Recently FCKH8 released a video “F-bombs for Feminism” which shows young, cute girls talking about feminism and why it is necessary; all while constantly swearing. You may be thinking, “That sounds awesome!” I agree with you, but not everyone feels that way. Derrick Clifton wrote an article for Mic saying, what he believed to be, the five things wrong with FCKH8’s video.
His first reason is that the “messages about rape and violence aren’t broached on age-appropriate terms.” He goes on to quote Anne Theriault from The Bellejar who said, “There is for sure nothing feminist about having girls as young as six years old discussing rape and sexual assault; I would hope that at that age, most kids have never even heard the word rape.”
I completely disagree with this statement. Kids should know what rape is from a very young age. I am not saying that we should scare children or make them watch Law and Order SVU. I am saying that children should be aware what rape is at the most basic sense in order to protect them against it. In fact, out of all sexual assault/rape victims, 15% of them are children under the age of 12. That is most of the girls in this video. The fact that people are outraged about children knowing about rape is disturbing. Rape is not something that should be hushed up or ignored.
The next opinion Clifton gives is that the video “oversimplifies the pay gap discussion by reducing a man to his penis.” This whole section made me want to throw my laptop across the room. He claims that the video fails to acknowledge the injustice transgender and non-gender conforming people face in the workplace by simply saying people with penises get paid better. While I do understand this point, I do believe he is looking way too far into this video.
When examining the video this closely, yes there are issues in the way information is presented, but the video is not made for the every day social media activist like Clifton clearly is. It was made for the general public, many of whom do not know that women are still being paid unfairly and do not see why they should care. Presenting the information in this blunt, simple, crude way is an attention-grabber. That is why having the young girl say “I shouldn’t need a penis to get paid” is so powerful, not because the video is saying transgender and non-conforming gender people do not have issues in the workplace.
Clifton’s reasoning starts going even more downhill as he argues that FCKH8 refused to talk about sexism or racism before, so it is very suspicious that they are talking about it now. This section annoyed me because Clifton drifts away from the actual video and rants about another video FCKH8 made about Ferguson. He is also claiming that the only reason FCKH8 is making these videos is to merchandise shirts. This is an interesting thought, but it has nothing to do with the content of the video. So what if the company wants to make money? Who doesn’t? That does not change the message the video is promoting or what is being said in the video.
He continues to stray away from the actual content of the video in his next reasoning that FCKH8 is promoting stereotypes of women. Clifton sites several different pictures that FCKH8 released that “promote the stereotypes of women.” Whether they do or not does not really matter in this argument. If this was a debate on if FCKH8 stereotypes women, then yeah sure bring those pictures up. But FCKH8’s past pictures about the gay community has nothing to do with this video being feminist or not. Clifton is going to outside information to support his claim because the video does not provide enough evidence to say it is not feminist.
Clifton’s final reasoning is just the icing on the cake. He asks the reader, “Can you really equate children swearing with rape culture and pay inequality?” Why yes Clifton, yes I can. His claim is that the shock of little girls swearing overshadows the shock of rape and pay inequality. Clifton believes that having little girls swear is so weird in a video about feminism. Why are they little girls? He claims it is because we think little girls are going to be “dainty.”
Maybe that is part of it, but Clifton, did you ever think maybe it is because they are girls and the video is about feminism? One of the biggest reasons why the video is so successful is because it shows little girls angry about the society they are being raised in. And yes, the swearing is supposed to have a shock value so that it gets people’s attention. How many people would watch a video titled “Polite Princesses Talk About Feminism”; the “Potty-Mouthed Princesses” are a lot more interesting.
The bottom line is that FCKH8 wanted attention and they got it. They wanted the word about feminism to be out there in a blunt and scandalous way so that it would be heard. They made drastic and bold choices for a reason. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the video, people are at least discussing the issues presented in it. And that is really all that matters.