“Problematic” has various traditional meanings: “presenting a problem,” “difficult to resolve,” “doubtful.” But among academics it has become a sort of all-purpose negative expressing disapproval: “the depiction of married women in early American comic strips such as Maggie in Bringing Up Father is problematic,” (i.e., I have a problem with this, I object to it). Not only is this not a traditional function of the word; it transfers a political or personal objection into the Platonic realm of Truth, allowing the speaker to avoid personal responsibility for the objection being made.

Similarly, “problematize” means “to make into a problem,” not “to consider as a problem.”

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