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Kids Cursing

I have no problem with kids cursing. I don’t think it’s cute nor do I think it’s offensive. Words are just words, and it matters more to me how and where someone uses them. Our kids are allowed to curse in our house when we’re alone (meaning, no one outside our foursome is in the house) as long as they’re not throwing words around in anger at each other or at us.

But FCKH8.com’s new video called F-Bombs for Feminism leaves a really bad taste in my mouth (NSFW):

You know what… it’s the same problem I have with GoldieBlox, which is that it’s adults using kids to present their agenda. Those girls in the GoldieBlox video didn’t make that Rube Goldberg machine, and those girls in the video above aren’t conveying their own thoughts or feelings. They’re speaking the words that grownups want to say, that they can’t get attention anymore for saying, so they’re using kids to spread their message.

And that sort of sucks. I don’t like it when other people speak for me, so why should I ever support people putting words into the mouths of kids?

FCKH8.com lost me when they called them “these adorably articulate little ladies” as if they had all collectively driven themselves to the studio and recorded what had been gnawing at their heart for the last 6 years… you know… back when they were in diapers.  The girls aren’t articulate.  They’re reciting a script.  That an adult wrote.

Kids CAN and SHOULD be taught to care about issues, and they best connect with ideas that they relate to directly because kids are self-centered.  Not self-centered pricks, but self-centered because that’s where they are developmentally.  A child, for instance, who has GLBT family members or close friends to the family is prime for understanding and speaking out for marriage equality.  A child with no connection to that topic is going to have a difficult time relating to it.  It’s important to instill openmindedness in a child so when they reach a more empathetic age they can leave their bubble and relate to the rest of the world.  But there is a difference between gently opening their eyes to the larger world and shoving them towards ideas.

So I don’t think the video is cute.  And I don’t find it shocking in the way that FCKH8.com intended for viewers to find it shocking:

Asking the question, “What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women” these adorably articulate little ladies in sparkling tiaras turn the “princess in distress” stereotype on its head and contrast the F-word with words and statistics society should find shocking such as “pay inequality” and “rape.”

The shocking part for me is why adults feel it is okay to use children in order to condemn sexism.  Hells yeah, I want to combat sexism.  But I don’t want to do it like this.

9 comments

1 Aislinn { 10.23.14 at 12:01 pm }

I think this movie is achieving its goal: to get people to pay attention to issues that are affecting women around the world. However, I agree with you, I don’t think this is the right way to go about it. Personally, I cringed when they started talking about rape. I think that kids of all ages should be taught how to be safe and what is ok/not ok for an adult to do to their bodies, but I think it’s a little early for a 6 year old to understand the concept of rape. You could argue that the girls were just saying a script and didn’t really understand what they were saying, but kids are curious, so I’m sure they will figure it out eventually.

2 a { 10.23.14 at 12:47 pm }

I was neutral until the point of the whole thing became selling t-shirts. Then they lost me completely. (I think the kids being obviously experienced actors does make a difference.)

In essence, I don’t know if this is any worse then using kids to get other kids to beg their parents for toys or cereal or electronics. Maybe the content is a bit mature, but then again, maybe not. Things in pop culture have definitely changed since I was a kid, so while I might never have encountered the concept of rape (yeah, I probably did – my mom did not censor my viewing or reading AT ALL because I was not susceptible to nightmares or fears or anything), kids today are a little more exposed.

I’m not much of a churchgoer, but I generally refuse to go to the church in my village because the priest is, at best, ham-handed, and, at worst, inappropriate. The sermon during Catholic Schools Week started with St. Agnes (because she was 11 when she became a martyr), forayed into her torture (which included rape) to make her renounce her religion, and rounded out at abortion…all for the benefit of the elementary school age children who were in attendance. So maybe I’m just old-fashioned in not discussing rape with my child.

3 Amber { 10.23.14 at 1:59 pm }

Personally, I think that cuss words are pretty ugly. However, I myself have a pretty good potty mouth when I’m upset. Having coached teenage girls for 20 years, I’ve been around the high school a lot. The problem I have with kids cussing, even if it’s at home and not around other people, is that I think eventually it turns into every day conversation. Of course there are exceptions. I get that. There are just so many teenagers that don’t know how to communicate anymore, on any level. As for the video, well, it’s a pretty big turn off for me, even if I do agree with the topic. I’d feel the same if it were adults acting it out.

4 Alexicographer { 10.23.14 at 2:19 pm }

It’s not about this video (which I haven’t watched), but Karla Holloway’s recent piece on the topic of how we do (and don’t) involve our children in public protests (etc.) is an interesting read — http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/08/after_ferguson_shooting_black_parents_must_shield_their_children_opinion.html

5 Jessica { 10.23.14 at 7:41 pm }

I curse from time to time but, gratuitous cursing annoys me and I definitely don’t want my 4 year old to think cursing is okay.

As for the video, you’re right. Not cute at all. There are better ways to get their point across.

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 10.23.14 at 10:01 pm }

I think there’s more than enough unmanufactured shock in the world that we shouldn’t try to artificially add more.

Signed,
Undrama Queen

7 m. { 10.24.14 at 7:59 am }

Agreed with Lori. And you, Mel. Something about this vid rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t articulate it beyond me finding child actors kind of annoying. Do I agree with the message, yes. But something about a 5 yr old talking about pay inequality didn’t ring true. Less manufactured drama. more action supporting real change – that’s my hope.

Side note: I curse like a sailor, but I’ve been trying really, REALLY hard not to around my little guy who has reached the phase of repeating everything. I think that made me a little hypersensitive to these little voices dropping the F bomb. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wince each time.

8 tigger62077 { 10.24.14 at 9:02 am }

It actually wasn’t the verbal language I had the hardest time with; it was the non-verbal. I could pretend that the verbal was their own thing, and I know that kids can use body language like that, but they were CLEARLY acting. They had been taught how to do it and it bothered me enough that I couldn’t watch the whole thing. Combining the two was just too much. There are plenty of other ways to get their point across without this.

9 SecondVoice { 10.24.14 at 11:25 pm }

I’m conflicted about how I feel about the video, but ultimately I agree with you that the children depicted are obviously spokespeople for the adults who actually have those views, and that that is problematic. I wonder how the kids will feel about this video when they grow up.

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