Righteous Indignation Over New Gillette Ad
RUSH: I am being overwhelmed today with email from people who are beside themselves over this new Gillette commercial aimed at Millennial men. And, by the way, I don’t blame you. If you are among the crowd righteously offended and indignant over this, Gillette is obviously being run by Millennials. This is the danger. Millennials grow up and they get management jobs at various corporations, and they become in charge of advertising and marketing, and this is what’s happening now.
Gillette has a new commercial out. They’re trying to sell razor blades. Well, they want to sell the razor first and then they keep getting you to go back for the blades. And they are trying to sell razor blades while urging men to stop being reprobate, toxic, and masculine! And they’re claiming that if you use a Gillette razor and blade, you will become less toxic as a masculine guy.
So we have to spend some time on that. But perhaps and before we get into that, then the shutdown, the daily Drive-By Media harangue and panic over the government shutdown. I actually think it’s a good thing. I actually think it’s a blessing in disguise. I actually think it is a golden opportunity if Trump hangs tough here. I think this is one of the greatest opportunities those of us in the limited-government world have ever had. And I will explain that as the program unfolds today.
(interruption) Oh, you haven’t heard about this Gillette ad? Oh. Well, they’re calling it “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” And it basically tells men to reexamine themselves in the way they raise boys. The ad goes on to show men getting into fights, standing in front of barbecue grills, probably grilling meat, destroying the planet, and then it shows men verbally harassing women.
It’s got one stereotype after another of what liberals claim is wrong with being a man. And Gillette incorporates all of that and is warning fathers, “Don’t let your kids become this.” In fact, the ad even has a happy ending. We see clean-shaven men — how many Millennials shave? Do you see Millennials with — I mean, seriously, they’re such tightwads. I don’t think they shave. I can’t tell you what tightwads they are. They’re cheapskates and they’re tightwads to boot. And that is not a broad generalization. It happens to be literally true. ‘Cause they think anything more expensive than free is too expensive. Not all. But a way, way too large number of them do.
Anyway, the happy ending in the ad, we see clean-shaven men finally behaving themselves, not grilling meat, and not ogling women! All because they have chosen to use Gillette razors in order to be the best a man can be.
RUSH: Now let’s get to the Gillette ad. Yeah, we’re gonna get to the shutdown and all that stuff, but this cultural stuff fascinates me because it really is so big an indication of where we’re headed and what we need to do if we want to head some of this off at the pass.
Now, Gillette, by the way, is not owned by Gillette anymore. Gillette used to be wholly owned. And their primary competitor was Schick. Gillette headquartered in Boston. Schick I think was in Philadelphia. Procter & Gamble ended up buying Gillette, so it is Procter & Gamble that now runs the marketing and sales for Gillette and their blades and their razors. So it is Procter & Gamble in this ad urging men to shave their toxic masculinity in a new ad for Gillette razors.
And, by the way, the ad is targeted at Millennial men. There’s a truth about advertising. I mentioned it before. Most advertising is aimed at people in the Millennial age range, 18 to 34 and really, even, the younger side of that. The reason is that once you hit 30, 35, your product choices are pretty much made for the rest of your life. It’s why beer advertising is never aimed at people over 25.
Once you hit 25 or 30, if you’re gonna drink Budweiser, you’re gonna drink Budweiser. If you’re gonna drink Heineken, you’re gonna drink Heineken, there’s no sense trying to change your minds. But young formative minds, particularly young wuss guys who are having their masculinity stripped out of them daily, who are being chickified daily, who are being told that they are scourges on the earth simply because of their sexuality, advertising is being aimed at them.
And now you have a bunch of Millennials that are in marketing departments and ad agencies. So it’s a double whammy. The people putting together the marketing plan, the advertising plan are themselves the same age-group being targeted. And they, of course, are the product of a bunch of ill-education and political correctness that they have been indoctrinated with while at college.
And so they really believe that men are bad news as designed; that men in their natural state are predators; that men in their natural state exhibit masculinity that is toxic and dangerous to women and children, and it needs to be erased.
So you’ve had a bunch of people grow up who’ve been taught this and believe this, just like you have a whole bunch of white people that have been raised to believe that they are the scourge of earth and that they and their whiteness have had an unfair privilege and that they themselves have to accept the blame for the suffering they have caused all minorities on earth. And they end up believing it, too, and they end up becoming advertising directors.
How do you think an ad…? Remember the Prius ad? I think it was Prius. It was some electric car. The ad basically follows a polar bear from a shrinking glacier to a neighborhood. The polar bear essentially is trying to find the driver of an electric car to give him a hug to thank him for saving all polar bears by not driving something fueled by fossil fuels. Who do you think comes up with that crap? And crap is what it is. Young people who’ve been indoctrinated, inculcated with all this political correctness.
It’s not the way to sell cars.
It’s the way to virtue shame.
It is the way to proclaim your superiority in feelings and experience and so forth, and the same thing is happening here. “Proctor & Gamble is urging men to shave their ‘toxic masculinity’ in a new ad for Gillette razors. The ad shows men fighting, cooking barbecue, and verbally harassing women,” because that’s what men do. Fighting and barbecuing? Oh! (Groan!) That’s men in their natural state. Oh, that’s… When men start hanging around the barbecue and those hot coals and those six-packs and they start talking to each other the way men do?
No good’s gonna ever come of that!
Spare the women and children. Save them, hide them, because men at the barbecue are plotting how to be men. So they leave the barbecue to verbally harass women. “The ad [is] interspersed with news reports about the #MeToo movement. A new ad from P&G razor brand Gillette encourages men to reexamine themselves and the way that they raise young boys. The ad, which is called ‘We Believe: The Best Men Can Be,’ is essentially a two-minute … generalization about the way that men act and think,” in their natural state.
“The ad depicts men getting into fights, standing in front of barbecue grills, and verbally harassing women. The ad also heavily features news clips discussing the recent #MeToo movement. In a comment to the Wall Street Journal, Pankaj Bhalla, Gillette’s brand director, said that the advertisement is a meditation on the changes that men must make in America,” which has everything in the world to do with shaving, right?
“‘This is an important conversation happening, and as a company that encourages men to be their best, we feel compelled to both address it and take action of our own,’ Bhalla said. ‘We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying “Boys Will Be Boys” is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our “best” together.’”
Selling razor blades. I’d be worried about the suicides if this stuff keeps up. “The ad immediately turned off customers, many of which said that they are done,” they’re finished, they’ve had it buying Gillette stuff. One Twitter user said, “I am taking action. I’m researching every product made by Proctor & Gamble, throwing any I have in the trash, and never buying any of them again until everyone involved in this ad from top to bottom is fired and the company issues a public apology.”
Gillette will say, “See? That’s exactly what we’re aiming at, that kind of toxic masculinity.” Angering your customer base, provoking your customer? That is virtue signaling, and that gets you stars — five stars, gold stars. So let’s listen to the ad. We only have the audio, of course, but let’s listen to it. We’ve broken it up into two bites here because it runs about minute and a half, two minutes. You want to talk about the wussification of America? If you want to talk about taking men in their natural state and blaming them, virtue shaming them, claiming that men in their natural statute pose a great threat to civilized society…
MAN #1: Bullying, the violent… (crosstalk)
WOMAN #1: The #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.
MAN #2: … toxic masculinity.
ANNOUNCER: (melodramatic) Is this the best a man can get?
JINGLE SINGERS: The beeest a maaaan can geeet!
BOYS: (screaming and shouting)
ANNOUNCER: Is it?
NEWS REPORTS: (muttering) Bullying, a problem happening here…
ANNOUNCER: We can’t hide from it.
NEWS REPORTS: Happening in Indiana…
ANNOUNCER: It’s been going on far too long.
NEWS REPORTS: Sexual harassment is taking over Hollywood!
TEXT MESSAGE: (bell rings) Freak!
(woman consoling a boy as she watches a TV)
MAN ON TV #1: It’s likely happening here in town.
MAN ON TV #2: Bullying, a problem —
TEXT MESSAGE: (bell rings) Everyone hates you!
TEXT MESSAGE: You’re such a loser.
TEXT MESSAGE: Sissy.
ANNOUNCER: We can’t hide from it!
WOMAN ON TV: Sexual harassment —
CARTOON WOLF: (whistle)
WOMAN ON TV: — is taking over!
(images of men sexually harassing women on TV while boys watch them)
ANNOUNCER: It’s been going on far too long.
(crowd laughing at a sitcom)
ANNOUNCER: You can’t laugh it off.
MALE SITCOM ACTOR: Who’s the daddy? (snickering) (cut to a scene in a conference room)
MALE BUSINESS EXECUTIVE: (puts his hand on a woman’s shoulder) What I actually (snickering) think she’s trying to say —
ANNOUNCER: Making the same old excuses.
BOYS AT BBQ: (roughhousing)
FATHER #1: Boys will be boys.
FATHER #2: Boys will be boys.
GROUP OF MEN AT BARBECUE GRILLS: Boys will be boys.
RUSH: Now, some of the things that were flashed on the screen during all of that, “Is this the best a man can get?” A group of boys are screaming and shouting as they break through a screen the ad is showing on a TV screen. They show a graphic of a phone text message that says “freak” then they cut to an image of a woman consoling a boy as she watches TV. It’s filled with visuals that portray men in violent, toxic ways while preaching that this must change. “Boys will be boys will no longer cut it,” while men are standing in front of a line of barbecue grills. The other half of this is coming up when we get back.
RUSH: No, no. I guarantee you that the people behind this ad — making this ad, producing this ad, writing this ad, marketing this ad. I guarantee you they all think that everybody thinks this way. They all have been indoctrinated to believe that this is the new American culture — and if anybody doesn’t agree, they’re a bunch of Neanderthals that are very small in number, freak, extreme right-wingers.
They have all been just lied to throughout their lives by educators and perhaps even their parents. Every male doing something, quote-unquote, “wrong” in this Gillette ad is white. Every male stepping in and doing everything right, according to this ad — doing something honorable — is not white. The ad has every example of left-wing virtue signaling and bias that you can imagine. It’s completely inclusive. Here’s the second half of the audio of the ad…
ANNOUNCER: (music) But something finally changed.
(melodramatic happy music)
FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR: Allegations regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment.
NEWS ANNOUNCERS: (muttering crosstalk)
(series of images of TV screens with news reporters on them reporting about sexual harassment and #MeToo)
(cut to image of people in a movie theater)
ANNOUNCER: And there will be no going back. (single shots if men looking in a mirror in their bathrooms) Because we — we — believe in the best in men. To say the right thing, to act the right way.
(white man turns to follow a woman on the street and is stopped by his black friend)
FRIEND: Nah cool! Nah cool!
ANNOUNCER: (the group of boys runs by on the street) Some already are —
(Man walking with his son, then cut to a closer shot of the group of boys running on the street)
ANNOUNCER: — in ways big —
MAN: (talking to black men on a street corner) You are men —
ANNOUNCER: — and small. But some is not enough.
MAN: (to boy fighting in backyard) It’s not how we treat each other, okay?
ANNOUNCER: Because the boys watching today (boys looking at the camera) will be the men of tomorrow.
GRAPHIC: The best a man can get. Only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best. We are taking action at TheBestMenCanBe.org. Join us. Gillette.
RUSH: Right. There were boys fighting in the backyard and the dad says, “It’s not how we treat each other, okay?” It’s just not how we do things. “The best a man can get. Only by challenging ourselves to do more that we can get closer to our best. We are taking action at TheBestMenCanBe.org. Join us. Gillette,” and you gotta hear this. This is Maude Behar on The View this morning over on ABC.
BEHAR: I thought we had a perfect example of a man who is the opposite of toxic masculinity in President Obama.
BEHAR: We had him for eight years, and he was the role model that every child could look up to and say, “Hey, that’s the kind of man I want to be. He’s kind –”
RUSH: He couldn’t throw a baseball, Maude! He was an embarrassment. He wore mom jeans. He couldn’t throw a basketball. He can’t play golf. He doesn’t have… Well, there you go. I have long lamented what the leftist, feminist version of real men is. They’re all over Washington. Pretty much every male journalist is a henpecked wuss. The only thing he does behind his wife’s back is zip her up, if even that. Not that doing things behind her back is… It’s a joke. But they’re henpecked — and they are the real men, according to the feminazis of the Washington, New York, Los Angeles current cultural climate.
I have an email about this I want to share with you from a listener. We’ll do that and we’ll get back to your phone calls when we return.
RUSH: There’s a great tweet out there by an Asian female who is conservative. Her name is Kathy Zhu, Z-h-u. There are fascinating stats in this thing.
“Toxic Masculinity? 43% of boys are raised by single mothers. 78% of teachers are female. So, close to 50% of boys have 100% feminine influence at home and 80% feminine influence at school. Toxic masculinity isn’t the problem. The lack of masculinity is.”
Precisely. But see, here’s the thing. Masculinity is systematically being erased from maleness. It’s being erased psychologically, mentally. It’s being stigmatized. And so men, young boys are doing whatever they think they have to do to not act masculine. They’re doing whatever they think they have to do to demonstrate that they get it. But how can you have toxic masculinity with so much feminine, female influence? Well, you can’t. That’s her point.
So what’s actually happening is that masculinity is being drummed out of the Millennial and Gen Y, I think it is, the generation after them, of these cultures. Militant feminism on the march, a bunch of angry women blaming men for their overall unhappiness now taking it out on men at large for their own unhappiness. And they’re just gonna end up making everybody miserable, which is a hallmark trait of liberalism.
I also got this email.
“Dear Mr. Limbaugh: Nothing makes me want to buy a product like gender shaming. Let me see if I got this right. Because I’m a man it’s assumed that I mistreat women and bully for pleasure. Therefore, you have to buy products from companies that lecture me about behavior I never engaged in or even contemplated? A generation of Americans grew up with helicopter parents. Now that they’ve reached adulthood, the baton has been passed to companies who hover and lecture and shame. I have a message for this generation. It’s time to leave home. It’s time to think for yourself. It’s time to provide for yourself. It’s time to grow up. If words like ‘toxic masculinity’ scare you, if jokes offend you, if social justice warriors intimidate you, if the phrase ‘Make America Great Again’ worries you, if identity politics makes sense to you, if reports of a government shutdown scare you, if you look for advice from those who sell you items used in the bathroom, grow up. You’ve been infantilized. You have a long way to go, baby. And if you feel pressured to buy products that shame you, you’re being bullied again. Grow up.”
Infantilized, it’s exactly right. A bunch of young boys being turned into babies so that somehow women won’t feel nervous. So goes the theory.
Back to the phones. John in Atlanta. Glad you called, sir. Hi.
CALLER: Hello, Mr. Limbaugh. Thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: Yes, sir.
CALLER: Well, first of all, I have to thank you for your book series. My 11-year-old loves it. I wanted to give you a call today about my conversation with Procter & Gamble. I left them a message today letting them know that as a white male over 50 living in the South, I am naturally assumed to be a racist. And now I have a company that has decided that because of my sex, I’m also toxic. And I don’t appreciate that.
RUSH: Did you talk to anybody or just leave a message on a machine?
CALLER: No, I spoke with a human being on the customer service line.
RUSH: What’d they say to you? What was their response or reaction to you?
CALLER: The young women on the phone said that she had received several calls that were similar and they have formed a group that she reports to to I guess give a report on how many of these phone calls they’re having coming in.
RUSH: Really? They’ve formed a committee?
CALLER: Well, she said there’s a group that she will take this exact information. And I said I just want you to be very sure that you let your CEO know that prejudging somebody is, by definition, prejudice. So you’re gonna call me toxic but you’re not gonna identify your own prejudice.
RUSH: Well done. Very, very well done. Were you satisfied with the reaction? Did you get any kind of feeling for how this was received or were you just talking to somebody passing your message along?
CALLER: Sounded like just another phone call in a series of phone calls that she had probably handled five or six times or maybe a dozen times today already.
RUSH: Yeah. You know, it will be interesting to see. Thank you very much. I’m glad you were angered about this. I’m glad that you were moved to phone them. I’m sure a lot of people are trying to find ways to let Procter & Gamble know. ‘Cause it’s insulting. But, see, folks, here’s the thing to realize. And I’m just gonna share with you the way I think about this. I’m not offering a solution to anything here, don’t misunderstand. There may be one in what I’m gonna say, but it’s not my point. You know, I’m just into educating people.
I really think there still isn’t enough overall knowledge on the part of the general public about liberals or progressives or socialists or communists. And there are countless opportunities for that lesson to be taught. This is one of them. This is who they are, and this is what they think.
Now, these people, you have to assume some things. Whoever put this campaign together is not trying to hurt the company. This is what’s flat-out amazing. The people that put this campaign together — I could be wrong. Maybe this company has some saboteurs in it and this is designed to harm them. Maybe Harry’s or the Dollar Shave Club has got some saboteurs in there, I don’t know. But in general, I would say that this is a bunch of people who literally think that this is smart, that this is brilliant, that it is innovative and creative, and it is the way to grow the company.
And if that’s what’s going on, how in the world does that happen? How in the world do you have an advertising agency and a marketing department all aligned on a premise that the way to grow the company — and believe me, they’re in a big competitive battle with Harry’s and the Dollar Shave Club. That’s one of the reasons that Gillette was sold. They’re in heap big trouble because there are a lot of people selling shavers, razors, blades a lot cheaper than Gillette does. So Gillette’s decided to go culturally, politically correct. They’ve decided to attach politics to their product. And they think that they are reaching a majority of people. This is what’s frightening to me.
So I’m gonna give ’em the benefit of the doubt. They think they’re doing the right thing. They think they are doing a very smart, innovative thing by insulting the people who buy their products. And essentially they’re saying that they don’t want their product bought and used by certain people. And if you’re gonna buy and use their product, you better not be toxic masculine and you better not be this and you better not be that.
It goes against the grain of every and sales premise that there is. And yet this is people who think they’re doing the right thing. I guarantee you these people have been educated to believe that America is a hellhole, that America is a hotbed of racists and bigots and homophobes, anti-women, anti-gay, you know the phrase. And they now occupy these positions of influence and power from one corporate entity to the next, a business, an advertising agency, marketing firms, what have you. And they think they’re doing the right thing. They think they’re doing something innovative.
So these phone calls are coming in. Now, this company is being deluged. Is there nobody in that company, is there nobody at P&G, when this campaign was run by them, that a red flag went up? Is there nobody there that said, “Wait just a minute.” Did everybody, from the executive suite on down, sign off on this? And if so, what does that tell us about what’s become of Procter & Gamble and the people that are there in key positions? ‘Cause I don’t care whatever else is going on, the people there generally do want to lead the world in the sale of razors and blades. That’s why they are there.
The people in the Gillette department division of Procter & Gamble want it to lead the nation. But they’re going backwards, they are infuriating at minimum half of their audience, if not more. And not a one of them knew this, or the alternative is, they did know it and thought it was worth the downturn in sales that might result in this to be politically correct and form loyalty with a segment of the customer base that is gonna applaud this and like this.
Whatever it is, it’s dumb, it’s shortsighted, it’s ill-educated, and stupid. And there’s not one place you can go in marketing or sales where this kind of approach is taught until now. And I maintain to you that this derives from the belief by everybody involved in this that they are reaching and talking to a majority of the thinking people in this country, that they think this is how everybody looks at men, as posing a danger because of toxic masculinity. That women and children are at great risk from men being men.
They have a product that they have to sell to men. And they must believe that men are being shamed and accepting the shame and therefore will relate to a company that understands all this and go out and buy their product. It’s the most absurd thing. It’s another great in a long line of great illustrations of the actual corruption of culture and society, education, and thinking that progressivism or liberalism brings. And this division is being harmed, the Gillette division of P&G is being harmed, perhaps irreparably with this.
And it’s gonna be fascinating to me to see how they address this, because I am sure they are being inundated. And now after we have dealt with this in the way only we can in the unique way we can, they’re probably gonna be inundated even more. Even though I have not asked one person to make one phone call or send one text or email, it’s going to happen.
And we can be confident that they’re being deluged, and it’s gonna be fascinating to see how they react to this. And my guess is they’re gonna be obstinate and stubborn. And they’re gonna take these complaints as a badge of honor, that if certain kinds of Americans get angry at this, then good! ‘Cause they don’t like us anyway to begin with! And they’ll be telling themselves, “We don’t want you bigots using our product. To hell with you!”
This is what happens when everything becomes politicized, folks, and they are doing exactly that. The left is corrupting everything by infusing their politics into it and making it the dominant factor in the company’s identification.
RUSH: Here is Chris in Mansfield, Ohio. Great to have you. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. How are you doing?
RUSH: I’m excellent to outstanding, sir — and if I weren’t, I wouldn’t say.
CALLER: This is a real treat. I started listening to you in the eighties from a police cruiser and have been a fan ever since.
RUSH: Wow. Thank you. I appreciate that.
CALLER: To my point: I’m a retired officer, and the reason that we have all these men who do not know how to treat women is because they are being raised by women and not by real men who do cherish women know how to treat them properly.
RUSH: Now, wait a minute. I understand what you mean. But there are a lot of people who believe that, for example, men who grow up with sisters have a better understanding of how to treat women because they watch how men treat their sisters. They see what their sisters react to positively and negatively, and therefore they learn more than men who do not have sisters growing up. There are other people that think that a good mom can properly instruct young boys in aspects of women that men cannot possibly understand even after they’ve known a woman 50 years. Ha-ha. A little joke. But your theory is interesting, that it takes a real man to instruct young boys about women.
CALLER: I have a daughter and I wish that… She’s 19. I hope that she finds a real man. I believe that what a real man can impart on a boy as he’s growing up is much stronger than what a woman can impart. Even though she knows what the rules are, the man’s gonna have a greater influence if he does it right.
RUSH: Interesting. You’re thinking this from the standpoint of the young man hearing the advice or the words that are coming from a father or an uncle or a male family member is gonna have more influence than, say, from the mother?
CALLER: Well, a father. Not necessarily a male influence in the family, ’cause fathers have a lot of power over their own sons. What I’m saying is that when push comes to shove, the father’s gonna put that thought in their heads a little stronger than a mother is going to. He’s not likely to just explain it. He’s gonna really explain it hard.
RUSH: Interesting. Now, you’re gonna make me think about this. I didn’t have any sisters growing up. But I got advice from both my mom and dad. It’s an interesting theory. I’m glad that you got that out there. I appreciate the call. Thank you so much, seriously. Have a great rest of the day.