The reality though is that the message of the Gillette ad isn’t a liberal vs conservative issue, and the fact the debate has been playing out this way shows how far we still have to go.

Saying “don’t bully each other, don’t harass or rape women” isn’t an ideological or political statement, it’s a matter of basic human decency (and legality). The fact that so many conservatives have launched a tirade on the “progressivism” of this ad is, at best, myopic, and, at worst, somewhat frightening. You can debate on the issue of whether companies should focus on selling their product as opposed to promoting moral/ethical values, but this isn’t what the right has done. Rather, they have made this a lib vs con debate, and have heralded the commercial an example of “left-wing feminist propaganda” aimed at destroying traditional masculinity. Given that the advert’s message is in no way radical (and shouldn’t be controversial at all, to be honest), the fact it has been construed that way ultimately reveals how toxic masculinity is still such a massive problem. Too many guys don’t want to accept that the issue exists.

The “snowflakes”, by the way, refers to the guys who have called outright boycotts of Gillette over the advert, of which Twitter shows an ample number. Conservatives have traditionally liked to project the “crybaby” image onto the left (especially, as you say, after Trump’s election), painting us as being immature, self-obsessed children throwing temper tantrums whenever we don’t get our way. To begin with, expressing genuine grief over political issues isn’t an inherently bad thing (when both Brexit and Trump’s election happened, I honestly felt a sense of mourning – for the loss my country would bear in the former case, and for the loss of good values which the latter stands to represent). But the issue at hand here isn’t so much about sadness, grief, even anger, but rather temper tantrums and getting “offended”. The right paints liberal “PC culture” as being the epitome of getting “offended over everything”. But the reality is that conservatives get more offended by things than they are willing to admit, and to my eyes even more so than the left – offended over gender-neutral bathrooms, referring to trans/non-binary people with their chosen pronouns, gay people getting married and setting up families, employees saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, the list goes on… and now offended over Gillette advertisements.



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Andrea Carlo

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