Traditional Christian blogger Dalrock wrote two posts Monday about grilling, specifically grilling in the context of traditional masculinity and fatherhood. The occasion for these posts is the infamous Gillette razor ad, which basically scolds men for not being noodle-wristed soy boys and pliant betas.
I really thought that after 2016, when a swaggering alpha male with a supermodel wife won the presidency, we’d see fewer of these hectoring, pedantic social justice ads. Sadly, feminized, postmodern Corporate America still allows radical feminists to scare off their customers.
If you’ve seen the ad, you’ll recall there’s a scene with a row of dads grilling in an endless backyard, intoning “boys will boys” while two kids wail on each other (as if that’s an accurate depiction of fatherhood). Dalrock’s first post Monday, “The symbolism of the line of men grilling in the Gilette ad,” quotes from a piece from Post Millenial, in which the author points out the significance of that scene (Dalrock’s quotation of Barbara Kay’s “‘Toxic Masculinity’ in Advertising: Keeping Women Scared and Men Shamed“):
For what does a neatly-dressed man standing behind a barbecue signify? Think of every Father’s Day ad you have ever seen. How many of them feature barbecue tools? Maybe 50%? Why? Because when men barbecue, they are usually in a back yard. If men have a back yard, it means they live in a house. If they have a house, they are generally married with children. When men barbecue, they are usually feeding their families and friends and having fun doing it. In other words, barbecue men are deeply invested in family life.
They are, in short, fathers. And what is the easiest way to produce boys who do not understand or respect the boundaries between positive and negative masculinity? Take away their fathers.
The barbecue men are the reason most boys with loving fathers grow up to be strong, productive men: men who will never be a threat to anyone—except to bad guys who never learned the boundaries for—or how to positively channel—aggression, because so many of them had no fathers to teach them.
The ad is not just an attack on men, per se, but on married fathers, a key demographic in the war against unruly hooligans. Let’s be clear here: the problem isn’t “toxic masculinity”; it’s a lack of masculinity. Boys without fathers are the major problem.
Consider the male child of a single mother: outside of an uncle or grandfather, his formative years will be devoid of male influence. Nearly all of his teachers will be female until at least middle school. His absent father will be a lingering shadow in his life, unconsciously imprinting him with the idea that men are unreliable and that he has no obligation to his hypothetical future offspring. Such a child has a higher propensity for loafer-lightening flamboyance (probably). There are a host of negative consequences of fatherlessness.
Dalrock’s second piece looks at a 2015 Slate “think-piece” about a man who hates himself for loving to grill. It is painful to read the quotations from the essay. It affirms a central tenant of postmodern political philosophy, especially radical feminism: you’re not allowed to enjoy anything.
Dalrock elaborates in that piece that the point is to feminize grilling; that is, to bring women into a traditionally male space, and to make men feel bad if they want to keep it a male space. This topic is a major theme of Dalrock’s writing: the forced infiltration of men’s private spaces, such as social clubs, with women, depriving men of any kind of separate world they can enjoy on their own terms.
Check out the pieces linked (caution: you will cringe incredibly hard reading that Slate piece, but it is from Slate, after all) and leave your comments below.