“Boys will be boys”? Isn’t it time we stopped excusing bad behavior? Re-think and take action by joining us at https://t.co/giHuGDEvlT. #TheBestMenCanBe pic.twitter.com/hhBL1XjFVo— Gillette (@Gillette) January 14, 2019
Some people who are apparently even more bitter than I am are like "uh yeah this is just telling men to exhibit basic human decency" and they're right but man, I've been a serious feminist for at least 10 years now, and 10 years ago even something like this felt out of reach. All I wanted was for people to demand basic accountability from men and lay the blame for men's violence against women at the feet of men. I would have killed for the idea of "isn't it time we stopped excusing bad behavior in men and boys" to become so mainstream as to be in a Gillette commercial.
It's sad that we were so far away from something that basic and common sense that my feeling right now is "we've come so far." But damn, we have.
You also can't understate the value of shitty men getting incredibly pissed off when told to act like adults, and there is plenty of that happening, from full-on tantrums to centrist dorks already putting out thinkpieces about how the Gillette ad doesn't "work." And it's not because it rings hollow from a massive corporate entity that's definitely exploiting women of color right now.
Nike's woke ad campaign worked and Gillette's doesn't, and this teaches us something about the limit of corporate social power: Brands can amplify the values their customers already hold, but lack the moral authority to ask their customers to change. https://t.co/yxJ8aji6OH— Josh Barro (@jbarro) January 15, 2019
Nobody asked you, Josh.
But really, most of the fragile takes on this ad are tired and predictable. It's the old "THIS AD IS ATTACKING MASCULINITY" which is, of course, admitting that they think that men are inherently violent and useless when it comes to raising kids. Which they want to believe because it means they don't have to be held accountable for their actions like real adults. I've been hearing that shit for 10 years and I'm so over it.
Anyway, Procter & Gamble, could you stop being a giant monopoly maybe? Stop exploiting underpaid workers as you're almost certainly doing?