The best men can be.

So, Gillette came up with an advertisement with the intentions of making us better men. It was gender-oriented and asked us, men, to hold other men accountable for their actions. A great move and a beautiful video. But the comments section was flooded with hurt egos of toxic masculinity. Terribly Tiny Tales brought this to my attention, and I’m bringing it to yours. (I’ve never done this before, but I’ll embed the advertisement at the very end of this post. Do watch.)


Can I tell you some stories?

I had a friend named Akbar. We were best friends when I was in fifth grade and he told me about all kinds of things that happened in his life. He was five years older to me. One day, he told me about how his father beat his mother black and blue. Akbar cried as he told me about his mother’s bruised elbows but we didn’t talk for too long about it. I met his mother a week after that and she wore full sleeves all day. Akbar trusted me with his stories and I trusted him when he said he would become a real man. When he told me about his father, he made me promise that I won’t become a coward like his father.

In ninth grade, I had a major crush on a girl. The first chat we had, she told me about the time she was harassed. My mother and sister told me about their stories too, when I was young. I was never raised in a bubble.

But if you feel the need to join the front lines of this battle of good humans against “not all men” shouters uninvited and clarify that you’re not at the wrong side of the war, then you probably were raised in a bubble. I know myself to be a good human and I believe you have good inside you, too. But I do have a few questions.

Why do you feel the need to comment ‘not all men!’ on videos made to raise awareness for sexual harassment or toxic masculinity? Why do you feel the need to fight back when your friend who did wrong is called out? Screw you.

Real men don’t hide in ‘read more comments..’ tags with defensive words. They don’t wear banners of ‘not all men’ and ‘I am a man’ and they don’t laugh when their friends catcall a woman. They don’t bully other men, kids or women and they certainly don’t wear masks of confidence to hide their flaws. They accept others. They correct themselves.

Yes, all men. All men have to be held accountable for their actions by other men and women if they’re in the wrong.

It’s not very tough to become a nice person. Please try.


Into poetry? – Strangers with Pizza Boxes.
Instagram : @myspirals

63 Comments

  1. This is how it should have been all the time there is no reason for anything you do should be at the expense of an another there is a way of doing anything that does not require you to pass the bill to another to pay

  2. I don’t know how we are going to change someones mentality. How we are going to change “Men will be men” or “boys will be boys” mentality. But I know just one thing that it has to go away. Maybe not today but tomorrow, it has to go away, forever.

    1. For what it’s worth, Sana, I was born in 1959. Humanity has taken great strides since then, each ‘great stride’ in fact a series of tiny steps. Those steps have progressed with every individual who lives from a perspective of equality and who refuses to tolerate oppressive behavior in her/his own life. Our influence may not be Earth-quaking like that of those who stomp all over other people, but in our way we’re stronger. They fall, we move forward.

  3. So refreshing to hear someone else taking this point of view! I was shocked at the amount of comments saying crap like that, and the internet uproar as well. Crazy. Thank you for putting this out there <3

  4. Sure. I agree with your points to full confidence but I would like to point out a few things which might be contrary to your view. Do not consider it as a perpetual opposition of anything you have stated here and let’s see if you accept the difference in our thought processes.
    Okay, so the first thing I would like to say is that what you described with reference to the Gillete’s advertisement were your own thoughts regarding the subject. These being thoughts, were ‘idealistic’ in nature as to ‘what should happen’ instead of ‘what does happen’. And though I agree with the idealistic part of your views, I would like to state a realistic view.
    Are the men who do all the stuff that must not be done really to blame? Sure the choice lies with them to choose their actions but the system that processes their thinking processes upon which their actions depend due to which a person behaves a certain way, who is responsible for building that? A boy since birth is ingrained with the idea of machoism – the “Mard ko dard nahi hota” belief structure by the society. This attitude coupled with what they see around them and the way they are taught to interpret those events play a pivotal role of building their personalities responsible for their actions.
    A boy, no matter how good he is internally, if has only seen the wrong side of the people around him is doomed to believe that is how the society is and he will always behave with that mindset in mind.
    You said, “They donโ€™t wear banners of โ€˜not all menโ€™ and โ€˜I am a manโ€™ and they donโ€™t laugh when their friends catcall a woman. They donโ€™t bully other men, kids or women and they certainly donโ€™t wear masks of confidence to hide their flaws. They accept others. They correct themselves.” My dear friend, human psychology is not so simple. “They accept others” which should happen but we all only do that either when the other person agrees to our views or when we have to. “They correct themselves” which should happen, maybe in an ideal society but we do that only when we are forced to. I do not advocate that its a good thing but that’s how it is. And tell me, in the core – in the deepest part of their psyche, are they really responsible or is it the society, the people around them who have moulded them in such a way?

    1. Hiii I completely agree with you on your idea that most people feel this way because they’re simply ingrained with these ideas since their birth.

      But I’d like to question, “are they really responsible or is it the society”. I agree, it is mostly the society; but who are these “they”? Aren’t they a part of this society itself, that keeps this cycle going?

      We all live in the same society, and when some portion of the population choses to support the right idea, which may be contrary to the majority of the society, technically isn’t it the fault of the ones who didn’t, to not have thought on their own feet and changed their mind?

      Also although I’m not sure, maybe you could be kind of referring to the bit less “developed” sections of society where these ideas have almost never come up? If so I think I agree with you there, but just that that’s not exactly the population that was in this context.

      Cheers

    2. I would accept the difference in our thoughts if they were meant to be different. Hear me out.
      For most of your comment, you’re right. Men have been conditioned to be the way they are today. We were raised by a generation very different from ours. My thoughts are for the ideal world. Nothing is easy.
      Now that you know I acknowledge and agree with these things, listen to me.
      Like one of the other replies to your comments mentioned, those is vicious cycle and playing the blame game is not the way to break it. You’ve got to change. It’s not easy but it is as simple as that. Good things are never easy but always simple.
      My suggestions and opinions and everything is for an ideal world because that is something which can be achieved, should be achieved and is very much real.
      Everything you’ve said is things that are already happening. And I’ve never said they aren’t. I’m just saying that they need to be changed.
      I don’t care why you’re the way you are. Screw that. I know you need to change and you should know that too.
      Yes, even if you were conditioned by the worst society possible, even if you were raised by horrifying men, you are responsible.
      I’m sorry if it hurts to hear this but you are.
      Break the goddamn cycle.

  5. I, too, believe the ad is a great effort in the right direction. It was not focused on men being mean or macho. It was not about men being “anti-bully” bullies. It was about men being responsible members of society, and being meek enough to not hide when someone needs to step up, to protect the weak or the downtrodden when no one else will. Meek does not mean weak; it means to hold strength under control, and to use it only wisely and for good. How anyone could not see that this ad is promoting (besides razors) being responsible members of a community who look out for those who need protection and who put no innocent people in danger or at risk . Whether it be men or women, that kind of behavior is a responsible position to take for good in society. The ad, of course, targets men – men are Gillette’s market share. The message should apply to us all.

  6. I usually never comment but I just couldn’t resist putting it out there how much I agree with you.
    I really loved the ad and loved the fact that it’s out there. And I expected the majority to feel that way as well.

    Why would someone get irritated by something that they agree with, if they see it multiple times or even a thousand times? I hate to come to this conclusion but all these people are quite simply hiding the fact that they don’t truly believe in gender equality, behind their shouts and curses at the alleged “feminazis”.

  7. Agree with you so much. If only everybody saw this advertisement for the true message it really spreads rather than holding it accountable by pointing fingers.

  8. I do not want you to presuppose my ideology, I only want to state an issue many people (who may or may not be bubble people) are having. They feel that important issues of social justice are inundated with segregationist philosophies and slogans. Many people want to attack the issues; but what they feel is, that they are being targeted as the issue themselves, and unjustly so. I will say again, whether or not this is true, this perception is hurting many great cause and all it takes is a change of slogan.

  9. I find gender politics to be divisive. I view a person by their actions and no other consideration. This way the mind is not clouded with other superficial issues that may lead us to the path of hate and resentment.
    My best and dearest mentor was my Grandmother. One of the many reasons I loved her so much was because I never heard her utter an unkind word about anyone. She said, โ€œyou are judged by your actions alone, do not belittle anyone to make yourself look betterโ€. I try my best to do that but do not always succeed.

  10. Thanks for writing this.

    And yes I agree, all men. I don’t know a single man who hasn’t been touched by a number of elements of toxic masculinity (saying this as a man).

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