Accusing men of committing suggestive or even heinous acts such as sexual harassment should be a more delicate subject just as the subject of sexuality should be. Gillette’s video ad has sparked mixed emotions from its viewers. The video itself, just like the #MeToo movement it references, is a sign that the sexual revolution continues to be fought by some in the 21st century. But I have some problems with the ad’s representation of men.
It seems to highlight mostly the worst attributes which can be found in the personalities of some men. We see men being stalkers and perverts, akin to beasts with no sense of morality. This simply isn’t the case. Most men don’t stand off at a distance paying no heed to a heated argument their own children are involved in.
The ad draws a connection between cooking and decent parties being on par with bullying. They are two very different things. Men don’t need to be handsome, clean-shaven, and vegan to be authentic men, to have true masculinity the way it was intended to be, as Gillette’s commercial begins to allude to. Rather, men are called to live every moment of their lives with respect.
Truly, this is what every member of the human race is being called to. Unfortunately, not everyone has decided to follow such a path; this goes for men and women alike. There are atrocious men in the world, and there are equally upset women in the world. Either will often choose the wrong thing. They choose themselves over everyone else. Community, in its fullest sense, is a sharing of caretaking and giving to others. It’s not about tit-for-tatting or revenge. It’s about undergoing a continual conversion and learning to honor the dignity of the human person in every regard.
Authentic masculinity is what we need. By this, I mean that real men are self-conscious of what they’re doing and are doing the right thing. We don’t need to take away men’s grills and males’ pastimes and mementos. How on earth would that make them better men? It would be like telling a professional athlete she can’t use her running shoes and can’t work out.
It’s nonsensical, destroying the goals of men as well as the community as a whole. When the athlete is not given the chance to use her full potential, her physical health declines, her dreams decrease into obscurity, sort of like caging a dog.
What society needs is an equally potent dosage of masculinity and femininity. Men need to be gentlemen who are humble, charitable, protective. Women need to be more protective of their bodies, meaning they are to remain modest. Human beings should know by now that opposites attract and that, if a person desires to not be treated as an object to be gained or used for gratification, then he or she should first treat themselves like a human being. This, once again, goes back to a sense of dignity.
Men with dignity do not go around using women for personal pleasure, just as women who have dignity do not go and dance half-nude in front of rowdy crowds. Righteous men do not make women out be lesser beings, just as real women do not degrade and dismiss men’s ambitions. Men and women are called to be complementary to each other, to console one another and bring love and life into the world. We need to start doing that!