Last month, FCKH8 released a viral video, which depicts little girls swearing, to raise awareness for feminism. I hated it. Listening to little girls say the F-word just so they could discuss how women make less money than men do was ineffective for a great many people who thought it was a categorically inappropriate way to spread the message.
Yes, the video got people’s attention, and yes, it opened a dialogue, but 98 times out of 100, that dialogue was about whether or not it was okay for little girls to use adult language for an adult cause rather than a discussion about the statistics of gender inequality presented in the video. The people who supported FCKH8 and its video were almost unanimously people who already agreed with its message. The people who don’t believe in feminism were not moved to adopt the movement after seeing little girls curse like truckers. Instead, they watched it and thought the same thing they always think:
“Feminists are what’s wrong with this country. They whine about the same thing over and over again, they’re crass for the sake of shock value, and now they’re poisoning the minds of young children, just because they want to be heard.”
Well, the “Potty-Mouth Princesses” are back, and their message is more disturbing than ever. This time, we have little girls saying “fuck this” and “fuck that”–all while wearing makeup and bandages to make it look as if they’ve been beaten. To raise awareness for domestic violence, obviously!
It’s simply uncomfortable to watch, and again, it’s age inappropriate. When the last FCKH8 campaign came out, the people who spoke out against the video were met with opposition from the masses. The generic response was the one fed to viewers straight from the video: “The fact that you’re more offended by this than gender inequality is exactly what’s wrong with society,” and that whoever didn’t see that “missed the point.”
Let’s clear up a few things. I understand the point of the video, but I just don’t think it’s logical or well-executed. First of all, I’m not offended by adult language. I’ve heard the F-word before. I’m disgusted by the fact that someone put children into a very adult situation to sell T-shirts when there are a million other ways–even shocking ways, since they seem to like shock value–that don’t involve using children as pawns.
Secondly, and more importantly, I’m not more offended by a girl dressed up in bandages than I am by domestic violence. In fact, I think if you showed almost anyone a video or an image of a woman being violently beaten by a man, that person would agree that that is worse than a little girl saying the F-word or wearing makeup to look like she’s been injured. Just because I find this inappropriate and tasteless, it does not mean I don’t think domestic violence is a problem. That’s like if Sarah McLachlan came out at the end of the animal rescue commercials and said, “But if you think this is worse than child hunger, then we’ve got a real problem.” Thank you, Sarah. FCKH8–which ironically cannot write out “fuck” in its name, but has no problem with children using the word–will take it from here..