The Opportunistic Drumbeat of the Cowardly
Don’t tell me about being cowardly. I know it. Been there, done that! I’m just grateful that I have some good friends around me that value me enough to check me and challenge me if they see me behaving in a cowardly manner. I’m also grateful for having done enough work on myself that I’m aware, at least at times, that I behave like a coward, so that I can change. Good for me, good for everyone.
Oh, you don’t think this add is cowardly? Ooops, my bad.
Do the men in your life matter to you? Even if they’ve been so well trained that they don’t realize they matter and instead become parrots to the popular un-examined dialogue. Is that what you want? A Parrot? Because that’s what you’re creating and when I say “you’re” I mean the Royal “You’re”. The “You’re” that includes anyone who thinks that this add is a net positive rather than a net negative.
This Gillette add, this single example in a sea of sentiment about how Toxic Masculinity is the real problem, is a net negative, which means it’s actually the thing that is toxic. Yes. The message that Masculinity is toxic, is actually the real toxin. And if you’re supporting that message, you are spreading the toxicity.
You don’t have to believe me. But if you have a son or daughter who you care about, I challenge you to challenge yourself to find the real toxicity so that it can be addressed and so that healing and change can occur. Of course you have to want change and healing to occur, rather than primal punishment.
No, you say. It’s Toxic Masculinity that’s the problem! Not interested in examining what that means for your sons and daughters. Ok. It’s your life and your burden to pass to your kids. But to the strong women and solid men, to the courageous ones, to the ones who know there’s something deeply and fundamentally wrong with this message:
You’re Not Alone.
And to the boys and girls: You are not toxic and your brother does not have poison inside him. No matter what anyone says, your parents are confused and afraid and angry, do not believe them. There are pains in the world, there is injustice and unfairness and violence, sometimes things don’t make any sense. But always remember, children, that it’s only your behavior that can hurt and that you choose your behavior, you yourself are not poison. You are not poison. So behave in a kind way towards people and when you hurt them, apologize and learn. And forgive your parents.