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
Founder – THE ACADEMY for PROFESSIONAL PAINTING CONTRACTORS
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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Been working with this marketing coach for 3+ years and seen phenomenal results. This Painting business coach has helped me keep painters in Missouri busy through the slow winter season and more than tripled our painting company's size. Don't settle for online painting leads that go nowhere. If you are a painting contractor who wants to leave more for your family than a garage full of used paint and some tools for a garage sale after you are gone, I recommend you contact Brandon ASAP. When it comes to help with marketing for painting companies, this is by far the best investment I have made in my painting business.read more
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Stephen Blauert
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Brandon definitely does A+ work! We met Brandon at a conference where he held a workshop on marketing for painting companies. We signed up for his coaching program on the spot, and he has helped us steer our company out of low-profit new construction to higher-profit repaint and residential work. We have always struggled to generate commercial painting leads, and Brandon has made that process simple and streamlined for us. We wholeheartedly recommend Brandon and his team. If you are a painting contractor you NEED to check out what he offers.read more
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Brent Coffy
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Amazing organization that is quickly moving to the forefront of the painting industry! Brandon KNOWS his stuff. He is innovative, yet has a keen knack for combining every form of marketing and sales techniques. He truly understands the power of utilizing everything from the latest in social media marketing, to video, to "old school" mail. Speaking of mail.... he will "read yours" if you give him 5 minutes...lol! But, he will also quickly set you on a path that takes you from struggling in your business - toward success!read more
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Jonathan Webb
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The APPC is a fantastic source of information, tactics, techniques, and procedures that will prove invaluable to any paint company owner who is interested in growing his business and increasing profitability. I highly recommend Brandon's programs, and as someone who has attended his invaluable presentations on marketing and recruiting, as well as his education about the "business end" of paint company ownership, I can give my highest and unconditional recommendation for these business development services. There is no better source of paint-company specific business information out there.read more
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Jeff Nestle
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The materials for the Academy for professional painters is top notch. I have found this information to be helpful for anyone in the painting industry. If your brand new to the business you will be miles ahead if you follow the program and instructions as given. As a seasoned painting contractor with over 40 years experience I have found that Brandon's information has been helpful and many ways and I would recommend to anyone looking to improve the quality of work and the bottom line to definitely be part of the program. J A Nestle with champion decor and Coatings Phoenix AZread more
Tim Perryman
Tim Perryman
17:50 22 Sep 18
We are a Platinum member with the APP. Brandon Lewis is an outstanding coach! I have ran a painting business for more than 25 years and I wish I had a resource like this when I first got started. He has changed my view and given me the tools to improve two key areas of our business - How to implement a professional sales process and how to recruit quality painters. We attended the professional painting summit last January in Florida. We were surrounded by painting contractors willing to share proven solutions to just about every problem painting contractors will face in their businesses. I'm looking forward to the one In Tennessee this coming January! Whether you are just getting started or have been running a large painting business for years, I would highly recommend you look into how the APP can help you fix those nagging problems we all face.Keep up the good work Brandon!read more
All-Pro Home Services
All-Pro Home Services
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Brandon Lewis has great information and techniques for professional painters or contractors such as myself. I started in the paint business as a painter and two years later started working for myself. I knew how to paint but I have learned everything about sales business and marketing along the way. And customer service. Listening to Brandon Lewis really helped me to be a better business owner. Without sales and marketing you have no business. I was a painter and now I feel like I am much more of a business owner and a business professional. Thank you Brandon Lewis for your great work. And the academy for professional painting contractors.read more
Daniel Woodford
Daniel Woodford
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Hi Dan here, Have a Painting business in the North East. I have been working with Brandon for 2 1/2 years. Sales were at 200k when I started and up to 1.3M at this point while tripling my bottom line. He's made me a believer. Results do speak. Highly recommend you call him if you have a Painting business that hasn't been paying you what you deserve and are ready to turn things around!read more
runner 96
runner 96
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Brandon has lead us to some GREAT processes for getting into the commercial world as well as staying in touch with past clients. Our business has steady grown 25-25% each year since working with him.read more
Toliver Painting
Toliver Painting
18:45 19 Oct 18
Been working with this marketing coach for 3+ years and seen phenomenal results. This Painting business coach has helped me keep painters in Missouri busy through the slow winter season and more than tripled our painting company's size. Don't settle for online painting leads that go nowhere. If you are a painting contractor who wants to leave more for your family than a garage full of used paint and some tools for a garage sale after you are gone, I recommend you contact Brandon ASAP. When it comes to help with marketing for painting companies, this is by far the best investment I have made in my painting business.read more
Matthew Rathgeb
Matthew Rathgeb
01:38 14 Sep 18
I had contacted the APP sometime in April of 2018. After 7 years in business I got tired of always running into the same issues in my painting business so I was looking for a “coach” of sorts to get some systems in place to promote growth for my business . After a lot of research I decided to join the APP and I am glad I did !!!! I can’t even put into words how helpful Brandon has been !! My business has increased 35% in the last 5 months and implementing his systems has made everything go much smoother . Especially the sales process !! I have never been so confident selling paint jobs in my life . Looking forward to continued growth and I would highly recommended the APP to any painting contractor !!read more
Art Snarzyk
Art Snarzyk
19:17 23 Aug 19
I've had the pleasure of attending APPC conferences and events. The contractors in attendance are high-caliber people and strong business owners willing to hone their skills further. Brandon and his team have effective processes and strategies for their members. His tenacity and directness is only matched by is truly apparent desire to help people succeed in business so they can be happy in life.As someone who attends many contractor events nationwide, I think the most compelling thing about APPC is that I have not met many of these members in various other places I've visited......APPC's credibility speaks for itself when one recognizes that a strategic consulting and marketing company is actually effective at attracting members that other organizations do not / cannot.Keep up the great services you provide our industry!read more
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