Found this post linked in a blog that I follow. By the time I was done, I wanted to applauded. I believe Mr. Hailey has hit the nail on the head.
This video [Gillette ad] has caused a lot of controversy over the last couple of days. So much so that it has caused me to do two things. First, I’ve pre-empte the post originally scheduled for today, and second, I’m late posting this as I’ve worked hard to make sure that what I say conveys my meaning accurately without being overly in-your-face, or provocative.
Yeah, making noise gets you noticed, but it doesn’t really get you listened to, except by those who already agree with you. If I want to establish communication with those in opposition, and in this case, I desperately want to do so, it is on me to present my ideas in a way that is accessible, and doesn’t set them off or put them on the defensive. At the same time, I cannot water down my position so far that it becomes meaningless, or easily dismissible.
It creates a very narrow tightrope.
The bottom line is this: the Gillette video is sexist, demeaning, and an attack on men. And to steal a hashtag from the opposition, #yesallmen.
Before we get started, please watch the video, if you haven’t already. I’m going to refer to specific scenes and unless you’ve watched them, my comments won’t have the same effect.
I have seen the video in question. I found it to be a offensive and demeaning, a slap in the face to all good men. In fact, I have compared it to the mentality that all cops are bad because that is what you see in the news.
Next, we get reinforcing images of the awfulness of the male sex, a group of boys chasing another boy, scared and running for his life. A young boy clinging to his mother while word balloons with pejoratives fill the screen. A cartoon of a woman primping and men whistling. Scene after scene culminating with a long line of men standing behind grills, chanting “Boys will be boys will be boys,” while two boys wrestle in the grass.
Another friend had a still shot of the wrestling scene posted on FB and I noticed that there was a woman (possibly two) sitting in the background. I asked if the “fight” was so bad, how come the women (you know the kinder, gentler sex – the maternal figure) didn’t step in?
Man 2.0? That’s us right now. Men do stand up and defend the weak right now. Men also protect women from predators. In fact, every behavior shown in the latter half of the video represents the ideals of manhood going back thousands of years. Think Camelot. Think chivalry. Hell, think of the Boy Scouts.
Dead in the black … hit the X ring here.
Like any group, men are varied. We encompass heroes and villains. We are no different from women in this regard. There are good ones and bad ones. But to deliberately define us all based on the behaviors of the worst, while ignoring the behaviors of our best is not a reflection of reality, nor is it a tactic of a group wanting an honest discussion. It’s propaganda, meant to manipulate the public into a desired behavior by creating a pattern of beliefs. If we engage in discussion with this commercial as a starting premise, we all lose because the premise is false.
The moment you start to apply negative stereotypes to all of a group of people (or animals for that matter) you diminish them – you dehumanize them. The first step to discrimination.
The best thing we can do is remember that we are created in God’s image; that we all have good and evil in us. It is up to us to overcome the evil, the sin nature, inside of us. Treat people as you would like to be treated. Hmm, seems like I have heard that somewhere before. 😉
Read the rest of Mr. Hailey’s excellent post here: http://richhailey.shotsacrossthebow.com/?p=586#comment-169
(as an interesting aside, I noticed that (as of the time of this post) all of the comments on the post had been from women. I also noticed that the comments on the video were mostly negative, and quite a few of them were from women. That suggests to me that many women find the commercial/video offensive as well. I wonder if P&G will get the hint: sell your product(s), not a message)