The “Me Too” movement has opened the eyes of many about sexual harassment and assault. It has been a way for women to stand for themselves and put up a fight about the harsh reality of having to deal with sexual harassment and assault daily. The “Me Too” movement was started and brought to the public eye when actress Alyssa Milano shared her story of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein. This shocked the nation, but also helped empower women in Hollywood and across the nation. Suddenly other movie stars, politicians, and CEO’s have been accused of sexual assault and harassment. The list of people accused is up to 263 and is most likely going to keep increasing over the next years. With all this, the subject of sexual harassment and toxic masculinity is being brought up more and the new Gillette commercial has been the cause of controversy for all of this.
On January 13, 2019 Gillette released their newest advertisement, which has sparked a lot of controversy due to it calling out men and all the things they do. The commercial covers male bullying, harassment and sexist behavior which are all definitely problems in today’s society. However, the problem is that the ad feels as if it’s attacking all men, even those who are respectful and are raised correctly, it makes us ask the question: what about the other guys? Now this may not see like a big problem, but the idea of a company, whose main consumers are men, attacking men was really a turn off for many. Gillette even plays on its original slogan “ the best a man can get” to “ the best a man can be”, which throughout the commercial is asking men to be better and for men to stop themselves and others from causing all the problems portrayed in the commercial.
Another problem with the commercial is how they presented the situation. Many argue and are praising the commercial for portraying real world problems with men, but personally I think that it was more of an attack then it should’ve been. Many women have encountered men that are sexist and who have been accused of or have committed a form of sexual harassment, but what about the men who don’t do any of this? Where do they stand in this situation? How does one defend himself if he is being labeled as sexist or accused of sexual assault when some clearly do not do any of that?
That’s the problem with this, there is no acknowledgement of men who do not participate in any of those things, the commercial highlights all of the bad men but what about the good ones? The man who has given everything for his family, the man who has defended his loved ones, the times when a man has to be a man. It is hard to see the positives of a man in this commercial when they are portrayed as always having toxic masculinity as their main trait.
Men are painted as barbarians. They are painted as people who have no respect, which is definitely not the case. What happened to the idea of gender equality? How does one expect gender equality if men are being labeled like this? This commercial had potential to not only show the problems with toxic masculinity, but to show and praise the men who are properly raised and are respectful, to show the good side of them instead of highlighting all the negatives. All that would have sounded great for a commercial about a company whose main attraction is men. Gillette was wrong for this commercial, it only highlights the negatives and it just forgets the positives of men that’s why it’s not right and has caused controversy.