pretending kairi is the most precious perfect character and the strongest girl to ever exist in the KH universe is not progressive. blindly accepting kairi and her canon characterization just bc of a few headcanons circulating tumblr doesn’t make up for how square treats her as a plot device and a sexual fantasy for purity and innocence.
by accepting kairi’s canon characterization and not discussing the extreme flaws in the canonical writing of her character lets square get away with this mistreatment of a female character yet again. they’re just gonna keep making female characters like kairi. kind of like aerith: square reduced aerith to basically nothing and they are continuing to do this with her character in KH but fans either pretend that she’s always been like that or that nothing has changed. either way, it’s still ignoring the problem.
just bc kairi and aerith are women and characters that you personally love doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the flaws square forces on them. ignoring these flaws does not make you a beacon of progression. tumblr is making it seem regressive if you don’t accept every female character that steps out of the tired old gendered stereotypes machine square uses to create their female characters. this taboo that tumblr has placed upon discussing flaws in female characters needs to stop. advocating for a female character is not defending everything about her while applying headcanons to her story (or lack thereof).
loving a female character who happens to have these flaws is not the problem. the problem is accepting this to be a female character’s fate and resigning to writing headcanons about her to give her some actual characterization. and that said, writing headcanons about kairi having actual characterization is not the problem - it’s just kind of sad that we as fans have to make up for shitty canonical writing. but headcanons on tumblr do not and will not make this mistreatment go away. square will continue to damsel kairi (and who knows if we’ll ever see aerith’s weapon again) bc fans are letting square know that they’re okay with it by ignoring the problems in these female characters. also, not being able to talk about this on without being labeled misogynistic is the problem. calling out these flaws in a female character is not hating on her because she is a woman - it’s standing up for her. no longer blindly accepting that aerith’s weapon and characterization vanished into thin air is way more progressive than just blindly accepting an aerith that has been reduced to nothing but a mother complex.
square will not change the treatment of kairi if fans continue to act like she’s perfect. to square, that means kairi is perfect bc she holds her hands out to the sides and cocks her hips when she’s supposed to be just standing normally. to square, perfection is the box of dainty flower persona they’ve shoved kairi into alongside basically all their other female characters. to square, kairi is perfect bc she swung her keyblade once, fell down and cried for sora. to square, it’s perfectly fine for sora to pick up a keyblade and instantly be able to use it, but not kairi. to square, it’s okay for kairi to have no personality of her own bc she giggled once and fans fell in love with her and deemed her precious. it’s fine for kairi to be a plot device bc it’s not like square has very many women in the plot anyway so we as fans are gonna accept what we can. all of this can also communicate to other fans that because this is acceptable to you then it’s fine. like, “this one feminist blog i follow is fine with it, so it must not be a problem” (your headcanons aren’t always transmitted to other fans).
loving kairi as a character is not the problem. having her as your favorite KH character is not the problem. having headcanons about her to make up for shitty writing is not the problem. the problem is not discussing the huge flaws in her characterization bc tumblr has made it taboo. the problem is acting like kairi is the greatest character in the world just bc you feel like you have to since KH doesn’t have very many women. telling other fans that they’re misogynistic for pointing out these flaws is the problem. acting like you’re the best KH fan bc you picked all the female characters to be your favorite yet ignore how they’re canonically treated is the problem. it’s not progressive in terms of feminism to blissfully ignore how kairi is treated canonically, and it’s not progressive to the fandom either. just bc there aren’t very many women in square games doesn’t mean you have to accept the scraps they throw at you. love kairi, and let square know that this treatment of her is not okay. demand more from them. demand more from her. don’t let square continue this mistreatment of female characters just bc you want to love more female characters. love them by demanding a better canonical treatment.