Opinion: Potty-mouthed princesses let FCKH8 cash-in, but message still resonates

Carley Hull is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Carley Hull

Society has a new viral feminist voice in FCKH8.com’s “F-Bombs for Feminism: Potty-mouthed princesses use bad words for a good cause,” video by FCKH8.com. Featuring girls around the ages of 6 to 13 dolled up in princess gowns and tiaras, the video is a mouthy response to gender inequality. While the video may have made you laugh until you cried or made you furious, I believe the video’s message makes a strong, valid point: Women are still not equal to men and we are f***ing sick of it.

The swearing is a huge turnoff for a lot of viewers. Various YouTube comments declared that the swearing strips the girls of their innocence. I feel like a lot of more conservative Americans worry too much about the corruption of youth. I learned my first swear word at the age of two from my great-grandpa working in his garage. I heard my parents and relatives cuss occasionally growing up, and don’t even get me started on what I learned on the school bus. I was well aware of the use of swear words. Nearly 20 years later, I am not a burden to society or even a pottymouth for knowing or saying these words in my youth. Most likely, neither will these girls for an acting job or opportunity.

What’s scarier is that these young girls will soon be thrown into a world full of truly vulgar things like rape, lesser pay for the same work as men and slut shaming— all much worse than swearing. The older girls in this video probably already know girls their age who are having sex or are constantly berated by teachers for distracting the boys with their wardrobe. The reality is that most of these little girls have probably already encountered some kind of gender inequality, either “playing like a girl” or “crying like a girl”. Soon they will have to worry about things like trying not to get raped, as if women ask for it.

Why the use of swearing then, if the statistics of rape and inequality are already startling? FCKH8 knew what it was doing when it used the innocent little girl stereotype in combination with ironic swear words. It simply comes down to shock value for awareness and potentially, marketability. FCKH8 is a business afterall. I applaud FCKH8 for using a great marketing idea to generate awareness in an in-your-face way, even it asks you to buy a T-shirt and makes a profit from the video.

 A contributor for Forbes bashed the company for exploiting the little girls for capital gain. Others, including a column on the Washington Post, slam FCKH8 for cashing in on yet another issue. This company is not new to bringing awareness of a myriad of social issues and making money. An anti-racism video targeted the issues in Ferguson, asking viewers to buy T-shirts where $5 could be donated to their choice of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, NAACP, Brown Memorial Fund, or Crossroads Anti-racism Organizing & Training.

While it is true the company is for-profit, non-profit doesn’t have the humanitarian ideals to it that it used to either. The cash cow known as the NFL is a non-profit. While I find it admirable that companies working to do good are often not getting rich doing so, I don’t expect people not to make money doing their job or willingly take a pay cut because it’s more tasteful and charitable. As for the princess video, FCKH8 again says it will donate $5 to any organization that works to create a world more equal for women and girls. As long as that money makes it to those organizations, I feel like FCKH8 is making a difference whether their intentions are monetary, or societal change.