Have you seen the new online ad produced by the shaving company Gillette? The ad has gone viral and sparked a lot of controversy. Entitled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be”, the ad calls men to be the best version of who they can be….asking each of us to step in and call out others who may be harassing women, bullying and the like. It encourages us to train boys from a young age to change behavior that in the past we might have shrugged off as “boys being boys”.
Here is a link: Gillette Ad
We are at a point in our modern cultural growth that you would think such a message would not be controversial. After all, who really supports sexual harassment of women or boys bullying others? But there have been those who pushed back against the company and the advertisement. “Who is a shaving company to lecture me on how men should act?”, some say. Others see it as further evidence of the emasculation of the modern man.
As I have frequently stated here, when we have such strong negative judgments, our judgments say more about us than they do about the things we are judging. One has to wonder about the beliefs of those who feel compelled to push back against a message of calling men to be the best version of themselves. Why would they not want themselves and other men to exhibit the best and most respectful behavior towards others? Why would they not support any effort to assist stopping harassment and bullying? Why are they concerned that the source of such a message is a company?
The reality is that humans are evolving. This evolution is occurring externally in our culture. It is occurring internally in our consciousness. In both, we are called to release any old beliefs and actions where others are mistreated. We are called to an expansion of our care and concern for all people, no exceptions.
The evolving man is one who treats women with dignity and respect, not as an object. The evolving man is one who teaches his sons to treat others kindly, not to force their will upon them. The evolving man is one who lives calling himself to be the highest version of themselves.
Such reminders can come from all corners of humanity, even a shaving company.