Monday night I received a call from Lebanon, asking me to go on Turkish telly, to talk about an American advert, from London.
Globalisation is cool and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I can’t quite believe that a week on the alt-right characters in the so-called Men’s Rights Activist community who like to bait and bully anyone with a conscience are still being triggered about an advert for razors. But there we go. It’s almost as if they are just old-fashioned bullies and misogynists who don’t like having their out-of-date worldview challenged by anyone, even an advert.
Certainly that was the impression I got from the chap put up to ‘debate’ me on the programme, a show called Newsmakers on TBT, the Turkish version of BBC World.
I did a bit of due diligence, I’m aware of the Turkish government’s record on freedom of speech and their extremely bad habit of locking up journalists. But TBT seemed OK. (Please do correct me and share evidence if I’m wrong, I want to know).
My opposite number was a fellow called Michael Buchanan, founder of the Justice for Men and Boys party that garnered a total of 216 votes at the 2015 election, across two seats. His website reveals him to be an unpleasant character with unpleasant views. But by the end of the TV feature I just had to laugh at him as he claimed a conspiracy by radical feminists to take over every conceivable organisation he disagrees with from the American Psychological Association to the New Statesman. If he’d got more votes at the election, if I thought there was a bigger swell of support for his extremism out there I’d be worried. But he’s just a sad man and the very existence of the Gillette advert proves he’s on the wrong side of history. Men and masculinity are changing, that’s why Gillette have come up with an ad designed to tap into the new masculinity. They are in the business of making money, nothing more and nothing less. Talk of brand values and such is wide of the mark. We live in a capitalist system (for good or ill) and the only brand value any company truly sticks to is making cash.
Do watch the clip. I was particularly impressed with the show’s host who called out some of Buchanan’s patent nonsense. I’d like to see more of that on UK television when guests are so obviously talking toss.
Anyway, here’s the bit in question (there doesn’t appear to be a way of embedding the clip unfortunately). Feel free to share your thoughts on my presentation or on the issue at stake.
And if you think I’d be worth inviting on your TV/radio show to discuss the same please to get in touch!