But how to tell the guys down the gym? That’s what I worry about. Where I go it’s not so much toxic masculinity as fragrant. Fashionable women might increasingly say they find men ridiculous, but they don’t see the lengths men go to on their behalf in shared male locker rooms. The preening. The semi-naked staring and flexing into mirrors. The shameless using of communal handheld hairdryers to blow-dry gonads. Ridiculous, yes, but all of it a meticulous behind-the-scenes preparation for the all important mating game that goes on outside – the one in which the fairer sex holds all the decisive cards. Gillette, here of all places, we thought you were on our side. You’ve forsaken us because to you we’re all now bullies, harassers and would-be rapists? Thanks a bunch. We thought you really knew us and what we aspired to be.
Where will it stop, this handing of the great levers of our culture to people defined and motivated by nothing so much as their disdain for the unarguable truths of humankind? ‘Non-binary’, ‘cisgender’, ‘intersectional’, ‘normative’, ‘self-identify’ – suddenly like tangleweed these terms are strangling the life out of societies whose outlooks, particularly pertaining to gender, were hitherto based on the empirical evidence of decades of scientific study and centuries of human interaction. Gillette isn’t the first outwardly credible institution to bend the knee to this typically man-hating craziness – increasingly it’s happening everywhere, from business to academia – but it’s shameful nonetheless.