Comment Of The Day: “The Gillette Ad”

As Ethics Alarms struggles to regain even the wan level of traffic it had before the holidays hit with their deplorable priorities of family and reflection over ethics commentary, let us hail today’s Comment of the Day creator, Tim LeVier, as well as Glenn Logan and, for he still surfaces now and then, King Kool, all of whom have remained steadfast not only from the beginning of Ethics Alarms in 2010, but on The Ethics Scoreboard, its less active predecessor, before that.

Here is Tim’s Comment of the Day on the post, The Gillette Ad:

We live in interesting times. I see both sides of it. Part of my wants to say that this is no different than when a man tells a woman to smile. This is women saying “calm down” or “be more sensitive and peaceable”.

I don’t believe for a second that this message wasn’t crafted by people I don’t want the message to come from…but that’s just negative confirmation bias, right?

In fairness, it’s not a bad message, if taken as honest, straight forward, with no ulterior motives….but there’s the rub. We’re convinced there’s bad intent here.

It’s the kind of message we want to get from our fathers – and many of us do. We want to get these messages privately because of shame and pride.

How many times has someone sat in a Sexual Harassment training seminar complaining about the reasons and motivations for why he had to be there, since he wasn’t the problem in the company? Our lashing out at this message comes from a similar place. Some of us can’t relate to it because we’re not shit-bags….but some in our society can.

Another part of me likes the ad because it’s empowering men, men with good and ethical instincts, to speak up and be heard. We let too much slide in our society saying that confrontation is bad, to let people live their own lives, and that someone else will be responsible for making things better. We let dog-walkers continue with their day when we see them leave a pile of dog-shit on city or HOA property, we see litter on the side of the road and leave it to city maintenance. We tolerate impatient customers in the check out lane at the retailer, or have crazy incidents at a 7-11 that show the clerk isn’t taking his job seriously. I’ve taken a lot, stayed silent, and chalked it up to patience. I’ve also blown up and acted irrationally. Life is simply a rough balancing act.

But yeah, if there’s one message I do like from this ad, it’s the “don’t be silent” message….good men should be heard from too.

10 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “The Gillette Ad”

  1. Part of the war on men and boys. This ad ignores all the fine and ethical things men have done over the ages and is disgustingly pc.

    • Following some of those links, and reading comments, I came across this one:

      [Kim Gehrig is the woman behind the Gillette ad, and it is worthwhile to read up on her background and her other advertising work]. [Heaven help us . . .]

      “…Kim Gehrig, the director of the new ad, is an Australian mother-of-two who lives in London, England, and has a lengthy history of creating and exacerbating social ills through her work.”

      Emotionally and mentally ill leftist feminists think it’s a problem that “boys will be boys.” Not only will boys be boys, boys should be boys and boys need to be boys. The problem is that boys are increasingly raised by women who think it should be illegal for boys to be boys and in fact boys should be girls. So now the leftists are trying to reengineer boys, much like the Soviets tried to reengineer human beings into the New Soviet Man (and in all fairness the New Soviet Woman).

      Single moms are not good at raising boys. Almost all teachers are women. Men by and large don’t go into the field because for one reason they believe they’ll be suspected of being child molesters. Given you can hardly go a week without reading at least one story about an adult female teacher (usually married) having sex with 12 year old boys or something I don’t understand how women somehow avoid the child molester stigma, but for some reason they don’t.

      Psychological studies, where psychologists and psychiatrists simply go to school playgrounds and observe, are very clear. Boys consistently play more roughly than girls. And they’ll also fight more than girls. But they react differently. For boys it’s essentially a bonding experience. Researchers found that boys usually ended up being better friends after fighting than they were before. It’s also how boys learn limits, and how they establish status within the group.

      Girls, on the other hand are far more vicious even if they express aggression verbally in general. They are not friends after the fight; they hold grudges. How old the girls are determines how long the girls hold their grudges. Very young girls, say 5 year olds, usually get over the grudges pretty quickly. 12 year old girls will hate each other for the rest of the school year. Girls older than that will often hate each other for the rest of their lives. And they act on these grudges by trying to destroy each other, usually through a campaign of character assassination. It’s why you often hear about girls conducting these character destruction campaigns on social media until one girl commits suicide.

      Primatologists have observed exactly the same pattern, particularly with Chimpanzees which are in many ways the closest behaviorally to human beings. When female chimps fight whatever friendships they might have had before are over, often for life. When male chimpanzees fight, often by the end of the day they’re grooming each other (again part of bonding). This behavior pattern serves vital survival goals for the male chimps. For one, male chimps will often hunt mid-size animals such as smaller monkeys. The rough play and the fighting prepares them for the dangerous task of such as chasing the monkeys through the tree tops. Female chimps almost always rely on foraging for fruits, nuts, berries, other edible vegetable matter, and if they require protein they rely on invertebrates such as termites (being tool using animals chimps will use sticks to “invade” the mound and when the termites attack the sticks they chimps pull them out and eat the termites clinging to the sticks). Actually I don’t know of any instances when female Chimps have been observed hunting anything larger but that doesn’t mean it never happens. It’s just that every time Chimps have been observed hunting larger prey it’s always been the males.

      But some of the advantages the males gain are roughly analogous to the same advantages boys achieve. They gain status within the group and when they bond they form alliances. Male chimps rarely gain control of their troops by brute strength and aggression alone, and if they do they don’t last long as the alliances of other males will not put up with it. And again those alliances, the “political skills” they acquire to form those alliances so to speak, are necessary to end the tyranny of the excessively aggressive and violent chimps, ensure their own survival.

      The lesson psychiatrists have learned by observing boys, and primatologists have learned by observing chimps, is that you do not fix a “violence problem” when the males don’t learn limits and fail to learn how to bond. What these mentally/emotionally ill leftist feminists are guaranteed to do is make things worse. Because they think it’s wrong for boys to be boys, and instead are trying to turn boys into girls. I don’t believe in “toxic masculinity” but if there is such a thing it’s because they’re going to create a generation of men who aren’t properly socialized. That makes them far more dangerous, and it makes the problem of male violence worse, not better. So congrats, leftist feminist morons. Look in the mirror and give yourself a round of applause.

      • I don’t believe in “toxic masculinity” but if there is such a thing it’s because they’re going to create a generation of men who aren’t properly socialized. That makes them far more dangerous, and it makes the problem of male violence worse, not better.

        This reminds me of the emasculation described in Fight Club. That movie should probably serve as a warning….

  2. It’s the kind of message we want to get from our fathers – and many of us do. We want to get these messages privately because of shame and pride.

    I agree.

    However, speaking for myself, it is not a message I want to get from a razor blade company, or any company for that matter. Companies can be social justice warriors on their own time. If they want to shame me into joining them, I’ll reject both their message and their right to take up my valuable time pandering to others by virtue-signaling.

    Even Subaru, who transparently panders to the Left, does so in such an unassuming and thoroughly wholesome manner that it’s impossible to take offense. Gillette should’ve followed their example.

    • I finally watched the stupid ad today. I was neither offended nor impressed. I had no desire to by Gillette products afterwards, either (which pushes the ad towards incompetent).

      Two parts peaked me. The first was the description of “some men all ready are [exhibiting the desirable traits]…”. This is gratuitously insulting. I would say the vast majority are. The other was the fathers scolding the two fighting boys, “Hey, we don’t do that”. Alizia’s post provides a good summary why. Obviously, it was staged for the commercial, but what was shown was not an unfair fight or bullying, but truly boys being boys. It was a “knock it off” situation, not a “that contradicts your male identity” moment.

    • [blockquote]Companies can be social justice warriors on their own time. If they want to shame me into joining them, I’ll reject both their message and their right to take up my valuable time pandering to others by virtue-signaling.[/blockquote]

      Hear, hear. I heard some attempt at justification by appeal to emotion (which, despite its prevalence to the point of ubiquity is still an informal logical fallacy) which explained that Gillette was once a strong and dependable American razor company that’s falling on hard times due to dollar shave clubs and a recent hipster beard renaissance. Gillette, the opinion claimed, attempted to ride the wave of current public opinion out of market failure.

      The excuse omitted facts regarding their products being objectively overpriced at a time in which manufacturers found they could undercut a suspiciously cornered market with a superior product at lower cost. Caught in desperate times of their own making, Gillette decided to market its inferior, overpriced product to a market it now resented by talking down to it with a heavy-handed, patronizing message. It chose to commit what we all fundamentally understand is a soft crime out of desperation. Unfortunately, we all fundamentally understand that no good end can justify any means absolutely.

      Generalizations, generally, are nothing more than an understanding of things as a set. To see the pattern connecting multiple individuals to come to an overarching understanding is simply what we call expertise. A mechanic can understand internal combustion engines but be thrown momentarily by a peculiarity in a single engine. To understand that peculiarity and adapt his generalized understanding to suit the case is is either wisdom or intelligence depending on your proclivities. To ignore the new peculiarity as though it must necessarily fit the generalization without regard to the reality he’s confronted with is that sort of unintelligence which has led blue collar workers to reject experts as a set. Such also results in a busted engine, the practical wages of bias (I have an advanced degree in a hard science, so I present this generalization for my own case as my own hostile witness, lest you think I’m bashing experts).

      Speaking to me, individually, as though I’m part of some general problem which I know myself not to be is the same. When our minds aren’t poisoned by the modern mood, that’s precisely the basis for our opposition to bigotry as well. Generalizations are a means of understanding particulars, not an excuse to gloss over them. The attempt to perpetrate this act as a large-scale public movement in the attempt to wipe out previous manifestations of the same crime is not only wrong, but it’s wrong for the same reason as the original enemy. Either this is a case of a hunter becoming the monster he hunts, or the perpetrator commits his crime deliberately like a con artist exploiting his mark. Regardless, no good end can justify any means absolutely – the example is as clear an illustration as I’ve ever seen that the evil act taints even the possibility of achieving a good end. To choose evil is simply to choose evil. Faust gets nothing in return for all he has.

      Perhaps you’d quibble that Gillette’s ad speaks to men in general and not to individuals. I would argue that isn’t the nature of the modern message with which Gillette has allied itself. Each man, individually, has been branded as suspicious and “toxically masculine”; he is a sinister, scheming thing before and in spite of (perhaps, sometimes, “because of” (no evil regime can resist the Kafka trap fallacy)) anything he might say to the contrary.

      I would like to boycott Gillette, but unfortunately I came to distrust major razor manufacturers for their inferiority years ago. I will instead use this soapbox to suggest others do the same (with risk that the host will suspect I’m soliciting, mitigated slightly by the fact that what follows will show that I have no brand loyalty whatsoever (only my brand opposition has been earned)). A classic safety razor delivers potentially a closer shave than any plastic, semi-disposable, $45, five-blade monstrosity on the market. My last set of double-edged blades came in a pack of 100, for something like $30, and they seem to make it through as many shaves individually as any of those strange modern multiple-blade plastic mountings. They’re also standardized, so I can and have switched manufacturers without having to replace my razor which has no distinguishing markings or branding on it at all. I’m currently using a blade from a Japanese manufacturer called “Feather”, but there are literally dozens of other manufacturers of similar quality.

      If the enemy is to wage a war with us which it chooses not to call a war, then let us do the same. If the enemy is to redefine all our terms and use them against us, then let us stubbornly refuse to use their new terms. When possible, perhaps we can mockingly use theirs against them (but carefully, so as not to accept them ourselves) – I will call Gillette’s ad an inexcusable sexist tirade. If they are to disenfranchise anyone who opposes them, then let us disenfranchise anyone who supports them. If we refuse to patronize companies which voice opinions like this, then our money will slowly be curbed to ones which don’t. Two parallel economies will slowly emerge. This will be the end of the enemy. Pre-packaged generalization abused to the point of ignoring obvious particulars is probably their only distinguishing mark. It’s the cause of their constant, repetitive inefficiency. Their parallel economy will fail like every far-left economy in history before it, and we will remain. Cut them off, as they are cutting us off. Their own tactics will magnify the efficacy of ours. Use their own momentum against them, as one would to succeed in a physical fight. I’m no Randian or libertarian, but Ayn had a plan worth imitating with John Galt, if generalized properly.

  3. There is an opinion-piece in today’s NYTs titled: “Beware the Furies, President Trump”. The photo shows: Jahana Hayes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lauren Underwood and Katie Hill.

    The opinion writes says: “The three sisters, the “infernal goddesses” of ancient mythology born from the blood shed by Uranus when he was castrated by his son, were known for relentlessly hounding men. But the Furies took vengeance on wicked men who hurt women and swore false oaths.”

    Oh Lord. Now we are moving into interesting territory! I was beginning to get bored by the rather predictable outlines of struggle today. Now though, we have new material! Oh Happy Day! This is wonderful for someone with literary pretension and a wee bit of Jungian theory!

    In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Erinyes (Greek: Ἐρινύες, pl. of Ἐρινύς, Erinys), also known as the Furies, were female chthonic deities of vengeance, sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses” (χθόνιαι θεαί). A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as “the Erinyes, that under earth take vengeance on men, whosoever hath sworn a false oath.” Walter Burkert suggests they are “an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in the oath.” They correspond to the Dirae in Roman mythology. The Roman writer Maurus Servius Honoratus wrote that they are called “Eumenides” in hell, “Furiae” on earth, and “Dirae” in heaven.

    Now, in the Agamemnon trilogy by Aeschylus, Orestes the son of Agamemnon kills his mother Clytemnestra in revenge for she killing his father. That act unleashed the Furies, the Erinyes, who haunt him and nearly drive him insane. It takes the intervention of Athena to put things right.

    The implications here — in this opinion-piece — are bizarre and possibly even a bit psychotic. The implication is that women acting today — and I would extend this to imply general social hysteria, the notable one being Trump-Hate — is an emotional and irrational manifestation of ‘chthonic’ forces:

    Chthonic (Greek: χθόνιος, khthónios, “in, under, or beneath the earth”, from χθών khthōn “earth”) literally means “subterranean”, but the word in English describes deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in Ancient Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for “earth”; it typically refers to that which is under the earth, rather than the living surface of the land (as Gaia or Ge does), or the land as territory (as khora χώρα does).

    By mythic definition, though the Furies howl & rage today, an ‘Athena’ will have to appear to mediate their case against Orestes and free him from the haunting. And these terrifying Furies will have to go back underground.

    ATHENA: There are two sides to this dispute. I’ve heard only one half the argument. […] So you two parties, summon your witnesses, set out your proofs, with sworn evidence to back your stories. Once I’ve picked the finest men in Athens, I’ll return. They’ll rule fairly in this case, bound by a sworn oath to act with justice.

    I always did appreciate Ann Coulter . . .


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