A friend of mine recently sent a link to this video that really upset him. It’s an ad for Buffelsfontein Baard-Olie and it’s probably the dumbest, most sexist ad I’ve seen in a while.

It features a bearded man who gives this long speech in Afrikaans saying things like how it’s not acceptable for men to cry. You’re not a man if you’ve never held a gun, or don’t drive a bakkie, or eat salad. Urgh.

I know it’s supposed to be a joke, but I did not LOL. Not one bit.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of the word “real” now being a synonym for gender profiling and misogyny. I’m sick of stereotypes getting in the way of us seeing people for who they are and truly enjoying their uniqueness. I’m sick of being told I’m not ladylike enough if I don’t shave under my arms, or my boyfriend being called a moffie because he wears nail polish.

You see, women have been subjected to years of discrimination. We’ve been made to feel imperfect because we don’t look like the women they use in lingerie ads, or aren’t all a size 8, or don’t fit certain gender norms.

But we’re not the only ones.

Men are often told the same nonsense, but we don’t notice it because we’ve been told it’s normal to bully men because they should be rough and tough. They should bring home the bacon. They should look after their women and play sports. They should watch the rugby on Saturdays and drink beer. And, heaven forbid if they sit down when they pee.

It’s complete and utter nonsense.

Gender should not be defined by stereotypes and clichés. It should not be as a means to control the population. It should not be prescribed to you by anyone, least of all some random guy in a beard oil commercial.

You are real. You’re a real person. You’re everything you should be and have the potential to be anything you want. No one has the right to define that but you.

Do you experience this kind of shaming often? Have you ever caught yourself doing it? How do you deal with it