When FCKH8 first started making waves online with its four-letter videos, I was intrigued. Hearing people say “fuck” is hardly shocking anymore, but the righteous directness of the approach was fresh.
These days, however, the organization is starting to feel not-so-fresh. In September the company, which is actually a for-profit t-shirt company, was accused of profiteering from the 2014 Ferguson unrest with its anti-racism t-shirts.
Now, they’re taking heat for this:
Like other FCKH8 videos, this one tries to force its message into the top of your mind through shock. But since the power of “fuck” diminishes the more you hear it, they’ve put it into the mouths of little kids.
The message behind the video is important, as is any discussion about inequality and violence against women. But as with the Ferguson fiasco, people are questioning the profit motive behind the video.
Anne Thériault, feminist blogger at The Belle Jar, nails it:
There is nothing feminist about using little girls as props in order to sell t-shirts – in fact, I would argue that this is the opposite of feminism. 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. There is nothing feminist about creating an association between potty-mouthed little kids and social justice – and that’s not a slight against potty-mouths, because I fucking love swearing, but rather a statement on the fact that this video plays into a lot of the negative stereotypes that people already have about feminism.On first exposure, FCKH8 seemed like a bonafide LGBT revolution. But the more they try to expand the “brand” to other social issues, the more they expose themselves to criticism that they’re in it for the money.