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What happens when you produce a commercial about treating women with respect and holding other men accountable for bad behaviour? What do you get when a one-minute-and-48 second video shows men standing up against bullying, teaching their daughters about strength and calling out others for harassment? Apparently, a whole lot of angry men’s rights activists.

I invite you to watch the Gillette commercial below before we take a deep dive into some comments by some very offended people.

The ad features a group of boys crashing through a movie screen that projects the brand’s slogan, “The Best a Man Can Get” prominently on display. “Is it?” says the narrator, over a vignette of questionable behaviour: women being treated like objects, workplace inequality and news of sexual harassment.

“Men need to hold other men accountable,” interjects Terry Crews in a cameo courtesy of a C-SPAN. To show that accountability in action, the ad continues with a man teaching his daughter to be strong, men calling out other men for catcalling and bullying, and people basically, you know, doing the right thing.

Sure, as far as commercials go, it might be a little heavy-handed, maybe even a little hammy. Some might call it just another angle to sell razors. But the message is sound and reasonable — a call to action for men to do better, and if they are already, to be a little louder so their peers at the back can hear.

But some men didn’t see it this way. Some men were deeply, deeply outraged. So much so that they would “rather shave [their] face with a rusty straight razor and lye soap than using another P&G product ever again.” Yes, that was a real comment from YouTube.

It goes from bad:

To confusing:

HUH?

Rendition of some men trying to process the Gillette commercial (Giphy).

Here’s the thing. If you’re more outraged by a commercial calling out antiquated attitudes than by sexual harassment, bullying and gender inequality, then you are part of the problem. If you equate masculinity with all of the above, you are why this commercial exists.

Rational humans will understand that this isn’t a criticism of all men, but behaviour damaging to them. Simply, this is where we’re at and we just have to keep doing better.

Thankfully, there were some positive responses too.

If you’re threatened by a commercial that suggests the world would be a better place if you behaved like a decent human, it’s probably time to look for ways to improve yourself that go beyond shaving foam and facial grooming.