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Selling Masculinity.
Published 02/09/19 by wikisnack [0 Comments]


Gillette Ad

There is something in common with these two videos, a fact I’m sure the folks marking the 21 convention would not agree with, that irks me something fierce. Everyone and their grandmother has said their piece about why the Gillette ad was a miserable regurgitation of SJW man-hatred, and I didn’t feel like hopping on the caboose of that outrage train until I watched the promotional for the 21 Convention and found myself having the same gut reaction to what is essentially a polar opposite piece of messaging.

Most of the outrage over the $24.99 dollar shave club’s commercial was over the implication that all men are rapists, bullies, and bad fathers. That’s definitely something you might take away from that 90 seconds of mood music and bad acting, but it’s quickly deflected by the producers as being targeted only at making men “better”. “If you’re a good boy, then this isn’t for you”. Or perhaps it’s a form of group punishment; because one guy didn’t know how to use his dick correctly and now we all have to scrub the floors of the barracks with our toothbrushes. It would be misguided at best, but wouldn’t warrant the bile that has issued forth since it’s airing. Most of all it shows that the producers of the video at least ascribe to the idea that there is such a thing as manliness that needs to be shaped and formed by their hand.

Then there is the 21 Convention, which I know nothing about. At first I thought it was meant to be a parody. Men walking stiffly through frame, expensive cars, double-takes of the guy in a maga hat adjusting his blazer. When they called out for Elliot, I half expected Rogers to waltz in.

What struck me most though, after realizing it was not meant as a joke, is that I had roughly the same gut reaction to both videos. They both sent the same message, albeit on opposite sides of the spectrum. The message was “We know how do man good, you listen us if want be Real-Man ™. These are both pieces of media aimed at telling you the secret to manhood can be yours, if only you follow a prescribed, pre-packaged, and profit generating formula. Society will thank you, or perhaps your counter-culture will thank you, for standing up and doing things the right way.

Fuck that noise. Men are judged only by their peers, and occasionally a court of law when they fuck up real hard. There is no reality in which *men*, half the earth’s population, all start abiding by some universal code, nor should there be. Anyone who tries to sell you on how to be a *man* in anything but the most abstract sense is trying to sell you something and using your desire to be desired against you.

That’s not the same as the apologist's refrain of “anyone who identifies as a man is one”. Being good at being a man is hard. It takes work, sacrifice, and suffering. But what constitutes a good man can only be judged by one’s tribe. Your value or lack thereof is only relevant in the context of your mission. Any universal qualification for men is meaningless.

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