The Gillette Ad and the Outsourcing of Responsibility – Freedom Philosophy

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Libertarians tend to be hostile to feminism and vice versa. There are libertarian feminists, but most of them are women who deal with rape culture with concealed carry. These are the type of women I don’t bother to walk home at night: they really don’t need my help. But in general, our two communities don’t see eye-to-eye.

Feminists tend to be cultural Marxists who call for national strategies, while we’re capitalists who call for individual responsibility. Philosophically, we tend to be at odds. They call on others, we call on ourselves.

I hate to use tiresome catchphrases in my writing, but this is an issue that when you’re a hammer, every problem resembles a nail. I once dated an immigrant, new to Canada, and she didn’t have a problem that wasn’t at the root apparently caused by racism. She’s a real life Uncle Leo from Seinfeld who blamed all of his problems on antisemitism — including his food arriving to late at a restaurant.

She came from a culture where timing and scheduling was of less importance than it is here. She would regularly show up late for work — her dream job — and I warned her this would cost her the opportunity. She laughed, and when she did lose her job, it was most assuredly the fault of “stupid white, racist, Canadians”, and not her own for failing to adapt to different cultural norms.

To be sure, she really did encounter racism. But for her, every problem was caused by racism. I knew she had a problem when her food arrived too late after our order and the root cause, in her judgement, was racism.

Some people will attribute all of life’s problems to toxic masculinity. Growing up on a rambunctious playground, there were two of our crowd that were particularly bullying in their nature. They would fight anyone if someone dropped one of their pencils. Some might say toxic masculinity is the root cause.

I got to know both of them during my schooling. It turns out that neither one of them even had a father they knew. They both had loud, obnoxious mothers who lashed out at the world for not doing a better job of of taking care of them. They never had fathers to teach them respect, courage, honour, justice, or how to be a good person. They didn’t have much of a masculine influence in their lives.

Consider the new Gillette ad.

It features a father breaking up a fight between two boys. It also features several individuals intervening to prevent bullying. Rather than relying on other people to deal with your problems, libertarians tend to prefer an individual response where you do that yourself — even socially. There’s nothing wrong with being one of the fighting boys if that one was just him standing up for himself against a bully.

Gone are the days of self-cultivation where people are capable of standing up for themselves. Ushered in are the days of weakness, where we turn to others to solve our problems.

The only people I’ve seen mob bullying are feminists. There are those who would prefer we Twitter shame bullies and get other people to take up our cause. Sadly, cultivating character and strength eliminates bullying while the feminist who cultivates cowardice and dependence doesn’t eliminate bullying.

The advertisement also featured one of feminism’s new enemies: ‘mansplaining’. It’s the phenomenon of men talking down to women, but usually rears its toxic head when a woman explains something then a man explains it again and the man’s explanation receives greater reception. Uncle Leo has returned.

There are inarticulate people. There are articulate people. Some university professors, though they may be top of their field in research, are unable to teach their research to students because they’re inarticulate. There are professors who can teach but may not be good at research.

The Uncle Leo phenomenon is that has nothing to do with toxic masculinity. There just large swaths of inarticulate women who have heard more articulate people speak, and rather than improve their communication skills they were given another means of interpretation: they were told toxic masculinity was the problem and not their own deficiencies.

The question comes back to individual responsibility versus societal backlash. Feminist Marxists have come down on one side. Boys without masculine influence don’t take ownership over their lives; they lash out against society in the same way feminists do. Boys who randomly pick fights have a toxic lack of masculinity. This Gillette ad is calling on men everywhere to feel shame because of their gender, and I don’t.

There are real issues women face. They are the disproportionate victims of sexual assault. This should be a war cry for men to be men and start fighting dishonourable men. It’s the sort of stuff that makes me want to grow a beard.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree with the University of New Brunswick. He works for a Cayman Island hedge fund service firm, owns a real estate company, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada. He is a member of the People’s Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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