Why Is Toxic Behavior Considered Masculine?

Why Is Toxic Behavior Considered Masculine?

Recently, Gillette put out an ad about ‘Toxic Masculinity’ - I didn’t like it. 

Let me start by saying just because I didn’t like the messenger, doesn’t mean I’m not all for the message.  The reason I didn’t care for the ad is that it lumps all men together as predators, bullies, and abusers.  Now, people have said “No, it doesn’t” and the only people offended by the ad are the predators, bullies, abusers.  If that were the case, I have a much better ad campaign that Gillette should use to reach their targeted audience: “Hey, Assholes, stop acting like Assholes”. 

See how easy that was? 

Instead, the Gillette ad puts most men in that asshole category.  And they prove that with their own words.  In the ad, the narrator states: “We believe in the best in men.  To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are.”


So, the implication is that the majority of men are abusive - the majority of men are bullies - the majority of men are predators.   That’s where they went from sending a message to labeling a gender.

I know dozens and dozens of men.  Fathers, sons, cousins, nephews, brothers.  Not one of them would act like the people portrayed in this ad.  Not one would stand by while someone was hurt or being abused. 

They don’t need to be told to be the best, because they already are.

If this ad somehow conveyed that the majority of men don’t need to be preached to in order to do the right thing, in order to be the best a man can be, then I would be okay with it.

But they didn’t, and to show a few saintly ‘good guys’ saving the rest of us from our ‘toxic masculinity’ is insulting to every good man I know.

That’s why I did not care for the ad.

But beyond that, what I find interesting is the reaction from those that liked the ad against those that did not.

For example, in response to a negative comment about the ad, this followed:

Because these men are the pedophiles of the world. They're utterly disgusting.

Pedophile?  For not liking a commercial.

Some of the most hateful comments are from the people who liked the ad.  Seems a bit ironic, no?

Didn’t the commercial talk about bullying?  Is calling someone a pedophile (which is the most horrific thing you could call someone) the best a man could be?  The best a person could be?  It’s like they didn’t even see the commercial.

There is no such thing as Toxic Masculinity.  There is a thing called toxic behavior, and I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to men.

I raised my children (one girl, two boys) to be good, decent people.  I showed them the importance of being polite, to help people whenever they could (and I’ve seen them do it first hand), and I told them never throw the first punch.  I also told them not to run away from a fight if they are defending themselves, their family, or their friends.  My son, Alexander, when he was in the fourth grade, stood up to a group of boys who were making fun of his friend. 

They don’t need a commercial to tell them to do that.

And I fully expect that behavior to be passed on to the next generation of my family, and the next, and the next.  It will continue until someone marries a democrat (just kidding, Paul, you know we love you).

Okay, that’s it; let the name calling begin.

Photo by Paulo Silva on Unsplash

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