Are you a nice person? Do you try to do the right thing? If someone needs help and you can help, do you help?
I’ve always thought of myself as a basically decent person, though some might disagree. I’m not sure where it came from, but I’ve never felt the need to be needlessly mean to someone. Pretty much everybody in my family is the same, so I can’t point to one person and say they were a great influence.
When I was in school, the early days of third or fourth grade, all the cool kids decided which kid would never be cool and would be the subject of all our ridicule until the day he, for whatever reason, disappeared from our high school.
I never participated in the way he was treated and while I won’t pretend I was actively trying to help him through the tough times, I did somehow end up becoming friends with him. I didn’t bring him up to my level (not that I was really anywhere above him), but I didn’t suddenly become a pariah myself. All the childish hatred seemed to focus completely on him.
That was many, many, MANY years ago, and it was brought to mind recently with the flap over a Gillette razor ad that asked if men really were being the best they could be. The ad, which was actually billed as a short film, lasts almost two minutes and shows men acting badly, usually in a way that hasn’t been seen since the early 1990s.
It also shows boys bullying other kids, getting in fights on school grounds and such. It shows how in bygone years men would stand by and watch these instances of bullying and fighting, saying nonsense stuff like it was the kind of thing that made a boy into a man.
And it shows men acting like jerks toward women, something that still happens today, but now women are calling them on it and, well, men do NOT like being called out for their behavior.
The usual suspects howled bloody murder over the ad. “Not fair to men!” they shouted, as if anything has ever been set up to be unfair to (white) men. They brought out the old emasculation argument, which basically meant they were saying if they weren’t allowed to bully, weren’t allowed to be creepy toward women in a work setting (or any setting), then they were less than men.
The ad doesn’t really say any of that. It just shows that when a chance presents itself, you should set a good example. Step in and stop the bullying. Break up the fight between two 12 year olds. Don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to touch a woman on the back when you walk past her.
Gillette’s tagline has always been “The best a man can be,” meaning, I guess, that if you use their products you’re a top-of-the-line man. Now they are asking, “Are we (men) really being the best we can be?”
Of course we’re not the best we can be. I’m a man, or so the rumor goes, and I think we’re all horrible. Most men aren’t worth 2 cents. If women knew how men really think, the human race would have ended eons ago because they wouldn’t have been able to stand being around us.
I know, there are a lot of terrible women out there, but men far, FAR outnumber them. I’m sure, throughout all of history, a woman has started a war, but can you name one without looking it up? But men make up for it by going to war to impress women. If we didn’t have women to impress, nothing would ever get done. Well, except for those who have no desire to impress women. The world would at least look a lot nicer if they were in charge.
Bottom line, if you’re offended by a commercial that is basically telling you to be a nicer person and to try and pass that on to your kids, then you’re probably part of the problem.
And don’t worry, it won’t take away your manhood. I’m pretty sure you don’t have a manhood to lose.