“For God so loved the world…” begins one of the most famous verses in scripture (John 3.16). This message is profound and consistent throughout the Bible. In Colossians 1.20, God reconciles all things on heaven and on earth to God-self. God’s love for humanity pervades scripture. Through Christ, we find reconciliation.
Yet, we remain fallen. In Romans 3.23, all have sinned. Our separation from God continues.
Some of the fruits of human fallenness are sexism, bullying, male chauvinism, and other behaviors that demean or belittle others. This kind of behavior centers around male dominance and led to the need for the #MeToo movement. Australian sociologist R. W. Connell calls this behavior “hegemonic masculinity.”
As some people “get woke,” they turn away from past sins, ask for forgiveness, or adjust their present and future behavior.
Gillette decided to capitalize on this moment. They released a new commercial showing men and boys bullying each other, fighting, demeaning and harassing women, and dismissing their behavior with such trite lines as, “Boys will be boys.” The tone shifts and the point is to be our best selves. Men and boys stop bullying, break up fights, and prevent one another from harassing women. Overall, it is a positive message.
There are over one million thumbs down for the video on YouTube (compared to 600k thumbs up).
Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade said, “Let’s point out all the bad things that you might say about men, put them into an ad, make men feel horrible, and then say, ‘Overpay for a razor.’”
One pastor likened the commercial to “fatal feminism.”
Why is there such a visceral reaction to a razor commercial that promotes gender equality and calls out sexism (hegemonic masculinity)? Are people upset because they do not want a company preaching to them? What if the company has a point?
“For God so loved the world…” means God loves the person being bullied and wants redemption for the one who is bullying. Regardless of the source, when a message is on point, we should listen to it. We should take to heart the call to correct past bad behavior. We should teach our children to do better than we do.
Does this mean that Gillette will fix the world’s problems? Certainly not. But, their new commercial puts forth a positive message. Bravo, Gillette. Bravo.