Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little girls using the f bomb...

FCKH8: Princesses from Jose Ho-Guanipa on Vimeo.

The above video was featured on Upworthy yesterday.  Basically, it's a bunch of little girls in princess costumes dropping the f-bomb and other so-called "bad words" in order to get across their points about how poorly women are treated.  While I don't generally have a problem with the f-bomb, I didn't like this video.  I found it pretty obnoxious.  I also wonder how much these cute little girls really know about what they are saying.

I shared it on Facebook, though, and got into an interesting discussion with a woman I met through Epinions.com back in 2003.  She lives in Virginia and her husband used to work with my aunt's brother, Ralph, a former Virginia State Trooper.  Ralph is also a former Kansas Guardsman, so he ran into Bill at a conference before we met in person.  Ralph checked out Bill for me, to make sure he wasn't a psycho.  Anyway, that's not really relevant, other than to establish how else I know this lady other than from Facebook and Epinions.

My friend said she hated the video for the same reasons I do.  She found it obnoxious and exploitative.  The video turned me off because it had a bit of a male bashing tone to it.  For instance, at one point, the girls say "Stop telling girls how to dress and start teaching boys not to rape."  Uh... how many men are really rapists?  And why assume that rape automatically has to do with dressing slutty?  Rape is about power, violence, and shame, not sex.  

While I know that women have historically had to deal with sexism and being thought of as "less than" because of gender, I don't think that having a bunch of little girls use the "f" word is the way to change that reality.  In fact, I don't think this video does much more than shock and offend.  I'm sure a lot of people think it's cute and novel, but I doubt the people who like it will be the ones who can create change.  The people who will like this video will be people who think the egregious use of the f-word is cute, funny, or clever and that little girls using it is somehow cool.

Some may say that the point of the video is that people care more about little girls using the word "fuck" than they do the message, which is that women deserve equal treatment and the right to feel safe when they are walking to their cars.  I don't deny that the message is important.  Women do deserve equal pay for equal work and they should be able to feel safe at all times.  But the message that comes across to me in this video also seems to be that all men are bad, treat women unfairly, misogynistic, potential rapists, etc.  What these girls are describing are assholes.  Assholes come in both genders.  An "in your face" video about how badly women and girls are treated in the United States rings pretty hollow, too, when you consider that there are many places in the world where women truly have no public voice at all, let alone one that can utter the word "fuck" at will on a video.

As I wrote before, I don't have a problem with the word "fuck" or even so much that the kids are using that word.  In fact, I use it all the time.  But there is a time and a place for that word.  Of course, the name of the organization that made this video is FCKH8, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Upworthy.com also shared Monica Lewinsky's recent speech about cyberbullying.  I don't know about you, but I was kind of shocked by how fast the years have passed.  Seems like yesterday, people were talking about how she gave Bill Clinton a blow job.  While I don't condone Monica's actions, I do have some empathy for her.  She was very young and starstruck when she was involved with Clinton.  Yes, he was a married man and she knew that, but ultimately, he's the one who strayed from his commitment.  And I don't think Monica Lewinsky should spend the rest of her life paying for her mistake in judgment... although it really was a whopper.




     

    

4 comments:

  1. i really hope that the little girls using the F-bomb in the video understand that there are times and places where it may be appropriate to use the word, but just as many times and places where the use of the word is not appropriate. it's really unfair for a child to pay the price for shooting off an F-bomb to a teacher when some adult in his or her life life has modeled the behavior and has failed to make it clear that the word is highly inappropriate in given settings, i.e. in conversations with persons of authority, in job interviews, etc. It would be nice if the parents or other caregivers could be levied rather cumbersome fines anytime children mouthed off with an F-bomb to a teacher or other authority figure. Each time a child does so, there are ten or so children watching who consider that the child's actions are totally cool and would consider doing the same thing to increase their own status among peers. Before long, the same sort of mutiny that exists in inner city schools will reach the suburbs if it hasn't already done so.

    A friend of mine accepted a long-term sub job in a middle school in what should have been be a nice neighborhood, although the assignment was for a remedial core group of students. My friend noticed right away that many of the students spoke with complete potty mouths even in the presence of teachers. My friend emailed the administrators to ask how this should be handled. The answer was that if the profanity was directed specifically at her, she should refer the offending student to the office, but if it was directed at another student or at everyone in general, she was to ignore it no mater how obscene the utterance. Why should some quiet kid minding his or her own business be subjected to such verbal abuse, which was in some case sexual harassment, and which is covered by California law from grade four and above? Furthermore, in one instance the expletive was directed at my friend the substitute teacher, but when she referred the student to the office, the girl told the vice-principal that she intended it to be directed at a fellow student and not at the substitute teacher, and got off Scot-free. She returned to class ten minutes later with a huge smirk and a "There's not a thing you can do to get me into trouble" for the sub. The sub used her teacher's privilege to suspend the girl from her class for the remainder of that day and for the next, and informed the person in charge of calling substitutes that she would finish out the week but would not return the following Monday. She's since found a full-time teaching contract with a school district that doesn't tolerate such insubordination.

    What were these administrators thinking? Students, while being kids who will try their teachers in order to see how much nonsense will be tolerated, will for the most part behave as well or as poorly as they are expected to behave. The administrators in my friend's original district of employment are doing their students a grave disservice and depriving them of an education. In addition to the horrific behavior that is supplanting what should be educational time, only teachers who cannot gain employment elsewhere because of substandard teaching skills will even consider teaching there. It's not fair to those children, who would behave as well as any other kids if they were expected to do so.

    And in regard to little girls who try to blame men for the way little girls are dressed, very few men are responsible for choosing their daughters' wardrobes. if girls are dressed in an overly sexualized manner,it is a likely combination of the girls choosing to dress in such ways and in their mothers agreeing to it, or vice versa.

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    1. Well, I think the point of the video was to get people's attention and shock them into hearing the feminist message. But while I don't generally mind swearing, even I have my limits. That video was over the top obnoxious in my view.

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    2. I don't know if all adults appreciate that children don't necessarily get that saying an incendiary word i one setting doesn't make it an acceptable word in all settings. The problem is that the children are te ones who are punished when they say the words in school, iin court, or elsewhere. It's not fair to the children. My brother and I heard the f-bomb fairly regularly after we turned five, butwe knew it was not to come out of our mouths -- at least where any one who would tell on us could hear it. It would have been bettwer still had my father not sworn like a truckdriver in our presence, but at least our limits were made crystal clear to us.

      and I still think the video contained a whole lot of unnecessary male-bashing, when norma;l males don't get off on seeing seven-year-olds dressed up in overly sexualized apparel. such attire on little girls is generally not the fault of men, nor do any but the pedophiles have much appreciation for the mode of dress. Place the blame where it belongs, using wehatevervocabulary one chooses.

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    3. Yeah. I have a pretty high tolerance for a lot of stuff, but this video was in poor taste and vulgar. And you're right that kids need to be taught when and where such language is acceptable. In my house, most swearing was off limits, although I did swear like a sailor anyway. I thought-- and still think-- that calling certain words "bad" is stupid. However, my thoughts on this issue are not the norm and like it or not, kids need to be taught when using that kind of language is appropriate and when it's not. Glorifying the f-bomb in the name of feminism does little to further the cause, anyway. I suspect this video will end up being parodied.

      I also hate to see feminism being equated to male bashing and basically calling all men beasts who can't control themselves. Most men are not like that. If we made a video about women using little boys, people would be outraged.

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