I found the recent Gillette advert and all that came out from it quite interesting. When I saw the advert my initial reaction was “this is fantastic!”. To be honest, my thoughts haven’t changed. I think it addresses current issues very well. [As a way to advertise razors? Ehhh, I think the only thing it’s managed to do is get people talking about the brand, but not necessarily in a way that will increase sales.]
As a woman it can be hard to explain to men just how media has rammed down our throats how we should look, act and be (sex symbols, unrealistically EFFORTLESSLY beautiful women, housewives seemingly juggling everything easily…). And the outright sexist adverts perhaps not as blatant as in the past, but still very much out there (heyyy Lynx). Not just on TV, but in magazines, music and pervading throughout culture.
Personally I didn’t see the Gillette advert as attacking men or painting all men the same way. I was actually quite shocked when I saw men reacting so vehemently against it. My view is that it’s just trying to promote consideration and highlighting how this can be done. I didn’t see it as attacking men’s masculinity but actually celebrating ways that men can still be masculine without sexism or aggression. I also didn’t see it as a pointing finger at ALL men.
But of course, as a woman I can’t comment on how it would feel to see the advert as a man. So in itself it might be sexist to assume my view is how they should view it. Of course not all men are fighting, or are in gangs, or being sexist to women. I know plenty of men who very much see the world made up as people, not genders. You should hold the door open for anyone, not just for females. This is something I feel very strongly about. Everyone should be treated how you yourself wish to be treated. It’s considerate and basically just being a nice human.
I know the men in my life are kind, not aggressive and not sexist… but that doesn’t mean to say that the Gillette advert doesn’t make a good point and isn’t an important message – in my opinion.
However there is a danger that we slip too far the other way. We create an “us against them” scenario of men against women, women against men. Along with male toxicity we have female toxicity. Women can of course be just as awful and just as sexist. Everyone is a human, and humans are all capable of horrible things.
So I think we need to be careful that we don’t put women on a pedastool of perfection and throw rocks to the men below. Feminism is important, but it shouldn’t be to give the right to make assumptions and insults across the board. We all need to be in the same glass house together.
Did you see the Gillette advert?
What were your thoughts?
Have you ever been the target of sexism?