Everything wrong with this stupid video on the internet

In true Cantab style, JOE GOODMAN vents his fury

Problematic slacktivist campaigns are nothing new, not least to The Tab.

Over the last couple of terms we’ve seen articles attacking the #nomakeupselfie hashtag, the ASL ice-bucket challenge and countless other long-forgotten social media causes. But this new one from Italian newspaper fanpage.it has got to win the prize. I thought I’d run through still by still to see exactly what is wrong with this ingenious piece of subterfuge and for that matter the 400,000 people who’ve endorsed it.

Let’s start at the beginning. They’re using kids. That’s cute. I guess this must be about the innocence of childhood and the corruptive influences of the adult world. Let’s hope they don’t attach any stereotypes to them or, in an ironic twist, apply their own corrupting influences through their questions…

Here you go little Santonio, this is Martina. She represents women in this little allegory, and true to a history of structural oppression she will remain silent throughout this entire interaction.

Now, bearing in mind she has so far uttered not a single word, what exactly is it you like about her Santonio? Remember, as a man, it is your role to remind Martina where her value lies. You must like something about her, she’s been standing there for nearly 3 seconds now.

Now caress her. Touch her with your hands. On the arm, face, hair, don’t worry about where. HAHAHA Why are you looking so awkward? You don’t need to reach a level of personal intimacy with someone to do that, you don’t need to make sure that’s alright with her. This is a woman remember, you are a man.

OK, now make a silly face at her. Something that says little kids being little kids. That’s what kids do right? We need to channel ‘the innocence of youth’ before this final bit.

That’s great. OK now hit her Santonio. Hit her hard. Don’t look at me like that, you heard what I said. Slap her.

No? What do you mean ‘No’? I thought we were building a rapport here: I reel off conventionally sexist instructions and you follow suit. Don’t look so horrified that a responsible adult is telling you to assault someone for the sake of a video; it’s society that’s fucked up not me.

Waaaaaaaaait a minute, now everything makes sense: They can’t hit her cos she’s a girl. We need a boy, where’s Martin?

CORRECTION: They can’t hit her because she’s pretty, but also because she’s a girl. On second thoughts Martin, maybe Mart would be a better choice.

What! Not even with a flower? But girls love flowers. I saw someone give a woman a flower in a movie once. Surely hitting them with one is only a logical extension.

Aaaaaaand The End. So if you missed that, ‘In the kid world, women don’t get hit because men don’t hit women because they’re men’. Nice, if not a bit circular.

I prefer this kid’s response personally, though I find it funny he only features towards the end. I’m imagining his absence from the first part of the video was something to do with his persistent undermining of the interviewer’s instructions: chatting with Martina or asking for permission to caress her, or enquiring about the nature of her relationship with a film-maker who is trying to get other kids to assault her.

Watch the full video below