**Graphic Language Warning**
You know you’re getting old, and possibly out of ‘the loop’, when you see an acronym on the internet, and you have to turn to Google Search to understand it. I needed to do this today after reading a Facebook post.
My best friend’s fifteen year old daughter announced she was in a relationship, and the second comment, posted by one of her male school peers, was “F.H.R.I.T.P.” My search quickly informed me that it means “Fuck Her Right In The Pussy”. My initial response – disbelief, disgust, then anger.
This comment “Fuck Her Right In The Pussy” is not a subtle one, so I apologise in advance that my response to it is neither subtle nor equivocal.
I have only recently come across this phrase, and the wide-spread use of it, after watching a video of a female reporter interviewing a group of soccer fans in Canada. During her interview, one of the fans interjects with “Fuck her right in the pussy!”. She stops the sports related interview to ask the interjector whether he had been waiting specifically for an opportunity to say “F.H.R.I.T.P.” His response is ultimately ‘boys will be boys’, and ‘it’s funny’. Another fan includes himself in the interview and rejects any suggestion by the reporter that calling out that phrase is sexual harassment or wrong.(1)
I’m not going to go into the history behind this phrase – you can do your own research on Google – but suffice to say it’s been around a couple of years, and it’s considered a prank or something funny to say, particularly in the background when on television live-to-air interviews. All manner of men, and boys (as young as nine years old), call it out, share memes about it, and of course, post it as a comment on Facebook threads.
Today, when that fifteen year old school boy typed “F.H.R.I.T.P.” on a relationship status post, he was saying, or at the very least implying, one of following things:
- He thinks women/girls are ‘things’. They are only sexual objects and it is totally reasonable, and desirable, to suggest “fucking her right in the pussy”.
- He believes female sexuality is for males to possess as they see fit. A female’s anatomy, in this case “pussy”, is a disembodied play thing, effectively a piece of “meat”, for male’s to enjoy/use.
- He has little, if any, connection with seeing a whole person – with feelings, needs, and desires. He can easily disconnect from that person as a woman, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and reduce her to merely a sexual object.
- He doesn’t get it. It’s something he’s heard said, seen written, and because it’s “funny” or lots of people do it, he has no concept of how harmful or hurtful it is.
- He is inciting abuse. At best he is objectifying a female body; at worst he is encouraging rape.
Let’s be clear here – men and boys out there are saying, thinking, and believing this stuff. It’s not some harmless prank or joke, it’s degrading and it’s dangerous. As much as we can feel protective of our daughters, sisters, girlfriends and mothers, and empower them against this sort of sexual objectification and harassment, what we must really do is educate our boys.
“Fuck Her Right In The Pussy” is the language of abuse, oppression, and violence. It’s out there on YouTube, Facebook, and other internet sites. It’s being accessed, often innocently, by young impressionable boys who don’t understand the gravity of such words. Many of the boys that will yell out on live-to-air television are not bad boys. They are misguided, and like with many stupid actions, they have not thought it through.
What are your sons, brothers, nephews and friends saying on the internet (or in person) about women?
Please. Have a conversation with the boys/men in your life about “F.H.R.I.T.P”. When you ask them if they’ve seen it, ask them not only what it says, but what it means.
Let this be an opportunity to educate our boys, that these words – and others like them – are not acceptable. Explain to them why it is not acceptable. Let us teach our boys the worth of every human being, regardless of gender or sexuality. Teach them that good citizens – male and female – build each other up, not tear them down.