Oct 29, 2014

Muse: Pretty Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism

Hmm. Hmm. Hrrumph.

At first glance, I wasn't sure what to make of this video sponsored by socially aware clothing retailer FCKH8 that features little girls dressed up as princesses who are continuously spouting out the word "fuck" to spread awareness over sexism. The video begins harmlessly with the girls saying the word "pretty" and acting all precious, till one of the girls interrupts the pretty party and screams, "What the fuck!" while declaring how she's not 'a pretty and helpless princess'. With furrowed brows and arms akimbo, the girls then ask the question: what is more offensive, little girls saying the word "fuck?" or gender equality?

Trick question.

Mostly people are going with the former as far as the video's comments suggest (enter the comment lair if you dare), because we can't be having little girls in frilly dresses and sparkly crowns smarting off as if they are auditioning to be a Goodfella. Yet, ha ha ha, FCKH8 have bamboozled you right into the web of truth as this is exactly the type of rise they were hoping to get, that obviously people will rush to bemoan that a little girl saying "fuck" is highly and morally mucho more offensive than sexual assault. Gotcha good, didn't they?

Okay, sure, FCKH8 walk a thin line with this. Using children to push for what is considered an adult situation always makes people queasy, because it courts depravity, it corrupts the 'delicacy' of childhood. True, some of what is presented here is for shock. I was especially uneasy at the line where the girls were discussing the stat over how many women will be raped, and one little girl questions, "which one of us will be next?" Quite appalling, yes, but so is the statistic itself. That is why we need to cut the 'wrecking innocence' bullshit for a second, because 'F-Bombs For Feminism' is saying some valid things through the mouths of their little sass pot babes.

Little girls are exposed to sexism at a very young age. Sorry to smear the crystalline image of youth, but they are, whether you believe it or not. It happens on the playgrounds where little boys get up in girls faces steal kisses, look up skirts, and generally touch them without permission. It happens when little boys use the "you play like a girl" adage. It happens when little boys tease and pick at girls and it's passed off as "boys will be boys" with a chuckle and shake of the head. Kids might not know the terminology, or are even fully aware of what they are doing, but it's there.

Then there are also the adults who should know better. The adults who enforce these divides between the genders. The adults who over-sexualize young girls by the short shorts and make-up they wear or of the shapely figures they possess in the midst of puberty. The adults who don't teach young boys not to harm young girls and who pass the teasing off as mere flirting. These scenarios are why I'm all for teaching young girls and boys about feminism, because these things crop up so early and could manifest in worse ways if not harped upon during the early development stages.

What has also rubbed people wrong is that FCK8, which has received some criticisms in the past over how they handle social issues, is also clearly and cleverly selling their brand as they wedge in mentions of how you can purchase several t-shirts that sport catchy taglines like "Girls Just Wanna Have FUN-damental rights" and "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like". Never the mind that if you donate $5 it will immediately go to funding feminist moving causes, FCK8 still wants your money.

Their tactic received fair criticism, because in the Land of Feminism --- big bad capitalism isn't supposed to co-exist. Um, let me smash that cute picture, because the two do intersect, and intersect often. We can look no further than some of the pop stars that are touting feminism and are using it for financial gain (*cough* Beyonce *cough*) to assert at how often feminism gets commercialized, and is weakened of its true intent by these actions. Also when we monetize an act of free will like feminism often times its outcome isn't beneficial for the people who need it the most. Feminism, just like religion, always will be Elmer Gantry-ed, it will always be used for someone to make a profit off of, good or bad  --- that's just the way the world fucking works.

For that, I'm not sure if 'F-Bombs For Feminism' is wholly effective. Also I come from a long line of women who curse, and I drop curse words daily as if they are religious chants, but the overuse of the word "fuck" does, in this case, fuck with the message a tad (and could they not have the little girls of color rolling their necks and eyes like that? Jeez). Still, after musing about it, naw, I'm for this, and I'm glad that these girls are corrupting 'purity' for the sake of spreading around an awful truth that is bigger than four lettered words.

The act of  "purity" and "goodness" are always applied to girls, and most often we aren't rewarded for it. We are still slut-shamed, body-shamed, just all around shamed for anything we do or don't do, and I'm much more concerned over combating the nuanced and subtle ways that we plague women and belittle the big picture of sexism than what type of word gets a dollar in a swear jar. Sexism begins at a tender age where we are dressing up, throwing tea parties, and being pretty princesses, so why the fuck not?

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