The ‘intersectional’ masses celebrating Gillette’s new ad reveal their empty politics

In their ongoing attempts to use politically correct politics to sell razors, Gillette has hit another home run. This time, the company produced an ad depicting a father helping his daughter learn how to shave.

Naturally, there is a woke twist. The daughter, named Samson, is “trans,” and we are meant to understand she is a man. The ad, called “First Shave,” begins with Samson saying, “Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I would become.” While we could choose to read this as a celebration of a supportive father, lovingly teaching his child the rituals of entering manhood, it makes far more sense to read this as a company’s attempt to glom onto the most saleable trend right now: transgenderism.

To be clear, I have little interest in criticizing this father and child, who are clearly doing their best in a culture that finds the most superficial, profitable solutions for personal, cultural, or social problems.

Parents are stuck between a rock and a hard place, as they are told over and over again, by a multitude of institutions, including public schools, governments, mainstream media, LGBTQ organizations, the medical establishment, and the pharmaceutical industry, that if their child announces they are either transgender or literally the opposite sex, they must affirm this assertion and support their child to transition, or be labelled abusive, oppressive, or even responsible for mental illness and suicidal ideation.

Children and teenagers are inundated with propaganda telling them that it’s possible to be born in the wrong body; that if they don’t feel perfectly comfortable with rigid gender roles, they must actually be the opposite sex (a scientific impossibility); and that if they feel either a desire to have the body of the opposite sex or to reject the gender stereotypes associated with that sex, their only option for a happy life is to transition. Telling young people that their only route towards fulfillment lies in numerous cosmetic surgeries and a lifetime of hormones that destroy their bodies and render them sterile and unable to experience sexual pleasure is irresponsible, cruel, and dangerous. Yet this is what Gillette is selling. Or rather, using in order to sell.

Initially, I was confused as to why a company that sells shaving products to men would imagine their consumer base would be propelled to buy more Gillette products by imagery of a young woman shaving. I suspect most men don’t buy into gender identity ideology, and certainly “transmen” are not a large enough group to support any jump in sales. But apparently their last ad, which aimed to associate the company with the #MeToo movement, by demonstrating “good masculinity” vs “bad masculinity,” actually did succeed in broadening their audience (despite the fact that thousands of men hated the ad). I suppose the assumption is that new audiences will translate to new consumers, in the long term.

I’m not an ad executive and I certainly have no idea how to make money (I mean, look at my career choice…), but if all this attention from liberals and the media translates into dollars, good for Gillette, I guess… That is their goal, after all. What I find most amusing about this ad and the conversation happening around it online, though, is the way it is being universally celebrated as “progress” by people who will, in the same breath, claim to be “intersectional” — a term intended to communicate a commitment to understanding the intersections of race, class, and gender on individual people’s lives. So, people who are using a concept that is intended to be critical of capitalism (i.e. the thing responsible for class oppression) and gender in order to sell themselves to the world as Very Good and Righteous are celebrating the most brazen co-optation of the most regressive ideology, by a company owned by Procter & Gamble. L-o-fucking-l, you chumps.

What is much less amusing, of course, is the fact that not only multi-billion dollar companies, but LGBT “allies,” are pushing young people down an incredibly harmful path (one that will lead them right into the hands of other multi-billion dollar companies, of course) without any concern for the consequences. We can expect this kind of thing from corporations whose primary purpose is profit, but one would assume those who claim an interest in “social justice” might consider their own role in what will undoubtedly be a source of deep shame and regret on their part in years to come.

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.