Let’s throw aside the whole “toxic masculinity” thing for a second and look at what this is really about—free social media advertising.
This is the sort of rhetoric you’re being sold. If you buy Gillette, then you are for the social change, the right side. That’s what this commercial is really selling you. They wrapped it up in a neat, well-shot package that played on your emotions to support the end of “toxic masculinity.” A noble idea, but don’t forget they’re all about profits.
Marketing firms and companies have figured out how to engage social media users to talk about their products without having to pay for their advertising. This is the same thing Nike did last year. This is a calculated advertising campaign to enrage or stir the public to continuously talk about their brand, create hashtags, and sell a product. That’s it.
Others across social media have rallied around Gillette for bringing the topic of “toxic masculinity” into the national spotlight. I think, in this climate, the topic of masculinity, or lack thereof, was already at the forefront of everyone’s minds. There is a shift, but it’s a double-edged sword.
It’s like getting a sponsorship at the cost of your moral argument. So, now it’s no longer about the change in social behavior and challenging what is seen as traditional masculinity or “toxic masculinity; it’s about capitalizing on the market share of social justice for the sake of the shareholders. Now, you’ve monetized social justice. Media companies do it all the time with reports and TV shows; the other companies see that and want their share of the market. They are using #metoo to sell you razors, shoes, or votes.
Fortune 500 companies are using these social movements for monetary gains. The same top one-percent executives that many people who spearhead these movements hate. You’re helping pay for that yacht, bonus, and that second house in Cape Cod…for talking about their product for free.
That’s what people should be upset about. They are using #metoo and women for free advertising. They could care less what happens afterward with “toxic masculinity,” as long as you buy Gillette.