In a bold move reflective of the #MeToo moment, shaving brand Gillette released a short film aimed at toxic masculinity and the harm it does to men, women, boys, and girls. Now, threatened men's rights activists are boycotting Gillette and tossing their shaving products away.
Toxic male behavior including sexual harassment, bullying, fighting, and putting women down in the workplace are all part of the film, with Gillette asserting those behaviors "[have] been going on far too long."
What follows in the film is a montage of men behaving badly, followed by a gauntlet of men behind barbeques repeating "boys will be boys" by rote.
"But something finally changed," says the voiceover narration before cutting to a female news anchor reporting on the deluge of sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations that began proliferating in the fall of 2017.
"And there will be no going back," says the film's narrator. "Because we believe in the best in men."
The film then depicts good men standing up to harassment and bullying. While many on social media have praised Gillette for holding up a mirror to toxic culture, men's rights groups and men on sites like Reddit and 4Chan have banded together with some of the usual suspects of toxicity like James Woods and Piers Morgan to try to discredit the ad. Thanks to a concerted effort, the video has more than 400,000 dislikes on YouTube, according to The Independent.
Meanwhile, Morgan, a noted contrarian and troll with a platform, referred to the ad as part of a "global assault on masculinity."
By refusing to acknowledge the existence of dangerously "masculine" behavior thrust upon boys at a young age, those men opposed to the ad, who've now kicked off a #BoycottGillette campaign are proving just why the ad is so important and revelational.
Beyond social media, pundits like Fox News's business correspondent Charles Payne has questioned the ad based on the term "toxic masculinity" and feigning that he doesn't understand what it means even though he then went on to describe it with his next sentence.
"That's the danger here, what does the term mean, "toxic masculinity"?" Payne said on Fox News, according to Media Matters. "We don't need Gillette to tell us not to raise our boys to be bullies, not to raise our boys to be misogynists. I don't think we need them to do that--in fact, essentially what we're looking at is another form of corporate virtue signaling."
Here are angry men responding to Gillette.
\u201cSo nice to see @Gillette jumping on the \u201cmen are horrible\u201d campaign permeating mainstream media and Hollywood entertainment. I for one will never use your product again.\u201d
\u201cI've used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a company less eager to fuel the current pathetic global assault on masculinity. \nLet boys be damn boys. \nLet men be damn men.\u201d