Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Sharp Message for Men; the Controversial TV Ad Challenging Masculinity

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Sharp Message for Men; the Controversial TV Ad Challenging Masculinity

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Steger Sarah.Steger@news-mail.com.au

BUNDABERG experts have backed an ad that's sparked controversy around the world because of its depiction of masculinity.

Shaving company Gillette was blasted with both praise and abuse after launching its new advertising campaign this week, which challenged society's traditional view of what masculinity looks like.

The ad, called We Believe: the Best Men Can Be, depicts news clips of the #MeToo movement, images of sexism in films and the workplace, bullying and violence between boys, with a voiceover saying: "Bullying, the MeToo movement against sexual harassment, toxic masculinity, is this the best a man can get?"

Within 48 hours the ad racked up more than four million views and a wave of mixed reactions,

But, in promoting a new kind of masculinity, the ad challenged society's stereotypical masculine traits, attracting a wave of negative attention, especially from men.

CQUniversity researcher Professor Matthew Rockloff, who teaches in Bundaberg, said the outrage some had expressed in response to the ad stemmed from personal misconceptions of masculinity with "toxic masculinity".

"There is a broad celebration in society of some traditionally masculine traits, such as competitiveness and assertiveness. Some of these traits of masculinity are held by many men as a core part of their identity," he said.

"The Gillette ad might feel, to some, like an attack on their value as a person. …

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