Alexis GeorgeENC 1101Ms. WeiglJanuary 23, 2019A new day is on the horizon and when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women many of whom are in this room tonight and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say me too’ again. Oprah graced the Golden Globes with a voice so powerful, a voice for wanting change, bringing a light to a movement that needed to shake up the entertainment industry.
An ad that draws me in and reminds me of that very important day when Oprah spoke is the newest ad for Gillette. You would never think me too especially with Gillette’s slogan, the best a man can get. Nevertheless, it is an ad unlike their past ads. Gillette’s ad forces viewers to face the conversations society finds taboo’. The ad brought outrage, and yet it brings up three very important issues to light: toxic masculinity, rape culture, and bullying.
Many people do not know the term toxic masculinity’ and there is a lack of understanding on it. Gillette focuses on this topic and forces the viewer to face a topic that tends to be difficult. To understand what toxic masculinity’ we must delve into the ad. When you we pick apart the ad, we notice hearing the phrase boys will boys’. Normally a saying to justify a male’s behavior towards sexual encounters, violence, or emasculation etc. The ad challenges the previous ideas of what a man is. For example in the ad, we see two boys fighting surrounded by what appear to be fathers. The man surrounded by the two boys do not help, instead they constantly repeat boys will be boys’. It appears as if no one is going to help, but towards the end of the ad, we finally see a father step up and stop the boys from fighting. It is a clear fight against the societal views of what men should do. Gillette is only taking a big step in the right direction. The me too’ movement has brought forth rape culture. Rape culture is very much the center of our media and is one of the main targets in the Gillette ad. Gillette points out situations in which objectifies women. In addition, Gillette highlights the lack of consequences on men who commit sexual acts. When we think about what rape culture, please note that rape culture is the normalization of sexual assault and abuse. There are a few examples in the Gillette ad that point out this flawed way of thinking. In one scene, a man appears to grab a female’s buttocks. The camera pans over to an audience who laugh and we can assume by their smiles and jeers that they are enjoying the moment. In another scene, we see a collage for news stories discussing sexual assault and sexual harassment. We look once again back at the audience of people no longer laughing, but staring blankly. I believe Gillette did this to symbolize the silence on rape allegations from our society and our justice system. It is a powerful moment in which depends the viewer to realize that this is happening and it needs to be discussed. You can’t be against bullying without actually doing something about it. This important quote by Randi Weingarten reminds us that we should not tolerate bullying, and so does Gillette. One particular scene really demonstrates the type of bullying many young men will go through. We see a group of boys chase another boy in attempt to beat him up one can assume. We also view a mother in despair as she cradles her child with text messages saying things like freak or everyone hates you. Many young men will go through this type of bullying studies have shown. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, a higher percentage of males than females have reported being physically bullied and threatened with harm. This is a sad reality especially with rates of suicide amongst young people being so high. It plays into the phrase boys will be boys. Gillette makes it explicitly known that they will not stand with a bully and neither should you. At the end of the day, people will have their opinions. The world will not be one hundred percent great because of an ad, but Gillette’s ad can make help us in the right direction. I understand why one might get angry over this ad, and I believe it is the fear of change. As a society, we dislike change and our views being challenged. However, society as a whole has to stand up to the injustice in this country. Gillette’s ad tackles many important issues in which we need to start discussing. Toxic masculinity, rape culture, and bullying need an audience to scrutinize these issues and bring to the surface the dangerous consequences each holds. Gillette’s goal was to shake up society and wake people up. These issues are happening, and will not stop until society makes it stop. Moreover, one day there will be a boy who is not told to act like a man and a girl who will no longer have to say me too. Thanks to Gillette, we are actually starting to have conversations.