FCKH8 uses unorthodox tactics to support gender equality

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FCKH8 uses unorthodox tactics to support gender equality

Emily Mun, Editor In Chief

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FCKH8 is a well-known for-profit organization known for selling T-shirts with quirky slogans such as “Some Dudes Marry Dudes. Get Over It.”

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Actor Zac Efron wears a FCKH8 shirt to support same-sex marriage rights. (Photo courtesy of coolspotters.com)

It states on its website, fckh8.com, that it is a “for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission.”

Recently, FCKH8 has garnered a lot controversy and attention over its latest campaign to bring awareness to feminism.

In the video uploaded to FCKH8’s YouTube channel titled “Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism,” a group of young girls do indeed drop F-Bombs as the video tries to show that swearing little girls aren’t as bad as the pressing issues women face today.

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Young girls use profanity to promote feminism in a video produced by FCKH8, a group that stands for equality. (Photo courtesy of eriereader.com)

This controversial video has caused many online news sites and bloggers to not only reprimand the content of the video, but also addres other errors FCKH8 have made in the past.

Many bloggers, including Anne Thériault who runs a blog titled The Belle Jar, have criticized FCKH8 not only for exploiting little girls as props in its advertising but also for making these girls repeat facts about which they don’t have much knowledge.

“I feel sick that these children are being taught about subjects like rape so that a T-shirt company can make a provocative advertisement,” Thériault wrote on an Oct. 22 blog post.

Thériault went on to state that FCKH8 is making an advertisement to boost its own T-shirt sales.

Senior Kaelin Delaney, the president of Cal High’s feminism club, F-Word, also opposes using kids as puppets in ad campaigns.

“[Kids] don’t know what they’re saying,” Delaney said. “It’s very easy to indoctrinate children. They’re only saying what they’ve been told.”

Because FCKH8 is for-profit, many people question the validity of FCKH8’s motives and wonder if it is truly passionate about its social change mission.

FCKH8 states it has donated “over $250,000 to the equality cause through directly funded projects and donations to LGBT charities.”

But FCKH8 doesn’t disclose what charities it associates itself with and where consumers’ money is actually going.

Many companies whom FCKH8 claim to give money to deny association with the organization.

FCKH8 has not been constantly backing up the different and new sexualities and gender identities that have become prominent within the LGBT community.

The mass popularity of feminism in popular culture, thanks to the support of celebrities, such as Emma Watson and Beyoncé Knowles, have caused the company to start supporting feminism.

But all of this seems too timely. Only recently has FCKH8 been involved in these causes, perhaps adding new markets to sell its merchandise.

As FCKH8 broadens its T-shirts and wings to support various broad and pressing topics, it starts to tread a slippery slope.

As today’s society and culture tries to include people of all races, gender identities, and sexes into everyday life, there are many mistakes that FCKH8 have been making.

Senior Matthew Yeung feels  the organization should be more careful when trying to reach out and support such large and different groups.

“For me it’s sensitive because when you’re trying to do anti-violence work, you have to be very careful not to create spaces that are counter-productive of what the message is,” said Yeung. “Having little girls say profanity for feminism honestly paints a bad picture of feminism itself.”

Whether FCKH8 is trying to do something good for society or is garnering a lot of attention for its own profit is a question left up in the air. It’s up to FCKH8 to amend its behavior and learn from past mistakes.

“People mess up,” Delaney said. “If they’re trying to promote a whole movement, they need to be more careful with what they’re trying to do.”