General Fiction Personal

Modern Media Criticism Bores Me: Being Problematic

Maybe the writer had the wrong political opinions. Or, maybe there was a rape scene. Maybe there wasn't enough female characters or *insert minority here*. Either way- the crime of being problematic is enough to be 'cancelled.' It's as if that writers must write in a politically correct way if they don't want to deal with the backlash of entitled fans. Frankly, it's boring.

This media is problematic, says the advocate of modern media criticism.

Maybe the writer had the wrong political opinions. Or, maybe there was a rape scene. Maybe there wasn’t enough female characters or *insert minority here*. Either way- the crime of being problematic is enough to be ‘cancelled.’ It’s as if that writers must write in a politically correct way if they don’t want to deal with the backlash of entitled fans. Frankly, it’s boring. Modern media criticism does not celebrate the beauty and vastness of fiction. Instead, it insults it.

I don’t want to sit in my house all day, and discuss the ways J.K Rowling hates minorities. Tolkien hates women. C.S Lewis hates black people. Snore! Usually these claims are backed up by little evidence, or by the accuser having absurd standards. It’s also incredibly reductive: if your take-away from the Harry Potter series is that J.K Rowling hates minorities, then I don’t know what to tell you. That’s an incredibly sad way to view an amazing series.

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Modern media criticism encourages us to reduce literature to ‘problematic elements’ that need to be criticised. If I have to hear another discussion about toxic masculinity in Christopher Nolan movies, I’m going to scream.

It also pressures writers to write in a way that appeases the masses, and does not challenge them. I’m a writer, and rarely do I indicate the race or sexuality of my characters. Yet if I was a successful published author, I’d be criticised for not writing in a diverse way. However, that writing style is unnatural for me. If that’s what you personally require, don’t go out expecting all authors to write in a way that suits you. That’s why I can’t stand alot of media criticism- it demands that everyone write in a boring way to score purity points.

Before you scream ‘but Madeleine, you are a white woman, what do you know about being a minority?’ Well, I have news for you. If you look at an individual and only see a persons race, then that’s pathetic. You can make it sound justified as much as you like, but it’s sad and well, boring. I should mention that as a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome, I am technically classified as a minority.

What I can’t stand is entitled media criticism. It’s a form of censorship, born out the fear of not hurting anyones feelings. Well, hate to break it to you- but great literature does hurt people’s feelings. It challenges, it forces people to grow. There’s nothing majestic about a novel that tries to make everyone happy.

Either way- every author has the right to develop stories in any way they want. The rights of an individual trumps the individual’s desire to not get their feelings hurt. You are allowed to want unproblematic and divserse literature. But you are not allowed to demand that every writer does what you want.

This post was a rant, but you can read more here about why I advocate for ‘problematic’ literature.

So, am I cancelled? 😏

What are your thoughts about ‘problematic literature’? Comment below, and let’s start a discussion!

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