainly not a specifically “leftist” view.

        • Stephanie says

          @Bubblecar, I’d say it is an attack on masculinity because it suggests to the male viewer that they are exhibiting anti-social behaviour and ought to stop. The underlying assumption that men need to be told not to engage in such behaviour, that it’s a big enough problem to warrant a public service announcement, is deeply patronizing and reflective of a negative view of (white) men. Those are the leftist views I refer to.

          Yes, I think there was one example of black men acting badly, which is why I said “almost all.” That does not diminish the fact the portrayal of white versus POC is extremely lopsided, and the inverse of what would be expected if Gillette were to have used your own example of extreme toxic masculinity: prison population.

          • Bubblecar says

            Stephanie, it’s clear that there are some fragile men out there who do find this ad offensive, and Quillette, being a right-wing culture war site, can be expected to boast a good many such posters.

            But I’m confident that the majority of men are not so insecure in their “identity” that they take a simple message like this as some kind of personal attack.

            Obviously men who actually approve of sexual harassment and bullying are not going to warm to the ad. And the MRA types who depict men as “the real victims” in any situation will find any number of reasons to try to reinforce their bizarre worldview.

            But for those of us who still inhabit the real world, there’s nothing controversial about the message presented by the ad – it really is just reflecting today’s ordinary, mainstream, white, middle class values, as they pertain to the issues raised by #MeToo and the broader problems of lingering sexist attitudes and associated anti-social behaviour.

            The regressive right may be dismayed that their views are now a minority position. But until they genuinely accept that fact, stand back and perceive why this is the case, they will continue to take weird offence at socially positive messages that more level-headed conservatives are happy to endorse.

          • Stephanie says

            @Bubblecar, I think few men are “offended” so much as they find it silly and patronizing, and correctly identify it as part of a larger trend vilifying men for normal male behaviour. Actions deemed “toxic” according to the commercial include approaching women on the street and kids wrestling at BBQs. The implication that “boys will be boys” somehow excuses sexual assaults or illegal violence instead of the normal adventurous and rambunctious hijinks of boys is itself a toxic idea that explicitly criticizes masculinity and the natural state of boys. They also characterise only “some men” as doing their part, instead of the vast majority of men who exhibit no toxic behaviour.

            Men are reacting with criticism and mockery, but I actually am offended. Not just at the slanderous characterisation of the wonderful men in my life, or the disgusting corporate virtue signalling and wading into the culture wars (you don’t think they specifically designed their ad to generate right-wing criticism?), but the characterisation of women as weak, spineless creatures in need of constant male babysitting to protect our fragile emotional states.

            The woman getting mansplained in the boardroom does not belong there if she just sighs and sheds a silent tear when she’s interrupted or touched. She got there by affirmative action if she is not capable of handling that situation with assertiveness and grace. The man who saw a pretty woman and started walking after her could have been an asshole, in which case the woman has all the power in the world to humiliate him, or his advances could have been welcomed and they could have ended up married. Is there any way a man is allowed to approach a woman, by the logic of this ad? Do women have any power, or are we just children?

          • Bubblecar says

            @Stephanie

            “Men are reacting with criticism and mockery”

            Actually, most men are not (apart from mild and understandable cynicism about capitalists pushing social responsibility messages etc). Remember that most men who post here and in other right-dominated sites are very openly (and proudly) at odds with mainstream Western opinion on most issues.

            Gillette are not fools, they know that their target market (ordinary middle class men) are not going to be hostile to the sentiments expressed in that ad.

            As for women, I can’t speak on their behalf, but here’s an article you might want to consider:

            How should conversations about toxic masculinity deal with the toxic women who also perpetuate it?
            Monica Hesse

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-should-conversations-about-toxic-masculinity-deal-with-the-toxic-women-who-also-perpetuate-it/2019/01/18/ef4fa976-1a69-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html?utm_term=.836946e606b2

          • Stephanie says

            @ Bubblecar, absent a survey it’s hard to say how this video was received by men, but the like/dislike ratio on the video should give some indication it was not popular.

            Your article doesn’t address my point. I don’t see its relevance to our conversation, except that leftists are trying to define “toxic femininity” as “toxic masculinity perpetuated by women” instead of any self-aware reflection on the ways femininity might be toxic.

            It doesn’t address how the message of the commercial infantilizes women. Perhaps what you mean by “I can’t speak on their behalf” is “I don’t care about how something infantilizes women so long as it’s consistent with my ideological position in the culture wars.”

          • Bubblecar says

            @Stephanie

            “the like/dislike ratio on the video should give some indication”

            Not reliably, no – issues like this tend to attract extremes of opinion on the internet while moderates (such as myself), although common amongst the public, are relatively rare in the debates online.

            “Perhaps what you mean by “I can’t speak on their behalf” is “I don’t care about how something infantilizes women so long as it’s consistent with my ideological position in the culture wars.”

            No, it means that while I acknowledge that there is a spectrum of views amongst women on these issues, the women making the most sense are perfectly capable of speaking for themselves, so I linked to a woman who makes obvious sense on this issue.

            The ad doesn’t infantilise women, it’s about male behaviour and the need for men to take more responsibility for it.

      • Dan Love says

        @Bubblecar

        You try to sound reasonable, that the disparity in violence caused by men and women illustrates the need for governments to control men. Yet, blacks commit violent crimes at ten times the rate whites do; so, being a reasonable man, certainly you understand the need for governments to control and inhibit the inclinations of black people… right?

        No, such an argument would cause your only testicle to explode in rage.

        Save the irrational virtue signaling for Reddit. No woman on here is going to have sex with you. The pathetic ingratiating comes off as creepy.

        • Bubblecar says

          “certainly you understand the need for governments to control and inhibit the inclinations of black people… right?”

          Yes and they do, when we’re talking about criminal behaviour. The law of the land is supposed to apply equally to everyone.

          “Save the irrational virtue signaling for Reddit.”

          I’ve been meticulously rational in my posts, and you have failed to demonstrate otherwise, choosing ad hominem instead.

          “No woman on here is going to have sex with you.”

          That’s fine by me, I’m gay 🙂

          But astonishingly, I’m not actually here to cultivate sexual relationships with anyone.

          • Dan Love says

            @Bubblecar

            Bullshit. If there were a similar commercial chiding specifically blacks, you would disagree.

            You act as if you are cultivating sexual relationships when you rely on virtue-signaling and being overly ingratiatingly. It overwhelms your rationality. Otherwise, you could see the numerical differences in how black men and white men were portrayed in the commercial, whilst realizing pointing out a few counterexamples does not disprove the numerical disparity.

            You could also see most of what you are stating is opinion, not provable. You avoided the virtues involved in aggression, for example.

            You said “What the ad was addressing is the fact that some anti-social behaviours are still too common, and still too easily excused away as an example of “boys being boys” etc. That’s pretty obvious and it’s a worthwhile point to make.”

            That is all opinion not fact. If you argue rationally, not like an ideologue, Quillette readers would take you more seriously.

          • Bubblecar says

            @Dan

            “Bullshit. If there were a similar commercial chiding specifically blacks, you would disagree.”

            I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with such a campaign, if it was produced by black people and aimed at encouraging positive behaviour amongst black men, but it’s debatable whether a racially specific version of this kind of ad is called for. I think you’ll find there’s already a lot of discussion of these issues amongst black community groups. In the ad under discussion, there’s footage from a meeting on sexual assault in which a black man says “Men need to hold other men accountable” etc.

            And I don’t see the ad as “chiding”. Have you actually watched it? The general message is very positive.

            “You act as if you are cultivating sexual relationships when you rely on virtue-signaling and being overly ingratiatingly.”

            I can assure you I’m not here for a fuck, and this would be one of the last places I’d expect to find one 🙂

            I’m not “virtue-signalling”, I’m talking sense. You assume I’m some kind of textbook SJW because I don’t share your knee-jerk response to criticism of the uglier aspects of “masculine” behaviour.

            In fact I’m a mildly centre-left liberal and quite critical of some of the more dogmatic left-wing politics in evidence these days.

            “Otherwise, you could see the numerical differences in how black men and white men were portrayed in the commercial”

            There are lots of black men in the commercial. It’s your anger at black people that seems completely irrational to me.

            “If you argue rationally, not like an ideologue, Quillette readers would take you more seriously”

            I repeat, I’ve been meticulously rational and you’ve failed to demonstrate otherwise. Far from presenting “ideology”, I’ve been trying to cut through the irrational (and quite irrelevant) ideological hostility to the very simple message promoted in this ad.

            As for Quillette readers, the general intellectual standard of most of the comments here is alas, quite low. Many open-minded rational thinkers had high hopes for this place, but it’s turning into another semi-literate right-wing ghetto.

          • Dan Love says

            @Bubblecar

            Again, bullshit. Please try to be honest. If black conservatives made a similar commercial about race you would be livid.

            It isn’t debatable whether a racial version of this commercial is called for, by your own argument. Almost every reason you pointed out why this commercial is appropriate to have directed at men is four-fold applicable to race. You yourself supplied the reasons for why a similarly commercial for race is appropriate.

            You have been nowhere close to “meticulously rational”. Please look at your comments, and after each sentence ask yourself “Have I rationally justified this or is this my heavily-framed opinion?”.

            From your posts…
            Post 1, paragraph 1 – snark.
            Post 1, paragraph 4 – entirely opinion.
            Post 2, paragraph 1 – entirely opinion.
            Post 2, paragraph 2 – snark.
            Your response to Kevin, paragraph 1 – snark. Paragraphs 4 and 5 – entirely opinion.

            You avoided, from my previous post, what I pointed out to conclude you are avoiding rationality and are virtue signaling opinions.

            Again and again and again, opinions, framed-declarations, virtue-signals; no facts, no rationality. You put forth no effort whatsoever to have a conversation that is not predicated upon your terms and your personal opinions – this is why you are a textbook SJW.

          • Bubblecar says

            @Dan

            “Again, bullshit. Please try to be honest. If black conservatives made a similar commercial about race you would be livid.”

            What makes you think I have any personal emotional investment in such things? I’m not black (or American). I’d probably form an opinion on the matter but it would be informed by the actual nature of the artifact and the responses of black intellectuals and other observers.

            “From your posts…
            Post 1, paragraph 1 – snark.
            blah blah blah”

            Yep, these are your opinions of my opinions. Nowhere have you isolated any error in my reasoning.

            “You avoided, from my previous post, what I pointed out to conclude you are avoiding rationality and are virtue signaling opinions.”

            OK, from your previous post:

            “You avoided the virtues involved in aggression, for example.”

            This merely shows your lack of comprehension of what I’ve been saying. I’ve been consistent in pointing out that some traits particularly associated with males (and therefore usually referred to as “masculine” in nature) require an adequate socialising influence to ensure that they result in reliably pro-social, as opposed to anti-social behaviour.

            When we talk of “aggression” we are normally referring to anti-social behaviour. Defending against aggression is normally regarded as defensive behaviour. You could argue that defensive behaviour requires meeting aggression with aggression, but in that case the “good aggression” is really only virtuous because of the unfortunate existence of “bad aggression”. Minimising anti-social aggression via adequate socialising influences will always be the most important task in this context.

            Anyway, it’s clear that your only investment in communicating with me is to baldly claim that my opinions are irrational, while making no attempt to criticise my reasoning, because your goal is simply to put me in a pre-prepared box called “SJW”, meaning “people I don’t like ‘cos they threaten my chosen identity category and the politics I’ve built up around it.”

          • David of Kirkland says

            @Bubblecar: “That’s fine by me, I’m gay 🙂”

            You will have to provide proof of that statement. Otherwise, I will assume that you are lying for rhetorical effect.

            Lying for rhetorical effect is gay.

      • northernobserver says

        Bubblecar – Sure I do honey, but this Gillette crap ain’t it. This is practically an incitement to a Chad revolt and the repeal of women’s right to vote. I love how you revolutionary types always sell your medicine as ‘normality’ when it is pathological and nihilistic in the extreme. Sorry, no Soup for you dude.

      • @Bubblecar

        I think you’re right in a sense, but the tenor of the whole message, even beyond the Gillette ad is one of distaste for the general state of men. That we are bad a wrong to be men, and that we need to stop acting like men. Now the distinction is “toxic masculinity”, not “men”, but that has been too muddled at this point to separate.

        Like most things, it’s nuanced, but it’s easier to take sides, well not easier, more manly.

        • Bubblecar says

          I’m being “imped” (as the term used to be) by some critter in this thread.

          The post containing: @Dirk “Were you by any chance tag-team prison raped by Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld?”

          See, you’re what’s wrong with everything and this whole society. etc etc”

          …was not by me but someone else using the handle Bubblecar. I wonder if Quillette is aware that their site is insecure in this way. Normally once a handle is taken, it’s not possible for another poster to register it.

          • Dan Love says

            @Bubblecar

            I don’t know man. That post sounds a lot like it’s from you – stating opinions as facts, virtue-signaling, being passive aggressive, no attempt at having an actual discussion…

            In fact, how do we know the post I’m replying to is actually from Bubblecar? It doesn’t seem to have enough passive-aggressive SJW bitching.

      • Conner M. Steacy says

        @Bubblecar It should be noted that a majority of male prisoners are the product of single mothers. And when it comes to sexual assault it’s close to 90%. Since females are the gatekeepers of sex, feminism, in its current iteration should also be part of Gillette’s critique.

        Men learn how to be masculine and control their violent tendencies through interaction with male role models (good ones we hope). Consequently, women learn from their fathers what men to accept or reject as future partners and fathers.

        To just blame men and reject deeper realities is irresponsible. And to just blame white men as this ad suggests is even worse. It’s Hard to get the line of white men in front flaming BBQ’s at groin height out of my head.

        • Bubblecar says

          It’s good to see you fully support my position, with your argument:

          “Men learn how to be masculine and control their violent tendencies through interaction with male role models (good ones we hope).”

          This little ad is entirely about men taking responsibility to provide good role models for other men and for boys.

          Exactly what I’ve been saying when referring to the crucial role of “childhood socialisation and ongoing social reinforcement of civil attitudes and conduct.”

          • dellingdog says

            @Bubblecar: for what it’s worth, I completely agree with everything you’ve written. I’ve given up trying to engage with the anti-SJW ideologues on this site, but I admire your patience and tenacity. You should know that you’re speaking for some number of other readers.

            FYI, Quillette allows anyone to use any ID at any time. I’ve been “imped” as well in the past.

          • Bubblecar says

            @dellingdog

            Ta for the support dellingdog 🙂

            And you’re right about the ease of imping here – I forgot I never actually had to register a password etc when posting in Quillette.

          • Conner M. Steacy says

            Sorry but no.

            Where is the female responsibility? Do boys and men not have mothers?

            This is an ad directed by radical feminist Kim Gehrig who clearly doesn’t understand boys or men. Play fighting is something we enjoy and we use it as boys to learn how to limit our aggression not amplify it. Men and boys know this, she doesn’t.

            And weirdly, isn’t it the progressive stance that one can only be critical if you actually are what you criticize? You can’t possibly empathize with any culture, race or gender unless you belong to that group.

            By that measure Gehrig should not be allowed to write and direct on a gender to which she does not belong. Imagine the blowback if a man directed something criticizing “toxic female vanity”.

            I don’t agree with that. Gehrig should be free to direct ads about anything she wants. Nevertheless, if progressives forward rules about cultural and gender appropriation then the rules should also apply to them.

        • Bubblecar says

          @Conner

          You pointed out that boys need positive male role models. You emphasised that this is crucial to their development as pro-social citizens.

          And I agreed, and reminded you that this is clearly all this ad is about. There’s really nothing else in it. Men should provide positive role models for boys and other men, and call out bad behaviour.

          But because it was directed by a woman, you feel the need to take issue with it.

          I suppose that’s just the nature of today’s histrionic politics 🙂

          Of course women have responsibilities too, but that doesn’t mean a message like this shouldn’t be entitled to focus on men (who are the market for most of the company’s products).

          As for the wrestling, I think that’s an example of poor production – the boys were supposed to be fighting, not just play-fighting.

          Or if not, then I agree, it was misplaced in this video.

  4. I don’t agree that women think this ad is great. As a woman I was repelled by it. I not only loathe the misandry that permeates ‘progressive’ (actually, regressive) thinking, I also loathe the implicit sexism against women. The idea is that women are delicate Victorian-esque child-like creatures who need protection from authority. Our feelings are terribly easy to hurt, and we fall apart with 1/100 of the nastiness men face every day. Except we don’t in real life—not only are women strong, but women face horrible bullying from other women all the time. I’ve been bullied by women far far more than sexually harassed by men. Actually, I’ve been sexually harassed by women far more than men–women harass other women for looks all the time in order to jostle on the female hierarchy for male attention and female power.

    At any event, as a woman I will never buy a Gillette razor. I’m really disgusted and tired of these nasty scolds who pretend they’re moral shoving their broken, hate-filled ideology on the rest of us. I think most people are sick of it. The bigger question is why the mainstream media loves it so much. If the media never covered this garbage, it would have zero traction.

    • Mrs. R says

      I agree entirely. Not only am I disgusted by the casual, unapologetic misandry and racism (all of the ‘correcting’ men were of color while the ‘corrected’ were white), I disagree with the implication that I need a man to keep me safe. I am entirely capable of dealing with mouthy, disrespectful asshats, IF I encounter them. (Contrary to the progressive narrative, I have interacted with thousands of courteous and pleasant men in my 39 years and struggle to remember even a handful of instances of men behaving badly, so I call BS on men behaving badly being some social emergency.) Amazingly, I am also sensible and self-respecting enough to choose my company carefully and avoid men who behave poorly. I realize this is something of a challenge for many women but that’s hardly men’s fault.

      • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

        @Mrs. R

        I fondly remember my mother and father both describing the ‘bad’ old days, when a lady knew how to behave like a lady BUT also knew how to handle a jerk. And if any gentleman saw a lady being mistreated in any way, it could become physical if the jerk did not back off in haste. Now we have ‘my little black dress doesn’t mean yes’, and these twits wonder why men don’t behave properly.

      • Stephanie says

        @d and Mrs. R: Amen, sisters!

        It has only ever been women who have made me feel uncomfortable for what I was wearing at work, and the few times I’ve been catcalled (compared to how often I wear revealing clothing and how fine I look in it) I have been more than capable of handling it myself. Most of the time it’s homeless men with obvious mental health issues, or young men giving what they think is a compliment. And like Ray says, if ever it got physical I have no doubt a man would have intervened on my behalf.

        No, this attack on masculinity doesn’t fly. Men have been socialised to the point of being feminized, and if anything it is time for a conversation on toxic femininity.

        • Bubblecar says

          You people talk about men being “feminized” but what is that actually supposed to mean? Lightning Rose contrasted these “feminized” men with the MANLY men in mostly shitty manual jobs.

          What she’s ignoring is that most of the work that requires intellect and creativity is also done by men – most of the science, technology, medicine, art and culture in general is created by men, and they are mostly very civilised, studious, creative types who don’t go in for spittin’, cussin’ and arm wrestlin’.

          Are these highly educated, middle class elite – the men who’ve basically created modern civilization – the “feminized” men you’re talking about?

          If so, you’d better be thankful for us 🙂

          Society only needs a certain number of labourers, firefighters, truck drivers and bear-wrestling lumberjacks. And useful though those men may be, they are very dependent for their quality of life on the modern world we “feminized men” provide for them, with its hospitals, its libraries full of knowledge, its modern technology and its entertainment and arts industries.

          • northernobserver says

            Bubblecar – you had better be a powerless nobody with a big mouth… for all our sakes.

          • Stephanie says

            @Bubblecar, there is little stopping creative and intellectual men from being manly as well, except for the feminizing efforts of schools and universities. By feminization I mean the inoculation of feminine attributes such as agreeableness to the point of pliability, and de-emphasis of masculine pursuits such as physical prowess. Such men are molded to make good office employees, but they aren’t less prone to bad behaviour, just more insidious in it.

            The work done by feminized men can and will be done by women instead, in ever-growing numbers as feminine traits become more valued. Such men are thus replaceable. On the other hand, society is built on the backs of the working class manly men who do the work women can’t or won’t do. We had all better be grateful to them, because we would actually notice if they stopped doing their jobs! And have some gratitude for the troops, too.

            Of course please don’t take any of this personally, since you self-identify as a feminine man. It takes all types, but increasingly it seems traditional masculinity is the type under attack.

          • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

            @Bubblecar

            Yup. As evolutionary theory predicts, you will see men sliding to both tails of the curve. We will dominate in the dirty, dangerous, debilitating, demanding jobs that women would rather not do, and we will also dominate where competence, creativity, competition and commitment are required. Women choose well paying but safe jobs. Go to any university and you will see that almost 100% of the administration is female. Those few women who really do want to commit to one of the demanding professions or trades are most welcome to, but please don’t ask for special considerations or quota hiring. (Tho, in the real world, if you are in fact competent, the men you work with will probably be happy to help you lift that 200 lb transformer, just so long as you can wire it up by yourself.)

          • Thank goodness, I thought you were being serious for a moment there – carry on!

          • Defenstrator says

            The complaint of men being feminized is simple. Men and women do not act the same way. Feminists assume the way women is the correct one, and then deem behaviour that is not like theirs to be wrong.

            Of course the problem is that it is not wrong, they’re just sexists trying to impose their behaviour into a different group. But they can’t recognize that and instead attribute negative connotations to the group differences.

        • Ray Andrews (the dolphin) says

          @Stephanie

          I think again of what Dr. P says about this: men cannot return the world to sanity, it is the job of grown-up women to recall their little sisters to their senses. As you say, the dressing wars are largely fought between women. Men are the ‘targets’ in a way, but women engage in this endless, unspoken competition with each other. Classy women try to maintain a sort of Geneva Convention between themselves on how risque they can get, then along comes some tart in her … (whatever) and undersells the market. She will not have her eyes scratched out by men, but by her sisters. Countless times I’ve seen my sisters (who are high class) ask each other before a night out: “Is this too revealing?”

        • Bubblecar says

          @Stephanie

          “Of course please don’t take any of this personally, since you self-identify as a feminine man.”

          Um, I don’t – I just self-identity as me. I’m not into “identity politics” and I don’t think of myself in terms of “masculine” or “feminine” which seem to me very crude ways of describing oneself.

          I was assuming that it was you who were identifying men like me as “feminized”, because we don’t feel offended by this harmless little ad.

        • frances says

          Six!
          It didn’t hurt my husband’s feelings – it hurt his highly-developed brain. The bit where the rationality and science lurk. All the bits that make him the best that he can be! He’s recovering though – looking super smug using his Bic.
          You’re an embarrassment, Gillette, and what we call at our house ‘fools to yourselves’.

    • Lightning Rose says

      The nitwits pushing the de-masculinization of Western civilization just better hope that we never have to fight a war again in earnest–the kind like WWII, not the video game dronemaster variety.
      Can you see the current crop of skinny-jeaned, neck-bearded “sensitive” vegan fops storming Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal? Yeah. Me neither. Wouldn’t even make it through Basic.

      Women who are comfortable with their own sex (which is like 99.8% of them) like MANLY men–not sexually ambiguous androgynes. They also recognize that MEN are the ones who use their physical strength, competitive ambition, and yes even their aggression, to do the VAST majority of dangerous, physically demanding, dirty jobs women can’t/wont do. They build the bridges, repair the planes, fight the fires and the wars, collar the perps, drive and unload the trucks, string the cables, dig the ditches and pump out the septic tanks. How many women want to do wiring and plumbing, HVAC, or landscaping all day every day? How ’bout working the stockyards, trainyards, and shipyards? Howcum YOU’RE not doing that, ladies?

      While there will always be a few outliers whose exception proves the rule, most of us accept that men and women are different, physically and mentally, and those differences give us different roles to fulfill that complement each other. All this “gender” crap is much ado about nothing; with the exception of a few maladjusted malcontents who probably wouldn’t ever be happy in any event, the vast majority of people are comfortable in the world and are in no hurry to “change” it.
      “Whistling girls and crowing hens, always come to very bad ends.” 😉

      • Bubblecar says

        “storming Omaha Beach or Guadalcanal”

        It was already becoming the case by WWII (and indeed by WWI) that wars were won by efficient weapon systems, combined with industrial-scale production and the right strategic decisions, designed to impose the inevitability of attrition as dictated by economics.

        The men going over the top in WWI didn’t profit at all from “aggressive” attitudes – whether screamingly aggressive or scared shitless, they knew they’d be mown down by the calmly efficient machine guns, and of course millions were. Likewise, the role of the men “storming” Omaha beach was essentially cannon fodder, thrown in to wear down the defences with a high casualty rate.

        You may have noticed that we Westerners don’t fight wars like that any more, because technology has advanced sufficiently to wipe out old-fashioned entrenched defences with a much lower casualty rate on the winner’s side.

        “They also recognize that MEN are the ones who use their physical strength, competitive ambition, and yes even their aggression, to do the VAST majority of dangerous, physically demanding, dirty jobs women can’t/wont do.”

        Yes but those tend to be low-status jobs and a lot of that work can be done more efficiently by machines, and increasingly is these days. The successful men tend to be in jobs that require intelligence, knowledge and creativity.

        “MANLY men”

        Your need for that adjective – in CAPS no less – indicates that at least some level, you’re aware of how primitive it is and how indicative of lowly cultural status. Humans are destined to evolve far beyond such crude and frankly animalistic models of our nature.

        • Lightning Rose says

          Actually, some of us don’t give a rat’s about “cultural status.” But then I suppose We Deplorables are in the minority on an elitist website where the terminally bored come to flex their intellectual muscles (oops, there’s that MANLY metaphor again!” (snicker)

  5. Bubblecar says

    The ad presents a nice little message. It’s hard to see how anyone not blinded by “culture wars” can squeeze any offence out of it, unless they genuinely do think sexual harassment and bullying are fine and noble things.

    And of course it has little or no connection with the product being sold, except for brand alignment with “social responsibility” etc. As such it won’t do Gillette any harm and has scored them massive publicity, nearly all of it positive from an industry perspective, because the only people complaining are “seriously uncool” MRAs and similar frustrated misfits, widely recognised by young people as negative role models.

    As for razors, I always buy the cheapest on offer, and they last for ages as I only have a few patches of face and neck to shave around my (predictable) full hipster beard and moustache 🙂

    • There’s a difference between taking offense to the ad and mocking it for it’s banality.

      Who is it trying to convince? Are the R Kelly’s and Harvey Weinstein’s of the world going to watch it and see the error of their ways?

      On top of that, there is the blatant double standard. If someone made a commercial exhorting inner city black males to stop shooting each other or Muslim men not to be terrorists, the outrage would be tremendous.

    • Defenstrator says

      I feel you are blinded by your prejudices. I don’t know any MRAs, but all the men I do know see this as blatantly sexist attack against our gender.

      To be blunt, if you think sexism is bad then you are against this commercial.

      • Bubblecar says

        I’m a man, I know plenty of other men, and they all roll their eyes at the suggestion that there’s anything remotely offensive about this ad.

        • Defenstrator says

          Guess you’ve internalized that misandry then.I believe that’s the feminist way of explaining your bad behaviour. Or you just have a hard time understanding that lumping men together as a group and judging them as a group is as bad as doing it to any other group.

          By the way, don’t rape anyone today. Rape is wrong. It’s important you understand that. A regular person might be insulted by the implication that you didn’t know that, but since that’s the commercial in a nutshell and you are fine with it, I know you appreciate the reminder. Don’t beat any women either. As an upstanding man it’s my job to remind you.

          • @Defenstrator: “As an upstanding man it’s my job to remind you.” Best humour of the lot so far. Give this man a cupie doll.

        • frances says

          I’m a woman, I know plenty of men, and they all roll their eyes at the suggestion that there’s anything remotely acceptable about this ad.

    • I dont need a multi-national corporation, who cares exactly nothing for me, telling me how to be a man.

      But I didnt even see the commercial so whatever.

    • hail to none says

      @Bubblecar “It’s hard to see how anyone not blinded by “culture wars” can squeeze any offence out of it…”

      I agree- context matters, and that’s one of the main (if not principal) issue here. This ad is a deliberate, virtue-signaling salvo in the culture wars, and the problematizing of masculinity that is the rage among many on the left. This is precisely why it has received so many negative reactions.

      • Bubblecar says

        Obviously it’s virtue-signalling, but there are times when the virtue being signalled is actually a virtue, a value that’s worth upholding.

        “the problematizing of masculinity”

        Oddly enough, when I’ve discussed this with conservative people before, they tend to agree that “there used to be” serious problems with casual indecent assault (such as portrayed on those old comedies glimpsed in the ad, where a man pinches a woman’s ass and she’s shown as indignant, but he’s smiling ‘cuz it’s nothing serious, right? etc). But they claim “such attitudes have mostly changed…”

        But how did those attitudes change? The answer is of course because feminists pointed out that sexual assault is actually completely unacceptable, and civilized men agreed with them, and so that sort of thing is now seldom found in everyday popular culture. Yet people like you still portray the civilized side of these “culture wars” as the bad guys.

        And unfortunately the incidence of sexual assault and harassment is still way too high, as we know from large scale surveys – unless you believe the majority of women are are just lying about these things.

        • Erica from Minnesota says

          In spite of Grey Advertising’s attempt to lay this all on the men…the reality is that we have 300 million years of nature pushing genetic code through our veins that causes the hairs to rise and sweat to bead when we see a very attractive woman..or man (as it were).

          That’s nature…and while we have become extremely civilized in our day..the fact remains that natural selection isn’t a made up phrase by Sociologists who dropped out of teaching Western Civilization.

          When can we expect to see an ad attacking the toxicity of girls and women? You know..it’s not all cute fun and games on the girls side of the lunchroom.

          • Bubblecar says

            “and while we have become extremely civilized in our day..”

            Which is a good thing, right? ‘Cos rape and sexual assault are pretty bad things.

            You acknowledge that “instincts” need to be subject to adequate self-control, and that’s unlikely to happen without our culture imposing such obligations?

            And that some kinds of culture are more successful at this than others?

            Good, we’re all on the same page as the sentiments expressed in the Gillette ad, and with defensible ethical thinking in general.

          • Nakatomi Plaza says

            You didn’t watch the ad, did you? I suspect there are plenty of ads about bullying that involve girls (maybe not sexual harassment, because…duh), so why act like this is a big deal? Don’t bully and don’t sexually harass people. You’re really going to defend those behaviors?

        • Pirus says

          @bubblecar

          Not sure if you have a school age teenage daughter. If you do surely you must appreciate the vicious nature of bullying amongst girls, far worse than boys, and the damaging effects it has on them.

          So it is the hypocrisy in this ad that bothers many people not necessarily the message. This reaction should be viewed in the context of an environment that seems to constantly bash masculinity in a totally unbalanced fashion.

        • frances says

          Nope. Virtue is its own reward and doesn’t need signalling. That’s the problem with all this – surly pieties aren’t an argument. They’re just surly pieties – and lots of people just aren’t that keen on them in public ‘debate’. But a sensible point, well argued – now that would be a whole new ball game. Refreshing too. Meanwhile, the signals are just damaging brand credibility, and I have to say causing quite a bit of hilarity. Embarrassing, Gillette! Just embarrassing….

    • northernobserver says

      Bubblecar you have no eyes to see… or you mask your pathological hatreds even to yourself. I wonder what handicap you have (real or imagined) the leads you to rail and flail against the vital, the healthy, the living.

  6. George G says

    “which, for millennials, is basically Corinthian leather for the soul.”

    that’s a great line and deserves a round of applause

  7. Alternate take: Gillette, knowing full well that their product is an overpriced gimmick, has realized that they cannot keep up the charade that their multi-blade razors does not shave better than a safety razor with a $0.25 blade. They cartainly dont shave better than a stright razor that you can get for $50 and last a lifetime.

    Instead, they realsed this add not for men, but to appeal to women. As an official Woke Capital company, they can talk women into buying their overpriced crap.

  8. Bryan says

    Sexism, racism, and prejudice, motivated by a deep underlying contemptuously intolerant view of western values and masculinity, hidden neatly behind a thin veil of compassion and enlightenment…………….a perfect example of toxic politically correct ideology. Thank you Gillette for giving me the opportunity to feel so smug and self-righteous when I shave every morning.

    I am so triggered. It’s all enough to make me want to express my inner toxicity by growing a beard.

    • George G says

      @ Bryan

      little known fact about beards: beards actually serve as a vent for internalised toxic masculinity and as a barrier to breathing in the toxic masculinity of other men nearby. That’s why so many city living Woke Hipsters look like 19th Century lumberjacks

      • Bryan says

        Most of those Woke urban hipsters with beards drive Subarus that run on granola and self-righteousness and come equipped with virtue signals instead of turn signals as standard equipment. They only allow the driver to make left turns.

  9. Your_Top says

    Here’s a trick to keep any blade working for weeks. Buy a can of compressed air, rinse your blades and blow the water out with the air can. Voila. Cheap or expensive blades now last a lot longer……

  10. Robert Franklin says

    ” I’m not sure it makes sense to blame Gillette for hitching its wagon to a trendy horse. ”

    Oh, I see. So as long as an ad improves the bottom line, all is well and the maker of the product can’t be criticized. Of course feminists were right to criticize the VS ad, but men aren’t right to criticize Gillette’s. Plus, it’s ok to make a virulently misandric ad in the name of improving male behavior. Somehow that makes sense. And finally, Gillette, which makes razors marketed to women too, would never dream of airing an ad critical of them, right?

    Gee, that’s all about as self-contradictory and hypocritical as it gets. The author needs to think before writing.

  11. Num num says

    Those under the sway of identity politics don’t notice anything wrong with this advert and are astonished at the negative response. They only see commonsense admonishment of bad behavior. “What’s wrong with telling men not to commit sexual harassment and assault?” I found this effective at inducing awareness of the problem…

    Just swap ‘man’ with any other demographic and see if you sense a problem…

    * “What’s wrong with telling women not to… [ insert negative stereotypes ] ?

    * “What’s wrong with telling blacks not to… [ insert negative stereotypes ] ?

    * “What’s wrong with telling transwomen not to… [ insert negative stereotypes ] ?

    Probably no leftist or liberal could fail to see those as problematic, and yet replace any of these targeted demographics with ‘men’, and the same problem vanishes to those emersed in intersectionality. But the only consistent liberal response is to see a problem with targeting any specific whole demographic with negative stereotypes that are not necessarily unique thereto. Not only men harass and bully, and most men don’t, so addressing those problems is not down to addressing men.

    The inability to see a problem with this ad marks the difference between the intersectional left and classical liberalism.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      What’s wrong with telling women not to… commit sexual harassment and assault?

      What’s wrong with telling blacks not to…commit sexual harassment and assault?

      What’s wrong with telling transwomen not to…commit sexual harassment and assault?

      Nobody would have a problem with the above statements. It’s the behavior that’s being condemned, not the identity of the people involved. That ad is not about race, as evidenced by the very conspicuous placement of various races. It’s not about all men, as evidenced by the different actions by various men. It’s about the behavior.

      But if you’re hellbent on being offended by an ad for razors, have at it.

      • Stephanie says

        @Nakatomi plaza, if someone put out a commercial targeting black men or MTF trans people the way white men were singled out in this ad, the left would cry bloody murder.

        Watch the ad again. The great majority of men portrayed as “good” are POC and the great majority portrayed as “bad” were white.

  12. John M says

    If the goal was to enlighten, they wouldn’t have used the phrase “toxic masculinity”. They knew doing so would make some people angry at them, and make others love them. Both of those things bring eyeballs, which are money for them. This doesn’t improve society. It only fans the flames.

  13. John M says

    I put my blades in mineral oil between shaves. They last a long time.

  14. John M says

    Having watched it a couple more times now, I agree this shouldn’t be offensive, and has lots of positive messages, but in the context of the larger social dynamic it’s divisive. The double standard that others point out is the gating problem. Progress won’t be made as long as those advocating one have a seat at the table and are considered mainstream.

  15. If this ad improves the bottom line, why not go full-on Sarah Jeong and let men (apparently mostly white men judging from the ad) know what pieces of trash they really are?
    I wrote Gillette and let them know that, as a woman and the mother of two sons, I would not be buying any Proctor and Gamble products. I will do this until I forget that I am boycotting them. It is hard enough trying to remember that I am also boycotting Unilever.

  16. Constantin says

    Thanks for mentioning Procter and Gamble. My intended boycott was conceived too narrowly. LOL It seems that we are all in agreement. Gillette wants to sell its products (overpriced or not) only to customers intent on bringing down the patriarchy (and we seem to be told do not engage in the primitive practice of barbequing). There is indeed merit in a business add that says barbequing types not welcome: it is clarity. Take notice and behave accordingly! Mr. Kay also provides great public service explaining that abandoning Gillette to the post-modern radical customer base makes also good financial and practical sense. Nothing beats the ability to combine utility with pleasure. Procter Gamble – bye, bye!

  17. Mark Beal says

    From what I’ve read about this ad (I’m not going to watch it – I don’t want to give Gillette the satisfaction of yet another click), including the above, my first thought was that it’s objectionable given the current social context. The ad is obviously being read in the light of current talk of “toxic masculinity” and therefore divides people based on their feelings towards “progressive” ideology. It has the same flavour about it of unconscious bias training – i.e. if you’re a decent bloke who goes about his business trying to treat other people as well as you can, you’re likely to be really pissed off at the suggestion that by virtue of being a bloke, you’re just kidding yourself.

    Then I changed my mind. The ad would actually be objectionable even if the climate were not as it is. I’ve been around for roughly half a century. I’ve never actually lived in a setting where there were not clear social norms surrounding what constituted acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for men. That’s not to say that some men don’t do bad things (so do some woman). But the men (and women) who do bad things can hardly be unaware that their actions are considered socially unacceptable. Therefore the most benign interpretation of the Gillette ad is that it is completely redundant. But it’s not benign. Even ten, twenty, thirty years ago, it would have had the whiff about it of, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

    Maybe some of the other comments are right, and the ad is largely aimed at women who do the shopping. Even so, it seems to me peculiarly offensive to slander their husbands by suggesting at best that they are not really doing their best, at worst just waiting for an opportunity to have the “little lady” “walk into a door”. I eagerly await the day when one of these woke marketing exercises goes seriously awry, so that I can amuse myself watching the company in question try and squirm its way out of a horrible miscalculation.

    Maybe it’ll be this one, maybe not. I find it unfathomable that a company should try and sell products to a demographic by basically, given the current climate, telling them that they’re toxic by virtue of their chromosomes, but maybe there are enough woke, gender-fluid but nevertheless penis and facial hair equipped masochists out there willing to pay a premium to keep Gillette ticking over for yet another decade. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out.

    Top article, though. Really enjoyable.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      You didn’t actually watch the ad but your wrote four paragraphs of bullshit about the ad?

      Jesus, just watch it. It’s nothing. You’ll feel silly after you watch it because you’ll see how ridiculous all these complaints are.

      • Defenstrator says

        I’m sorry you find people standing up against sexism ridiculous. But thank you for making it clear that there are still people who are fine with it in this day and age.

        • frances says

          @defenstrator
          Who said they’re fine with sexism exactly? I must have missed it….in every single comment.

  18. Bob Morris says

    Disclaimer: I stopped buying Gillette shaving products six years ago because I wanted to get an electric razor. Since that time, I’ve found the blades on most electric razors last longer than those Gillette blades do — they aren’t cheaper when compared to Gillette blades, but because they last more than a year, I buy them less frequently.

    Furthermore, I save money on shaving cream and don’t need aftershave, so it’s a win all around.

    But it doesn’t mean I’m biased here!

    Seriously, if a corporation really wants to prove it understands a social cause, it needs to actually have the corporate head honchos come out and talk for themselves about it, rather than handing it off to human resources and public relations for carefully prepared statements. While I don’t doubt most corporate types would be respectful to women, I wonder how many of them could handle open, honest dialogue without wanting to be coached up by some PR folks about what they should say.

    At any rate, all we need to recognize is that Gillette is only doing this campaign, regardless of who wrote it, because it wants to sell products. Social justice folks who think causes are advanced by cozying up to corporations are going to find out the hard way that such causes will be dropped once they are no longer deemed profitable.

    Oh well… I’ll leave you with this:

    The razor likes
    To think it’s woke
    But corporate fluff
    Is such a joke.
    –Burma-Shave

  19. Jimmy says

    “Who are the men paying that ridiculous premium?”

    I do. They’re much better blades than the disposable crap you’re using. Next time, before you write judgey nonsense such as that sentence, try actually using the product.

    • Gillette’s been losing market share to cheaper competitors for a decade now. So yes, many that have used the product have found the premium ridiculous.

    • Safety razors have better blades than modern razors, at a fraction of the cost. Straight razors even moreso, but they have a bigger up front price. Whipped-dog sells vintage straight razors for pretty cheap.

  20. @Bubblecar

    “Yep, that’s a philosophy that’s very common in the prisons. And sure, in such environments it’s probably necessary to know how to fight. Most of the inmates were raised in environments in which dominating others by physical force was lauded as a virtue, rather than seen as primitive, unfair and socially destructive. So they keep getting into fights and keep getting into trouble.”

    Yeah, ok, I dont need you to prison-splain what prisons are like. I work in the prison system. I have contact with inmates every single day. If you think men are locked up because they were “raised in environments in which dominating others by physical force was lauded as a virtue” then you might want to re-evaluate your understanding of the world. Middle-school, high-school and college wrestlers are also deep in a culture where physical domination is lauded as a virture. How many of them end up in prison?

    If you actually look at why people, men and women, end up is prison youll find mental illness and drug addiction the likely culprit. The majority of prisoners are functionally illiterate. Low IQ doesnt help either. All of this has a bigger impact than “controlling masculinity.”

    “In civilized society, we have no need for recourse to violence except in self defence”

    Then you agree with me, mostly, since I never said fighting was good for all situations. But you also neglect to understand that every single law that exists in our civilized society is backed by threat of violence. So, no, we dont minimize violence. We outsource it.

    “But you’ve somehow missed out on all this, or perhaps you were taught decent values at some stage but have now decided that only “SJWs” think that way, and decent men should value physical domination and aggression, like those poor guys in prison.”

    I have not mentioned “SJW’s” at all. Decent men do value the ability to aggresivly and physically dominate. Go to any Boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA gym and you will find many decent men. Wrestling programs across the world are full of decent men. That these skills are valued does not mean that they are valued for every single interaction, but they are and should be valued. These skills have also be valued cross culturally for a very long time. Well before anyone ever mentioned SJW’s.

    “If you’re talking about modern warfare”

    Im not.

    “– which sadly may still sometimes be unavoidable – this has little at all in common with masculine aggression and traditional, emotion-fuelled male violence.”

    Sure. Ok. Thats why not a single push up happens in basic training.

    ” It’s all about remaining calm and rational while making efficient use of high-tech weapon systems, and not being distracted by emotional concerns.”

    Sure, if your job is to run high tech weapons.

    “Modern soldiers – or at least those who win – are technicians, not warriors.”

    My Dad is a technician. He has never had to learn how to fasten a bayonet or bash someones skull with the buttstock of a rifle.

    • X. Citoyen says

      Excellent comment. I think BC lives in a world of his own making. The real options are controlled and sublimated male violence and A Clockwork Orange.

  21. Erica from Minnesota says

    Preachy brands don’t last long. Granted, Gillette is a mainstay, but so were Polaroid and Kodak back in the day when men were men.

    This ad was obviously done by a female exec at an ad agency to win awards..not sell razors.

    It happens all the time on the marketing side. PC folks get power…try to assert their power..forget they should be trying to sell to as large of an audience as possible…and then lose sales..and lose their jobs.

    Ask the last CMO at General Mills who insisted every agency and service provider to BigG have at least 50% women and 50% minorities..or they couldn’t be a supplier to General Mills. Board decided they’d rather sell Cheerio’s to anyone and everyone rather than piss in the Cheerio’s of conservatives..so they whacked her.

    The only safe way for a brand to do a spot like this is to do 2 spots. Because ‘toxicity’ is not limited to males (suicide rates, depression and anxiety are at all time highs for girls because of the toxic culture of girldom), it’s important to take on the other 1/2 of your audience that shaves their armpits, legs and other ‘parts’.

    Boys may slug each other in jest..but girls torment each other until they hang themselves, cut themselves, or just plain old shut down.

    If the ad agency had released both ads at the same time…hooray for them.

    But no..they took a swipe at men and in this day and age…you best be prepared for blow back.

  22. kenny says

    Okay. Okay. Forget the politics. This is an epic piece of satirical writing. Lots of big laughs.

  23. William Patton Jr. says

    A few scumbags like Harvey Weinstein and Anthony Weiner give men a bad name but Gillette could have easily made an ad showing admirable and real masculine things that most men are doing everyday such as performing heart surgeries​, flying rescue helicopters, fixing power lines in ice storms, coaching their kid’s baseball teams and so forth.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      You just described 99% of all ads for male products. You can’t handle one fucking ad that doesn’t let you feel like the center of the universe? How delicate are you that you need 100% confirmation of your awesomeness 100% of the time?

      • Defenstrator says

        He is not delicate at all since what you said is not true. He is not objecting the commercial because it does not put men in the centre of the universe. He is objecting because the commercial is sexist in its implication that men are inherently toxic and that masculinity itself is a problem.

  24. My social media feed has been chock full of people posting, discussing, and defending an advertisement for two days. Each post makes sure to mention the product by name and most contain the embedded video. I’d say as an exercise in viral marketing, this campaign is one of the most successful ever.

    Focus on the alleged backlash to this ad (of which this article is one of the milder examples) is absolutely key to these campaigns. All of the responses I’ve seen focused on one or two randos on Twitter who are mad about it. The razor company has successfully gotten people to talk about their product for two or three days, and convinced a sizable and desirable demographic that purchasing their product is a powerful political and social statement.

    Any belief you identify with sufficiently is vulnerable to this kind of co-opting. Whoever created this campaign is going to be hired to do it again and again.

    • DiamondLil says

      Sylv, I suspect you’ve hit the proverbial nail. This is all going according to plan. I wonder, however, if it will have any impact on sales. Will people, whatever their worldview, actually go out of their way to buy the product because of the ad? Even people who dislike it will almost certainly continuing buying whatever razor they are used to buying. Twitter threads about Gillette’s ad may benefit the marketing team, but I doubt anyone else’s behavior will change in the least.

      • Defenstrator says

        The only effect it had on our household is that all Gillette products have been replaced with competitors. Gillette made it clear it thinks men are bad. That’s a bad thing to think. And we son’t Give money to bad people.

    • @Sylv, you make several logical fallacies here. 1. You assume that your own personal social media feed is representative statistically of the entire country. Just because your personal social media feed is full of people posting and defending this ad means zip. 2. “one or two randos on Twitter?”” Um no. The ad has suffered a lot of backlash, borne out statistically. 3. You say the company has “convinced a sizable demographic” to purchase the razors. That is unproven. You have zero idea if it has. Maybe it has. Maybe not. 4. It’s possible that this will be filed under ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity,” but products – unlike people – don’t work that way. Many products have suffered sizable hits thorough negative associations.

      This ad is really negative. It operates through sanctimonious preaching, straw men (the last time I heard “boys will be boys” was over 50 years ago), implicit anti-white bias, and and so on. The Nike ad knew its market – African Americans – plus the ad was positive; it didn’t attack an entire segment of its own consumers.

      If I had to guess, I would say this will be a marketing fail. Yes it may win awards and the person creating it will be patted on the back at upscale parties. But as for selling razors — I don’t think it will help, and it may well hurt.

  25. This ad isn’t bold, it’s so PC that it’s timid. For example, in the scene where the fat white guy is asking a young woman at the pool party to “smile” and in the next scene where another white guy attempts to approach an attractive woman on a sidewalk, BOTH white men’s presumably unwanted advances are stopped by black men. Gillette so scared of Al and Jesse’s boycotts that they couldn’t have dared balanced this out by having the black guy be the hero in scene one the white guy be the hero in scene two? I understand why ADT Security Systems probably shouldn’t portray black home invaders and and white installation technicians in their ads but the cowardice in this Gillette ad is laughable.

  26. Stereotypes are supposed to be harmful, at least thats what we’ve been told, so why is this ok?

    • Pirus says

      Because of shameless hypocrisy at the core of the current version of feminism.

      The greatest threat to women is feminism.

  27. Strawberry Girl says

    Gillette has two problems: one, beards are popular so men aren’t shaving as much and two, the ones who still are turning more to Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. So it decides to go in for the wokety-wokes who still shave AND appeal to women, since women make purchasing decisions for the household. Also note that Gillette makes razors for women. Basically Gillette was willing to sacrifice some customers over the short term to woo wokety-wokes and women, who they see as more valuable. I’ve noticed the only people who really seem to like this ad are women, Twitter blue checkers, and the kind of guys who get labelled soy boys. By the way, P&G and the powers that be who own it are known for their support of leftist causes.

    The Virginia Slims story is an interesting example. I remember as a kid seeing VS magazine ads featuring “old fashioned” photos of women getting arrested or even physically threatened for daring to puff on a cigarette juxtaposed next to a color photo of a 1970s-1980s woman happily smoking away with nobody bothering her (before, of course, smoking got banned just about everywhere). To my knowledge there’s no evidence women were ever legally prohibited from smoking. My great grandmother used to roll her own. But VS practically positioned itself the official sponsor of women’s lib without of course getting into really controversial stuff like abortion. I remember it used to sponsor women’s tennis tournaments. Then the left turned on tobacco and none of it mattered.

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      You really believe VS was trying to promote women’s rights? Are you insane? And tobacco sponsoring a tennis tournament? Yea, you’re insane if you think they did that because they care about women’s health and tennis. Sure, have a smoke between sets, baby. Just because we give a shit about your health and your agency as a human being.

      It’s marketing. It’s all marketing. If you want to be offended, be offended that we’re all manipulated to get us to buy stuff. Aside from that, you don’t get to be selectively offended because you don’t like a particular message.

      By the way, comparing cigarette ads designed to market deadly poison to a commercial arguing against bullying and harassing people? You sure?

      • George G says

        @ Nakatomi Plaza
        “Aside from that, you don’t get to be selectively offended because you don’t like a particular message.”

        how about you, are you allowed to be selectively offended?

  28. JWatts says

    Some very interesting comments here. Of course the consensus is that this is a stupid ad and that it will backfire. But it’s possible that it will turn out alright for Gillette. I’ll be interested in what their sales numbers are for next quarter.

    Currently the video of the add on YouTube has over 18 million views. So if publicity is the only metric, this add is a smashing success. That being said, it has around 1.5 million votes, and 2/3rds of them are Thumbs down.

    Hmmm, it will be an interesting Case Study. Either Wokeness is salable or this was a massive blunder.

    • DiamondLil says

      Ad agencies don’t care if it helps sales, they only care if their clients THINK it will help sales.

      • Shatterface says

        Correct. What advertisers sell is advertising. If they can convince people who actually make things that they help sell those products it doesn’t matter if they do or don’t.

  29. J Ryall says

    Since no one’s brought this up, I’ll toss it out there for anyone who’s interested. P&G is one of the worst companies for labour rights abuses and de-forestation in Indonesia and Borneo. Aside from the fact that these practices destroy precious habitats (for endangered animals like Orangutans), they pay their workers as little as $2.50 per day. How’s that for toxic?

    I agree that there’s room for improvement, both for men and as a society writ large; what outrages me about ads like this is the staggering hypocrisy of it all (same goes for Nike). Here’s a link if you’re interested in reading more: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/palm-oil-global-brands-profiting-from-child-and-forced-labour/

    • Nakatomi Plaza says

      Finally, a legitimate argument. YES! This massive corporate conglomerates are generally terrible for the planet and exacerbate economic inequality. This is the fight we should be having, though I doubt too many people here have the inclination to question unfettered capitalism.

      • Defenstrator says

        That depends what you mean. I am definitely a capitalist. However I have no sympathy for companies that pollute or exploit people. Companies need to pay the actual cost of producing something, not part of the cost and then make the everyone else suffer for the profit margin.

    • augustine says

      Points taken. I wish more conservatives would take up rational causes for justice involving shoddy business practices, corporate and otherwise. We should castigate them above all for their amorality, and advocate once in a while for natural systems and people stuck in dysfunctional economies. The latter are not necessarily or inherently liberal or conservative yet liberals have overwhelmingly dominated areas of environmentalism and labor problems for 50+ years. Leaving these opportunities to them guarantees a generous supply of followers who might otherwise adopt more centrist or rightward principles to successfully defend the environment and worker rights if they knew that alternatives existed. The historic tendency for those on the Right to all but abandon these fields has always puzzled me.

      Having said this, it may not be entirely fair to criticize the $2.50/day wage in Indonesia. What is the average wage in rural parts of that country? It is typically highly disruptive to pay for services or wages and tips and that are much higher than what local people are accustomed to. Maybe Ga Gamba will weigh in here.

      • ga gamba says

        Indonesia sets minimum wages at the provincial level (26 of them), from a low of $120 per month in Nusa Tenggara Timur to the high of $265 in Jakarta. This is calculated on a 40-hour work week. Live-in domestic workers are entitled to only 40% of minimum wage because their compensation also includes housing, utilities, food, etc. That said, laws are only as good as their enforcement, which is true everywhere.

        About 35% of Indonesians work in the agricultural sector, be it on their own farms or for others. Agriculture relies on a lot of seasonal workers; it’s not steady employment found in many industrial sectors such as footwear and garments.

        Where the country under performs is education. Over 50% of all workers only completed primary school, so labour shortages exist for those occupations requiring higher levels of education. In semi-skilled and skilled work the majority of workers are under qualified for their positions, and because shortages exist employers have to make do. A knock-on effect is those who are skilled have stronger negotiating leverage in sectors where demand is strong and the ability to make do with the un- or semi-skilled is difficult.

        Does an employer overpaying workers disrupt the local economy? It can, but we have to dig further. Why is the employer overpaying? Often this is not due an economic rationale. That overpaying company has to compete with others still, right? It may be due to some religious principles, for example the Quakers, or from outside pressure, such as the buyers compelled by activists’ demands of better employee conditions from their suppliers. It comes down to how many people in an area are able to obtain work with the overpaying employer. Generally, if it’s a small percent the disruption is negligible. Where disruption occurs is when an area is transformed economically, say from agriculture to industry or fishing to tourism. The demand for workers, many who prefer stable work and a regular pay packet vice what the land or sea provides them, as well as the migration of workers from outside the area, increases demand for and prices of just about everything. You can see this even in developed economies, for example what happened in South Dakota when fracking took off. No one will migrate for higher wages if the cost of living exceeds their earnings. Still, consequences befall those who are not participating but still enveloped – everyone gets swept up in it one way or another. Rents for housing used by fishermen increase and now those non landowning fishermen can’t afford it. They leave fishing for better paid occupations, or they convert their boats to provide tourist services such as snorkeling, island hopping, and dolphin chasing. Conversely, those fishermen who own land may find themselves very wealthy.

        Keep in mind that an economy can be disrupted by its own citizens from afar. For example, the Philippines sends millions overseas – I think it’s a total of 10 million OFWs and emigrants presently. Not all of them are maids. Their incomes tend to be several times what they would earn at home. Over 7% of Philippine GDP is from remittences, and it has been as high as 13% in some years. For the sake of comparison, in the US construction is about 4% of GDP and the automotive sector is 3.5%. Their remittences not only support those family members still in the Philippines, often it’s invested in businesses and real estate.

  30. David says

    I have being toying with the idea of a similar ad aimed at presenting a pro-life message.

    Entreating all women to do better by not having abortions and not advising their friends to have abortions when they fall pregnant unexpectedly. An obviously positive message focused on love and life and empowerment.

    No one would have a problem with this, right?

  31. Brent says

    I decided after seeing the add that this household will never buy a Gillette product again. Very effective add if you want to lose business.

  32. I was ready to hate the ad, but aside from the use of the phrase “toxic masculinity,” which needs to go, I didn’t find anything to get upset about. It’s preachy and cynical, coming from a multinational corporation, but the message is a good one. It’s asking men to step up and be authoritative in public again, something that used to be commonplace and expected but is now a rare thing to witness. How many times have you seen a group of teenagers misbehaving in public, at a movie theater for instance, and not one of us men nearby does anything? It’s shameful. We need to reclaim our place as public protectors. That’s what I got out of the ad.

  33. augustine says

    Thanks for all for the excellent comments and points made. One I did not see is that the ad is a stylistic mess that must be the product of neophyte editing. It is very uneven and not in an edgy way. All told, I’m grateful it is not an engaging artwork that would have carried its poisonous message deeper and farther.

    • Good call augustine. Yes it was shockingly put together. And to think those people (probably just graduated) get paid real money to produce that trash. Cheers.

  34. This add made me go into my medicine cabinet and look at what razor I buy. Sadly, I have been buying Gillette products (I just looked it up…..~$2 each) so I’ll have to remember this next time I need to buy more. I am sure some other razor manufacturer can do the job just as well, and without all this buffoonery to support, cheaper. Bite me P&G. (Is BIC a ‘woke warrior too?)

    I have been trying to think about what it was that was so wrong with the ad, then I read this:

    “Director of the spot is Kim Gehrig, who was selected via P&G’s partnership with Free the Bid, a program that launched in 2016 that aims to get more female directors on ads.”

    P&G decided to start their ‘conversation about what it means to be a man in 2019’ with a affirmative action hire of a feminist as director.The entire ad is a character of masculinity by someone who only got the job because she isn’t a man. The scenes, and words, the male behavior, it is all wrong. That isn’t how men bully each other, and that isn’t how fathers raise their sons. If we can’t identify the problem accurately, how are we going to fix it? The causal racism, misandry, and general clueless nature of the piece only make sense when you look at it from the eyes of an affirmative action feminist who clearly has no idea what she is talking about. It doesn’t feel like an authentic attempt to discuss issues about proper male behavior in society, because it isn’t. So all this add really is designed to do is cause controversy, in order to ride the free marking of media conflict.

    Bite me P&G.

    • Martin Lawford says

      “The entire ad is a character of masculinity by someone who only got the job because she isn’t a man.” I suspect the word you meant was “caricature” instead of “character.”

  35. Nakatomi Plaza says

    The advertisement is an excellent way of identifying assholes. If you’re “offended” by an ad that condemns bullying and harassing women because your definition of manhood is just too fragile for a moment of introspection, you’re probably an asshole. There’s nothing offensive in the ad.

    Likewise, if it’s taken you this long to recognize that advertisements are intended to persuade you to purchase something and you don’t know that every single ad, on some level, is promoting specific types of socially-conditioned behavior to achieve a marketing goal, you’re probably a stupid asshole. You think cigarette ads from the seventies weren’t pushing stereotypes and conditioned behavior?

    Lighten up, snowflakes.

    • Asenath Waite says

      @Nakatomi

      Just like an ad that shows a bunch of black people committing violent crimes should only be offensive to black people who commit violent crimes. The “some” black people who aren’t criminals should be totally cool with it and happy to be lectured by an advertisement. Otherwise, they’re clearly assholes who are too fragile for a moment of introspection.

    • Bill Clay says

      @Nakatomi

      The ad is targeting a demographic that would ascribe to the same sentiment as the one you’ve just espoused (likely the same would be held by the author of the Tweet in the article).

      The argument of “what’s wrong with being against assault/bullying/inappropriate conduct” is silly on it’s face…

      …Who is for it? Surely the number is not high enough to warrant such manufacture as the ad attempts.

      But hey, it was successful on you…

    • Dan Love says

      @Nakatomi Plaza

      “Lighten up snowflakes?”

      All you’ve done vomit snark, personal attacks, and bullshit throughout this entire thread. I have not seen anybody as triggered as you on the internet in months. This kind of rage hurts you and your life far more than any of us. There is no way you aren’t dealing with serious life issues because of it.

      You’re so overwhelmingly pissed off you don’t know what to do with yourself.

      Go outside, take a deep breath, and look at some nice plants.

    • northernobserver says

      Naktomi – yes it is an excellent test for identifying assholes, the asshole totalitarian leftist who would destroy men to remark them in their ideological image all well imagining they are saving the world. You are worse than Hitler, worse than Stalin, worse than Pol Pot. You are immorality and the end of all the is good. At least those dictators knew they were malevolent – you are just fucking clueless.

    • Peter Kriens says

      @Nakatomi You’re doing the Kafka trap part of the Motte and Bailey that this ad is. Yes, the message is at first sight sensible, this is the Motte. It is a perfectly defensible position, basically common sense. However, during the movie (white) men do all the bad stuff and the women/kids are mostly ‘saved’ by the black guy. (Talk about an archetype!)

      When you look to the movie in detail the symbolism is extremely insulting to normal men (when they look in the mirror and the voice over starts about the #metoo hype, are the concerned for their daughters or are they worried about what they did? The implication is the last.) Why does the fat guy get scolded for asking ‘smile’? (And what is the cameraman doing there?) Boys watching scantily dressed girls on TV is wrong? Look at the small boys at the end, they have a menacing look and are not cuddly. Do we really want to break up every rough and tumble play? Are men forbidden to ask directions to a woman without being stopped by a dude? You know what the woman had said in the boardroom, could have been utter nonsense and the chairman could have been nice? You do not see a potential for huge misunderstandings when dudes start to dominate other dudes without a possible clear understanding of the situation? (Single step the video to see what I mean.)

      So the bailey is made to sting men (and many females see this) as hard as possible. And when your razor starts to talk like your feministic mother in law then that is bound to get under your skin.

      Then what you’re doing is the Kafka part … if the viewer is against he proves the message of the ad! Men have no room to disagree .. You’re either with it or if you’re against it you prove the message. Heads I win, tails you lose. The sad part is that too many men (even here) seem to fall for this trap and play their role. They make it too easy for you to look righteous and virtuous.

      However, the primary reason you are finding out how many men think in this case is that the director forgot to include any sympathetic female victims. Those victims would have made it impossible to talk back without being scolded as many of the #metoo monologues show. Attacking a victim always ends bad for the men since any public will circle around a victim and see any attack as vicious, regardless of the arguments. This has given the impression in the media that there is no opposition to radical feminism. I would take this as an opportunity to learn, there is a lot of bottled up frustration out there.

      What you’re doing is called a fallacious argument and I personally find it quite dishonest. Sadly it is prevalent in radical feminist monologues like this. Anyway, you’re clearly right about the Motte message but you forget that the video is 95% about the Bailey.

    • Defenstrator says

      The ad is a great way to identify sexists. If you don’t recognize it as an attack on men masquerading as a PSA you need to take serious look at yourself and ask why you are so prejudiced as to be ok with this. The message that sexism is wrong has been around for a good while now, so there is no excuse for ignorance.

  36. Asenath Waite says

    I feel like if Gillette really felt the need to “take part in the conversation” they could have done so with an ad highlighting examples of good men and celebrating positive masculinity rather than deciding to chastise their customer base for assumed crimes. It seems like an odd approach to asking people for money. “Hey, you degenerate piece of shit! Buy this razor as penance for your wickedness!”

    • Hamilton Sunshine says

      It’s a bit like Hillary saying “You’re all deplorables, vote for me”.

      That didn’t work as planned either.

  37. augustine says

    We will know this flood of postmodern virtue-signaling adverts has peaked when major corporations signal their intent to be apolitical so they can remain competitive. Waiting…

  38. jimhaz says

    “because the main cause of shaving-blade degradation isn’t contact with skin. It’s the gradual oxidation that takes place when the blade dries off, over hours or days, after it’s been used”

    Ahh, thanks for this tip. When Gillette charges $10 for 3 blades that would cost up to 15c each to produce, and purposefully produce degradability into the razor, now I know why the advice to put razors in the freezer might work.

  39. Dan Flehmen says

    One of these days this country will again be confronted by another with an overdose of toxic masculinity and we better still have some men who have not been totally emasculated by the SJW’s. Late in my long and heretofore liberal life I am concluding that there must be a vast conspiracy to destroy the west, by shaming and undermining its most important groups, whites first, then men. When their progressive stooges have sufficiently weakened this society and there are no longer toxic men to defend us, the Russians/Chinese/whoever will just walk in and enslave us.

    • Dan Love says

      @ Dan Flehmen

      The reason why I don’t believe it was planned externally is because the most viscious rage-filled SJWs are American-born whites. Racial minorities themselves seem a bit dazed by the SJW movement – immigrants don’t even seem to understand it. The fat anti-rational feminist schreeching about oppression is an entirely Anglosphere construction, seen nowhere else, and even the BLM black activists are like 4th-generation black Americans.

      No, other countries will definitely cash in opportunistically with a confused smirk, but this is genuine implosion from the inside.

      My theory is when religions died in the west, ideology took its place. Thus, we see the overwhelming amount of guilting, shaming, and fundamentalist unquestioned faith inherent to SJW ideology.

      • @Dan, “My theory is when religions died in the west, ideology took its place. Thus, we see the overwhelming amount of guilting, shaming, and fundamentalist unquestioned faith inherent to SJW ideology.”

        My theory is that people naturally need conflict and obstacles to overcome in order to find meaning in their life. Religion is one way to find purpose in life, but certainly not the only one. What has happened is that the culture revolutions of the 1960’s-2015 (from sexual revolution to gay rights) was so successful that it basically cleared the field oppressive giants. Be who your going to be, no one cares. However this leaves the culture warriors without a purpose. In victory, they have found personal defeat. Who are they if not a protector of the weak and downtrodden against societies evil giants? So they start to create new villains to fight. Start to create mountains out of mole hills if you will, all to remain true to who they are. New generations come of age, raised on the stories and hero myths of their predecessors, and they too go looking for giants to slay. But there are no giants left; so they just set to killing the tallest person the can find (innocent or not) and call it giant slaying. Eventually, in an attempt to be as their heroes, they become the new villains.

  40. emanations & penumbras says

    I guess Max Valiquette hasn’t stopped to figure out that if he spends the extra $2 per Gilette [sic] razor he’ll have that much less to spend on other “woke” products. Decisions, decisions.

  41. Dan Love says

    What I find disturbing is this being indicative of a larger, more profound trend – the inability to empathize. What I found beautiful about liberalism in my youth was its emphasis on empathy, sympathy, and compassion. They seemed like transcendent qualities that would lead us to a better future. Now these things are deemed abhorred vices among those who call themselves liberal.

    Every liberal, leftist, and SJW knows the anger and pain they would feel if such an ad was targeted at women, blacks, gays, etc. Yet, they openly denigrate the very idea of any man being hurt by this ad. It’s not just hypocrisy and a double standard, it’s a contempt for empathy.

    They are not capable of empathy, sympathy, or compassion for those their ideology hasn’t demanded they favor, and, in this way, they are no different from the white supramicists and homophobes they need to believe are hiding behind every blade of grass.

    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

  42. ga gamba says

    Until you people are willing to hit back harder – disproportionately so – prepare yourselves to take more unlubed reamings.

  43. Ship Ahoy says

    The ad fails to represent the reality. How was it possible that there were so many men around to step in and save the day, when women don’t need men in the first place?

    The truth is that the gatherings are mostly single mothers so exhausted at the end of a workday that they haven’t got the energy to teach their male children how to control their impulses. The dialogue should have been: “Pass the Ritalin! We’ve got some toxic masculinity going on here!”

  44. Barney Doran says

    Just consider if pandering corporations and ad firms had been around in Nazi Germany. We would certainly have an informative archive of politically correct ads.

  45. CB McQueen says

    Maybe Gillette is trying to make amends for all that animal testing they use to do.

  46. Nate D. says

    I’m amazed at how brazen the SJW worldview is on display here. Specifically:

    a.) Men (especially white ones) are all inherently evil and must work hard to be good. Whereas…
    b.) Women and minorities are all inherently good, and are only evil because of oppressive white men.

    This is the lens through which so many now see the world. If you’re not offended by the commercial, and can’t imagine why anybody would be, it’s probably because you share this worldview.

    The usual SJW mantra is, “You don’t get to decide what offends other people.” (I’ve actual had a SJW shut me down with this comment.) Nakatomi Plaza and Bubblecar wouldn’t dream of telling a black person not to be offended by Megyn Kelly’s blackface comments, or telling a Native American to chill out with butthurt comments about the Washington football team. But, they have no problem telling white men not to be offended by Gillette’s commercial. Even the SJW that directed this commercial clearly felt qweezy about showing black men in the sleezy perp roles out of fear of offending them. But if white men are irritated by the message? How do the SJWs respond? “Indeed, that was insensative. We don’t get to decide what is offensive. We apologize.” Or, “Sit down, shut up, and learn something.”

    Their hypocrisy is totally predictable.

    There are other logical inconsistencies in the SJW worldview on display in this commercial:

    1) If good boys are always encouraged not to settle differences through violence, how exactly are “good” boys supposed to stop bad ones? By begging and pleading with them? By tattletale’ing on them?
    2) Why are men repeatedly shown protecting women? I thought women were strong, capable, and ultimately, don’t need men. Furthermore, see point #1. How are emasculated, confrontation-averse men supposed to protect women in the real world?
    3) Can you imagine a commercial that shows the faces of 9 and 10 year old girls with the message, “The best a woman can get.” We tell our girls, “Dream big, be ambitious, be bold and brave.” We tell our boys, “Don’t be a shitty person.”

    I’m more worried about the toxicity contained in this commercial’s worldview than I am about the threat of toxic masculinity in today’s culture. Hopefully, the brazen message in the commercial will rally the clear thinkers, and we can all look back on this commercial as the day SJWism jumped the shark.

      • ga gamba says

        The flaw of the article is that it conflates sales with profit. A company may have sales whilst still recording no profit or even a loss. In the UK, you pay income tax on your gross profits less any allowable expenses. For a company such as Starbucks UK, which is expanding and spends a lot on marketing (and recently providing latrine services to all), this reduces profit. Yet, by incurring these expenses revenue is earned by others such as its suppliers, land owners that sell property to the company for its retail establishments, the construction companies that build its interiors, the advertising agencies, and, of course, its employees as well as all the other companies’ employees involved in creating the Starbucks experience.

        Millar complains of Starbucks, “failing to nurture my local neighborhoods by paying for police, social services, or even street sweepers.” Not entirely accurate. In addition to income tax, each Starbucks location pays what is called ‘business rates’, a tax paid to the local council (government). Currently local government collectively retains half of the income from business rates, the other half is paid by councils to the central government, which uses the income to fund grants to local authorities. VAT (sales tax) is another business expense at each step in the from-production-to-final-sale process, one that’s also paid by the end consumer. Some people argue that at the last stage it’s paid by the consumer and not the business, which is true, and it shouldn’t count as a ‘business tax’ per se, but had the consumer simply made coffee at home or work and didn’t pay VAT on the £3 cup of coffee that’s fewer takings by the tax authority. Convenience providers of non necessities such as Starbucks represent an important revenue stream for government because the revenue taken at retail is significantly larger than that taken at wholesale due to markup. A study claims Brits spend an average of £2,160 yearly in cafes, so 20% VAT on that is £432.

        The article makes much ado about Cadbury (and other Quakers) buying a large plot of land and building parks and cottages. That’s a fine thing to do, yet at the time Cadbury was a family-held company. Ownership was entirely in the Cadbury family hands, and they decided to spend their money toward that end. George Cadbury spent his own money and not the company’s. Mind you, they still owned all the property for while. It’s easy to invite the public to use privately owned land in an era when lawsuits re injuries were rare and insurance companies didn’t increase premiums to cover such incidents. This was later converted to a village trust (stock owning charity), and it operates much like any other social housing provider cum home owners association that enacts rules, maintains rental property, and where people apply to rent housing and purchase homes. Once Cadbury merged with Sweppes in 1969 it had to answer to shareholders. Where once ownership, and much of the profit, was held exclusively by the Cadbury family, now it was diluted. It was no longer simply the family’s money at play to do with as it wished; it was tens of thousands of new owners, many of whom were likely not as well-off as the Cadbury family, who wanted a return for their risk.

    • And worse, must you be perpetually guilty into infinity? When will the vengeance have reached its goal? 200 years? Have they thought this through? The true patriarchal barbarians won’t stop breeding, to put it bluntly.

  47. ga gamba says

    It’s fascinating the advert didn’t feature fictionalised portrayals of execs such as Harvey Weinstein; entertainment celebrities such as R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, and Kevin Spacey; politicians like Al Franken; and the whole crew of male feminists who were exposed at sexual harassers or worse. Aren’t they the role models I keep hearing about who have so much influence on us mindless drones?

    Look at who the advert targeted as toxic: family men, working- and middle-class fellas, almost all of whom are white.

    Who here remembers 2014’s viral video of a woman wandering New York city streets for 10 hours and being wolf whistled and followed, or, if you prefer, stalked?

    An unforeseen outcome of the video was it enraged women of colour because almost all the street harassers caught on film were black and Hispanic. They were also angered by the video’s use of a white woman. This controversy ended up overshadowing the Holla Back project. Progressive allies weren’t doing it right, right? Yet, other videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYAL21jxREQ, watch?v=ud3DLjREV34, and watch?v=mgw6y3cH7tA documented the same phenomenon in the US. Watch Gillette’s advert, which I understand is for an American audience, and something entirely different is depicted. (Note: to get around the limit of URLs in a comment I dropped the domain address from the last two, so simply copy and paste the others after the / atop the existing video ID to replace.)

    Gillette and activists assert the advert depicts reality, but the way it goes about concocting this to avoid offending certain preferred groups, it comes off as a tiresome contrivance. The ideological contortion is so transparent it becomes absurd and laughable.

    • Defenstrator says

      I suppose it would be amusing to the clueless who can’t see reality due to their own prejudices. It is very Guardian.
      https://mobile.twitter.com/somuchguardian?lang=en

      Oh, and just a friendly reminder to not whip your dick out and slap a woman in face. It’s not cool man. Unless your invited of course. I’m a good man for reminding you to be a good man too!

  48. Jezza says

    I try to be nasty mean and toxic but I inevitably fail. Sob!

  49. Kevin says

    When I saw this ad, I cried…for 36 hours…constantly, from shame at being a man; because I thought it might help assuage some of my terrible ignorance and guilt if I just let it out, and a couple of other reasons that I’ll explain forthwith. I noticed that all of the “bad males” in the ad are White and all of the “good males” are non-White. This of course made me realize that the popular “Hate White Males Because They Are White” Movement is indeed absolutely true and justified, therefore I am a racist bastard and I didn’t even know it, but the ad is the ad, so so be it. I would try to darken my skin somehow, but that’s evil too, so I’m pondering a solution to this seemingly unsolvable dilemma. Here’s a big one: My neighbors in the homes around me are mostly female, ok? A year ago I bought one of those fancy, underpriced 1000.00 grills. My buddies come over on the weekends and we grill, drink beer and watch football. I can’t even believe I’m admitting this!! When I stopped crying ( starting again now) this morning I walked out to the deck where my grill is, looked at it and nearly collapsed in shame. Not only had I had been using it in full view of my neighbors for months, but exuding toxic masculinity with other toxic males simultaneously…Sweet Jesus! I did what I had to do…I dragged myself, head hung low, obviously still White to boot, to my female neighbors’s houses and tearfully apologized for not only subjecting them to the despicable practice of grilling in their sight (hell, grilling at all!) but for drinking beer, yelling, laughing, etc. Thank God my TV’s inside the house! Five woman scowled at me. None of them forgave me which I can’t blame them for, as I can’t forgive myself. Oh boy, here comes another jag…God help me. I gave the grill and fourteen Porterhouse steaks to Susan.

    • Dan Love says

      @Kevin

      I’m confused. Did you not try raping your neighbors? As a man, that’s my go-to method of reconciling with women. Sometimes a firm ass-slap calms them down too.

      Wait, is it “you should rape” or is it “you should not rape”? I don’t remember. I need to watch the commercial again.

  50. The main problem with the ad is that it demonises the natural behaviour of boys. The last part of the ad shows two small boys – who must be about 4 years old – having a wrestle/fight and the father of one of them admonishes the two: with the implication that this is deeply problematic behaviour.

    One of the things children need to learn is how to navigate the world, and small boys fighting is part of that, so unless things are getting to the point of being physically dangerous (death, permanent injury &c.) it is best for the child to be left alone.

    A secondary problem is that it appears that we now have new arbiters of morality – corporations. Corporations have played a very anti-democratic role in a number of social issues in the last couple of years – for example in the Australian survey on same sex marriage. This just another instance of corporations acting in the social sphere where they don’t belong.

    • Yes, this drives me nuts. Let boys wrestle around in the mud for crying out loud! It’s rare to see these days in a world of structured day care. They can’t even play fake swords!

    • Lincoln Dunstan says

      yea, well I vote to have people arbitrate over me…not the corporation trying to jack- up the share price for some dodgy deal!!

  51. I remember back in my 20’s after a bad break up, I was lamenting about horrible men to my mom. She went through a list of great men in my life. My late father, every precious uncle and their particular characteristics and so on. Her point was well taken. I had been so blessed to grow up around some remarkable men who treated me with love and respect.

    Where is the gratitude for decent hardworking men? I often tell young women how grateful I am men ratified the 19th. Do they ever think about that? Both my grandfathers voted yes.

  52. Smithereens says

    First time commenter here, just want to say thanks for all the humour on both sides of the debate. When I get a bit pessimistic about how we talk to each other about these types of issues I am reassured when someone ‘takes the piss’ – to use my local vernacular. Keep up with the humour!

    • Lincoln Dunstan says

      Onya!!!…is what we say, from where I come from!!! Commonly known as “the arse-end of the world”. You guess where that might be.!

  53. Lincoln Dunstan says

    Why do all the MEN have corn cobs on their barbeques? I don’t think they are REAL MEN!!!!!

    • Defenstrator says

      “Why do all the MEN have corn cobs on their barbaques? I don’t think they are REAL MEN!!!!”

      When you want to portray men as toxic but don’t want to offend vegans.

  54. Shut it, Mascu-Flakes says

    The greatest irony of this whole “online debate” / “backlash debate” / whatever you want to call it, is that the biggest snowflakes of the whole bunch are the former Gillette customers who will “never buy your products again.”

    “Oh Em Gee you guys… I am SO insulted by this 40 second ad… my life has been so affected. How dare you call out bullying in a way I don’t find appropriately masculine… sniff sniff.. I WILL NEVER buy your products again!”

    LOL

    File this whole thing under “who gives a damn.” It’s an AD. 98% of all ads are useless / moronic / sophomoric or otherwise insulting to anyone with an IQ over 90. Have you not learned to ignore ads that you don’t like yet you manly-men? Can’t prevent the EMOtional reaction??

    Grow up. You’re well within your rights to call out any ad you don’t like but the whole “look at me I’m outraged and boycotting Gillette” thing is hilarious. If you don’t want to buy their stuff again, great. Go buy another brand and shut up.

    Meantime the rest of us sentient humans who don’t take our ethical / moral / social cues from a F-ing TV AD, will continue to think for ourselves and figure out all by ourselves that being a meat-head and pushing around people smaller or physically weaker than you, or grab-assing or cat-calling or any of that stuff doesn’t make you masculine. It makes you a clueless schmuck.

    Do unto others, the end.

    • Defenstrator says

      Yes, you should do unto others. For example, I doubt you want to be told to shut up, but based on your behaviour it is how you want to be treated. It is what you are doing after all.

      But the bigger issue is, you don’t get to tell me what to do. I’m calling out a sexist commercial. You don’t like that, fine, make your argument as to why you disagree. But you don’t get to tell me I cannot voice my opinion, particularly against something that is a moral wrong.

    • Dan Love says

      @Shut it

      Yet, if a similar commercial were made about women or blacks, you would have a complete mental breakdown. Hell, you’re already half-way there.

      And wait… you’re telling me ass-grabbing doesn’t make me more masculine? I’ve been grabbing the ass of my daughter for years – just slapping it any time I feel like it, sometimes just to wake her up in the morning. Even when I’m tired and don’t feel like it, I persevere and give her a nice back-hand as I felt I needed to preserve my masculinity so I could attract some of her underage friends. Now you’re telling me I don’t need to? What a relief! My doctor told me my arm was close to fracturing.

  55. @BurbleCar, several posts above, has a very peculiar appreciation of military and combat procedures in the current times and some clarification is needed to set the matter straight.

    BubbleCar seems to be of the opinion that modern warfare is like a PC game where people just sit around in HVAC offices with computers and push some buttons. Some do and can cause enormous collateral damage with highly powerful and sophisticated weapons systems. But that’s just the beginning. Foot soldiers or amphibious marines are still required to go in, just like Iwo Jima and take control with hand to hand combat, going house-to-house, door-to-door and spider-hole to spider-hole to clean out any remaining resistance until the enemy quits. Yes that part is still exactly the same today as it was in the past. It’s the principle of ‘boots on the ground’. Nothing can achieve that unless you start using nukes, gas or chemical weapons and that’s naughty.

    But, fortunately the Pentagon doesn’t hold the same views as BubbleCar. Naturally exact numbers are classified, but quick investigation reveals about 100,000 US Army infantry soldiers and about the same number again of Marine infantry.

    It’s tough work. A few freak women may be able to hack it, but not too many. Troops need to be enormously strong to carry equipment, move fast and support others for up to 24/7 in the field. These men need extraordinary physical strength, stamina, courage, bravery, aggression by the truck load and excellent hand-to-hand combat fighting skills. These are seriously hard men. Let’s just go and tell them that what they’re doing, defending the feminists back at their bases, is toxic. Great. That’ll work. That’ll motivate them to fight. Thanks Gillette.

    • Morgan Foster says

      Before the US has withdrawn all of its troops from the Middle East and Somalia, I would like to give the women a chance.

      An all-female infantry regiment – no men in support – put into active combat and kept there until they either complete their mission or are destroyed as an effective force.

      Enough talk and speculation. There’s only one way for the women to prove themselves.

  56. Marshall Mason says

    I’ve seen a lot of debating here about whether this ad was offensive or not, and whether it portrays men negatively or positively. Offensiveness is subjective, so it’s impossible to persuade someone that something is or isn’t offensive. And the slippery thing about the ad is that it portrays men both negatively AND positively in the same ad, so again, depending on which side one wishes to focus on, both sides will be right.

    Here are some arguments I haven’t seen very much. One is in response to the “men who are offended by criticisms of toxic masculinity are crybabies, snowflakes, too fragile, etc” trope.

    The irony is that this employs toxic masculinity to argue against toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is about the social messages that men must be tough and stoic, they can’t be fragile, they can’t express pain. Man up, be a man, suck it up boy, that sort of military-grade tough love that feminists consider part of the patriarchy. But that’s exactly the messaging this argument is employing.

    Feminists ask men to soften up, feel their feelings, be more gentle (basically, be more feminine). Those are the sides of men this ad celebrates. But then if men open up and share their feelings, saying they feel offended or hurt by this ad, they get knocked back down with traditional gender norms: toughen up! Be a man! Stop crying you wimp!

    Another argument I haven’t seen much is the ad’s sexist portrayal of women. Feminists are obsessed with portraying women in the media as strong and self-reliant. Most action movies these days are even expected to have a strong female lead, a rarity in real life. But then these demands go right out the window as long as men are portrayed negatively. Once they focus on bad men being bad, they totally forget to focus on women being strong. If you watch the ad and focus completely on the women, you’ll see that all of them are weak and timid. They consistently need men to step in and protect them.

    These perspectives show that modern feminism does not challenge traditional gender norms. It EMPHASIZES them. Feminism doesn’t want men to be softer and women to be tougher, but the reverse. It wants men to be tougher, in service of women, whom they cast as helpless victims.

  57. Pingback: Gillette’s Progressive Politics: ‘Corinthian Leather’ for the Progressive Soul

  58. Paul Neubauer says

    “Not so long ago, these progressives would have been skeptical of moral pronouncements from multinational corporations—”

    The Left has done its “long march” through almost all organizations and has turned them into bastions of indoctrination, advocacy, and intimidation.

    • meerkat says

      Not exactly, Paul. If massive corporations were really being run by Leftists they wouldn’t be doing so well. If there weren’t big money men behind it, Cultural Marxism would remain confined to faculty lounges and student unions.

      It’s more that the Cultural Marxist Left and the multinational corporations slowly but surely came to an understanding that they’re good for one another if they combine their worst impulses: the hatred towards traditions of the Cultural Marxists and the rapaciousness of the corporations.

      From a corporation’s point of view, the big problem with the traditions and identities so despised by Cultural Marxism is that they can’t easily be bought or sold(though televangelists have done pretty well for themselves). Until recently, if you were born male, there was nothing a corporation could sell you that would turn you into a woman. Now a confused male need only tap his heels together three times and all of a sudden he’s a woman, who naturally wants to buy all the things a woman buys. And the more he buys, the more of a woman he is.

      Morality was traditionally inculcated by a combination of family and church-not much profit to be had there. National and ethnic identity was set in stone for the vast majority of the population. Now to be a true Canadian one only need purchase a plane ticket, hop across the border, and claim asylum. Presto, you’re now just as Canadian as a Cree, probably more so.

      The other problem with these categories is that they never went out of style the way clothing does or technology experiences planned obsolescence. People crave identity, and if they can’t get it by being a husband, wife, Christian, Buddhist, man, or woman, they’ll purchase it for whatever price. In step the corporations, who now represent the answer not just to how we run our society(for which they’re well-suited) but are increasingly the answer to why.

      The Cultural Marxist Left goes along with this because they see it as a way of achieving their goal of destroying society and remaking it in their image, and from a young age, leftists are characterized by their conspicuous consumption. Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter wrote Rebel Sell, a book about this that was released in 2004. The only difference between Leftist Consumer Culture and mainstream Consumer Culture is that the former is geared towards expressing itself in opposition to the latter. This results in its adherents driving Volvos and Subarus instead of BMW’s, and working themselves to exhaustion so they can afford a century home in High Park or Cabbagetown instead of a snout house in Milton.

      If anything, their current status as allies of large corporations is a more natural fit for Cultural Marxists than the Old Left. Note how the more the Cultural Marxists divorced themselves from the Old Left, which marketed itself as being concerned with the problems of the working man, the more they’ve espoused increasingly niche causes like gay marriage, then transgenderism, now cuckoldry. They see the corporations as better instruments for this than the Old Left ever was.

  59. Joe Almeida says

    As someone said very succinctly before, the point of virtue is not to show it off and profit from it. If a psychologist were to do an analysis of a multibillion corporation as an individual – they would have to conclude that such corporations are psychotic – they don’t do things on emotion but for straight-up profit. If you start with that point, you then capable of understanding the pushback – profiteers should not be looked at as prophets and looking to them as such does more damage long-term than any particular message they push. I’ll tell you what the ad did for me – it made me think about WHY Gillette decided to do what they did – and now I know why. Their products are over-priced, of inferior quality, and are bought as the incumbent/default choice. I then started looking at the Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club offerings, and other, and realized there is so much better product out there. Indeed, over two years ago, I switched to the Italian shave soap Proraso, because I grew to dislike the Gillette options. Basically, Gillette has stopped doing the more difficult proper market research to identify market sub-categories and offer product accordingly, and decided to pitch their “virtues” rather than their real purpose for being, selling useful product to their customers. Harry’s, Dollar Shave Club, and websites like Fendrihan.ca are supplying product more effectively, and Gillette is feeling the heat. Rather than compete, they decided to moralize and shore up their base – whether it be to appeal to male progressives, or, women who do the consumable shopping for their families. Well, my Gillette razor is no more. After looking into the options, I decided to purchase a Merkur long handled razor and a pack of their razor blades. It came in from Amazon from last week, and I’ve been using the razor system since. I’m also impressed with the selection on fendrihan.ca – I’ll be putting orders on some of their stuff. I like my product suppliers to stick to supplying product. Virtue, should be done for its own sake. The women in my life know where I stand – I need not signal my virtues by buying Gillette razors.

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  61. pete chip says

    All I know is that there are lots of companies that make household products of similar quality and price as Proctor and Gamble. Why should I buy stuff from a company that hates me, and is actively spreading hate propaganda against my sex and race.

  62. JulieC says

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but did anyone else notice that the number of “Dislikes” of the Gillette Youtube video kept getting suddenly and dramatically revised downward, even as the number of views and “likes” went up? I actually took a before and after screenshot so I could show my husband (he didn’t believe me until I showed him the before and after screen shots). Also, in the comment section below the video, literally hundreds of people were saying that their “dislike” vote had been “disappeared” and their negative comments deleted. I’m curious as to why no one in the conservative media followed up on this.

  63. Indie Wifey says

    Person, oh person (formerly Man, oh, man), these are long comments! Wish I had the time to read or at least catch these conversations as they are submitted. Wish I could click a heart or some such icon for the quips I actually read/like…

    My clean shaven legally-bound partner (formerly known as “husband”), if with a smidgeon of free time on his hands, will be reading about, viewing and shopping for drones. Not shavers. Marketing miss #1. My two sons are both side burned, and/or bearded hairy cis-persons-who-Identify-and-present-to-the-world-as-males (formerly casually referred to as “guys”), too busy with work and college, and too cash strapped, to be affected by any of this. Marketing miss #2.
    I have enough free time to track some of this, being fascinated by this continued societal inversion, rabbit hole descent.
    Here’s my beef (remember that one?):
    clicks and views represent individuals with free time on their thumbs. Ditto on all the ranting.
    Buzz is click/view/din accrual and cannot by definition translate to mega stellar virtuous spending on any product, because theses clickers and viewers can’t possibly be generating optimized incomes (yes ok kiosks and cubbies with computers and phones do permit for workday surfing and full
    time social media use [woe to their employers]).
    But this is so nothing new. I remember my bemusement ages ago, when I saw pink ribbon printed sodas cans at the grocery store. Or read about some gal who travelled the world and hiked up mountains to raise awareness for something. All I remember is the audacity of her rationale.
    We are so vicarious; anything to dispel the utter ordinariness in which most all of us exist, me included.

  64. estepheavfm says

    I would never “threaten to boycott” a company, as airhead neo-journalists reported many were doing. I did boycott P&G and am sticking with it. Of course that is a masculine approach — DOING something. But the inexperienced indoctrinated scribblers do not grasp the concept of GETTING THINGS DONE decisively. Its such a “patriarchal” mindset.

  65. Erle S Bowman says

    What makes you think that the add had been targeted at men? It could be that the add has been targeted at the female misandrist shoppers and that those shoppers are well aware of how big the product line of P & G really is. Razors are chump change comparatively. That is of course unless the folks running a 200 billion company really are buffoons which is highly unlikely.

  66. vince says

    Jonathan Kay seems to be saying that outrage over the Gillette ad is overdone because, after all, the company is just pulling the usual dishonest marketing move, and hey, we’re all hip to capitalism’s nonsense, so we should all chill out. All valid observations, except Mr. Kay seems to forget that sometimes the dishonesty that people choose tells us who they are. And this dishonesty tells me that the people running Gillette are incompetent, as well as blind to the cultural issues that men are confronting these days. No gender deserves to be vilified, and that’s what Gillette is doing. I have no loyalty to my razor blades, so it’s a simple thing to find less expensive ones from a company that doesn’t lecture me about my limited worth as a human being.

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