Why Is Feminism More Offensive Than Rape, Inequality and the F-Word?

by on October 29, 2014 · 10 comments

in Civil Rights, Women's Rights

By Annie Lane

(The following video is censored, but still may be considered not safe for work.)

Feminism comes in many shapes and sizes, though if you ask author Karin Agness of the Time Magazine article Seriously? This Is What Passes for Feminism in America it appears that it should only ever manifest itself in the form of an 11-year-old girl who was shot in the head, as was the case for Malala Yousafzai.

Thankfully, Yousafzai survived the senseless and depraved attack on her life by the Taliban in 2012, and has gone on to be the voice for women’s rights in Pakistan. And the world is better because of her.

But according to Agness, American girls, such as the ones who appeared in the controversial FCKH8 video that went viral last week, don’t even graze the surface of what it means to be a Feminist. Instead, they are merely some part of a cheap marketing ploy to sell t-shirts:

The latest antic? Apparel company FCKH8 posted a video of young girls dressed as princesses using the F-word and gesturing with their middle fingers to try to bring attention to sexism. It’s uncomfortable to watch—not in the sense that it causes viewers to rethink long-held beliefs, but because it’s a cheap ploy. Toward the end, two adults appear hawking “This is what a feminist looks like” and “Girls just want to have fun-damental rights” t-shirts. The video ends with a young girl saying, “Swear jar? I don’t give a f**k.” This isn’t courageous or graceful.

Interesting. Because I would think that attacking and diminishing any message about the suffering of women is the very definition of cowardly and graceless. But she goes on:

The battles that women and girls like Malala are fighting each and every day make the so-called “war on women” in America appear laughable.

What? So because women in the United States have it better than those in Pakistan we should all clink our sewing needles together in celebration? Not every woman needs to be shot in the head to overcome abuses and thrive. They are not competing with Yousafzai; rather they are rallying as her sisters to fight against the injustices they face on their own turf. Needless to say, I’m disappointed that Time Magazine would print such drivel. But Agness’ shortsighted response speaks to a much more visceral issue: women in the United States simply can’t unite.

Someone once told me, “You know, if you women ever came together and agreed on anything, we men would all be f**ked.”

I’ve often thought the same. From the Ann Romneys to the Sarah Palins of the world, there are women who have either sat idly by the side of their anti-women husbands or have actively engaged in anti-women policies themselves. They are our downfall.

I got several responses from family and friends regarding the video. Most enjoyed it, but a few thought it was preaching to the choir. Another was put off by the inappropriate language.

“I wouldn’t want my 9-year-old daughter to talk like that.”

Here’s the thing: Why is it that a few f-bombs bother us more than the actual issues facing women today? Income inequality. Gender inequality. Rape. Abuse. These facts of life for some women should be raising our ire more than some foul language. In fact, they should be considered the foul language.

So getting back to the video. Despite all the f-bombs, this isn’t about offensive language in the slightest. It’s about the far more atrocious affront to women, and the desire of many to create change. Feminism can come in packages that are classy or crass, profound or plain. The delivery is unimportant as long as the messages keep coming.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeffeck October 29, 2014 at 10:56 am

I would love for you to list in detail what defines Todd Palin and Mitt Romney as “anti-women”.

Could you please tell me how many daughters each have?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie October 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm

You do recall the Republican “War on Women” and that Romney was head of the Republican party, right?

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Tyler October 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Mitt has binders full of women, if I recall….

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bodysurferbob bodysurferbob October 30, 2014 at 5:23 pm

omg tyler, i almost forgot about all those binders of women – got another sorry-ass chuckle out of it.

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Annie October 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Having daughters does not make you pro-women. It simply means 1) you have fertile sperm, and 2) the sperm that reached the egg carried the X-chromosome. Why am I explaining this to you?

As far as anti-women policies go, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin (not Todd, if you had read my inference correctly) have been vocal about each of the following:

– Staunch pro-life views, which denies a woman her own right to choose. Palin and Romney were both extremely vocal on this topic. Palin said she wouldn’t support her own daughter getting an abortion (as Bristol soon found out) and Romney going so far as to say he would cut off the funding to Planned Parenthood that was being used to provide cancer screenings – and only cancer screenings. Neither one even acknowledges that Planned Parenthood provides a slue of services beyond abortion.

– Equal pay for women. Romney and his campaign either stuttered or fell silent when asked about whether women should get equal pay. Sorry, but if you can’t answer yes to equal pay for equal work, then you support anti-women policies.

– Women in the workforce period. During Romney’s 15-year stint at Bain, only seven of the 87 directors and executives were women. Additionally, as Governor, Romney’s own cabinet saw a decline of women among the senior-level positions.

These are just a few quick examples. There are more, but the fact that you even asked makes me think I’ve already wasted my time.

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patty jones October 29, 2014 at 5:26 pm

A-fucking-men, sister.

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Bearded OBcean October 30, 2014 at 9:39 am

Interesting. On the one hand, you mention that feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. On the other hand, you bash Palin because you don’t agree with her view of it. Her politics may be unhinged, but isn’t her having her own point of view exactly what you’re arguing in favor of? Or is it necessary to align with yours?

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Annie October 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

Feminism (noun): the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

I fail to see how Sarah Palin’s political, social and economic beliefs and actions have aligned with the very definition of feminism. I’m not alone on this, either. Even conservatives who had voted Republican for years couldn’t get behind her, making Palin the primary reason McCain lost.

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Bearded OBcean October 30, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Perhaps what you view as the Palin end of feminism (for lack of a better term) is just a different brand of the same movement. Maybe their view is that women are already inherently equal to men, ie, why even many women didn’t support the Equal Rights Amendment, and they’re simply fighting for their own view of it; She just falls in the camp thinking that the ERA was insulting, rather than empowering.

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OB Joe OB Joe October 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm

That is the best vid I’ve seen …. Every man should see it and every boy should see it.

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