Gillette Goes For Woke
An Illustration in SJW Convergence
By now you’ve probably seen the new woke Gillette commercial, and heard that people are of two minds on it. Supposedly they either think it’s “necessary” and “empowering” or they’re “outraged.”
I believe it’s neither necessary nor empowering, but I’m not outraged. In fact, most of the people who don’t like the ad haven’t seemed outraged to me. Are some people so? Sure. But you can do a lot to disregard criticism by painting it all as outrage. Personally, I’m fascinated. I think it’s a good illustration of the SJW Convergence that is taking place in many corporations. This ideology has a tendency, once it’s taken root in a company (or organization, or church, or group) to subvert the original purpose of the company to the ideology itself, making it the priority and the lens through which everything is viewed. That’s convergence.
On the one hand, I find the Gillette ad unintentionally hilarious, like I do most woke ads. There’s just something really funny about getting a social justice lecture from a razor company. Their attempt at earnestness is comical. It lends itself to parody so easily, in fact it’s so close to parody, that I couldn’t help laughing out loud. Reading the comments on YouTube (which Gillette is furiously deleting) was equally funny. One of the best, now deleted ones: “My wife’s boyfriend loved this. Thank you!” But the absolute funniest part of this whole debacle are the comments on their Facebook page. For some reason they decided to try a different tactic on Facebook than on YouTube and they’ve been responding to critical comments by doubling down and lecturing people. I dare you to read any of their responses like this one, below, out loud and add “Buy our razors,” at the end without laughing. It’s too funny. Like the childish game of adding “in bed” to the end of a sentence, it has been cracking me up all day.
“Hi Ralf, thank you for your comments. Our intent is not to blame all men — we know many men are already acting as incredible role models. We want to celebrate that and encourage these men to hold others accountable., because a few bad apples are a few too many. We will also be holding ourselves to a higher standard. Because it’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we get closer to our best.” Buy our razors.
But aside from being funny, I also find the commercial to be incredibly condescending towards men. Gillette believes that men need this lecture. As a friend put it, “You know the way you’ve lived your whole life and raised your kids to live? Yeah? We came up with that. Buy our razors.” I don’t actually know many men who need this sermon. If you’re a person who does, perhaps you should start surrounding yourself with better men.
I’ve had some interesting discussions with people who disagree with me. One friend implied that anyone who doesn’t like the ad is motivated by sexism. That’s a typical SJW response of course, accusing people of sexism or racism for having a different opinion. But one thing he said that really seemed odd to me was linking it to the #MeToo movement. So it’s a calculated and craven attempt to cash in on the #MeToo movement? I didn’t get sexually harassed so that Gillette could sell some razors.
Another man who liked the ad responded to me, “I’m of the opinion that resisting bullying and sexism is good.” Well I’m of that opinion too! But herein lies the reason two people can agree on that and still hold such wildly opposing opinions on the commercial: I don’t believe the commercial is resisting bullying or sexism. I think if anything it’s encouraging both. It’s more harmful than it is helpful.
If the goal of this commercial were to end sexism against women (that’s not the goal of this commercial, but people who like it seem to believe that it is) then it would be ineffective. Are there sexist men out there? Yes. Is this ad marketed towards them? No. No one who might need to hear this message (radical Islamists or Alt-Right “incels,” for example) is going to respond to it by rethinking their misogyny. The target audience for this ideologically driven commercial are people who already subscribe to all or part of SJW ideology. It’s corporate virtue signaling, plain and simple. ‘Hey SJWs! We’re one of you! Buy our razors.’
One of the things that’s so frustrating about my former belief system is how it renders its devotees incapable of thought. When I was wrapped up in it I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking, though I would have said that I did. What I was really doing was mental gymnastics and organizing words in order to voice the tenets of the ideology correctly. I’m convinced it’s this inability to think, without self-censoring, that’s responsible for ideologues being blind to many of their own hypocrisies and contradictions. For example, one of the things that intersectional feminism (or SJW ideology) gets right, in my opinion, is the idea that little girls who absorb sexist ads might be affected negatively. But for some reason they can’t see that it’s just as deleterious for little boys to absorb this kind of anti-male sexism.
And it is sexism.
Yes, I know that SJW ideology has tried to redefine sexism so that they may claim it “impossible” to be sexist towards men and boys. (Think hard for a minute about why they might want to do that.) I reject their redefinition outright. If you’re treating people differently because of their sex, if you’re prejudiced towards them because of it, that’s sexist. And we don’t cure sexism with sexism.
SJW media has been busy today, telling us that anyone who didn’t like the ad “must be in favor of bad men,” that we don’t understand the concept of toxic masculinity (they’re SJWsplaining it to us, you might say), that this was not a condemnation of all men. But this is not, as Gillette described it, a commerial about “a few bad apples.” Why would it need to be addressed if they felt it was just about “a few” men? No, this is an ad about masculinity and men and boys in general being a problem, being toxic, being bullies, being harassers. But the truth is, most men don’t need this lecture, the ones who do won’t be reached by it, and it’s toxic for little boys to be indoctrinated with SJW tenets like “toxic masculinity.”
Imagine, if you will, the response if Gillette put out an ad about “toxic femininity.” Would the same people call it “empowering” and “necessary?” I don’t think so. I think they’d rightly have a problem with it.
“Hi Rita, thank you for your comments. Our intent is not to blame all women — we know many women are already acting as incredible role models. We want to celebrate that and encourage these women to hold others accountable., because a few bad apples are a few too many. We will also be holding ourselves to a higher standard. Because it’s only by challenging ourselves to do more that we get closer to our best.” Buy our lady razors.