In a society that often considers the word “feminism” as offensive as dropping the “F-bomb,” recording young girls dressed as princesses, spewing vulgarities without pause, seemed to be a creative, thought-provoking way to get people talking about the elephant in the room: gender inequality.

However, in the video that has gone viral, with over one million views of these “Potty-Mouthed Princesses,” the response has people focusing less on the message of gender inequality and more on the unconventional delivery of the message from its pint-sized messengers.

Who can blame them? Despite my belief that the discrimination inherent in our society is much more detrimental to women and young girls than cursing is, it has also made me question whether these young girls are being exploited by allowing them to participate in this video, spewing profanity an average of once every nine seconds, over the two and a half minute video.

I find the cursing in the video distracting, and the vulgarity  ultimately detracts from the relevant and very urgent message that feminists are trying to share with the public: the discrimination and abuse that women and young girls face daily.

Feminist movements have been on the rise lately, perhaps the most notable being Emma Watson’s “HeForShe” campaign, and her acclaimed address regarding the movement, which she gave to the United Nations this past September. In the address, she identified herself as a feminist, despite “feminism” being an unpopular word in our society.

Although her well-crafted, intelligent speech initially sparked great discussion and debate, with positive support from both men and women, it appears to that this attempt to raise awareness  about solving gender inequality has taken a back seat due to the salacious nature of the video.

Why does the notion of gender inequality continue to sink below the surface? Despite more men and women identifying as feminists, it remains an unpopular title.

I believe the reason for the unpopularity is because when one identifies as a feminist, he or she is immediately labeled as a “man-hater.” Therefore, the message that one tries to spread is dismissed.

The desire to speak up for equal rights becomes less desirable, especially when the person speaking may not feel that gender inequality impacts his or her life directly.

However, in Emma Watson’s powerful speech, she explains that gender inequality should be everyone’s concern, and that it does in fact affect everyone. Presently, with the notoriety that “Potty-Mouthed Princesses” has acclaimed, the topic of gender inequality is somewhat lost in an arguably misguided attempt to raise awareness of a serious gender issue.

Through an in-class analysis of “Potty-Mouthed Princesses,” I asked myself: Am I supposed to laugh at this video?

While the message is a somber one, the natural reaction that my classmates and I shared was to laugh it off because we never expected to see such a ridiculous delivery, that bordered on satire. At first, it left me wondering why we are more offended by young girls cursing than we are about the discrimination and abuse that women and young girls face daily.

However, the longer I observed the video, the more I realized how damaging it can be to not only the girls being told to use vulgar language, but also to the feminist movement as a whole. The excessive nature of the cursing and the decision to have young girls deliver the expletives is unsettling. Does the end justify the means? When is it okay to exploit children? The answer is, children should never be utilized in a way that clearly stretches the boundaries of acceptable social behavior.

The creators of the video clearly had an important message that they wanted to deliver, which was that gender inequality is pervasive and needs to be addressed.

Although using these young girls promoted the notion that bias and inequality among women is an issue that must be addressed, the video approached the issue in the wrong way.

The video has ultimately caused many to take their focus off of the important reality that women face multiple forms of gender inequality throughout their lives, and instead focus on how repugnant they believe the exploitive nature of the video to be.

The ensuing backlash has made it quite likely that the feminists behind the “Potty-Mouthed Princesses” video have soured more people to the idea that feminism is not an inherently bad position to stand by.

By fostering further resentment towards the community that is striving for equality and safety, for both men and women, there will only be more hurdles for feminist groups to overcome.

Although these hurdles may only be temporary, and perhaps other feminist groups will break out and create movements that positively impact the cause of gender inequality, it appears that the “Potty-Mouthed Princesses” has become detrimental to the community as a whole.


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-- Online Editor-in-Chief Emeritus-- Digital Journalism

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