Why you should ignore 'F-Bombs for Feminism' and the company that made it

Whenever your mom shares something on Facebook about feminism, it's time to get skeptical.

Most current example is the viral video "F-Bombs for Feminism," which features young girls in princess dresses and tiaras going on expletive-ridden tirades about issues of gender equality they'll face as they grow up into a patriarchal world.

At first, it was nice. Seeing otherwise socially oblivious people spread this on Facebook and Twitter, often expressing dismay at the profanities, was exciting because it's always good to get a dialogue going about feminism, even if it is so watered-down that it might as well be on BuzzFeed with accompanying "Doctor Who" GIFs. As the girls go on to talk about the pay wage gap and rape culture, the video dissolves into more "fucks" and one girl, when talking about the statistic that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, solemnly asks, "which one of us will it be?"

While these children are probably gifted, sure, they cannot truly understand what they are saying, making them props for a company who is exploiting them and using the struggle of women everywhere to MAKE MONEY.

The biggest red flag is that the video was produced by FCKH8, a for-profit company that specializes in marketing to try and pass off its bland forms of "activism" as reason enough to by their cheaply made merchandise. As rainbow-colored and seemingly inclusive as the website seems, FCKH8 is the PETA of LGBT+ rights. It's as if that straight girl who wishes she had a gay friend so she could "OMG have somebody sassy to go shopping with" and the straight dude who is nice to lesbians because there's a chance he's going to be able to watch came together and made an organization. As a for-profit, the majority of money raised goes to the company, with $5 of each shirt purchase, whose costs range anywhere between $15-$40, going to charity.

Commodifying harmful gender inequalities for profit is turning the facts the girls rant about into advertising jargon meant to sell shirts. The video is a spectacle meant to shock and offend, doing a horrible disservice toward actual feminism. It's meant to be provocative and the video becomes all about the foul-mouthed children and nothing about the issues that actually matter. 

This isn't new. In fact, it's its business model. Just recently, FCKH8 caught flak over its "Racism Isn't Over, But I'm Over Racism" campaign based off the recent atrocities in Ferguson, Missouri, and the unrest and anger that followed suit. In a video with a similar tone as "F-Bombs for Feminism" called "Hey White People," which was directed by a white man, children of Ferguson recite facts on racial inequality. The video received criticism from organizations such as Race Forward, who refused to take donations from FCKH8, and the website Colorlines, in which writer Aura Bogado says, "There's an entire economy around black death—and this ad campaign illustrates it all too well."
 
If you'll look at FCKH8's merchandise, it's all focused on a white-washed, cis-normative view of queerness, even though 70 percent of LGBT+ related murders are committed against people of color and queer POC are the most economically disadvantaged group in America.

FCKH8 really means FCKCertainKindsOfH8. The company has shown to be exclusionary of asexual and pansexual identities, basically shunning any identity that doesn't fit into its inoffensive Neil Patrick Harris/Ellen DeGeneres aesthetic.

It's also known for taking posts and art from Tumblr and slapping its logo on it without giving credit to the creator and citing "free use" as an excuse for this.

The dumb memes the company posts on its Facebook, if not blatantly stolen and improperly credited, are often full of stereotypes that limit the movement into something cute and trendy to share online. Also, ew, holy gross cis-normative misogyny, BATMAN.

The points these foul-mouthed children bring up in "F-Bombs for Feminism" and some of the other points in FCKH8's memes are legitimate, but there's a wealth of other videos and information online that treats them with respect. Watch films by survivors of rape and sexual abuse; let them tell their stories. You don't need to sensationalize and distort a message for it to be heard. And FCK FCKH8.

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