After generating controversy with its Super Bowl ad condemning “toxic masculinity,” Gillette is stirring the pot again, this time portraying a father teaching a daughter who is “transitioning to be a man” to shave.
“Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become, and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of man that I want to become,” says the main character, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown.
“I’m glad I’m at the point where I’m able to shave. … I’m at the point in my manhood where I’m actually happy. It is not just myself transitioning, it is everybody around me transitioning.”
The ad fades to a screen with the words, “Whenever, wherever, however, it happens your first shave is special.”
Breitbart’s Neil Munro observed that instead of associating its shaving products “with the valued idea of masculinity, Gillette’s managers associate their products with the feminist claim that men’s masculinity is unrelated to biology and is instead ‘socially constructed’ by vague forces in society.”
And he noted that a growing number of women who have “transitioned” are regretting their decision.
Transgender advocates claim that 2 million Americans identify transgendered persons. But from 2000 to 2014, only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals, according to a pro-transgender medical study. Further, a 2018 Pentagon report commissioned by former Defense Secretary James Mattis found that “rates for genital surgery are exceedingly low- 2% of transgender men and 10% of transgender women.”
Gillette faced a serious backlash one day after debuting its “We Believe” ad campaign combating “toxic masculinity” during the Super Bowl in February.
Many critics charged the ad assumes most men are misogynistic.
According to a press release, the ad begins with “a compilation of actions commonly associated with ‘toxic masculinity,'” including online bullying, laughing at misogynistic TV shows and “mansplaining” an idea to a female work colleague.
But “something changed” not long ago, the ad says, referring to the #MeToo movement. It shows clips of men defending others from bullying and hurtful behavior.
A narrator says: “We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing, to act the right way. Some already are. But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
In a London Daily Mail column, Piers Morgan noted the Gillette ad came the same week as an American Psychological Association report that condemned traditional masculinity as “harmful.”
Morgan said that, until now, he was a prolific consumer of Gillette products because of the company’s celebration of manhood in its ads over the years. But no more.
He said the “incessant poisonous war on gender has culminated in the very word ‘man’ being decried as an abusive term, to the extent that Princeton University actually issued a ridiculous four-page memo instructing students to only use gender-neutral language.”
Fox News cited a comment on YouTube, where the ad had nearly 3 million views by Tuesday morning.
“As a very successful, loving, and responsible husband (married 32 years) and father of two confident young adults (male and female), I find this ad INCREDIBLY insulting,” the commenter wrote. “Gillette has NO BUSINESS assuming most men are bad and misogynistic. I’m not buying ANOTHER product from these self-important morons. How DARE you, Gillette…”
Another wrote, “How to insult 99% of your market lol.”
Gillette’s brand manager said the company felt compelled to comment on “what’s happening today.”
But some customers, Fox News said, vowed to stop using Gillette’s products, which apparently is benefiting the Dollar Shave Club.
“Welcome to the Club,” the shaving and toiletries brand wrote in a Twitter post.