Opinion

Did the princess F-bomb video go too far?

Some parents are cringing at t-shirt company FCKH8 latest viral video featuring little girls dropping F-bombs in the name of feminism.

These little girls are fed up with sexism, and they’re letting everyone know it—curse words and all.

“F-bombs for Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Words for Good Cause” is the latest viral video from t-shirt company FCKH8. The video, which features little girls dressed as princesses, quickly takes a sharp turn as they voice their disgust over the sexist norms in society.

I couldn’t even count the number of f-bombs dropped during the video, however the fact that people are more offended by little girls swearing than they are by sexism and rape is disconcerting.

The video has received criticism on a number of fronts. To be honest, the swearing doesn’t bother me at all. I think the shock value proves a point and the shareability of the video has people talking about pay inequality, the sexualization of young girls and violence against women.

So yes, I’m OK with a child saying: “F*ck that sexist shit” in this context. In fact, I’m all for it!

Read more: What girls really hear when we call them pretty (video)>

I’m not thrilled, however, that the video was made to sell t-shirts. FCKH8 is a for-profit company “with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission.” They are donating $5 per shirt to a “kickass charity.” They’ve been criticized in the past for making a profit off of anti-racism slogans, specifically after they made a video in relation to the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

But as far as for-profit companies go, I’d rather buy a shirt for my daughter that says “Girls just want to have fun—damental rights” than spend my money in a department store that portrays all young girls as divas who only date superheroes.

Read more: Sexist superhero shirts appear in popular retail chains>

But the one piece of criticism that really got me thinking was a blog post by Anne Theriault of The Belle Jar. In her post, she argues that the t-shirt company’s video is, in fact, the opposite of feminism. She writes: “There is nothing feminist about exploiting a bunch of little girls by having them swear and talk about rape statistics just so that FCKH8 can make a quick buck.”

One part of the video deals specifically with rape. The girls say that one in five girls will be sexually assaulted and then wonder which one of them it will be. I found this to be very powerful when I first watched the video, but is it also exploitative? Theirault continues: “Having a little girl demand to know if she’ll be raped just so that you can sell a few shirts is so far beyond the realm of what should be acceptable that I have no words for it.”

I was ready to purchase a t-shirt for my daughter from FCKH8 until I thought about Theriault’s point. I’m not sure if my eight-year-old daughter even knows what rape is, but I’m willing to explain it to her because she should learn about it from me before some kid on the playground says something untoward (yes, it happens).

Read more: Emma Watson and feminism: Discussing her speech with your sons>

My husband believes all the uproar is ridiculous and that I should just go ahead and show my daughter the video—because, t-shirt or no t-shirt, feminism is cool and empowering (and we are already an f-bomb-dropping family).

What are your thoughts on the video?

Emma Waverman is a writer, blogger and mom to three kids. She has many opinions, some of them are fit to print. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @emmawaverman.

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