Now that we are talking about toxic masculinity, we need to talk about the orange man
A new Gillette commercial has revealed what the truly progressive among us have known for quite some time. Masculinity is pure garbage and all human males, be they young boys or grown men, must change or face extinction.
The commercial was an inspiring short film. In it, men put down their barbecue tongs, shaved their hairy faces, and finally become the upstanding, emasculated citizens required for our glorious cultural revolution to move forward.
“The best a man can get” is as far away from toxic masculinity as possible. And this was a much needed message from a responsible member of the corporate community. After all, men aren’t going to deprogram themselves.
As the American Psychological Association has recently reminded us, there is nothing normal or okay about masculinity.
The APA has made it clear that “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression — is, on the whole, harmful.” These toxic qualities must be expunged from boys and men through therapy, drugs, or any other means that may be necessary.
But despite this welcome progress, our culture is still far from perfect. In fact, we often give some of the most egregious examples of toxic masculinity a free pass. And why? Because of our own problematic need for distraction and entertainment.
If the tide is going to turn, then it’s time to call out one particularly problematic, big, orange monster who embodies all that is wrong with our culture for men and boys. I think everyone reading this knows exactly who I mean.
He spreads his disgusting chauvinistic ideology through memes. He has been on the cover of every magazine, all over the news, and is basically impossible to miss everywhere.
He may be the most powerful figure in our culture right now, but that’s exactly why we need to hold him to account for his abhorrent past behavior and strip him of his power.
We need to call him out precisely because there is a new vulnerable generation already being polluted by his toxic masculinity. Before it’s too late, we need talk about the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot, Gritty.
It’s never been more obvious that Gritty must be cancelled. Of all current cultural figures, he is the most masculine, aggressive, and violent.
His popularity was instant and viral. And isn’t it more than just a little suspect that Gritty has been propped up by high profile social and legacy media since the beginning? Time magazine, I’m looking at you!
Time recently published a piece entitled “A Complete Timeline of the Most Glorious Times Gritty Captured Hearts and Imaginations in 2018.” It’s pure pro-Gritty propaganda, and if you have any sense of social justice, it will make you puke.
Just think of the negative repercussions such coverage has on the millions of women and LGBTQIA2+ folk who live with men infected with this ideological trash.
In this vile piece of so-called journalism, Time claims that “when his furry orange mug was revealed to the public and people were terrified” but what they don’t acknowledge is that this is the proper response to outwardly presenting hyper masculinity. It’s unsafe and we should be scared.
The once trustworthy magazine then goes on to glorify his abhorrent masculine behaviour, passing him off as some sort of loveable mascot. (It’s no coincidence that he is indeed a mascot, and for the straightest, most toxically masculine, white supremacist sport of all time, hockey.)
Time also promotes the fact that Gritty celebrated gun culture by literally shooting a fan in the back at a hockey game. Gritty apologists will cling to the fact that it was merely a promotional T-shirt gun, but Gritty’s intentions were clear.
I think it’s fair to say that a nation of little boys were influenced by pro-gun messaging, which will no doubt lead to the death of thousands in the future.
Time cheers on the fact that Gritty made a straight-up endorsement of rape culture by reenacting the Terry Richardson directed video of “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus in front of impressionable young hockey fans.
In the clip, Gritty swings seductively on a wrecking ball above over 20,000 screaming fans, shamelessly exposing his undercarriage and whipping up the crowd into a sexually charged frenzy.
Even more disturbing, Time features a tweet that celebrates Gritty’s first kiss. Content warning: this footage is shocking and traumatizing. In the clip, Gritty takes advantage of the Philadelphia Flyers’ “Kiss Cam” to sexually assault an unsuspecting fan with a violent, non-consensual kiss.
Gritty’s ability to lure people in under the guise of “fun-loving” tomfoolery is disconcerting. His appeal to young people is downright frightening. He’s often cleverly marketed to the public under the guise of “community service” such as visiting sick children in the hospital.
What’s truly sick is that we let this walking, hairy sack of testosterone anywhere near our children in the first place. How many times must this misogynistic lump of male privilege rub his toxic masculinity in our faces before someone stands up and does something?
The good news is that our culture is starting to finally value safety over cis-normativity and we have the APA and Gillette to thank for this most recent leap forward.
The APA’s new guidelines on men and boys confirms that they are naturally flawed and in need of correction. This long overdue confirmation will make it possible for therapists to reverse the violent thoughts that Gritty has inspired in so many cis, hetero, white male scum.
Further, if Gritty wants to make amends for his harmful behaviour, he must take a cue from Gillette and do what he can to be the best man he can be. Eliminating his problematic hair may be a good first step, but he must also fully disavow his toxic masculinity and commit to a future of reparations.
It should be abundantly clear by now that, as it currently stands, Gritty is not only encouraging men and boys to sabotage the progressive society we are trying to build, he is also actively making America hate again.
Gritty may have foolishly thought that he was a suitable candidate for Time’s 2018 Person of the Year, but if we want to continue our march toward progress and a safer future, we would be wise to make him our 2019 Unperson of the Year.