Gillette Goes For Woke

An Illustration in SJW Convergence

Keri Smith of Deprogrammed
6 min readJan 16, 2019


By now you’ve probably seen the new woke Gillette commercial, and heard that people are of two minds on it. Supposedly they either think it’s “necessary” and “empowering” or they’re “outraged.”

I believe it’s neither necessary nor empowering, but I’m not outraged. In fact, most of the people who don’t like the ad haven’t seemed outraged to me. Are some people so? Sure. But you can do a lot to disregard criticism by painting it all as outrage. Personally, I’m fascinated. I think it’s a good illustration of the SJW Convergence that is taking place in many corporations. This ideology has a tendency, once it’s taken root in a company (or organization, or church, or group) to subvert the original purpose of the company to the ideology itself, making it the priority and the lens through which everything is viewed. That’s convergence.

On the one hand, I find the Gillette ad unintentionally hilarious, like I do most woke ads. There’s just something really funny about getting a social justice lecture from a razor company. Their attempt at earnestness is comical. It lends itself to parody so easily, in fact it’s so close to parody, that I couldn’t help laughing out loud. Reading the comments on YouTube (which Gillette is furiously deleting) was equally funny. One of the best, now deleted ones: “My wife’s boyfriend loved this. Thank you!” But the absolute funniest part of this whole debacle are the comments on their Facebook page. For some reason they decided to try a different tactic on Facebook than on YouTube and they’ve been responding to critical comments by doubling down and lecturing people. I dare you to read any of their responses like this one, below, out loud and add “Buy our razors,” at the end without laughing. It’s too funny. Like the childish game of adding “in bed” to the end of a sentence, it has been cracking me up all day.

“Hi Ralf, thank you for your comments. Our intent is not to blame all men — we know many men are already acting as incredible role models. We want to celebrate that and encourage these men to hold others accountable., because a few bad apples are a few too many. We will also be holding ourselves to a higher standard. Because it’s…