As part of my resolution to call stuff out, I’ve been, you know, calling stuff out and one of the responses that bugs me is this one: “I’m a huge fan of [TV show, toy, company]. I see no problem with this.”
The first time I got a reply like this, I wanted to say well bully for you. Oh, if you don’t have a problem with it, person on the internet, then it must be fine. You’re right and I’m wrong. I’ll shut up now. But I didn’t say that – actually I kind of did, I messaged it to a friend, but I didn’t say it publicly. Publicly I said “I’m also a fan of [this thing] which is why I’m disappointed that they did [this sexist thing] and I want them to do better.”
Questioning or criticising something doesn’t mean you don’t/can’t love it. The West Wing is still one of my favourite TV shows of all time, even though there are quite a few moments in the show that make me wince from a feminist perspective (and one – in my all-time favourite episode, Celestial Navigation, that makes me shout “WTF, Josh?!” every time I watch it).
If you like something does that really mean you have to blindly like every single little thing about it. No matter what? How is that even possible? I mean, I love my husband and kids more than anything, but they do things that annoy me pretty much every day. If I went through life pretending they didn’t, saying “I love them! I have no problem with that! Everything’s fine!” people would worry about me. And rightly so.
Plus if you love something, why wouldn’t you want it to be the best it can be? Why wouldn’t you want the writer/company/whatever to look at what’s upsetting people and address it. Actually, that’s another point – just because you may love something so much that you’ll forgive anything, that doesn’t mean everyone has to. If other people have a problem with something, what use is you denying that? Isn’t it a bit *fingers in ears* “La la! I’m not listening!”
Anyway, I found this brilliant blog post – How to be a fan of problematic things – that explains it much better than me.