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Monday, 21 January 2019

Thoughts on the 'Gillette' ad

So I'm blogging about this is because it's a popular circulating topic and it's fun to have opinions on stuff and will get me traffic. Also I do have some emotional ties to this topic because, well, I'm a woman who cares about men and people in general (even when I pretend I don't).

I think this advert has a nice overall message and is very pro-men. It's not shitting all over men at all - quite the opposite. There are a few cringey bits but it's an advert for men's razor blades that is utilizing current social trends. It's going to spark controversy because that will drive people to the product. (I wonder how much money Gillette have made in ad revenue alone?) Controversy attracts views - take a look at my most popular blog posts.

I thought the 'boys will be boys' bit was poorly done - the two little boys were clearly just play-fighting and it would have more poignancy if they'd have shown an older boy bullying a younger boy. Young men stab and assault each other all the time (esp in London) which is horrible and worrying. Men bullying and intimidating other men is not new and this would have had a bigger impact with a clip of a gang or 'rougher' looking lads targeting a smaller guy.

I don't think there's anything wrong with two kids play-fighting or getting a little rough, as long as it isn't overly aggressive it can be healthy to a degree. Gotta release that testosterone! Also, the #metoo movement has been super controversial because of the 'witch-hunt' style backlash against men who haven't actually committed crimes, as well as false allegations against men. But this doesn't mean the movement is totally wrong - I agree with its premise and think we should stand up and spit at the bastards who have sexually assaulted women because unfortunately women tend to be victims more than men.

But the advert highlights a lot of truth. If I'm standing in the street crying because I'm lost or the guy I had sex with last night died of a heart attack while I was handcuffed to the bed, someone will see me and think 'oh no! That poor curly-haired cutie is in distress! There there, poppet!' On the other hand, if I was a guy people would shuffle away uncomfortably or ignore me.

Having to repress feelings is damaging physically as well as emotionally; if feelings get bottled up they end up coming out in rage, such as killing your wife and children. (Are we seeing a connection here? Men told to shut their feelings in, rampant murders of wives and kids?) Bonding and showing love to other guys rather than telling them to fuck off does not make you a 'pussy.' In two of Stephen King's books, It and The Body, he beautifully highlights the power of male friendship. The boys in It are brave, courageous and strong-willed - for fuck's sake they defeat an evil monster - but they're also kind, caring, loving and look out for one another. They overcome Henry Bowers and his crazy henchmen and become the heroes in the end.
Boys will be boys :) 
And they don't have to be weak-willed 'sissies', nor do they have to be cold and emotionally repressed. Kindness and inner strength can go together (Jon Snow, I'm looking at you). I saw this ad as trying to say that men can be pals and overcome the shit that gets tossed in their faces. They don't have to be 'pigs' or 'rapists' because most guys aren't; they can overcome that crap and be better men (who use Gillette razors).

On a final note, there were some things the ad highlighted that I think were good regarding how some men treat women. There is a history of women in male-dominated workplaces being silenced or looked down upon, and at one point a woman is shown being 'shushed' by her boss in a meeting. That is a real issue and I think it's good it was addressed because women have had to fight hard to be accepted in many sectors over the years.

I also agree that a lot of rap and hip-hop degrades women (and music, to be frank) and there was a passing clip of that in the ad. Regarding men chatting up and hollering at women in the street, I always have mixed views on that. Sure, on the one hand it can be upsetting and creepy if a girl is young or just wants to go somewhere and doesn't want some rude guy whistling at her. On the other hand if you're in the right mood it can feel like a compliment. I think cat-calling is one of those things where there isn't one right way to look at it - it's not wholly good or bad in my books (but then is anything? I guess disliking Game of Thrones or Stephen King novels is pretty bad. That shit makes me triggered like nobody's bitch).

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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