Monday, February 25, 2013

Something (I hope) we can all agree on

I'm veering away from my usual topics today because I just read about this and I am so angry I cannot even see straight. The Onion thought it would be funny to call Quvenzhane Wallis, who was a nominee for Best Actress for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, the c-word.  As a joke.

People who know me in real life know that I have a somewhat brutal and sarcastic sense of humor.  But I do have lines I don't cross, and there are things that other people think are funny that I don't.  C'est la vie.

However. I think we can all agree that calling a nine-year-old girl the c-word is actually not funny. (God, please tell me that we all agree on this.)  Quvenzhane Wallis is a child. She may be a public figure but she's still a kid, a little girl, and I cannot imagine how awful it would be to have grown adults who bloody well know better use that kind of language about you when you're a kid.  It really troubles me that someone thought it was appropriate to go there.  If that makes me a humorless harpy, I really don't care.  Sometimes people don't laugh at your stupid jokes not because they're humorless or because they're PC, but because your joke actually isn't funny.  In this case, it was out-and-out bullying.

She is a child.

She is an actress.  She's by all accounts a very talented one.  She is also a child.

The Onion owes her a huge apology.  And my god, I just want to give that kid a hug.

Update: The Onion issued an apology on its Facebook page.  There are people who are still bleating about satire and acting like it's the second coming of Stalin for adults to get static when they call a nine-year-old girl the c-word.  I cannot even with some people. If you think targeting a kid is okay, I think you're a terrible person.


  1. Yikes. I'm definitely with you on this one. I love the Onion, but that is definitely crossing a line. Nine is way too young to be the target of rude sarcasm. I certainly hope her agents/parents/guardians make sure she never hears of it.

    1. I was glad to see they apologized. I get what they were trying to do, but that's not the way to do it. And call me a humorless harpy, but I agree with you--she's nine. That's just so not cool. Unfortunately, I'm sure word got to her but I'm glad to see a lot of people voiced their support of her.

  2. Eugh, I absolutely detest that word. I don't know if it's the same in the US, but it's the absolute rudest word in the UK. My Dad swears like a sailor at times, but even he refuses to say that!

    Even if they hadn't used that word, it's not big or clever to insult a little girl! I guess someone thought it would be funny, but that was a bad error in judgement!

    P.S. Hi Pamela! Sorry I've not been around these parts lately!

    1. It's a really rude word here. I'm no prude when it comes to cussing (as you'll find out if you're ever a passenger in my car when I'm driving in Boston, seriously, THAT PLACE IS A HORROR SHOW) but that's NOT a word I'd use lightly, let alone in reference to a child.

      And no worries, I can totally get the busy thing. I haven't been all that visible myself. Good to see you!

  3. The c-word is used to reduce a woman to her body part as if that is all she is worth, all she is. She is not a mouth to speak her wishes, just a little dirty work for a man's desires.

    You get what they were trying to do? What were they trying to do?

    This word was used because she was a female of color. She is a racial thing. Women of color have historically been seen as being slutty, oversexualized, promiscuous.

    The fact that she was put in a dress in the style of a grown woman is bad enough. She needed to be dressed in a style befitting a little girl. I will never say that a woman deserves anything because of her style of dress. But, the Onion reporter probably feels he can take liberties because she is portrayed in adult clothing.

    What was the Onion trying to do? I have no clue unless the guy is a pedophile.

    When I read that, I felt sick to my stomach. Seriously, I thought I was going to throw up. I have two daughters and two granddaughters that are being affected by a sick world. I always have hope that things have changed. Things have not changed, not really.

    1. I *think* what they were trying to do was be so ludicrous because everyone thinks she's adorable, sort of like "That Audrey Tautou, she probably really has a hobby of kicking puppies amirite?". But I'm gobsmacked that they thought it was at all appropriate to even go there. Wallis is a kid. And it's sickening that they'd use that word--even ironically--in connection with her.

      I agree with you that black girls are targeted for this; you never saw The Onion call Dakota Fanning that word, even in jest, even in trying to show that actually, the opposite was true. It's an ugly word and it shouldn't be used to describe children (really, for anyone, but especially kids). People freak out over what kids see and hear unless they're black, in which case it's all irony and totally okay. It really is sickening.

      I disagree that her dress was too grown up for her, though. I'm looking at it here ( and it looks like a perfectly appropriate dress for a kid. She's rocking a puppy purse--everything about her says "I'm a young girl." I don't think The Onion tweeter felt s/he could take liberties based on the way she was dressed, I think they felt free to go there because she's a black girl.