“Woke capitalists” are at it again! This time they’ve hijacked Procter & Gamble’s century-old Gillette razor brand to insult and demean their own customers — normal men — in pursuit of accolades from the socialist progressives who hate them.
Someone, somehow, convinced P&G’s executives that the best way to sell razors to men would be to make a “short film” about how awful manly-men are.
“The Best Men Can Be” opens with ordinary-looking men staring forlornly into their shaving mirrors as unseen voices berate them for their “bullying,” “sexual harassment,” and “toxic masculinity.” But these mirthless men are not the victims of the story — oh no — they are the villains!
Cut to a scene of beardless youths tearing through a projection screen showing Gillette’s famous “The Best a Man Can Get” ads — you know, the ones showing masculine men in moments of athletic triumph, professional achievement, and, most prominently, in loving relationships with their wives and family.
What sort of offensive, patriarchal image could drive these androgynous-looking kids to such destructive rage? A man, freshly shaved, smiling as his adoring wife kisses him on the cheek.
What follows is even more ridiculous. Images of young boys doing normal guy stuff like wrestling and playground name-calling are recast as some sort of crime against humanity. Teenagers being attracted to scantily clad women on television is portrayed as some kind of perverse atrocity.
The movie then cuts back to the adult world, where a man touching a female co-worker on the shoulder is implied to be sexual harassment, and fathers uttering the age-old truism that “boys will be boys” is portrayed as tantamount to condoning rape.
All the while, liberal media personalities like The Young Turk’s Ana Kasparian continue bleating on in the background, telling Gillette’s customers just how responsible they are for the ills of the world.
“Say the right thing…act the right way. Some already are,” the narrator informs us as newly introduced “hero men” are shown intimidating smaller men over their choice of words and a plump, dough-faced dad stops some kids from wrestling in their backyard.
“There will be no going back!” the narrator concludes ominously.
As a young woman in the music industry, I was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted repeatedly. I am a supporter of the #MeToo movement. And yet this advertisement makes me sick.
I am tired of victims being used as an excuse to browbeat normal men, and I cannot imagine what would make business leaders think this is good for their brand.
The overall message is pretty clear: you’d better raise your sons to be gutless, trembling beta males who take exaggerated offense at their friends’ “toxic male” behavior…or else!
Women don’t want neutered, emotionally weak men who would rather be offended for us than protective of us! I, for one, am far less horrified by the bucolic traditional marriages and smiling husbands portrayed in the old 1980s Gillette ad, than I am by the humorless scolds in this new one.
What are we supposed to take away from this video? That women are so weak that we can’t handle perfectly natural expressions of masculinity?
At least the social justice-oriented ad team at Procter & Gamble is so lacking in self-awareness that we can get some laughs out of their self-righteous virtue-signalling.
Someone running the company’s YouTube account kept “liking” obviously sarcastic compliments in the comments section. The woke capitalists at P&G eventually got wise and started mass deleting these comments making fun of them for their stupid ad, but they couldn’t change their customers’ reaction. The video had about four times as many dislikes as likes a day after it dropped.
Ultimately, ads like this aren’t for women like me any more than they are for the normal men they demonize. They exist because corporate executives with brains full of social justice orthodoxy left over from college want to feel good about themselves and please their like-minded friends in the liberal media. I only wish there were some adults in the room to remind them that insulting your customers usually isn’t a good business plan.
Kaya Jones is a Grammy-nominated singer, and a former member of the Pussycat Dolls.
Not all Shi’a-Majority Nations are the Same
The recent alleged arson attack on the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, a Jewish holy site in Iran, was indicative of the ever-rising rate of anti-Semitism and broader religious intolerance in the Islamic Republic. The recently released United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report had highlighted Iran’s anti-Semitic targeting of its small Jewish population as well as other minorities including followers of the Baha’i faith; the most persecuted faith in Iran.
The USCIRF described that it documented “a particular uptick in the persecution of Baha’is and local government officials who supported them in 2019. Iran’s government blamed Baha’is —without evidence — for widespread popular protests, accusing the community of collaboration with Israel, where the Baha’i World Centre is located. Iran’s government also continued to promote hatred against Baha’is and other religious minorities on traditional and social media channels.”
U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr has said that “anti-Semitism isn’t ancillary to the ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a central foundational component of the ideology of that regime, and we have to be clear about it, and we have to confront it and call it out for what it is.” After the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai was set ablaze last weekend, Carr reiterated these statements and called Iran the “world’s chief state sponsor of anti-Semitism.”
In 2016 I wrote, “According to Articles 12 and 13 of the Iranian Constitution, all branches of Islam and Christianity have the right to worship, as do Jews and Zoroastrians, within the limits of the law there. However, converting away from Islam to any other religion is considered haram, or forbidden, and in many cases, could result in execution.”
Anti-Semitism is a historical reality in Iran’s strict brand of Shi’a Islam, which emphasizes the separation between believers and non-believers, expressed in terms of purity versus impurity. The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute explains that in Iran, “under the influence of Zoroastrian traditions, the Jews were considered physically impure and untouchable (najasa). Jews were also prohibited from inheriting from Shiites, whereas the opposite was allowed. A Jew who converted to Islam was entitled to the entire inheritance. Shiites were not allowed to marry Jewish women, except for in temporary marriage (mut’a), which is an inferior and exploitative type of concubinage.”
It is also a little-known fact that the country name of Iran is derived from the ancient Persian word Arya, a linguistic predecessor of the modern European term Aryan. Further, Armenian Nazi collaborator Garegin Nzhdeh (1886-1955) is the founder of the racist Tseghakronism movement, whose ideology is reminiscent of the Aryan supremacy espoused by Nzhdeh’s Nazi comrades. Today, Nzhdeh’s brand of Aryan and anti-Semitic ideology is palpable in both Armenia and Iran, neighboring countries where the Anti-Defamation League has documented that more than half of the populations hold a series of anti-Semitic views — at even higher rate in Armenia (58 percent) than in Iran (56 percent).
At the same time, it is important to note that the majority of Iranians are secular and the regime does not necessarily represent them, or their values. In fact, the Iranian government persecutes its Azerbaijani, Arab, and other citizens from minority populations.
Yet a stark contrast with Iran is found in its Shi’a-majority neighbor, Azerbaijan, which has strong relations with Israel and protects its Jewish citizens as well as other religious and ethnic minorities.
Southern California-based evangelical pastor Johnnie Moore has elaborated on the telling differences in the realm of religious tolerance between Azerbaijan and Iran, noting that Azerbaijan is “a country where Sunni and Shi’a clerics pray together, where Evangelical and Russian Orthodox Christians serve together, and where thriving Jewish communities enjoy freedom and total security in their almost entirely Islamic country.” He has also called Azerbaijan “a model for peaceful coexistence between religions.”
During my own visit to Azerbaijan, I observed and documented this first-hand. I believe that Azerbaijan is a nation that bears the torch, and burden, of bringing religious freedom to its less tolerant neighbors in the region, like Iran.
Perhaps the most dramatic indicator of Azerbaijani tolerance is the post-Soviet state’s special relationship with its Jewish community and with Israel. Last November, Azerbaijan unveiled a statue in honor of the nation’s Jewish war hero Albert Agarunov (1969-1992). Although Agarunov was killed in battle, his legacy remains a powerful symbol of Jewish integration and pride for his Muslim-majority country.
Israel and Azerbaijan have closely cooperated for more than a decade in the realms of security, energy, and tourism. Most recently, Azerbaijan sent its Finance Minister Samir Sharifov to this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, where Sharifov said that the country’s “cooperation with Israel is not limited to oil supply; we are interested in widening cooperation in defense and the transfer of technology.”
Sharifov also read remarks from a letter to AIPAC by Mehriban Aliyeva, the first vice president of Azerbaijan, who wrote, “It is gratifying that our former compatriots of Jewish origin, living nowadays in the United States and Israel, have maintained close ties with Azerbaijan and contribute to the strengthening of our relations with these countries. We are grateful to them.”
How can Azerbaijan govern and act so differently from its Shi’a neighbor? Iran is a theocracy that mixes religion and state more thoroughly than any other country in the world. In contrast, Azerbaijan’s constitution affirms the country as a secular state and ensures religious freedom for its citizens. Azerbaijan is also facing its own human rights issues and working on progressing as a nation. However, the fact of the matter remains, though Iran and Azerbaijan share a border, the similarities between their governments largely end there. Not all Shi’a-majority nations are the same.
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