Here’s one reason I don’t spend much time on tumblr at the moment. I’m going to be blunt, and quite honestly hateful towards at least some of my followers (who can go ahead and unfollow if they feel uncomfortable or w/e).
The term problematic is a shitty measuring stick. It shouldn’t ever be used as though the term is self-evident and conclusive.
What do you even mean by problematic? And are you talking for a group (or an entire culture) to which you don’t fucking belong? Do you really think that “problematic” is where it ends, no discussion?
Listen, 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2 here. When you’re talking about society, people, basically structures that rely on subjectivity, you sound naive and lost when you say something like, “Liking [___] promotes/excuses/normalizes [___].” How the fuck. Have you ever learned about audience reception? Cause textual analysis doesn’t fucking cut it.
You can pretend that you like or do not like things based on the morality/problematics you perceive in them, but every single person I’ve known who did this would twist themselves in knots to write off their own hypocrisy.
Hey, I don’t care, I’m gonna say it: in fiction, I like noncon, dubcon, some level of guro/abuse, manipulation, abusive relationships, incest, and some other things that probably would earn me one of those ridiculous callout posts. Someone once told me they felt weird seeing me have opinions about fic plots because they knew I like noncon. Apparently liking noncon bans you from having opinions, ever, or at least expecting anyone to treat you as anything more than a Bad Person who has to be Silenced.
It’s not like I don’t know they’re problematic; I fucking like them because they are. That doesn’t mean I’m not critically engaging at all. I honestly think that I probably engage more critically than the majority of the high-horse, pure-as-crystal people who like to throw shit without reflecting. There’s so little [room for] thought with that mentality.
Hey, let’s talk about how ending it at “this is problematic and bad, and so are you,” is intellectually pathetic. I’m personally interested in thinking about why something is problematic, why it appeals to people, and how they interact with it. And of course, enjoying it in spaces that don’t involve perpetrators of those things. Liking it doesn’t mean excusing it in real life.
Cause, y’know, 1 + 1 can’t equal 2 when the equation is being applied carelessly and to something it doesn’t fit.
Abusing entire groups of people for a ship, show, whatever they like that’s problematic, especially when they keep to themselves and are not denying the problematic aspects as what they are, is so much more vicious and unforgivable to me. When I try to figure out why they bother, it always comes down to the harasser wanting to fucking harass people and dressing that desire in terms that do not justify their actions in the least.
The act of liking and enjoying the ~wrong~ fictional thing doesn’t justify that vitriol. But some people hate fun, I guess. They’d rather delude themselves. Go ahead, but leave others the hell out of it.
Edit: There was something I saw on tumblr once that stuck with me in a good way. It ended with the sentence, “You gotta be kind.” That’s what I think of when I want to approach lots of these issues. It’s not all-or-nothing, and that’s a positive thing.