A couple weeks ago, this video started making the rounds on social media. I’ve been busy with client work, so I’m a bit late to the game with these comments. Better late than never – and what a better day for this post than Election Day? After all, it’s because we live in this great nation that FCKH8.com, as well as myself, have the right to freedom of speech… be it t-shirts, videos or blogs.
I assumed FCKH8 was a human rights non-profit group. After a visit to their website, I discovered:
“FCKH8.com is a for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission: arming thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as “mini-billboards” for change. Started in 2010 with comedic viral videos that captured millions of views on YouTube, FCKH8.com has shipped almost 200,000 equality tees, tanks and hoodies to supporters in over 100 countries. T-shirts emblazoned with bold messages like “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It,” “Straight Against Hate,” and ”Legalize Love” have been publicly talked about by celebrities including Jane Lynch, Adam Lambert, Perez Hilton, and Zac Efron – who’s raved about his own “Some Dudes Marry Dudes, Get Over It” shirt in the press. Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi even have their own pink “Some Chicks Marry Chicks, Get Over It” buttons. With over 305,000 followers on Facebook and 43,000 on Twitter, FCKH8.com has given over $250,000 to the equality cause through directly funded projects and donations to LGBT charities. In 2014 FCKH8.com expanded it’s anti-hate message with campaigns and tees focused on fighting sexism and racism and supporting those important causes. In an effort to get tees to supporters even faster, the FCKH8.com brand recently became owned and managed by Synergy Media’s team of passionate people with a vision to make an even bigger positive impact with the activist brand. FCKH8!”
As a woman, I find the “Potty-Mouthed Princess” video hard to criticize because it gives attention to some upsetting statistics. Plus FCKH8.com supports gender, sex and race equality – and who’s not for that? Also, I actually like some of the gear they’re hawking.
So, here’s why I think this fails to convey a positive message for feminism:
When I was younger, my father taught me educated people do not need to cuss – they can intelligently communicate their opinions without resorting to foul language. If we (women) want to be taken seriously, let’s intelligently communicate and demonstrate our worth as opposed to telling our employer to “pay up mother**cker.”
You may be thinking, “This is a company called FCKH8, you should expect some f-bombs.” Agreed. However, these are children. One of the great things about children is their innocence. These kids are actors. In reality they are too young to know about pay inequality and hopefully still too young to know about, or fully understand, rape. And let’s be real – they’re most likely too young to understand in what context to properly use the word fuck. One thing I can’t stand is hearing a child respond to a question with an answer clearly coached by a parent or adult. Or worse, children used to push their parents’ cause – whether the cause is admirable or not. Let’s stop using children to push our agendas.
You may think I’m missing the point of the video. Believe me, I get what producer Mike Kon was trying to convey:
“It is shocking what they are saying, but the real shock is that women are still paid less than men for the same work in 2014, not the use of the F-word.”
What’s more shocking is that the FCKH8 feels this is the best way to execute a promotional video for some really clever apparel that supports a valid cause.