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Gillette Ad: Why Many Men Found It Offensive

It is possible to object to the ad, in whole or part, without being a misogynist or Neanderthal

There are a host of legitimate reasons why many men found the Gillette #MeToo ad offensive. In this regard, it is instructive to note the reaction of women who contend that those men incensed at the ad, represent Exhibit A for the argument on the necessity of making the ad. In short, all you men who find the ad distasteful, of necessity, must be misogynists who are cheerleaders for Les Moonves and Charlie Rose.

Feminist Kirsten Powers reflects the prevailing viewpoint of many of the women whose attitude towards men who object to the ad is “Get over it.”Powers starts from the premise that there is a toxic masculinity problem. The idea of “toxic masculinity” is a term that is pristinely undefined, or is defined in a manner that suits feminist, progressive dogma at the moment.

The whole idea of “toxic masculinity” is noting more than a bootstrapping argument that takes the isolated instances of debauched men and foments a nationwide crisis for which all men need to be instructed. Women who wholeheartedly support the ad seem to believe that “toxic masculinity”, whatever that term signifies, is an innate and inescapable characteristic of all men.

The whole that there is a toxic masculinity crisis is similar to another demonstrably phony crisis fomented by progressives that there is a campus rape crisis.

The issue is not Powers question-begging premise, but rather, that the reprehensible and degrading acts of men like Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves, doesn’t reflect the behavior of all men in the country. Can women like Powers argue definitively that most men in the country would harass women in the world place in the same manner as Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer?

Additionally, if the message in the ad was so innocuous, straightforward and unobjectionable, why did Gillette need to employ an Australian film director who happens to be a radical feminist? Many men find this choice of producers rather bizarre.

Furthermore, many men correctly contend that the ad itself will act as a precursor for re-education camps for all white men. The scenario is as follows: Since the message of the ad is unobjectionable, mandatory corporate sensitivity training for all men will be the next step . Men view this as another instance of college campus idiocy concocted by left wing professors and diversity administrators transferred to the workplace.

Another reason for viewing the ad with a jaundiced eye?

In case feminists like Powers haven’t noticed, white men have repeatedly been the object of scorn, ridicule and obloquy. Revisit the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in which old distinguished Senators were ridiculed as “White Supremacists” imbued with “White Privilege.”

These are terms that are already so overused that they will shortly attain the status of progressives favorite and sweeping buzz word: Racist! If feminists like Powers don’t think the Gillette ad should be viewed in this context of the progressive rallying cry on the menacing nature of unbridled “Whiteness”, she has been living on another planet.

Finally, the position represented by Powers op-ed, is another example of the insufferable dichotomous way of thinking about political and social issues that has made political discourse in this country toxic and acrimonious.

Many women who have responded to men’s criticism of the ad have this perverse notion that if men have any legitimate reasons for finding the ad objectionable, unwarranted or inappropriate, e.g., that corporations ought not be in the business of virtue-signalling, then these men must automatically be misogynists, Neanderthals, backwards thinking and imbued with “toxic masculinity.” This is as ridiculous as it is absurd and a sign of intellectual infantilism.

Many men found certain aspects of the ad actually enlightening and inoffensive, but overall objected to the ad on other ground unrelated to ideology; some men may have in fact agreed with the message, but found select portions of the ad distasteful. In short, there was a range of reactions to the ad that was part positive and part negative. One is prompted to ask Powers, are these mixed reactions impermissible?

Women who dismiss men’s disapprobation concerning the ad should take this principle to heart, instead of condemning all men who find the ad distasteful in one fell swoop as anti-women, you might acknowledge that the ad could be construed in an unfavorable light by reasonable men who are not in any way prejudiced.

Memo to women who believe that those men who don’t embrace the ad are all Harvey Weinstein’s in the making: it is possible to hold two propositions simultaneously that do not lead to your summary conclusion. Logically, it is the case, that men can criticize the ad and yet be supportive of women in the workplace.

This shouldn’t be a revolutionary revelation.

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