Gillette and the Marketplace of Ideas

So, I was a little late in actually seeing the Gillette commercial on “toxic masculinity.” But when I did see it, and after thinking about it for a day, I decided I’d briefly share my thoughts.

I have my problems with the apparent broad-stroke painting of all men (or the majority of men, or even a lot of men) as proponents or purveyors of so-called “toxic masculinity.” However, that’s not what this post is about.

I think it’s worth addressing, instead, the common reaction many seem to have to any statements or movements (or commercials) that have any even marginally political content. In other words, I think it’s a disservice to the marketplace of ideas when conservatives dismiss anything and everything that may come from a liberal perspective, and label it as merely that which fits within their political scheme. I also think it’s a disservice to the marketplace of ideas when liberals dismiss anything and everything that may come from a conservative, and label it as merely that which fits within their political scheme.


I think it’s a disservice to the marketplace of ideas when conservatives (like me) dismiss anything and everything that may come from a liberal perspective…


As a Christian, especially, I am not bound to the parameters of a man-made political party. I am bound to the parameters of God’s Word. Because of this, I oppose violence, bullying, the objectification and mistreatment of women. Therefore, my first reaction to the Gillette commercial was that it was a breath of fresh air. A commercial that actually had a good message. Sure, maybe they painted men as a bit brainless (especially the line of men behind the grills repeatedly saying, “Boys will be boys”). However, again, instead of jumping to dismissing the message altogether, let’s see what good can come out of it.

Masculinity, especially biblical masculinity (admittedly, this is far beyond the goals of Gillette in this commercial), includes standing up for those being bullied and standing up to other men who openly objectify and disrespect women (or anyone, for that matter). These were positives that came out of the Gillette commercial. However, biblical masculinity and manhood also includes leading in the home and being the head of the household. Would that fit within their cultural label of “toxic masculinity”? Perhaps.

My main point is this: let’s not fall into the trap of dismissing everything that could possibly have come from what we label a “liberal” or “conservative” perspective. Let’s think, consider viewpoints other than our own, and yes, make judgment calls when appropriate. But as Christians, especially, let’s make these judgment calls based on what God has revealed in his Word, not based on what any particular news outlet or political perspective has apparently decided for us.


Let’s not fall into the trap of dismissing anything and everything that could possibly have come from what we label a “liberal” or “conservative” perspective.


 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I think that the ad hints at two extremes… the “toxic masculinity” extreme and then the “best a man can get” extreme. The first is the characterized by a more violent tendency, the second by a more sensitive. As a Christian, I believe that men should find themselves in the middle, between these extremes. King David was both a warrior and poet. We cannot give ourselves over to violence, but we also do not want to destroy the desire to fight for our families and beliefs.

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