You may have noticed that this week saw the arrival of a new razor advert. Personally I was upset that it didn’t feature any benefits or features that would help me decide whether my recent decision to use an electric razor was a good decision or whether I had inadvertently become part of a movement.
It is a confusing time to be a man.
I watched the advert without first being aware of the controversy, other than a vague awareness of a Twitter trend - which while interesting can easily be a world to itself.
Notepad and pen out I watched and made notes. I watched it 3 times. I even had a ‘moment’ when I thought about the man I continually seek to be.
Make no mistake it can be a confusing time to be a man - the certainty (and straitjacket) of physical prowess, sole provider for your family and emotional resilience at all costs is being eroded, but it is being eroded by men themselves, because for so many men they want something different - they want equality for their talented partners, they want to be actively involved in raising their children and most importantly they realise they have a choice.
Masculinity is no longer defined by being the breadwinner or having the ability to “man up”. By a distance – among every age of man questioned – everyone agreed that the two most important qualities for modern males were “being present as a father” and “being strong in a crisis”.
Passing on the right values
At its heart the Gillette advert it’s an inspirational message about how Dads teach their sons right from wrong, how they pass on the right values by their own actions.
It goes further than that because it works as a call to arms for a new generation. We don’t have to accept and tolerate the bad behaviour of a small number of others who have tarnished our good name. It encourages men to take back the agenda – a fight back against the legitimate punches of #metoo.
✅ Real men don't turn a blind eye to bad behaviour and just laugh it off.
✅ Real men stand up for their values.
✅ They are proud to do the right thing.
It’s true, I didn’t need a brand positioning advert to tell me that.
I also think it was a bit problematic putting children play fighting in the same advert as sexual assault. But I get what they are saying - behaviours are learnt at a young age and your children are watching. Boys will be Boys but that doesn’t stop us encouraging them to be better versions of themselves.
I believe that some men let all men down.
Men (and women) have excused bad behaviour in the past, to paraphrase -
“All it takes for bad behaviour to flourish is for good men to do nothing.”
Of course I could be wrong…
The dislikes on You Tube have hit 965,000 - up 1,000 in the time it’s taken to write this.
“One of the most disgusting adverts I've ever seen”
“This ad is full of ultra left toxic masculinity ideology feminist propaganda”
Need someone to take your work life balance seriously?
If you are one of the 66% of men who identify “being present as a father” as the #1 most important quality for modern males then you get my help with your work balance by scheduling a call with me.