Hot Topic Tuesday - The Effectiveness of the "F-Word" in Promoting Feminism

Hot Topic Tuesday is an opportunity to take controversial, attention-grabbing, or 'hot' topics that have recently garnered attention across the social media stage and open them up for discussion.

I know....it's not Tuesday....but I couldn't resist after seeing this video.

The "F-Word". The "F-Bomb". It's the swear word to end all swear words. Other swear words pale in comparison because the F-word eats them for breakfast. It is typically used with intense feeling and great emphasis, and it's use has resulted in many a detention and more than a few groundings.

When one pictures someone using the F-word, the image that arises is typically not little girls in princess dresses promoting feminism and gender equality. But that is exactly the tactic that the for-profit company FCKH8 uses in a recent video that is going viral across the social media stage.

If you haven't seen it, here is the link for your viewing pleasure, or click the video below. If profanity is offensive to you or you have tiny ears listening nearby consider this a warning that the video is ripe with colourful language .



There are two schools of thought that seem to be following this video and it's concept. Urban Moms blogger Mubina Bishram feels that the video is effective in drawing attention to issues of gender inequality that are still pervasive today. She argues that the video is not condoning the use of the F-word, but rather it effectively and creatively brings much-needed attention to gender discrimination and violence towards women and girls.

Blogger Julie M Green, who writes Mummy Buzz for the online magazine YMC takes the opposite stance. She writes that despite this 'shock campaign' being attention-grabbing, that there are less offensive and more effective ways to preach a message that do not involve directing little girls to swear while spewing statistics.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it effective? Creative? Is this the kind of campaign that we need in order to grab hold of our very short attention spans or has it crossed a line?

My Opinion, In Case You Are Curious

When I watched the first few minutes of this video, my jaw hit the floor and admittedly I chuckled a bit. Shock value....check! However, as the video continued I found myself getting uncomfortable. I'm not against the use of profanity and when used in the right context I think that the F-word can be quite humorous and effective, though not always necessary. That being said, I'm not completely sold on the idea of having children use F-bombs repeatedly throughout a campaign to grab an adult's attention. I agree with Julie M Green from Mommy Buzz when she points out that this is language that was adult-directed and not in the girl's own words, and she raises the question "Do we need girls dropping F-bombs to sell feminism?" I say no.

I watched the video again and tried to imagine it without the constant invasion of the F-bomb. Sure, the shock value is no longer there, nor is the arguably comedic factor. I think the stats speak for themselves, especially when talking about violence against women and girls. So call me a prude or a stick-in-the-mud but I don't think we need little girls cussing to bring attention to serious and pervasive issues plaguing women and girls today. I think we need more women like Emma Watson speaking eloquently, knowledgeably, and earnestly about gender equality. That's a video about gender equality that I'm willing to get behind.



VANESSA