Perhaps a little late to the party, I saw a news story yesterday about the Gillette ad. Before that, I was unaware of this whole thing. So I watched it tonight. My thoughts?
I think the message is fantastic, that men need to lead by example and step up to help stop bad behavior in other guys, as well as in themselves. I remember a guy in my college dorm one year telling us about how he witnessed one drunk semi-conscious woman get raped in the fraternity he used to be in. I remember one girl coming back to the dorm in tears after being pawed and groped at a party. I remember kids (including me) being bullied in school. I remember guys making derogatory comments about women. The common thread in all of those? No one did anything to stop it. So is this Gillette ad appropriate? You bet it is!
Apparently there is some backlash by men, and a few women, that this ad campaign tarnishes all men with the same brush. From a guy’s perspective, I think that is ridiculous. The ad clearly shows some bad behavior but also shows guys doing the right thing. And I think that’s important. Right now, the right thing to do is to acknowledge the problem and try to fix things. I’m sure there are guys out there that will dismiss all of this as “those stupid women, more of that Me Too garbage.”
How long those guys stay in Denial is one of the questions of the day. For the rest of us, this ad is a wake up call that the Me Too movement is not just a women’s thing, but also a man’s thing. Our wives, girlfriends, daughters, nieces, mothers, and friends are affected by it, as are we. The same forces that treat women badly also come into play and treat many men badly as well.
For many of us, the good guys and the trying to be good guys, ads like this help remind us of what we should be doing. Setting good examples so we can look into the mirror with pride, and give our sons, daughters, nephews and nieces, grandchildren, spouses, friends and acquaintances an example of how to do the right thing in life.