OPINION: Gillette’s commercial calls for action

The Sentinel Gillette released an advertisement on Jan. 13, that encouraged male viewers to revisit their manhood. This commercial was not an attack on masculinity, but instead a call to action among men of all ages.The commercial opens with different moments in television, marketing and everyday life that almost praises sexual harassment and bullying. Gillette shows one of its older ads and questions their tagline, “The Best a Man Can Get.” Audiences are shown a young boy getting bullied both online and after school, a man talking over women in the workplace and an unnerving chant of “boys will be boys.”
Unfortunately, the ad has garnered a large amount of criticism, with people saying the ad is attacking masculinity. As a result, some viewers have taken to Twitter to #BoycottGillette.
However, the ad is not meant to attack masculinity overall, but rather to question toxic, dangerous masculinity — the kind of behavior and actions that lead to sexual harassment and violence.
“We’re not saying all guys are bad,” Vice President of Global Communications and Advocacy at Procter and Gamble Damon Jones said. “We’re not trying to misrepresent any one individual. What we’re saying is, as a collective group let’s have a little less bad behavior and more good. That’s the big message behind it.”
According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 90 percent of adult rape victims are female, and every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. RAINN also states that one out of every 10 rape victims is male.
“We are really saying, ‘You know what? It’s not okay to harass women. It’s not okay to catcall,’” Jones told Forbes. “It’s not okay to bully others.”
Rape is known to be the most under-reported crime — 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Bullying is …

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