Arnold Ahlert / Jan. 17, 2019

The Razor’s Edginess

Millions of Americans are sick and tired of being lectured, cajoled, berated, and bombarded.

Procter & Gamble Co. has joined the ranks of the corporate virtue signalers catering to the terminally offended. Their target? “Toxic” males — to whom they still intend to sell razor blades.

The company is building a new ad campaign around its “The Best A Man Can Get” tagline, melding it with the #MeToo movement. After opening with “news” about that movement, the ad’s narrator asserts that the notion “boys will be boys” no longer makes the grade. “Is this the best a man can get?” the narrator asks. “Is it? We can’t hide from it. It has been going on far too long. We can’t laugh it off, making the same old excuses.”

Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette brand director for North America, explained P&G’s strategy: “This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own. We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse.”

A “realistic look” according to whom? The whiners who insist that an acceptable definition of masculinity requires all men to embrace their inner Pajama Boy? How about the “settled science” crowd, which insists gender is “fluid?” Can a “toxic male” be trapped in a woman’s body, just waiting to get out — and offend?

As The Patriot Post’s Thomas Gallatin reminds us, an American Psychological Association (APA) poisoned by “progressive” dogma “is guided by the leftist theory that gender is a nonbinary social construct rather than a binary reality based upon biology. But even at that, one particular gender is just the worst.”

And for nearly two minutes, the Grey New York ad agency makes sure that message is hammered home. The ad depicts the bullying of a boy by fellow teenagers who text disparaging messages to him that appear onscreen as he is shown being hugged by his mother. Another scene depicts a boardroom and a man patting a woman on the shoulder while saying, “What I think she’s actually trying to say…” It also includes a clip of former NFL player Terry Crews telling Congress he was sexually harassed. “Men need to hold other men accountable,” Crews states.

Enter the narrator again. “Some already are,” the narrator states. “But some is not enough. Because the boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”

Make that the docile, emasculated men of tomorrow if the APA and P&G get their way.

Like so many aspects of leftist dogma, the presumption of collective guilt hangs heavy in the air. In other words, “toxic” is the default position for every man insufficiently attuned to the higher consciousness advocated by these self-aggrandizing doyens of political correctness. “It’s time we acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture. We have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man,” P&G stated. “With that in mind, we have spent the last few months taking a hard look at our past and coming communication and reflecting on the types of men and behaviors we want to celebrate. We pledge to actively challenge the stereotypes and expectations of what it means to be a man everywhere you see Gillette. In the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and so much more.”

P&G wants to challenge stereotypes and expectations? Try challenging a toxic culture — one that celebrates fatherlessness as an “alternative lifestyle” and ridicules religious values that transmit common decency and decorum.

Has P&G taken a hard look at the possibility that an ad campaign that lectures potential customers about their shortcomings might alienate those customers? Or, like Nike, has the company calculated that nurturing the victimist mentality will engender enough sales to offset those alienated customers?

Regardless, the blowback has begun. “I am taking action,” an alienated customer tweeted. “I’m researching every product made by Proctor & Gamble, throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology.”

Other consumers labeled the ad “inauthentic,” “awkward,” “lame,” and “manufactured PC BS.”

Who’s kidding whom? The essence of “progressive” ideology is “manufactured PC BS” that one must either embrace or endure the blowback of “superior” thinkers. Thus, contemptible claptrap hawked by self-appointed cultural scolds embracing a “guilty until proven innocent” mindset — with a pitch every bit as hypocritical and cheesy as the worst two-bit televangelist — is seen as trendy and “cutting edge.”

PJ Media’s Jim Treacher aptly describes where P&G is coming from. “Consumers, men in particular, must be made to feel worthless,” he explains. “They have to be reminded that their needs and desires are wrong under any circumstances, that their instincts are loathsome, that their very existence is a malignancy, and that they’re responsible for all the world’s ills whether they want to admit it or not.”

“Now give [P&G] your money, you piece of garbage.”

Millions of Americans have zero interest in such pompous pretentiousness. They’re sick and tired of being lectured, cajoled, berated, and bombarded by a collection of self-appointed blowhards who have the unmitigated gall to believe they, and they alone, own the franchise on enlightened thinking, even as they remain utterly oblivious to their own humorless, hypocritical, and overbearing shortcomings.

Those shortcomings erupted like a volcano following the 2016 election. And in keeping with the metaphor, the insufferable “progressive” self-righteousness that has infected awards shows, football, movies, TV, and advertising is the ongoing lava flow.

The best antidote? Laughter and ridicule — and in this particular case, a number of competing direct-to-consumer subscription razor clubs that sell razor blades at considerably cheaper prices — minus the proselytizing.

That’s the best a man can get.

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