Thursday, 23 October 2014

Potty-Mouthed Princesses - my not for profit response.

I finally sat down to watch FCKH8.com's F-Bomb's for Feminism Video, and I wasn't impressed.

I'm pretty easy to impress. I love infographics, I like videos with music playing in the background, I love statistics more than words can say. I didn't like this video.

As a feminist myself, I was pretty offended by the range and broad scope of issues a two and a half minute video tried to shover in under the umbrella of feminism. And here they are:
  • "I'm not a pretty fucking hopeless princess in distress - I'm powerful"!
  • Pay inequality
  • Girls who get As on college are paid the same as boys who get Cs.
  • Rape and violence
  • Stop telling girls how to dress
  • "Start telling boys not to fucking rape"
  • "Women's time to vote is here"
  • Women should be able to walk to the car without fear
  • About being pretty - "boobs and butts are more important than our brains?"
  • "It leads us to thinking 'my worth comes from my waist line'".
  • Stop focusing on how I look, give me a book"
  • Then come the helpful adults who sell us kinda cool t-shirts.
  • "Instead of cleaning out these girls mouths with soap, maybe society should clean up its act."
  • "This is what a princess looks like" (a adult wearing a t-shirt, flexing her biceps)
  • Money raised will help support charities for women
  • Random dude comes on to say "yo bro, when you tell a boy not to act like a girl, it's because you think it's bad to be a girl".
  • "Fuck that sexist shit!"
ARGH!
So many places to start. Basically, you can break down what they wanted to say like this:

Pay inequality exists
I won't generalise like the good people at FCKH8.com, but pay inequality does exist. I don't know where they get their stats from, but why begin the video with this, followed by an anti-rape message?

Sexual abuse of girls is wrong
Women don't get paid enough and 1 in 5 females are sexually assulted. This is not on the same line as pay inequality in my opinion.

The problem is that this is a broad issue, and they say helpful things like "start telling boys not to fucking rape". Who should? Society! Society is at fault!

Girls shouldn't be told how to dress either. That's fine, I don't like that either. What I do have a problem with is tiny children talking about huge issues for all genders. Children need to be taught about protective behavious and how to deal with inappropriate (for lack of a better word) interactions, but making little girls talk about things like women walking to their cars without fear brings up a whole heap of issues.

What upsets me most about this was the gender bias. Males are sexually assaulted too, and women can be abusers. To assume all women are the victims and all men are the perpetrators upsets me. That's not feminism, that's gender inequality.

Worth isn't based on what a girl looks like
We follow up the 'rape and violence' (and actually, I thought this would cover domestic violence - at least - but no, it doesn't) with some message about it shouldn't matter how a girl looks. And it doesn't, not in the slightest. We already have a lot of these messages and campaigns already, and there were so many other topics you could have covered, but no.

Buy some t-shirts
Now some helpful adults come on and say that little girls swearing is much less offensive than the way society (that is, society within the USA) treats women. Now, buy some freaking cool t-shirts to support some unnamed but helpful charities.

PS don't tell boys they are acting like girls
At the end of the vid, a boy dressed in one of the princess dresses (already worn by a girl in the clip) comes on to tell boys not to call other boys girls because it means you don't like girls and don't think they can do anything good. You might have seen the #LikeAGirl video, created but Always who make sanitary products. This was bandwagon jumping and din't really have a place in the video, except the kid was adorable.


All the problems with this video according to Lisa:

USA biased - Yes, discerning viewers know that they are talking about society within the USA, but if you wanted to look at the REAL ISSUES facing sexism, you would make it a world wide thing that doesn't only relate to one Western country. Pay inequality and body image, while important, and not really up on the scale with killing unborn female children just because they are a girl and or the state of maternal health in many countries. Of course, none of the statistics were referenced or even disclosed as being from a certain country.

Violence - For a section that was about 'rape and violence', violence, outside of sexual assault wasn't even covered. Violence against anyone, regardless of gender, is a a terrible thing.

Gender - This video was about bringing down sexism, and blaming men and "society" for inequality within the world. That's not okay with me. Gender doesn't have to define us, but in a video where little girls are swearing to make a point, it would be really nice not to teach those girls that men are to blame for everything.

Buy shirts damn it - No. Even though those shirts are kind of cool, you haven't given us any information about where the money is going. FKH8.com is a for-profit organisation. This is a 'viral' media campagin to help build their brand. We need to remember this.

Wouldn't somebody think of the children?! - On Wednesday I told an adorable child off for singing Anaconda. I'm one of those people who believe in censorship, or at least, removing the opportunity for kids to engage with media designed for adults, and that includes music, television and films. Why? Because kids should be kids and do fun stuff like climb trees and play with their cats and watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and ride bikes and all that awesome stuff I miss about being a kid. They shouldn't be listening to Nikki Minaj sing about her big butt, and all the sexy time she gets.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that it isn't okay to exploit children this way. They have used little girls to spread a message based on "feminist views" about very grown up issues and to talk about big issues that don't concern them and they may not understand. Girls do face discrimination. They need to know that sometimes they will be targeted for their gender. They need to know that it's okay to just be a princess, and that yes, sometimes you do need rescuing, though not necessarily by a guy, but it's okay to have someone you can depend on. I'm all pro swearing, but not when children do it, and not in a social situation which is inappropriate for the language being used.


But whhhhhhhhy?

I'm all for making gender inequality a thing of the past, but using little girls as objects to share a message goes against the the message you are trying to spread. FCKH8.com, you said that girls are powerful. That's all good and well, but give them power, not some script with YOUR ideas and messages.

Rant over.