The talk of social media Tuesday was a campaign, launched early in the morning by Gillette, in order to combat what it calls toxic masculinity. The long spot, which will air as part of the Super Bowl next month, plays the shaving brand’s longtime slogan, “The Best a Man Can Get,” in order to encourage men to be better, and avoid sexual harassment, casual sexism, and even bullying of others.
The campaign, as was perhaps intended, drew strong reactions. Some have praised its earnest, modest advocacy for better male behavior, while others have criticized it for male-bashing. Others still have agreed with the ad’s sentiments, while arguing that there’s something unseemly about a corporation piggybacking off of a social justice cause in order to sell razors, according to Vox.
In many ways, it’s a repeat of the controversy that took place last September when Nike featured NFL quarterback-turned-political activist Colin Kaepernick in an advertising campaign. And like that campaign, there have been dodgy reports that opponents of the campaign were destroying the product in a certain way.
After the Nike campaign launched, there were a small handful of videos posted to social media of people destroying their Nike merchandise in protest, including, as reported by the Hill, country musician John Rich posting a photo of a friend who had cut the Nike logo off his socks. A couple of other people posted photos of themselves burning or otherwise destroying their shoes, but even though Rich had tweeted “multiply that by the millions,” there was never any indication that any significant number of people had actually destroyed their Nike gear.
Now, we have the case of the flushed Gillette razors.
Twitter, after the Gillette video released, was full of dozens of references to right-wingers having flushed their razors in reaction to the ad.
But did anyone actually flush their razors? There’s one example of a photo of someone doing so, from an account called “Warroom,” who posted a photo of a Gillette razor in his toilet.
However, there’s no indication that the razor actually got flushed — and if it did, it couldn’t have been good for that man’s toilet. If he didn’t flush it, this photo op required Mr. Warroom to reach into his toilet to retrieve the razor.
Besides, anyone who has used Gillette razors knows that the really valuable component is the blades.
There’s no indication that “flushing razors” was any kind of large scale phenomenon as a reaction to the commercial, but there’s a good chance we’re going to hear in the future that it was.