I will start this post by saying that I may piss off a few people with what I am about to say, but really if I am honest with myself I don’t care. You see in our house fuck is not a bad word, neither is shit, crap, goddammit, or a plethora of other words that the mainstream may find offensive. Our rule here is that as long as you use it in the right context it’s fine, oh ya and don’t use it at school because Mommy and Daddy will get in trouble.
However, we do have other words that we have banned from this house as they are hurtful, disrespectful and down right ugly if used towards other people. Some of those words are “Stupid” which is the “S” word in our house, “Shut Up” another bad “S” word, “Hate” a very, very strong word that you better mean it if you are saying it, especially in regards to another human being and “FAT” the “F” word. Today I want to talk about the “F” word and how it recently impacted our household.
The other night I brought out a game for the kids, it was a match-up game that had cards to match for numbers, letters, and opposites. We were working on the opposite cards and as the kids were matching them up we were discussing the meaning of them and why they were opposites. They found one-half a card that said “THIN” on it. I was very tentative about where this was going to go as they rummaged through the other cards to find the match, and to my disappointment, the other half did indeed say “FAT” on it, which I was so hoping it wouldn’t. My 5 year old being able to read the word asked me why their game would have such a nasty word in it? I did not want to make a huge deal about it in front of them and just explained that the people who made the game must have made a mistake putting that match up in there. I also reiterated to them that it was a word we did not use and that we never ever called anyone else or ourselves.
I pulled that match up out of the game and stewed over it for a day or two, until I showed some friend’s, who were all as shocked as I was and one who said that she felt it was politically incorrect for that to be in there, and that it was as bad as a match up card that might say “SMART” and “STUPID” on it. Having my feelings about it confirmed, I decided to write the company a letter expressing my feelings.
The following is a copy of that letter:
I am extremely concerned, upset and rather confused about one of the opposite puzzle match ups you have in your Early Learning Puzzle Set. The card had the opposite words “FAT” and “THIN”.
My concern became immediate when my 4-year-old boy/girl twins and my 5-year-old daughter were beginning to look for the opposite to “THIN”, I was shocked to see the word “FAT”. As it was we were discussing the meaning of the opposites as they matched them and they know in our house “FAT” is the “F” word. They knew this and wondered why it would be a part of their game. I was upset to have to explain to them that it was not a nice word and that we should never use it, just like we do not say stupid, or shut up or any of the other expletives that are harsher than that towards other people.
In today’s day and age, I am confused as to how anyone could think that this was a good idea to put in a child’s game? It truly amazes me that this match up made it past all the eyes that must have seen it before it went off to print, and nobody thought it might be a bad idea, especially as a society that is striving to eliminate labels, name calling and body image issues.
I have shown it to several of my Mom friends and as one of them commented, “It is Politically Incorrect to use that word”. Needless to say all of them were shocked by the match up card.
While these words are roughly each other’s opposites, they carry very different emotional and social implications. Let’s be honest, calling someone “FAT” in is an insult, plain and simple!
SpiceBox Products Ltd. you really dropped the ball on this one!”
I am truly am not the type of person who gets up in arms about things, and I very, very, very rarely ever write a letter to a company if or when I am upset about their product, I usually opt to just leave well enough alone, but this one really stuck with me.