Gillette Razors recent marketing push has been the talk of the country. “We Believe: The Best a Man Can Be” is a short film/commercial that attempts to discuss “Toxic Masculinity” in a series of situations where men are being either bullies, condescending, hurtful or otherwise other jerk-like behavior. It has caught fire and is now being discussed all over Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, CNN, FOX…the list could go on ad nauseam. What’s interesting is what the goal of the video is, what it is attempting to fight and how it attempts to do it. I think it does a great job of having a positive goal and knowing what they are fighting all while doing a horrendous job of actually connecting with the people that need to hear the message the most. Let’s look at why they are so poor at speaking to men and how DadWare can bridge this gap.
I have noticed how some men push back the idea that they are or contribute to the problem, or that, in some case, toxic masculinity exists at all. Men seem to feel targeted by this movement, and as a result, many push back on the very idea of their behavior being any kind of problem in the world. Why? Because they feel attacked. If we try to understand why, it makes sense.
If you watch the commercial we are given repeated situations where kids are bullying, men are “mansplaining,” sitcoms are perpetuating stereotypes, etc etc etc. The video picks men apart, looks at their behavior and holdings them accountable. Why do so many men, who steep much of their political beliefs on “accountability and telling it like it is” feel this is an attack. Their perceived attack is viewed as is TELLING men what to do. You’re telling gown people what to do. Their reaction? Whatboutism, difiance, and denial. So what if we, instead, showed them?
Instead of telling them what NOT to do, let’s SHOW them HOW to a positive male role model. And how can DadWare do that? DadWare can teach POSITIVE MASCULINITY through the connection of fatherhood. Fathers have so many identities: a teacher, a man, a partner, a protector, a MENTOR. So many positives. And it begins, in so many ways, with that first moment with that child on your chest. If we emotionally charge our fathers with the love of their children from the moment they are born, we can encourage Supportive Male Mentoring: they will have compassion for their daughters so they won’t “mansplain” and objectify women. They will want to learn how to engage with their kids to be better parents and better men. They will teach their sons that bullying is beneath them. They will meet a family who has a gay child and will rescind their homophobia. We can make the world a better place by MAKING BETTER MEN.