The Problem with Masculinity: There Isn’t Enough of It

The Problem with Masculinity: There Isn’t Enough of It

Why Traditional Masculinity Is Needed More Now Than Ever

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve watched or heard about Gillette’s recent controversial video.

It depicts a wide variety of shoddy behavior and makes the wholesale assertion that men are at worst the source of it – at best complicit in letting it happen while creating a culture that encourages it.

If you are politically or culturally attuned at all, you understand this is just another salvo in the “war on men” that’s been quietly building to a recent crescendo.

Frankly, I think the video is an offensive, steaming pile of hot garbage. Your opinion may vary.

If the same video had been made reversing the sex, race, or cultural identity of any other group, it would be considered hate speech and soundly denounced.

Men, it seems, have very few advocates in our culture these days. Bullied out of their better masculine attributes, men themselves fail to stand up to this passive-aggressive propaganda.

In painting, I work in a field that is 97% male by ownership. This video makes a mockery of everything I know they are.

Male friendship is essential in my life. While my immediate family consists of my beautiful wife and two angelic daughters, my adopted family are overwhelmingly men. We are closer than brothers in many instances.

The caricatures of fictionalized men in this video are an embarrassment to real men.

I’ll get to the heart of it: Bad behavior in boys is not caused by “toxic masculinity.” It’s caused by an absence of role models who teach the traits of traditional masculinity.

Traditionally masculine traits include respect and deference toward women, providing for and protecting your family, honoring your word, and stoically controlling emotional impulses that lead to bad outcomes.

If Gillette wanted to truly be helpful, instead of virtue signaling meaningless, harmful B.S. to millennials to gain market share, they would address the following realities:

  •   *63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
  •   *90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.
  •   *85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average.  (Center for Disease Control)
  •   *80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes –14 times the average.  (Justice & Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)
  •   *71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average.  (National Principals Association Report)

The bottom line is this: Masculine influences in the home and in the world are largely positive. We need MORE traditional masculinity – not less of it.

Bad behavior is bad behavior and it is a discrete, measurable event. Conflating bad behavior with gender is asinine and insulting.

What’s worse, marketing that brainwashes young boys into thinking there is something inherently wrong with being male is evil and cruel.

If you are reading this message, there is a 97% chance you are male.

Let me make this clear…

Your masculinity is a God-given asset. It is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.

You need not “apologize” for men in general or yourself in particular.

Your positive, traditional masculinity makes the world a better, safer and more productive place.

Now that you know this, go out there and be a damned man.

Tell the soy boys and their ilk take a hike.

As for Gillette, I’d rather shave my face with a rusty steak knife than to let them denigrate, define or dictate what it means to be a “real man.”

Brandon Lewis, MBA
Publisher – Painter’s Weekly
p. 423-800-0520
f. 800-410-3595
1523 East 27th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404

21 Responses

  1. victor popov says:

    very well said! Its the ABSENCE of masculinity causing all of these problems

  2. Frog says:

    Gillette ad is based on a fantasy world in the minds of feminists

  3. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks Victor!

  4. Brandon Lewis says:

    Sad, but very true Frog.

  5. Jack Jordan says:

    Brandon Lewis For President! Get em Brandon!

  6. Peter Byrne says:

    I agree with you 100% buddy. There is a gradual erosion of masculine culture by equating “male behaviour” to “bad behaviour”. This has been a common technique throughout history – to eradicate the rights of a group so slowly and so gradually that people hardly know it is happening until it is too late to stop it. We can simply state our opinions, like the video suggests – let’s call an end to bullying – starting with the bullying behaviour towards men and often directed at a certain race of men who seem to be taking the brunt of it.
    Freedom for all sounds like a good battle cry to me.

  7. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks Peter! Right on.

  8. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks for the shout out. Wouldn’t want that job!

  9. Lorne Fitzpatrick says:

    Love it!!!
    Very well written! 😊

  10. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks so much! Share it around!

  11. Alex says:

    I don’t think that the Gillette commercial is sending the message that men are bad across the board – rather, that unhealthy behavior typically seen in men (there is unhealthy behavior typically seen in women, too, but that’s not what’s at issue here) is bad, and we as men can and should address it when we see it. There is absolutely an abundance of healthy mature masculinity in the world, and we need to recognize and celebrate that, but part of maturity is the ability to see where harm is being done and address it with honesty and accountability (“traditional” masculine traits). If any individual man is not conducting himself in harmful ways, he’s not being asked to apologize for being a man – on the contrary, mature healthy men need to step up and own it and model that behavior. When we talk as though we’re being victimized and oppressed, that’s the lens through which we’ll see our circumstances. I also disagree that men have few advocates these days. There are a number of men’s groups nationwide that are doing great work advocating for and working with men.

  12. Leigh Roberts says:

    Thank you for this! Well said!

  13. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks Leigh!

  14. Brandon Lewis says:

    I’ll stand by the article as is. If traditional masculinity has a large contingent of mainstream advocates, they are either keeping very quite or they are ineffective in garnering attention for their messaging. Either way, the result is similar.

    When I see similar ads and messaging making the same broad-brush condemnation of other groups – identifying “toxic” this and that – I’ll breathe a sigh of relief. In the meantime, I’ll not hold my breath. Thanks for writing Alex.

  15. LEN BROWN DD says:

    The most important way to both understand and solve the problem is balance and common sense. If during pregnancy ,a woman does not have the needed minerals, vitamins, the baby does not develop properly. 75% OF American Men are physically and mentally unfit for military service. By not observing Gods law on Land Sabbaths and Jubilee years, the soil is worn out. This produces men unfit to be husbands or Fathers. Masculinity is not bullying.

  16. Richard says:

    I tend to agree with Alex’s comments. If you see this commercial as an attack on general masculinity, you were probably looking to view it that way. It specifically calls out bullying, ass-grabbing, and cat-calling, which are all behaviors that I doubt you’d defend publicly. Gillette probably takes it too far with the kids wrestling in the back yard, but aside from that, I don’t think their examples are really far-fetched.

    I find it interesting that you felt the need to comment on the issue at all on a professional forum, and I imagine that you did it for the same reason Gillette published the video in the first place. They’re in the business of selling razors, and I’m guessing that they know their target market will respond well to the ad. You’re in the business of working with pro-painters, which is a market that is likely to agree with the article your wrote. So whether you like their ad or not, I think it’s safe to say that they’re getting their money’s worth for it.

  17. Brandon Lewis says:

    The numbers in the painting contractor market tell the tale: Of all the replies I received from owners, not field painters in forums or industry product providers, all but 7% are supportive of the article’s view point.

    Luckily, my personal views on traditional masculinity, general conservatism and government align with the market – not exactly, but close. It’s probably how I ended up here in the first place given my background as a political consultant before opening my painting business.

    In that role, I was in the business of selling ideals for a living. That’s why I and so many others can perceive the end-game of ads like these – just like a professional painter can spot a paint run from a mile off and most can’t. If you view it through a literal lens, you are looking at it without the overall cultural backdrop. This is, in my opinion, a mistake.

  18. Luis Ponce says:

    I appreciate this message and agree that traditional masculinity has been under attack for some time. I don’t mind at all that you are sharing this article on this platform. It would be fine for me as well if you had the opposite view. These are very important issues we need to need to keep talking about. I

  19. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks Luis!!!!

  20. Melissa says:

    Standing ovation and slow-clapping upon reading this. Masculinity represents strength, courage and energy. All of which are attributes people should emphasize, especially in business and negotiations.

  21. Brandon Lewis says:

    Thanks Melissa!

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