The Best Men Can Be……

men

 

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?

 

Excellent

Spot on.

Long overdue.

 

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.

 

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3 thoughts on “The Best Men Can Be……”

  1. Imagine if Gillette focused on the negative stereotypes attributed to blacks or Latinos then demanded that our African-American and Latino brothers and sisters strive to become better people.

    That would be the very definition of racist.

    How is this any different?

    There is a double standard here and that is problematic in the workplace. I have on rare occasions called out colleagues for off-color jokes and sexual innuendo and they usually responded quite well. We did have to fire one oaf who didn’t get the message.

    On the hand, we tried to ask one young lady to dial back her sexuality and dress less provocatively. That didn’t go over well. Perhaps Gillette Venus might cover that ground in a future ad, though I doubt they ever will, and therein is the rub. Most guys know they never will.

    1. I hate these commenters that swoop in and have the audacity to contradict my arguments……
      😊
      It’s a valid argument, I guess, that a stereotype of a racial group is no different than a stereotype of a sex group. I admit I had to think about that a bit. I think that while some stereotypes of blacks or Hispanics are things that are true of a small group or not true at all, the behavior and attitudes of men are more widespread and more true than false. Less of a stereotype and more of a reality.

      The bit about the girl objecting to toning down her dress is not surprising. I’ve heard of cases like this. I tend to be on the side of “if you want to be respected, dress a little modestly”, but time will tell if the attitudes will change.

      1. Having our opinions contradicted is the beauty of diversity. 🙂

        There is an iron rule to determine whether something was offensive in the workplace. Offense is determined by the listener, not the speaker, regardless of intent.

        As of this morning, on the official Gillette Youtube.com site, there were 536k thumbs up and 993k thumbs down. By any objective measure, two-thirds of the people responding to the ad found it offensive.

        The spin is that the down votes are people responding poorly. Given the lopsided numbers, I would disagree. If the numbers were the other way around, one could make that case – but it is clear that the ad is offensive to the majority.

        If I were asked to address a workplace comment that one woman found offensive and two women claimed was not, I would ask the person who made the comment to apologize to the person who found it offensive. If twenty women found a comment insulting and ten thought it okay, I would demand an apology to the entire group.

        Gillette needs to pull the ad, apologize and think deeply about what went wrong.

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