A new commercial from Gillette, a well-known men’s hygiene company, is creating quite a stir across social media platforms as of late.
The advertisement, titled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” is a short-film style commercial that makes reference to patriarchy, toxic masculinity, and the #MeToo movement regarding non-consensual sexual harassment, assault, and violence.
You can watch the commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0
One of the components of the advert that specifically caught my attention is its dissection of the dangerous phrase, “boys will be boys,” and its acknowledgement of the use of this phrase as an excuse for poor, stereotypical behaviour.
I think this commercial is positively fantastic.
It depicts visual examples of men standing up for women when they face harassment from other men.
It depicts situations in which men intervene in physical altercations between other men, rather than letting them hash it out and perpetuating the “boys will be boys” mentality.
It urges men to take a stand against oppression towards women and states “Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
I was reading the comments section for the video on YouTube, and a lot of people are angry that Gilette has taken a political stance towards this issue, and further that the commercial insinuates that men are the only perpetrators of the issues highlighted in the commercial.
Personally, I think the people making these comments are missing the point of the commercial, but that is my own opinion.
I commend Gillette for using their platform to address such an important issue in today’s society, and I acknowledge, as most people should, that men are not the sole perpetrators of bullying, harassment and assault. The company’s decision to advocate for gender equality and basic human rights is a step in the right direction in terms of achieving progression.
Image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0