Welcome to PROBLEMATIC, the newsletter.
Why “Problematic”? Because that’s what people started calling me, as soon as I stopped identifying with the current liberal narrative, and started drifting towards the middle, and letting myself say what I really thought about what’s going on in our culture.
Here, I want the freedom to write about topics that many people consider to be… problematic. I don’t agree that I’m problematic, of course. In fact, I think having off-limit topics, and one-right-way-to-think, is problematic. But, that’s the irony, I guess.
It’s possible it the name Problematic will eventually end up feeling too limiting, and people will expect nonstop drama, and I’ll end up changing it back to my name, Caroline Dooner. Don’t be shocked if that happens.
However, this is not actually a political substack at all. And not everything I write about going forward will be what they call “problematic” or salacious. Lots will just be absurd posts and some storytelling. But… because what I’ve gone through in the past few years is so “politicized” and polarizing, in order to talk about those experiences, I inherently have to mention politics sometimes.
Both Sides Think I’m Problematic
People on the right have long been annoyed by my cursing and my general liberalness. I was a liberal musical theater girl, living in NYC, who wrote two books with “F*CK” in the title. I used to parrot that ‘you can’t be body positive if you’re conservative.’ ‘Body liberation is a social justice ISSUE.’ But I now see: that’s too black and white.
I’d get DMs saying: Why do you have to curse? Why can’t you just rename your book so it’s more universal? I want to share this with my mother and church friends. You’d have SO many more readers if you would stop cursing. Conservatives need to need to heal their relationship with food too. I’d bristle.
And now that I’m losing my religion (the fundamental religion of liberal “social justice”), I get wayyyyy worse DMs from leftists (who used to “love” me) saying… horrrrible things. I’m dangerous, I’m harmful, I’m killing people by being anti-mandate… in fact, the mildest label they give me is “problematic.”
Somehow, I’ve ended up this extremely polarizing person on instagram. But, I have never wanted to be polarizing. People who are here from instagram may not believe that, but it’s true. I am just looking for the freedom to write about what intrigues me, and what feels true. Unfortunately, that’s turned out to be polarizing.
I am still socially liberal in many ways, I’ve just developed an allergy to the group-think. And once you’re not allowed to say or think something… we sometimes have to wonder… why.
Every time I say, “I’m not liberal anymore,” my mom says: “Caroline but you are, because you’re for liberty! These current liberals are not liberals!” And that is true… this is a confusing semantics issue… because I’m sure I’d be a liberal from the 1970s. But I am not a 2022 liberal.
I am politically homeless.
But, I’m not a journalist or political commentator.
I’m a storyteller. And this is my newsletter.
Ok, so who am I
I had a new photoshoot this past year, and I had the idea to try to look like a serious author for a serious author photo, but I ended up just looking depressed.
This was the happiest looking one:
Anyway, I am also a recovering instagram addict. So, substack is my way to have more long-form content, with a paywall for some of the things that I don’t want as easily accessible.
Here, I’m going beyond anti-diet content
I’ve been writing about all things anti-diet for ten years at this point. And as amazing as it’s been, I’m burnt out on it! I just am. I’m healed. I don’t worry about food anymore. I’ve said almost everything I want to say on it (though I’ll definitely still be talking about it here and there, because not dieting is a part of my life now, even though it’s second nature. And I’ll definitely have new, evolved thoughts on it as I live my life going forward…)
But, instead, I’m going to be writing about other things on here, and zooming out my focus. I’ll be talking about lots of things that Tired as F*ck was a launching pad for. Writing about extremism. Writing about cult mentality. Writing about perfectionism. And also, writing about internet woke/mob culture and being disenchanted with the binary of politics, and how I’m navigating holding more nuance in my outlook. I’m also going to be writing about where my head is now after two years of nonstop draconian “health” brainwashing. Yanno, “problematic” stuff. Why is everyone on the left so trusting of the government and big business right now? Why we all worshipping the CDC and WHO right now? Didn’t you guys read how corrupt it is in The F*ck It Diet?!?!
Lots of people think I’m taking a deep turn from what I believed before, but… it’s actually pretty consistent with the body autonomy, and don’t believe every health rule the government tells you that I’ve always written about and believed in.
If you’re interested in learning more about The F*ck It Diet, and why you’re not a food addict, no matter how crazy you are around food… find out everything here.
SO! What can you expect here?
First, you can expect typos. So so so many typos. There will never ever be an email I send without millions of typos. I will eventually find and fix the typos when I re-read the post a few days after sending it, but… there will be typos in your emails. No question.
Not everything will be “problematic” or on the problematic theme.
Right now, this is the schedule I’m going to try: 2 free posts a month. 2 paid posts a month. (Meaning people who pay get 4 posts a month.) And they will alternate, free, paid, free, paid, and they’ll come once a week. Let’s try that out and see how that goes.
Serious stuff. I am a very serious lady who has very serious thoughts about the world and emotions and nature and the government and our nervous systems and eating disorders and the true nature of happiness.
Stupid stuff. I am also a very stupid lady, who has absurd thoughts about everything, who didn’t even realize that even if you put something in the freezer, it will not last forever. I thought food frozen in ice was preserved like Captain America. I’m still learning so much. Despite being sometimes wise, I am still very stupid.
Hopefully audio. I moved my podcast over to substack, though, I’m very shoddy with updating it these days. But I’m also hoping that there is a way to make all posts also audio posts for those who pay? There isn’t exactly a simple way to do that yet on substack. (This was actually a request from my mother: Caroline I don’t have time to read substacks but if you made it audio I could listen in the car. Well mom, I don’t really know if I want you to read my substack ANYWAY. However, she is right.) So, more on that soon. I’ve heard that’ll be a feature pretty soon.
Why Substack? Why not a regular blog?
Substack does not censor their writers. So, Instagram can suck it. I’ve been in instagram jail for months. Today, August 4th 2022, I was supposed to be out of instagram jail. But I checked my account status and it looks like they’ve changed their minds.
This substack newsletter is my way to rely less on instagram, and start sharing more long-form writing again, with a paywall for some of the things that I don’t want as easily accessible, and more premium content, so I can support myself as a writer while I figure out my third book... You can read about me and instagram here: My instagram days are numbered.
In 2020, I started noticing how many taboo subjects there were, especially if you were in a “left” space surrounded by social justice warriors. Social justice should be a great thing. It is, in theory. But ironically, it’s become so incredibly intolerant, that it’s all begun to feel so hypocritical. All of a sudden there were things you can not ask questions about. Subjects you can not touch. Subjects that get you cancelled, hounded, gone after, and slandered. Subjects that make you radioactive, and where people get hounded just for associating with you. Sometimes speaking up and pushing back on this culty/fundamentalist narrative costs people their job.
I’m not talking about people who say actual crazy racist hateful things. Like, things we thought were racist in 2010. I’m talking about like… saying the cancel culture exists. Or saying that the lockdowns were government overreach. Or criticizing the lack of informed consent with the mandated covid vaccine. Apparently that’s racist and alt-right now. Apparently that’s alllll problematic.
I don’t like what I am seeing happening to our culture. Some weird shit is going down in the name of justice and equality, but it’s backfiring. It’s making people more divided. It’s making people less able to be truthful about what they think. I’m wary. I’m nervous. And we have to talk about it.
Find some of my favorite free posts:
How to Get Scammed By a Woo-Woo Guru (deleted chapter from Tired AF)
The Catfish of Prosperity (first installment is free)
Some of my top paid posts:
Paid, Behind-The Scenes Posts:
And way more…
Problematic is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Why subscribe here?
Ahhhhh, the million dollar question.
Well, if you subscribe, each new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your email inbox — both free and/or paid posts, depending on what you signed up for.
Different subscription meanings:
Free — you’ll get my free posts, around every two weeks, sent straight to your email. You’ll get some previews of the paid posts as well.
Paid — you’ll get access to all my posts, many that have details that, for now, I want behind a paywall and not as accessible to the general public, plus “behind the scenes” posts, bonus content, and deleted chapter from my books. And you’ll also be able to comment on all posts.