Of course, the goal is to sell more of your product—that’s the whole purpose of a commercial—but I’m wondering what is it about your commercial that is going to make people run out and buy another pack of razors?
For those of you who haven’t seen the commercial, you can watch it here. It is a challenge to men to act like men – with the underlying question: Is this the best a man can get? And implied by the accompanying video: No, we need to do better, and we can, because Gillette believes we can.
At least Gillette gives some credit – they say that some are doing and saying the right thing, but they add, some is not enough. They seem convinced that the majority of men are ignorant brutes, bullies, and misogynists infected with toxic masculinity.
And what about women? Gillette, I have a question for you – what about the women who purchase your products? Yeah, ladies, we are not off the hook – are we the best that women can be? All the time? In every situation?
I know some toxic women – women who are experts at poisoning the well just by walking into a room. We know women are capable of falsely accusing men of horrible crimes, of setting snares, of holding grudges, of bullying, sexism, racism, and classism. You name it – women can be, and often are, just as bad as men.
However, in today’s culture, nobody is going to paint every woman with a broad brush of accusation. Actually, we seem to be elevating women to the “can do no wrong” level of behavior. How long before the pendulum swings too far in the opposite direction and we see this same commercial aimed at toxic femininity? Only when Gillette needs to sell more products.
In the Gillette ad, they said: But something finally changed and there will be no going back because we believe in the best of men—to say the right thing, to act the right way. That’s where Gillette missed the boat.
What changed? Seriously? Is it because we’re publicly talking about bad behavior now? We’re saying it’s wrong? When was it ever right? Maybe it’s that we’re publicly calling out offenders and raking them over the social media coals? Does being instant judge, jury, and executioner make us better than the offender; even when we’re proven to have judged wrongly?
We cannot eradicate misogyny with law suits, or hashtags. We cannot stop bullying by bullying the bullies. We cannot end racism, or any other ism, by fighting against one another. We cannot change the heart of a hater by hating him.
We cannot fix any of these problems because none of these are the problem – they are the symptoms of a greater problem, one that we cannot amend with accountability, hashtags, legislation, or commercials challenging us to do better.
The problem is not toxic masculinity, nor is it toxic femininity. It’s not that boys will be boys; nor is it that girls will be girls. The problem is that sinners will be sinners. And, we are all sinners. All. Every single one of us.
We are sinners, we were born sinners, it’s our spiritual DNA, and because we are sinners, we sin. We do horribly bad things to ourselves and to other people. We are not inherently good, we are inherently bad. Our words and actions are merely the outflow of the sin that thrives in our hearts.
So how do we fix the sin issue? Well, that’s an easy fix, it’s just not a popular one, because it requires a permanent change. Some of us are OK to fix things for a little while—clean up our act, blend in with the culture, stop drawing bad attention to ourselves—but making a change that will change us forever? Wow, that’s a different decision.
However, it is the decision we need to make, if in fact, we are tired of being the broken one; and we’re all broken. We all fall short of someone’s expectations for right behavior. Ultimately, we fall short of God’s.
So, what is the decision, and how do we make it? The decision is to surrender our lives to Jesus and we make it by going to the cross, and giving our brokenness to Jesus. We come to the cross through prayer. Wherever you are, simply begin right now to talk to Jesus and give him your sin. Give him your heart. Give him your failures. Just tell him you are a sinner and you can’t clean yourself up.
You may feel like it’s too much to do all at once, that he will balk at your sorry state, but it’s not hard to do, because he’s already died with the entire burden of your sin, guilt, and shame on his shoulders. He’s already carried your load. He’s already been punished for your sin.
He already died. But he didn’t stay dead. He came back to life. What he wants for you now, is to take up his life. To invite him to live in you, and through you. When you ask him to do that, you are born again, the old you is gone and you are made new with a new heart that desires to please God.
A change of heart is the only change that will make a difference in your life, and ultimately in our culture. That’s what Gillette missed. Are you ready to make the change you need to make? Are you ready to be the best that you can be? In order to be the best, you have to receive the best, and that is Jesus.
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Marcia’s book, 365 Days of Grace — is currently available on any of the following links: