Forgive me, I have to rant a bit about Tumblr.
Tumblr has never held a great appeal for me. Most of the posts seem to consist of edited gifs, reblogs, rants and spiels. Nothing conducive to real conversation. Occasionally, I’ll drop by to see if there’s some fandom news that I missed (a new movie coming out, actor interview, ect), but I rarely hang around.
The other day I discovered that the community is truly as immature as its content. Basically I’m scrolling through the hashtag when I encounter a long post. It’s a feminist rant. By no means am I against feminism but I AM against hysteria and villainizing when the facts don’t back up your argument. Basically, this person was claiming how Book 3 of the Legend of Korra was completely sexist and therefore bullshit, mostly because it included a caricature of Empress Cixi.
Now, I thought, “This person is really jumping the gun here. So, the writer pokes some fun at this Chinese empress. Big deal.” While Cixi was a pragmatic ruler, her actions certainly warrant her Machiavellian reputation. It’s kind of like defending Richard III. Did Richard enact reforms during his reign? Yes. He also had his nephews murdered. Disregarding the empress, the rest of the episodes have centered around the female characters and given them meaningful (nonromantic) story arcs. (Besides, when the most vocal “shipping” concerns a lesbian relationship, sexism is probably not the main issue at hand) Furthermore, the episode with the highest production value was written by Katie Matilla. So, I decide to respond.
That’s when the problem starts. For one thing, this person has started a debate but didn’t activate the reply option. OK, I’ll reblog then. The only problem, the post is a complete and utter mess. There are about ten nested threads in the post, chock-full of fawning and brown-nosing. (“Oh, you’re so right…” “I was thinking the same thing…” blah, blah, blah…) I delete the post and just include my own reply. To make it obvious that it’s just a reply, I don’t include any tags.
I receive the rudest dismissal consisting of a ‘Fuck You’ and accusations that I’m kowtowing to the creators of the series. Also, because I didn’t include her original post, that meant all of my points were automatically wrong. What, your followers are too stupid to follow the link to the original post? Are you too stupid to remember your own post? Forgive me for starting a conversation with a full-of-herself 14 year old girl. I should have known better.
Besides, she didn’t offer a single retort to my valid argument. :-) I’ve had disagreements before on WordPress, but they’ve also been handled in a mature, reasonable fashion and led to some interesting conclusions. This person’s behavior was uncalled for.
Based on that experience, I won’t devote my time to developing my Tumblr page. Obviously, it functions solely as an echo chamber for immature teenagers rather than a true debate and writing forum. The very structure of the website supports my view. How can you have a community when your only real options are liking and reblogging? How can you have a community when the vast majority of posts are reblogged screenshots lacking commentary? Tumblr basically fulfills a teenager’s need for popularity without any input of time and effort on his or her part.