Friday, January 18, 2019

GILLETTE SLICES INTO TOXIC MASCULINITY

Gillette, makers of razors supreme for the delicate male face, has released an add that amounts to a short, punchy lecture in responsibility to its customers in this age of MeToo and TimesUp, declaring that its time for the normative men in the audience to help end the scourge of toxic masculinity.  Essentially, it powerfully argues through some well-crafted images that men need to step up and say something, do something, intervene if need be and not allow other men to harass, bully, intimidate, assault women specifically and everyone else on the planet in general. Predictably, this video went viral and broke  the internet and brought all social media to a standstill while alt-right warriors moaned, groaned and whined that their favorite hobbies are being laid bare and revealed to be the go-to moves of parts of the male population who define their sense of place in the world by how thick they can create fear and terror among the weakest members of the population. Turns out those folks are not so weak, having served a well-placed succession of knees to the nuts to the emotionally arrested oafs, thugs, and goons that make up the ranks of so-called Real Men. 

The ad is beautifully done and serves the purpose of forcing the matter of toxic assholism, bullying and such into an open and heated discussion, debate, argument; the point is that those who have been traditionally embattled by the ranker sort of white males, rich, middle earner or jobless nobody, are going to punch back, pushback, talkback from this point on. The crybabies on hard right social media and the assorted propaganda mills who routinely shame, belittle and defame women, blacks, immigrants, liberals, progressives and members of the LGBT communities are going to find that the old tactics aren't going to work this time, if ever again. It sticks in their craw and they can't swallow it whole, partially, or in the smallest slices. Steven Colbert jokingly frets that we have a less than a reliable sense of right and wrong if it takes a maker of razor blades to carry a persuasive moral message to the rest of us. Perhaps, but I applaud Gillette to that degree. It's my hope that carries through to all sectors of the culture, visible and invisible. The message would be that if you're going to be a toxic, bullying, abusive, racist/homophobic/misogynistic half-brained cretin in a civil society, you will be called out, you will be hauled off for crimes you've committed, you will be named, shamed and made an example of. Learn that and learn it quickly.

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