Your Fave Is Problematic

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Tumblr
Name: yourfaveisproblematic
Date(s): March 2013 – July 2014
Submissions:
Type: callouts
Fandom: Pan-fandom/Celebrity
Scope: callouts, puriteens, and receipts
URL: your fave is problematic, Archived version
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Your Fave Is Problematic is the title of a Tumblr blog with the url yourfaveisproblematic known for its callout posts. The blog was created in the spring of 2013 by users callingoutbigotry and crazyslothlady. Its purpose was to list instances of problematic statements and actions by celebrities and other popular cultural figures. These examples (or "receipts") received a great deal of criticism for being frequently exaggerated, taken out of context, lacking nuance, or describing events the incriminated figure had long since apologized for.

The blog itself was largely ridiculed and scorned due to its promotion of callout culture and its questionable use of the word "problematic" as a euphemistic shorthand for bigoted beliefs and behavior. A major point was the blog's lack of nuance in defining in all different degrees as "problematic," therefore trivializing serious offenses. Slews of parody posts ran abound.

However, consequentially, "problematic" has since entered the popular lexicon to describe prejudiced or harmful attitudes and actions, both due to the blog and the subsequent ironic usage of the word. A "problematic fave" is a person or thing that has exhibited "problematic" (racist, sexist, etc.) behavior but for whom the speaker's affection has not diminished.

See Purity Culture in Fandom.

Publishing lists of celebrities' alleged wrongs was hardly a new practice at that time; the blog celebreceipts did it in much the same fashion as "Your Fave Is Problematic" but never took off in quite the same way. The practice was also popular on LiveJournal many years before.

The blog's output slowed in 2014, and the last formal callout was posted in July 2014.

In 2021, the author of the blog wrote an article for The New York Times, My Year of Grief and Cancellation.[1]

Notable Posts

Of note was a post detailing the alleged offenses of popular YA author John Green, including a completely baseless and isolated rumor of him physically touching a young female fan at a book signing, the source of which coming from a single random anonymous message sent to user strawberreli. Green somewhat exasperatedly apologized for the various grievances and dispelled the rumor, citing his social anxiety and fear of being touched. The incident did much to turn many users against "Your Fave Is Problematic" within days after its formation.

Criticism

The issues with yourfaveisproblematic are summarized in a post by factsinallcaps: {{Quotation|Anonymous asked: why do you hate the "your fave is problematic" blog?

MY MAIN ISSUE WITH THEM IS THAT THE WAY THEY HANDLE THINGS IS TOO REDUCTIVE AND BLACK-AND-WHITE. ON THAT BLOG, WHETHER THEY WANT TO ADMIT IT OR NOT, THERE IS A BINARY BETWEEN “PROBLEMATIC” AND “NOT PROBLEMATIC,” AND THAT IS AS NUANCED AS THEIR DISCOURSE GETS.

THERE IS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN A MICROAGGRESSION AND FULL-FLEDGED AGGRESSION. THERE IS NO GRADATION BETWEEN OFFENSES. IT’S KIND OF LIKE A “MURDER, ARSON, AND JAYWALKING” SITUATION.

THERE’S ALSO MY GENERAL DISDAIN FOR THE WORD “PROBLEMATIC.” IMAGINE IF YOUR DOCTOR DIAGNOSED YOU AS “DEFINITELY SICK” BUT DIDN’T TELL YOU WHAT DISEASE YOU HAVE. ALSO IMAGINE THAT YOUR DOCTOR COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE IN SEVERITY BETWEEN A GUNSHOT WOUND AND A PAPERCUT.

ALSO, THEY ARE INCREDIBLY DISMISSIVE AND DISRESPECTFUL WHEN THEY SCREW UP. SOMETIMES THEY WILL CALL A BEHAVIOR “PROBLEMATIC” AND PEOPLE FROM THE GROUP IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE OFFENSIVE TO WILL TELL THEM IT’S ACTUALLY THE PREFERRED LANGUAGE AND THAT IT’S MORE INVALIDATING TO POLICE THE WORDS WE USE TO DESCRIBE OURSELVES.

IN MY EXPERIENCE THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE OF MENTAL ILLNESS DISCOURSE, BECAUSE THE THINGS THAT BLOG LISTS AS PROBLEMATIC TO MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE ARE OFTEN SO INSIGNIFICANT TO MOST OF US THAT WE CAN’T EVEN IDENTIFY WHERE THE PROBLEM IS SUPPOSED TO BE.

AND IT’S JUST A TON OF LITTLE STUFF THAT ANNOYS ME BEYOND THAT. THEY MAY HAVE EDITED IT SINCE THEN, BUT I REMEMBER THEY ONCE LISTED NICKI MINAJ’S USE OF THE WORD “INDIAN” TO DESCRIBE PEOPLE WITH ANCESTRY FROM INDIA AS PROBLEMATIC, EVEN THOUGH THAT IS LITERALLY HER ETHNICITY.

AND WHEN THEY PULL CRAP LIKE THAT, EVERY LEGIT CRITICISM OF A CELEBRITY LOSES ITS CREDIBILITY IN LOT OF PEOPLE’S EYES. WHEN THEY HEAR THAT BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH HAS SAID SOME TRULY AWFUL THINGS ABOUT NEURODIVERGENT PEOPLE, NOW THEY JUST DISMISS IT AS YFIP-STYLE EXAGGERATION LIKE THE TIME THEY SAID HE WAS ABLEIST FOR USING THE PHRASE “GO NUTS.”[2]

References

  1. ^ My Year of Grief and Cancellation, Archived version
  2. ^ 28TH APR 2015 Anonymous asked: why do you hate the "your fav is problematic" blog?, Archived version accessed March 2019