May 29, 2020

#LONGREAD: The Classroom Origins of Toxic Masculinity

— Read on

This is the reason Gillette’s latest ad shows, among other aggressive male behaviors, a group of boys chasing another, and asks, “Is this the best a man can get?” Men who thought the ad was portraying them — yikes — believed they were being made to feel toxic just for existing. They responded with the hashtag #gilletteboycott and dumped Gillette’s products en masse. A week after the ad went up, Toronto writer Audra Williams posted a vintage image of Kris Kristofferson comforting Sinead O’Connor on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1992. It was two weeks after she had ripped up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live to protest abuse in the Catholic Church, and the audience would not quiet down. Kristofferson had been tasked with removing the 25-year-old singer from the stage, but instead he held her until she was ready to perform. “The recent Gillette ad has started/furthered a lot of conversations about what alternatives to toxic masculinity look like,” Williams tweeted. “This is it.”

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