The backlash of Gillette commercial: Toxic masculinity at its finest

Jayda Ragas, Herald Contributor

By now I think most people have either heard about and/or seen Gillette’s controversial advertisement. This ad is trying to bring toxic masculinity to light and is a call for action to change the long-standing actions of some men — not all men — that only further perpetuate the toxicity of “acting like a man.”

Unfortunately, this message was not received well by a staggering amount of people. As of right now, the ad on YouTube has over 26 million views and 1.3 million dislikes against the mere 726 thousand likes. And according to the commenters who have been diligently refreshing the page and watching the stats, Gillette is falsifying the up-votes, and deleting the down-votes and highly liked negative comments, so the reactions could be even worse than they seem.

As soon as I heard about the commercial and how it was receiving major backlash, I watched it all the way through without reading the comments or hearing anyone else’s opinions and personally had a positive reaction to it. And then I went to the comments section and was completely blown away, and not in a good way. I could not, and still do not, understand how so many people can be so adamantly against this commercial. I scrolled through numerous comments where people were saying that they’re throwing out their Gillette razors and will never buy from the company ever again.

The worst comments are the ones where people are saying things like “the boys of today will be the soys of tomorrow” and “these boys are most likely going to grow up as snowflakes, not men.” This is just a sample of the worst comments because these comments are literally a reflection of the toxic masculinity that Gillette is attempting to steer people away from.

I read a comment saying that the women in the ad are portrayed as weak and ineffective. I disagree. I don’t think that’s what the company was trying to do. They were trying to provide examples of how women should be treated. In the ad, when the woman in the business meeting was shut down by the man, she looked dejected afterward. People are criticizing this, saying that men don’t actually mansplain like this and women would stand up for themselves. But yes, some men do mansplain, and maybe not every woman knows what to do in that kind of situation. Either way, the woman in the ad demonstrated the general feeling that anyone would experience after not being listened to.

Seeing the amount of negativity this commercial received and reading what people are actually saying leaves me completely shocked and, if I’m being honest, a little scared. How can so many people miss the entire message of the ad and then proceed to prove the ad’s point on toxic masculinity? It’s frightening how quickly people will get defensive and proceed to turn the blame onto someone else instead of acknowledging the real problem that was laid out right in front of their eyes.