P.T. Barnum said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Well, Gillett got that! I have watched their commercial several times trying to find value.
First, there is nothing concerning a quality and affordable product that I can find. Second, the stereotype of men is insulting—a commercial portraying any other group of people in the manner men are shown would not be tolerated. Third, while yes there are some toxic men (and women) in our society they are a great minority and I do not really need a company designed to make money with grooming products trying to teach me morals and proper behavior. I understand they are not the only company to do so—I have a problem with all of them and implore them to just tell me about their products and how I benefit if I purchase them.
The exception I take to this ad is the generalization. I am blessed to be around men who in the greatest sense of the word, are men—they are the “best a man can be.”
I was raised by one. I have a son and two sons-in-law who are men. I have other family and friends who are men and despite their flaws, are not “toxic”. They wake up early to scrape the ice off their wife’s car windows. They put the dishes away. They make coffee when their woman is returning from a long cold run. They do the laundry. They buy flowers just because. They are actively engaged with their children. They stand up to and defend those who are being bullied but understand the difference in letting “boys be boys” and “girls be girls”.
They do not do these things because the women in their lives are incapable, because they certainly are very capable—they do these things because they love and are responsible men who fulfill their calling as a man—they are trying to be the best they can be.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV) “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” I loved rough-housing as a child, it is not appropriate as a man. There are many things we do as a child that does not translate into adulthood. They key is growth.
Paul goes on in 1 Corinthians 16:13 to remind us, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” If that was Gillett’s intended purpose, I missed it. Perhaps my biggest concern is for my two young grandsons. How are they getting judged just coming out of the gate? What will being a “man” mean 20 years from now? How are we treating and preparing this generation of men?
I rely on God’s Word, for men and women, and trust as Joshua 24:15 says, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Through Him and because of Him, we know what a man should be.