The Best a Woman Can Get

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Recently Gillette came out with an ad. It talked about toxic masculinity. A topic many men (and a few women) want to deny even exists despite evidence to the contrary. This ad, at the time of this writing, got 697,977 dislikes and only 300,822 likes. Apparently men are angry at being portrayed like this.

Let’s look at the “man shaming” going on;

  • Men featured as bullies
  • Men featured as excusers
  • Boys “roughhousing”
  • Boys bullying
  • Men as harassers
  • Black men stepping up to intercede (not white men in the real life clips)

Hmm… well, looks pretty damning, doesn’t it? I mean, there are good and decent men in the world who do manly things with fish and dead animals. Right? Gillette doesn’t have the best history in corporate culture. Right? How dare they moralize to good and decent men.

Let’s look at some of the “woman shaming” that typically goes on in commercials;

  • Women who are too masculine
  • Women featured as gold diggers/shallow
  • Women featured as stupid
  • Women featured as sex toys
  • Women featured as incapable of balancing work and home
  • Women are too fat/thin/tall/short
  • Black women as too black (let’s not talk about Aunt Jemima)
  • Angry men become old women (remember Snickers?)
  • Angry women are hormonal/crazy
  • Women are nags
  • Women are sluts

There are more but I think we get the idea. These ads go back decades to when advertising was in its infancy in the early 1900s when a woman was expected to be the perfect wife, bed partner and mother. The virgin slut, as I like to call it. Now, one ad comes out calling men out on behaviour that women have been complaining about for at least a century and suddenly the world is going to come to a screeching halt.

My twitter feed has been flooded for TWO DAYS with men on the “what about women” train. This train has all the baggage you can imagine;

  • Women rape
  • Women abuse
  • Women bully
  • Women do <fill in the blank>

All this because I dared to say publicly that I supported the Gillette ad. I was even raked over the coals for an hour on another social media because I spelled a word wrong. Apparently bad spelling before you’ve had your coffee throws your entire argument out the window.

After two days of being hounded by the #NotAllMen set, I’ve got to say I’m out of fucks to give about their feelings. Here’s how it’s going to be; I’m going to support Gillette and I’m going to speak out against toxic masculinity. You can either beat your breast over that or go away. I don’t care.

The reality is that toxic masculinity poisons all of us. It prevents men from speaking out about their own experiences. It makes rape culture acceptable. It prevents men from seeking help with mental health issues and it doesn’t have to be this way.

So I’m going to say this one last time loud and clear; I support the Gillette ad and think it’s about damn time. Is there more work to be done? Sure. The next windmill I tilt at will be the Pink Tax. For now, this is a step in the right direction and we need more.

Don’t come at me with your #NotAllMen or but what aboutism. I am seriously out of fucks to give.


Sexual Assault is Never the Victim’s Fault.

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A woman walks in to her doctor’s office. She has bruises. Again. She complains to the doctor that her vagina hurts. The doctor asks what happened. She explains that her husband was a little rough last night. House rule; if she gets him excited in the least she has to have sex with him. There is no option. It’s easier to give in rather than say no.

A little girl huddles in her bed. Her daddy’s friend is babysitting her again. She doesn’t like him and refuses to call him “uncle”. The door to her bedroom opens and he walks in. She starts to cry and beg him not to play with her again. He removes his pants and starts cooing at her.

It’s late at the neighbourhood bar. She came with a group of her girlfriends. A girl’s night out and a chance to cut loose. They danced together, knowing how the guys all watched them. She loved the skin-tight red dress and spike heels she’s wearing. They make her feel sexy and in control of her own sexuality. Her friends have left and she’s waiting for the cab outside. That’s when they grabbed her and dragged her in to the alley.

It’s her third date with him and she’s dressed in her best jeans. A top that shows off just the tops of her breasts, some perfume and enough makeup to hide her flaws. She gets in the car and he puts his hand on her knee. She’s uncomfortable but she wants things to go well. They have dinner and he’s driving her home when he stops in a little used back street in the industrial area. She says she wants to go home. He says it’s time to move things forward and grabs her breast. She hits his hand and backs away. He backhands her and rips her shirt open. She tries to fight him but he backhands her again.

A man wakes up in a strange bedroom. He’s naked and his hands are tied. Frightened, he tries to free himself. He took a job as a male dancer to save up some money to go to university later. A woman walks in the room and smiles. She forces his mouth open and shoves a blue pill down his throat.

There is somehow a theory that a woman’s sexuality needs to be monitored and controlled. That a woman in control of her sexuality is a whore and a slut. The woman who revels in her sexuality is to be reviled and brings on her own shame. That’s what the media and society tells us. Slut shaming is a double edged sword. The media displays the female body like an object for masturbatory material then ridicules the woman who displays her own body.

It is this mentality that allows people like the 630CHED pollsters to ask questions like “It’s very controversial but do you think victims of sexual assaults share any blame for what happens?”

There is a name for questions like this; it’s called victim blaming and it plays into the rape culture that is so prevalent in our society. We all say “tsk, tsk” when we see it happening, yet behind our hands we giggle and nod. We don’t demand that 630 CHED be held accountable for this kind of idiocy. We don’t get enraged. The woman was dressed slutty. She drank too much. She kissed him. He was a stripper. It’s jail. There’s a thousand excuses to place blame on the victim but not one reason to stand and point the finger at the rapist. Are we too ashamed? Does standing up and being in control of our own sexuality count for so little in the face of towing the societal line about being a good girl or boy?

I am a libertine and believe firmly in the power of our own choices. However, there is NEVER a time when ANYONE chooses to be the victim of sexual assault. There is NEVER a time when it is the victim’s fault and 630 CHED does not get to ask questions like that. It is questions like this that buy in to the rape culture and victim shaming.

You want an answer to your question, 630CHED? Here it is; sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault and shame on you for implying that it ever could be.

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