If you've been exposed to any manner of media in the last week you can probably guess what this blog is going to be about based solely on the title. Let me start off by saying I usually have to restrain myself from discussing hot topics on this blog or any form of social media because, well, they are hot topics. Everyone is talking, tweeting, texting, blogging, snapchatting about them. My passionate opinion on any given topic is probably similar to someone out there who has already ranted atop a social media soap box so I usually feel discussing it is redundant. Plus, it's unlikely that sharing my opinion will change the opinions of others, which tends to be the point of many online rants. Instead it will probably only fuel the fire of those who stand in opposition. But this is one hot topic that has set my blood boiling more than most so I'm unleashing the Kraken the best way I know how... via blog.
For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, I'm here to
talk rant about the FCKH8 video featuring children (not just little girls) swearing like Jesse Pinkman about things like unequal pay in the workforce and sexual assault. I'm not going to link to the video, you can find it yourself if you really want to see it. To be honest I turned it off within the first 10 seconds the first time I saw it because I was so appalled. I did go back and watch it from start to finish so I could write this with full knowledge of the video.
There are a handful of important points I could discuss but I'm only going to focus on one.
I'm not going to focus on the fact that FCKH8, the company that produced this viral video, is a "for profit t-shirt company with an activist heart". Yeah. These folks are using issues like rape to sell t-shirts. Brew on that.
I'm not going to focus on inequality in the workforce. It's not just women who are subjected to inequality and I've thankfully not been personally affected by it so I can't comment.
I'm not going to focus on sexual assault of women OR men (yes, males are sexually assaulted too, did you forget?). Especially when bodies of college students are being discovered left and right and people are being charged with things like abduction with intent to defile. I just can't.
I am going to focus on the fact that this company debased children... CHILDREN... to get a point across. Don't get me wrong, (this is something I really want to stress...) the problems they highlight are relevant, horrible, and worthy of addressing until they are no longer problems. I'll be the first to admit that and I pray that one day we no longer face these issues. But as a mother of two, a boy and a girl, I am outraged that FCKH8 exploited children by having them use such profane language and smack talk. Yes, this click bait will get millions of views on YouTube, but at the end of the day do they really think that something this in-your-face will make society change it's ways? How long have people been talking about these issues?
How many organizations have been fighting against them for years and years?
How many women and men have been raising their voices in protest of inequality and abuse?
MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY COUNT.
What about using something this inappropriate, degrading, and disrespectful will help any of these issues get solved? In my mind it's just creating another problem. Will our children see ads like this and feel it's okay to be so nasty and rude when they speak up- as long as they're talking about something they are passionate about? What part of a little girl in a princess dress dropping the F-bomb sixteen times is okay? What part of a little girl yelling, "I shouldn't need a penis to get paid!" with oh, no she didn't hand gestures is acceptable? What part of having young girls talk this way is doing anything to help women get paid more and feel safe from sexual assault?
I don't see how an ad like this is teaching kids, or adults for that matter, to respect themselves or others. Shouldn't that be at the heart of the issue anyway? They ask us to "stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to f****** rape". Yes, teach boys to respect girls at a young age. Teach girls to respect boys as well. Yes, stop making girls feel like they have to show off all their goodies in order to get anywhere in life. Yes, yes, yes. But NO to using this tactic to make it happen.
All I kept thinking while watching the video in full is, "Those poor babies". Actually, I was also wondering what was going through their parents' minds when they looked at the script for this commercial. Do you think they saw all the vulgar things their daughters would have to say, and with the nasty attitudes they used, and thought, "Yeah I'm totally okay with my children saying (learning) these things. I think it's the perfect, respectful way to make society change." If you wouldn't let your children say these things to you, in your home, amidst normal conversation, then why are you justifying it for a viral video? I can't even wrap my head around it.
Toward the end of the video two adult women appear and one says, "UMMM, instead of cleaning these girls' mouths out with soap, GASP, maybe society should clean up it's act. This is what a feminist looks like." I'm sorry, WHAT? This should not be what a feminist looks like. This is, in no way, empowering to young girls. That was your point right? To empower... Try again. I'm all for equal rights for women, of course I am, but I'd never expose my children to this filth, let alone have a leading role in creating it. I'd much rather see these little girls tear off their crowns and gowns to reveal a police uniform, chef hat, judges robe, or surgeons coat. I'd rather see little boys dressed as teachers, dancers, artists, and nurses. That's empowering. That's encouraging. That's a commercial I'd show my children. They're asking society to clean up it's act when they are doing a pretty good job of dirtying it up in other ways.
At the end of the day no number of F-bombs from 6 year olds is going to change people's minds on these topics. They already have their opinions formed. They either want change or they don't. Allowing children to bad mouth society won't suddenly make some douche bag say, Hey, maybe I should listen to these tiny cursing humans who are yelling at me and stop being a rapist. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If it were that easy I'm sure the hundreds of respectful and kind pleas for equality and justice would have cured the world years ago. It seems to me like the main point of this video was to shock. Good job, people are shocked. I am shocked. Good job. People are talking about you. Good job. Maybe you sold some shirts. I certainly won't be buying one. I don't care if you send $5.00 from every shirt sold to a "kick-a**" charity. You're still making money off of adolescent potty mouth princesses. Good job.
Until next time...