Man up and understand your responsibility

Matt Troher, Editor-In-Chief

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Men, we can do better.

To coincide with the 2019 Super Bowl, the razor company Gillette released an advertisement entitled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”.  The nearly two-minute long ad promotes the ideals of the MeToo movement by denouncing toxic masculinity and challenging men to “be the best they can”.

The first half of the ad depicts negative portrayals of masculinity: catcalling women, mansplaining in the workplace, and bullying. As the ad progresses, the narrator calls for a new wave of masculinity, announcing “there will be no going back, because we believe in the best in men”.

The ad finishes by displaying empathetic men stepping up and stopping friends and strangers from partaking in the toxic behavior that has gone on for far too long.

The popular response to the advertisement was disheartening to say the least, and even downright disgusting. The advertisement has received over a million dislikes on YouTube and has spawned a firestorm of backlash and men calling for a Gillette boycott.

The comments section of the advertisement is littered with men calling the ad sexist, condescending, and shaming it for seemingly lecturing an entire gender for the acts of individuals. Some commentators have even gone as far to call the ad an ‘attack on men, a propaganda piece propelling the “war on masculinity”’.

Men, we’re not being attacked, we are not the victims. There is no ‘war on masculinity’, and certainly no one is telling you to be ashamed of your masculinity — as long as it’s not toxic.

Gillette is not saying that all men part take in these behaviors, but instead all men have the opportunity and responsibility to prevent sexual harassment and bullying.

If you are offended by the statement being made by Gillette, maybe — just maybe — you’re recognizing your own toxic behavior being portrayed in a negative light and you’re shocked about being called out on such a national scale.

Men, it’s time we start being better, it’s time we start holding other men accountable. No longer are we going to dismiss harassment or physical violence as “boys being boys”. Boys will be boys, but that doesn’t mean harassment or violence, it means that young men should be comfortable in their own masculinity no matter how they choose to — as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.