Abstract

The purpose of this study is to study tweets about Gillette’s “The Best a Man Can Be” ad in an attempt to understand how these reactions challenged Gillette’s construction of masculinity. To accomplish this, I conduct a rhetorical critique on tweets I found from across the internet. I view these tweets through the lens of Standpoint Theory, or a feminist point of view. I analyzed tweets not only based on content, but also on variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, and political leaning. My analysis showed that Twitter users who disagreed with the ad used tactics such as adopting the role of victimhood, going on the offensive, and claiming that men are genetically born to act in a certain manner, while users who were supportive of the ad used tactics such as using association, flipping stereotypes, and talking about the impact the ad will have on future generations. Additionally, the results of the analysis showed that men are attempting to hold on to privilege they feel they are losing, and supporters of the ad are challenging traditional cultural beliefs, and by doing so are creating a clash of generations.

Advisor

Bostdorff, Denise

Department

Communication

Keywords

Masculinity, Culture, Power

Publication Date

2020

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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