What Do You Think About This F#cking Video?

There is a new video from FCKH8 and it’s one of those things that I want to get behind but can’t. Basically, it’s a montage of various adorable girls in princess costumes swearing a blue streak against unequal pay, rape and clothing restrictions for girls. I totally agree with the sentiment, I do.

 

I mean, F&*k that noise.

 

But I’m a grown up whose had time to formulate her opinions based on experiences, listening to others, reading and coming to my own conclusions. The kids in the video, well they look like they’re abut eight-years-old.  So there’s that.

 

But I’m sensitive to the argument that these tiny actresses might be inadvertently objectified in a video that purports to be about equality for girls and women. While they aren’t being reduced to so many gyrating toddlers in tiaras (not even going to link to that sh*t), they are being used to make a point in a way that many will find offensive. So are the FCKH8 folks engaging in a completely hypocritical move?

 

And how about that boy in the dress later in the video? I’m all for the explosion of our ties to gender constructs for boys and girls that limit them to certain types of dress or colors. On the other hand, how would we feel as viewers if the entire video was a series of boys using the f-bomb to rage against hate?

 

As for the girls, the video is marketed with the tag line “Little Girls Drop F-Bombs for Feminism.”  Does this kind of sentiment or behavior encourage those nasty stereotypes of feminists as angry man haters? On the other hand, should feminists give credence to those stereotypes by giving two f#%ks about them?

 

The video’s producer says, “Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but the real shock is that women are still paid less than men for the same work in 2014, not the use of the F-word.”

 

I do think this video, probably purposefully provocative in order to get us all talking about it, (f#ck%ng worked for me) could have made its point without the inherent hypocrisy.

 

But in the end, I know that my daughter by age eight had both heard these words and experienced sexism.  Like the girls in the video, she was relegated to pink costumes every Halloween.  She was made to feel she wouldn’t be welcomed in sports.  She loved theater but the local children’s group continually produces shows where the leads and most of the best roles go to males.  In middle school, she’s been made to feel her body has to be hidden from boys who can’t control their reactions to her.

 

I’m much more offended by that than some kids swearing about gender inequality.

How about you?

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    Juliet C. Bond

    Juliet C. Bond is a writer and professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Her first book, "Sam’s Sister," was published in 2005, and has sold over 50,000 copies. She went on to collaborate with Newberry winner Joyce Sidman to publish the stage adaptation of "This is Just to Say." Juliet’s shorter works can be found in "The Prairie Wind," at storystudiochicago.com and citymusecountrymuse.com. Juliet serves as the Welcome Coordinator for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Illinois, and has had the pleasure of working under the tutelage of award winning authors including; Jane Yolen, Jane Hamilton, Laurie Lawlor and Audrey Niffinegger. She chose the name for this space as an homage to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony whose hard work on gender equality serve as daily motivation to continue fighting for girls and women everywhere.

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