Masculinity – the razor’s edge


Sir, – Kathy Sheridan writes that it is “genuinely shocking to see right-wing male commentators rage against the recent Gillette ad” (Opinion & Analysis, January 24th).

I am a woman on the centre of the political spectrum and consider the ad’s portrayal of males and masculinity very disturbing. What is “genuinely shocking” to me is seeing male traits and qualities under such blatant attack.

The ad would have us believe that it is objectionable for young male children to tussle with each other, that a man approaching an attractive woman is automatically harassment and that it is up to other men and preachy marketing campaigns to put a stop to such behaviour.

Your columnist neglects to mention that the ad has garnered nearly twice the number of “dislikes” as “likes” on YouTube.

Is such significant opposition coming only from right-wing males?

Do I now have a “misogynistic streak” for daring to criticise it? – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.

Sir, – I don’t believe it’s the place of Gillette to preach to the ungodly. Its job is to supply people with razor blades. – Yours, etc,




A chara, – Kathy Sheridan is touchingly optimistic (or naive depending on whether you share her optimism) regarding the purpose and workings of advertising if she believes that the recent controversial TV campaign for Gillette razors is “an appeal to men to be sound and . . . well, that’s it”.

The only surprise, it would seem, is that the brand name is mentioned at all during these philanthropic public service announcements. – Is mise,


Kilkea, Co Kildare.

Sir, – If Gillette really wants to make the world a better place for “everyone”, then why not stop making plastic disposable razors that pollute our environment?

That would be a lot cooler than making trite right-on advertisements to sell even more product. – Yours, etc,