Gillette signaled back in January that it has a low opinion of “toxic masculinity.” Surely we can all get behind that; who wants his masculinity in toxic form, after all?
We should probably say “Who wants xyr masculinity in toxic form?” however. Gillette has joined the ranks of the super-woke, and is now bringing us a different perspective on compelling human moments. In the latest ad from the, er, cutting-edge company, a father gives his transgender “son” pointers on how to bring off a successful man-shave, complete with “south, south, north, north” razor directions, and a nice bumper-sticker slogan on being confident.
“Son” Samson has apparently already made the transition, and expresses excitement about finally being able to shave.
The transgender man in the video, which was posted on Gillette’s Facebook page, is Toronto-based artist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown. …
“Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of man that I want to become,” Brown says.
The real question seems to be what masculinity even is. Gillette’s new ad under the Woke banner tends to kind of negate the earlier one. If masculinity is basically about shaving, what makes it toxic? Going “east-west” first, instead of “south-north”?
However that works out, Samson ends with a comment worth listening to attentively.
I’m at the point in my manhood where I’m actually happy. It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everybody around me transitioning.
That last part — “everybody around me transitioning” — does seem to be the point. A successful transgender culture means everyone has to suspend his reasoning faculties and buy into an illusion about nature and reality.
That can be difficult in a number of situations, as Howard Portnoy pointed out in April when Gillette sprang a “plus-size” model on a waiting public. Apparently this was an effort to advertise razors to women. It would be an interesting comparison to see whether that campaign sold razors better than an ad campaign with Jennifer Lopez in 2011. But, of course, America has gotten much woker since then.
Gillette ends the “transgender’s first shave” ad with words to live by: “Whenever, wherever, however it happens, your first shave is special.”