As the Instaprof Glenn Reynolds likes to say, get woke, go broke. Gillette made an impressive contribution to the lowest-rated Super Bowl of all time by turning its "The best a man can get" pitch into an indictment of "toxic masculinity" and its own customer base. Still, there's always the Venus division, Gillette's line of lady razors. So this month Gillette has ceased man-shaming and taken a stance against fat-shaming. The ad at right prompted the company to clarify:
Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown. We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the "rules" say she should display it.
But what I don't understand is, if fat-shaming is totally bulkphobic and sveltecentric, why is hair-shaming okay? If Gillette loves Anna "because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the 'rules' say she should display it", why should the "rules" dictate that she should display her luxuriant body shaved? In the end, no matter how wokier-than-thou the company gets, Gillette's bottom line depends on a product designed to make female appearance conform with the "rules" - "rules" being a polite term for conventional male notions of femininity. If you're going to tear up the rule book, why not throw away the razor?
I'm not sure these woke corporations are thinking things through - but maybe by next year's Super Bowl Gillette will be taking a stand against hirsutophobia. (Stock tip: Buy Wilkinson Sword.)
UPDATE! Via Mike in the comments: "Gillette Venus Facing Backlash Over Advert Showing Woman Shaving Her Arms."
~Meanwhile, what Rush calls the "chickification" of sport proceeds apace, and not just in America. If you're a rugby fan, you'll know that Israel Folau is a spectacular player of extraordinary gifts. I believe he's the most capped of current Wallabies, and he holds the record for most tries in a single season, and is the fourth highest Australian scorer of all time. Unfortunately, he is also a believing Christian, so the other day he published on Instagram a graphic naming various classes of sinner - and where they're headed:
HELL AWAITS YOU
Those are very broad categories, encompassing (from my personal observation) almost everyone in Australia. But Mr Folau advised that Jesus loves you and one can always repent, and then signed off with Galatians 5:19-21, which confirms that his Instagram post enjoys benefit of scriptural authority.
The drunks and fornicators and so forth apparently took a relaxed view of their looming rendezvous with Satan's roasting spit, and thus, predictably enough, it was the "homophobia" that did for Mr Folau:
Australian rugby star to get dumped over homophobic social media posts
And so he was.The chief executives of Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby Union announced that they would be tearing up Folau's contract and he would never play for Australia or the NSW Waratahs again - and, just to rub it in, the very same day the chairman of the Australian Rugby League said he would never play for any Oz team ever again.
Nothing Israel Folau said is illegal (yet), but it is nevertheless sufficient to get him banned from plying his trade anywhere in his native land - although presumably he is not yet enjoined from working at a meat-pie shop or as an outhouse-cleaner in Alice Springs. And all this for views that would have been regarded as utterly unexceptional for the first century of the Wallabies' existence, even by those who were fitful adherents to the strictures of Galatians 5.
Folau was born in Minto to Tongan parents. As my old chum Miranda Devine points out:
Nearly half the Wallaby squad is of Pacific Island descent... They also are devoutly Christian. You can see them huddled together in prayer before every game and, if you look closely enough, you might see the Bible verses they have inscribed on their boots. Faith and rugby are entwined. You can't have one without the other.
In fairness, I think you can have rugby without faith, but in Australia and elsewhere it will be worse rugby, and the chaps who run it will be entirely cool with that - just as we have worse movies and worse Super Bowl ads because it's easier to cave on this stuff than to suggest that, if "diversity" really were "our strength", then we would simply shrug and suggest that a recognition of the sheer variety of mankind's opinions is part of what it means to be a free society.
~Finally, just in case corporations and culture aren't getting woke fast enough, there's always room for government to give 'em a prod. Theresa May's Conservative Party, not content with buggering Brexit, has decided to do the same to the Internet:
The White Paper is full of reasonable-sounding propositions. Its very first sentence pronounces: 'The Government wants the UK to be the safest place in the world to go online.'
So, if you're reading this in the UK, don't expect Israel Folau's Instagram post to be up there much longer. Actually, thanks to the assistance of Google and Facebook, the world is full of "safe" places to go online - Communist China, say, or Saudi Arabia.
How does the Government propose that the UK's online space becomes the safest in the world? By introducing rules against 'unacceptable' content.
Like 'safe spaces', the word 'unacceptable' should ring alarm bells. Unacceptable to whom?
Unacceptable to the government regulator, which will have powers to fine Instagram, Facebook et al huge amounts, which will ensure that, in order to avoid such time-consuming adjudication, social media will be more reflexively censorious than it already is. So we will have a de facto alliance between Big Social and the state: There will be local variations - in Iran, your Facebook post about gay rights will vanish; in the United Kingdom, it will be your quote from Galatians that gets vaporized - but it will be one unified system of control.
I joked less than a month back about SteynOnline, ten years from now, being distributed by the last copier in the woods. But it's not going to be ten years, is it? Not when a so-called "Conservative" government is ushering in a malign public-private alliance of Big Brother. On the other hand, in America, as far as I can tell, the only presidential candidate proposing to break up Facebook and Google is Elizabeth Warren. Where are the Republicans on this?
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with transgingers and transcatheters and a stunning humiliation for your humble host. Our Saturday movie date found them joking and jockeying at the dacha after The Death of Stalin, and our Sunday song selection celebrated the wide-open borders of sanctuary city San Francisco. But our marquee presentation was the latest in our series for Mark Steyn Club members of Steyn's Sunday Poem, marking the bicentennial of Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn. If you were too busy over the weekend moving your Honduran cousin into Nancy Pelosi's garage, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
This evening I'll be keeping my Monday date on "Tucker Carlson Tonight", live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific - and later this week we'll be launching the latest of our monthly audio adventures in Tales for Our Time.
Tales for Our Time is made with the support of members of The Mark Steyn Club, now approaching its second birthday. You can find more details about the Steyn Club here. Or, if you're personally antipathetic to me but the lady next door's more partial, why not sign her up for a Gift Membership, or treat her to a SteynOnline gift certificate?