What’s more offensive: little girls using the word fuck, or the sexist way society treats girls and women?
That’s the question put to task in FCKH8.com’s new promotional video “Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism,” now hosted on Vimeo after Youtube pulled it. A for-profit T-shirt company that sells activist slogans on trendy-cut tops, this is far from the company’s first foray into expletive-ridden videos that challenge society’s lack of equality. Just check out their Youtube channel.
In “Potty-Mouthed Princesses,” five girls ages 6-13 defy the pretty princess trope and intersperse well-timed f-bombs with articulate takedowns of the pay gap, sexual assault and gender norms. A 12-year-old boy in princess garb discusses the latter concept at the end of the video.
The girls shout lines like “I’m not some pretty fucking hopeless princess in distress! I’m pretty fucking powerful, and ready for success,” and “I shouldn’t need a penis to get paid.”
In a poignant moment, the girls invoke the “fucked up fact” that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted or raped by a man, asking “which one of us will it be?”
The girls finish with “Fuck focusing on how I look, and give me a book!” before two women come in and claim “Instead of cleaning out these girl’s mouths with soap, maybe society should clean up its act” then try to sell you a shirt.
The video’s producer, Mike Kon, explains, “Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. 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. The big statistic that 1 out of 5 women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four letter word and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance.”
Predictably, many people are pretty, uh, fucking mad about this video. Some argue that FCKH8’s tactics are exploitative and commodify equality with T-shirt slogans like “Girls just want to have fun… -damental rights” and “Racism is not over, but I’m over racism.” The company released the video “Hey White People: A Kinda Awkward Note to America” last month, prompting some to criticize the company of profiting off the Ferguson, Missouri tragedy.
A Fox Nation blog post called the cursing princess video “vile” and “disturbing,” while conservative blogs’ comments sections are rife with accusations of “child abuse” and “feminazism.”
Whatever the case, princesses that curse like a sailor would be an interesting addition to the Disney lineup.