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  • Writer's pictureEmily Taylor

Tuesday Thoughts - The Best Men Can Be

Gillette released a powerful new ad entitled: "The Best Men Can Be." It's obviously a play on their tagline: "The Best a Man Can Get," so props to their marketing department there. It also reflects a serious reaction to the #MeToo movement on the part of men. I am a mother raising a son in the era of #MeToo. I am not afraid for him. I am working to raise him to understand the concepts of consent, to understand that sexism is deep and systemic, to understand that he, as a white male, is uniquely positioned to help give a platform to those who are voiceless. It's difficult when my lessons are contradicted by the media, by advertising, by songs, by literature. And, as his mother, it is hard for me to see that and know that what I am teaching him will make him a target for the bullies and bigots who buy into the "Boys will be boys" schtick or think that might makes right. I am lucky to have a husband who supports and exemplifies (or tries) those goals as well, someone who teaches our child that compassion IS strength. As Terry Crews says in the video, "Men need to hold other men accountable." And they do. A man who does not respect a woman is not going to listen when women tell him that he is hurting them, that he is hurting other people. It's why women wear fake wedding rings or invent imaginary boyfriends. And, as the video shows, that violence and anger isn't directed just at other women, it's directed at other boys as well. Boys need men to show them how to stand against the crowd. Boys need men to show them how to care for each other. I'll gladly throw money at Gillette for this. And, since I have a son who is hitting puberty, the time is coming where I will have to.


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