Shortly after the Gillette toxic masculinity ad started trending, I wrote an article on Scary Mommy discussing how, as a father, I found the message incredibly important. I shared that article on my blog Facebook page, and then spent the next 24 hours fielding insults that basically confirmed just how prevalent toxic masculinity is in our society.
I was called a pu**y and told I had sand in my vagina, and that’s just scratching the surface.
What did stick with me, however, was how many commenters adamantly claimed that toxic masculinity was a myth made up by the liberal media. Yet that very comment section was filled with tons of comments that were obvious examples of men being toxic.
Now, keep in mind, there are a lot of people who believe toxic masculinity is a myth, or they feel it’s just masculinity, and that’s how god (or some other higher power) made men, so stop trying to change them, and just enjoy the catcalls.
I, along with most who thought the Gillette ad was a valid and timely message, believe that masculinity isn’t a bad thing, but apparently there are tons of very toxic men who cannot spot the difference between masculinity and toxic masculinity.
Or there’s this analogy as well.
So we’re all clear now? Great.
Over the past day or so, I scrolled through a number of Gillette sponsored ads, along with comments below the actual video on the Gillette Facebook page, and found a number of examples of toxic masculinity for those of you not 100% sure what the difference is. I removed names and profile pictures to keep people anonymous.
Behold, just a few examples of toxic masculinity.
Wait… so the Gillette ad asked me to stop acting like a jerk and somehow that translates to “pussification?” No. No. It doesn’t work that way, my friend. Just stop being a jerk. That’s all they’re asking us to do. And if you see someone acting like a jerk, tell them to, you know, stop being a jerk. It’s that simple.
Sounds like a quality razor… Be careful. It’s sharp. But in all seriousness, no one wants your balls. Not Gillette, not anyone. We just want you to think about what it means to be a man, and removed some of those negative actions. Let’s not make this about something that it isn’t.
If having a “mangina” means I don’t have to discuss my genitals as if they are my only source of power and identity, then yes. Let’s call it a “mangina.”
Once again, trust me, no one is coming for your testicles. Please sleep easier.
Just so we’re clear, shaving your legs and wearing a skirt wouldn’t change a thing about who you are… as much as I’d like it to. And I didn’t see anything in the ad about asking men to make those particular changes, so stay focused.
I’ll say this once again for the people on the back: NO ONE WANTS YOUR BALLS! Give it a rest.
You know, I never received one of those. Perhaps it’s for the best.
OMG!!! Stop Talking about your balls!!
See? Do you see the the toxic in the masculinity there? Now, naturally, the irony of all the toxic men showing up to dispute the toxic ad through the use of toxic masculinity wasn’t lost on everyone. Gratefully…
Now here is the truly tragic part about all of this: If a man was so offended by someone telling them to be a better person that they went into the trenches of a discussion post and talked about their balls, they might just be beyond salvation.
But here’s where there’s hope: If enough healthy masculine men take up the charge of holding the truly toxic ones accountable (one of the best messages of Gillette ad) then hopefully we’ll see some change. So although the message of the ad may not have hit home with the truly toxic man, it’s the middle ground that will ultimately affect real change. It’s the men who can spot the difference between healthy and toxic masculinity and are willing to say, “Hold the phone, buddy; that’s not how men act.”