Thank you for your response.

I’m not one to judge and neither is it my aim to do so. Nevertheless, I’m sorry to say this but if an advert which does nothing but promote basic human values among men makes you feel diminished, I think the insecurity is inside of you, and projecting that onto Gillette will be of no help.

Whether we like it or not, toxic masculinity is a thing. Men disproportionately commit more violent and sexual crimes than women, and that’s a fact, not an opinion. Men throughout history, and still to this day, have held power-related privileges that women didn’t have (can’t remember any country where men weren’t allowed to vote, while I can remember that there was a certain Swiss canton that didn’t extend the suffrage to women until 1990!). Most of all, men grow in a society which both enables aggressive behaviour by justifying it (under the pretence that “boys will be boys”) and suppresses their emotional/empathetic instincts by branding those who show them as being “weak”.

Whether Gillette’s ad is genuine in sentiment or merely jumping on a bandwagon to score publicity points, the fact remains that we need to dismantle a system which not only enables bad behaviour in men, but severely limits them as well. Men are afraid to form close friendships, express their emotions, wear what they want, pursue artistic careers, etc, under a toxic, sexist/homophobic culture which will view them negatively for doing so.

How you feel when using a Gillette razor is up to you. I see dismantling toxic masculinity as a liberation for men, who can finally be themselves and will be able to form better relationships with other people. You can agree with all these things and still feel like a “hunk”. If Gillette’s ad makes you feel insecure or less of a “hunk” while using their product, then that’s down to you, not them – after all it’s a razor, not a magic wand.

23-y/o Britalian, Oxford grad, published poet & singer/songwriter. Feminist, progressive & unafraid to share my views | Bylines: Indy, Metro, The Times, Huffpo

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