No! Nope. No, goddammit. I mean, yes… Of COURSE I’m going to cry while watching it… That was a given. I have watched it three times so far, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t TELL SOMEONE about that commercial a month from now without tearing up. But that was always going to happen. What I’m saying is that I’m just not going to spend time in tears over the fact that there seem to be so many people who see something like this commercial — something so clearly Good, and something so clearly a moral step in a better direction — and yet they react with offense and anger and hatred. Here is the commercial that has everyone in an uproar:
There have been times in the past when something like “the political right’s” reaction to this would leave me feeling disillusioned and hopeless. I would have tried in vain to figure out how people could look at an ad showing men stepping in to hold each other accountable, calling on us to not equate masculinity with violence, and calling for better examples for young boys as something which could make people ANGRY. I would have despaired over the seemingly insurmountable gulf between two groups of people — pulled in opposite directions — who can look at the same two minute commercial… One group seeing Goodness, and the other seeing an evil attack. But not today. Not this time. And here’s why: The people who look at this add and see an “attack on masculinity” are totally outnumbered.
When a company the size of Proctor & Gamble decides to invest money in a commercial like this, it is not because they are necessarily “trying to do the right thing.” Although, it should be mentioned that P&G is the same company that made this wonderful ad that aired during the Super Bowl…
They are making a business decision. They have done their research. Yes, there are going to be a bunch of misogynistic Jordan Peterson disciples who are going to get loud and angry. Yes, some trumpers are going to call for a boycott. And yes, there are going to be a few imbeciles taking pictures of their razors in the toilet…
But the vast majority of people who see this commercial see it for what it is: An obvious step in the right direction.
If you’re like me, it wasn’t Trump himself who was so disheartening… He is nothing more than a sad, hopelessly broken man who never learned to love anyone but himself. The REAL heartbreak and hopelessness came from the shocking number of people who could bring themselves to vote for such a person. Because it’s not the existence of a bully that will break your heart… It’s when so many people either support him or are indifferent to his bullying. And that’s why the election affected us (me) so much: Because it felt like we (I) might be wrong, and the Moral Arc of the Universe might NOT be bending toward justice.
But here’s the good news: If you find yourself despairing over how it is that so many people could be so backwards as to find this ad offensive, consider these 3 things: 1) Russia (and other countries) pay people and creates countless “bots” to get on comments sections of these sorts of issues and make horrible comments. Do you know why? Because those kinds of comments make people feel HOPELESS, and hopeless people are way less likely to participate in a democracy. A LOT of the awful comments (and the “likes” awful comments get) are created by bots and trolls. 2) Could Gillette have made a commercial like this even 10 years ago? Never. Think of how far we have come in the last decade. And yes, we all know how very far there is to go… But we are living through a GIANT shift in human consciousness. 100 years ago, women couldn’t even VOTE. When it feels like everything and everyone is getting worse, find a history book… And be encouraged. And last, but not least, 3) Proctor & Gamble is not in the business of losing money. They have done their research, and their research has shown them that speaking out against toxic masculinity is a GOOD business decision. Supporting the #MeToo movement, supporting women, speaking out against Toxic Masculinity — These are WINNERS when it comes to big business. Because that’s the direction human consciousness is heading… And that direction is GOOD.
So, sure… I’ll shed a few tears while watching the commercial — Though having a commercial make me tear up is nothing unusual for me. But I’m not going to let the angry reactions to that commercial succeed in making me feel sad or hopeless. People who have become accustomed to privilege are always going to feel “oppressed” when they see others gaining equality. And fear is always going to make some people react with anger and hatred as humanity learns to be more compassionate. And there might even always be some white supremacist idiot somewhere serving fast food “hamberders” to a national championship football team… But don’t give up. And don’t be sad. There’s too much to celebrate.
Thank you so much for reading. You might have noticed I took some time off over the holidays. I hope the holidays where peaceful and sweet for you as well. If you value this place, and you’d like to help support me and my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON. If that’s not your style, but you’d like to leave a tip because you really liked something I wrote, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Or you can just follow me on FACEBOOK or on TWITTER. Either way, if you read something you like (here or somewhere else), share it with the people in your life… Exposing people to new, different, and better ideas can change the world.