Earlier this week a t-shirt company called FCKH8.com dropped a video ad online titled “F-Bombs for Feminism.” The ad features a series of little girls, all dressed as princesses, unleashing a torrent of foul language with the supposed goal of educating the public about feminist issues and concerns. You can read about it and watch the video here.
The following is my response to it.
Dear “FCKH8” (an entirely for-profit clothing company),
What the fuck is the matter with you people?
Look, I get the point of your new ad campaign, the one aimed at selling t-shirts and other assorted shit that turns people into living billboards for causes you supposedly believe strongly in. I get that you’re basically subscribing to the almighty cult of disruption, banking on outrage and viral transmission to get your name and products out there rather than assuming the excellent causes can speak for themselves. I get that by even writing about this fucking nonsense I’m giving you exactly what you hoped for when you and your overseers at Synergy Media — the “innovative brand-building company” that owns you — came up with this cynical campaign that features a bunch of little girls (and one boy) dressed like princesses saying “fuck” every couple of words. I know that every word I type right now just plays right into your hands because it amounts to more free publicity. But you know what? I don’t fucking care. Your campaign is obnoxious and fucking stupid.
Now before you or anybody else jumps to the wrong conclusion, I don’t have one goddamn negative thing to say about the information these kids are conveying between all the “fucks” and “motherfuckers” that are designed to do nothing more than shock. A message of female empowerment, especially from little girls, is always awesome, as is making clear to people the facts about how society treats women versus men. Not a fucking thing wrong with any of that. But getting little girls to swear their asses off does nothing but distract from the message you’re trying to send. Oh sure, it gets attention, but who the fuck are you really aiming this thing toward? Only the most hardcore among the Shrill Activist Asshole set is gonna watch two-and-a-half minutes of little kids pummeling the camera with fucking four-letter-words and think, “I totally support that shit!” Everybody else is going to get stuck on the image of the child in a princess dress saying “fuck” over and over again.
I know you’re arguing that the whole idea of the ad is to point out how we get hung up on little vulgarities and miss the big ones, like rape and pay inequality. First of all, that’s fucking garbage, since the real point here is to sell shit, because even if you are donating part of the profit to good causes you’re still making a profit — and probably a very tidy one. Beyond that, the facts your little potty-mouthed princesses are spouting won’t surprise or inform anyone inclined to actually think the ad was a clever idea. The message is only going to “get through” to people who already knew as much anyway. You’re preaching to the fucking choir. Sure, maybe you’ll get the added bonus of pissing off reactionary shitheads like Glenn Beck and the clown car over at Fox News, but reveling in the indignation of your political adversaries makes you no better than those redneck dunces who “coal roll” simply because the libtards hate it.
I’m an adult. You know what that means? I can swear my fucking ass off. If my six-year-old daughter went on a verbal tear in which every other word was “fuck,” however — and if she did it on camera in front of the world — I’d really hope somebody with more goddamn common sense than me would come and take her the hell away from me. There’s little that’s more reprehensible than an activist parent drafting his or her child into their personal crusade — regardless of the merits of that crusade — when there’s no fucking way the kid has the emotional maturity to understand the intricacies of what he or she is fighting for. That’s a cheap shot to begin with. Getting your little girl or boy to unload publicly with a machine-gun blast of foul fucking language, however, in the service of that crusade the kid doesn’t fully understand — and god knows I really hope the implications of the phrase “start teaching boys not to fucking rape!” weren’t made clear to a nine-year-old — is just all kinds of over-the-fucking-line. I hope the parents of these kids don’t have the nerve to wonder why most people hate liberal activists or at the very least why their tactics tend to accomplish exactly nothing. You’re not gonna win one fucking person over to the very valid cause of feminism with this shit.
The funny thing is that I probably would’ve bought your goddamn t-shirt without the horseshit gimmick of the cursing kids. I would’ve had no problem being a big, proud, walking announcement for feminism and against racism, with you profiting from it. Now? Not a fucking chance.
Fuck You (or maybe “FCKU”),
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.