Ok, so let’s talk about something that has been bothering since I first came to this fandom. Why is it that whenever there is meta addressing the very fucked up ways in which we ignore and exclude characters of color in our works that there is always that one person that has to say, “Well why don’t you create your own stuff instead of complain?”
I wonder if this particular person has ever considered the fact that the people who make the argument for more representation for characters of color in fanworks are the ones producing and contributing fanworks. Why do ppl in this fandom have a problem with these trends being pointed out and use this useless ass presumptuous argument to take away from what’s actually being said?
Even if that particular person is not the most active in the fandom in the first place, it’s always important to be critical of the problematic trends that occur in fandom. A lot of y'all I noticed don’t seem to be able to handle or accept those criticisms because you either know it directly includes you and your lack of participation and that makes you uncomfortable, or you don’t want to bother to put the work in when marginalized groups decide to criticize shitty behavior in fandom.
So before I hear anybody try and tell me what I’ve done for this fandom, just being able to see the trends in that fandom (and also how they might mirror other fandoms) is enough, what I wanna know is why are you so pressed when ppl point this obvious shit out? Like it’s pretty obvious when you try to look for Finn-centric fics on AO3 and most of them are tagged Reylo or some other dumbass unrelated shit that that has something to do with the way white fandom interacts and belittles the characters of color. It’s definitely not cool that a nobody like fucking Army Husk (a white male character) has more fics that either of the leads of TFA (and don’t tell me no dumb fucking bullshit like “he was more interesting than Rey or Finn” BITCH WHERE?? FOR 3 FUCKING MINUTES?)
In what goddamn context does this make any sense if not to explain this fandom’s race/gender problem?
Who the fuck are y'all trying to fool??? Come Episode 8 I better not hear no goddamn shit from this fandom cause if y'all could really understand how much I’ve had it with this shit. Like you really can’t see the disparity between alla of that shit? And the first thing you wanna tell me is to make more works? Instead of questioning why there is an overwhelming amount of works for a white male character that only had three minutes of fucking screentime???.
A crash course as to why (you think) Sakura is useless
Sakura: Outwits Sasori in battle, destroys his favorite puppet in one hit, pulverizes his puppet body, navigates a sea of one hundred puppets without being harmed and seals Sasori into a wall.
“Well, Chiyo controlled her for part of the battle, so it’s really Chiyo’s skill that beat Sasori.”
Sakura: Jumps in the way of Sasori’s last strike to protect Chiyo and earns his dying respect.
“Unbelievable! If not for Chiyo using her special jutsu that stupid girl would have died already!”
Sakura: Single-handedly destroys gigantic centipede ravaging the village and protects civilians from the mass destruction it’s causing. Saves Hinata’s life after she’s stabbed by Pein
“Well it doesn’t matter that she protected anyone, because Nagato just revives everyone anyway, so it’s really Naruto who saves everyone.”
Sakura: Calls out for Naruto’s help when the entire village is destroyed, killing most of its inhabitants.
"All she’s doing is standing and watching? She’s not even fighting one path of Pein!”
Sakura: Decides to kill Sasuke to stop him from getting any darker.
“She’s such a traitor, giving up on Sasuke.“
Sakura: Almost succeeds and then realizes that she can’t do it because she loves him.
“She’s so worthless and weak and delusional, I knew she’d never be able to kill him.”
Sakura: Fights on the front lines and heals injured shinobi for two days straight without rest while storing up chakra (that she’s been storing up for three years nonstop), constantly refreshing her teammates and healing Naruto multiple times, and when she’s filled up, explodes the entire battlefield with one punch.
“Oh look at that. She saved chakra up for three years for one little punch, and it’s not even against the ten tails.”
Sakura: Isn’t close enough to save Neji in time before he dies.
“How useless! Isn’t she a medic? Why even be a medic if she doesn’t heal anyone?”
Sakura: Powers Obito’s abilities beyond the level Naruto can do even once roughly five times, even after being burned with a sea of acid protecting him so that she can rescue Sasuke from an impossible-to-escape dimension.
“Well, it was Obito’s power, she didn’t do anything but charge him anyway.”
Sakura: Hesitates for a moment in uncertainty when Obito tells her to destroy his rinnegan while they’re trapped in a secure dimension only he and Kakashi can reach, and in that moment Madara appears to stop her.
“WHO WOULD HESITATE AT A MOMENT LIKE THAT? UNBELIEVABLE. SHE IS SO STUPID AND USELESS! WHY DIDN’T SHE DESTROY IT RIGHT AWAY HEN HE TOLD HER TO? IF SHE DIDN’T STAND THERE FOREVER LIKE AND IDIOT MADARA WOULDN’T GET THE EYE.”
Sakura: Punches a physical god so hard it breaks her horn off and allows Sasuke and Naruto to seal her away instead of allowing her to escape.
“Oh whatever, it was one punch, it probably didn’t even hurt her. The people who really beat Kaguya were Sasuke and Naruto, they had the seals.”
Sakura: Isn’t capable of protecting herself from all of Kaguya’s attacks on her own, including lacking the ability of flight or an all-over shield.
“Wow, she’s so useless. Why is she even there? They should have just let her die.”
Sakura: Punches Shin Uchiha so hard she demolishes his organs with one hit, and KOs the person that was handily defeating both Naruto and Sasuke with his trick jutsu.
“Whatever. She just punched him one time. The person who REALLY did damage there was Sasuke with his fireball, and little Shin hitting him in the back when they crashed to the ground!”
Sakura: Gets ‘kidnapped’ and might choose to rescue either the older Shin or younger Shin with her medical jutsu.
“Wow, she’s so totally worse than useless. She just exists to be kidnapped and rescued! Until she showed up Sasuke and Naruto were going to get answers and now she’s healing the enemy! Why is she even here???? Sakura doesn’t belong here, she should be back home where she belongs, not in the way!“
Sakura: Appears in a panel cleaning a house she lives in.
“WOW HOW WORTHLESS AND USELESS IS SHE??? SHE’S NOT A NINJA? SHE’S JUST A HOUSEWIFE NOW??? WHAT HAPPENED TO WANTING TO BE A NINJA?!“
It sure is easy to make a character look useless when you flat out ignore and refuse to acknowledge any of their triumphs, strengths, and shining moments, then blow out of proportion every moment of weakness, every mistake, and every shortcoming they have.
Sakura is weak and useless because you absolutely refuse to accept that she is anything else.
Stop twisting the facts to make them fit your assumption for once, and you’ll find Sakura is just as vital and useful member of Team Seven as anyone else is.
“Don’t hate cis people just because of something a small amount of us do!!!” is such a useless and ridiculous argument because if it was “just a few” cis people then transphobia wouldn’t be such a wide spread, life destroying problem lol
Let’s be honest here, first of all, Sakura does not belong to any clan, doesn’t have a tailed beast, a sharingan, a byakugan and nor does she have the physical abilities of a Senju.
Heck, her parents are barely even shinobi. So, there’s your “she’s useless” argument. Now, I’ll tell you exactly why she isn’t useless and isn’t a bad character:
1) She’s a medic-nin. She’s a bloody doctor! She heals and saves lives. SHE’S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE FLASHY JUTSU. She’s supposed provide support by doing medical examination, creating antidotes and whatnot. Comparing her to Neji, Sasuke, Naruto etc is like comparing a doctor with a soldier. Every army of every nation in our world has a medical corps. Would you say they are useless or serving our countries any less because they help save our soldiers lives? I thought not. 2) Even in battle, the times she does fight, she does it pretty well. I don’t see her crying, or waiting around for Naruto and Sasuke during the battle with Sasori. To those people who say Chiyo did everything, I say: watch the fricking battle again, she healed Chiyo, and she created the antidote for Sasori’s poison, she was stabbed in THE STOMACH when protecting chiyo from Sasori. She deflected a lot of Sasori’s magnet release jutsus, and her teamwork with Chiyo was flawless. Sasori himself admitted she was powerful. 3) People like Hashirama, Madara, Naruto, Sasori and Chiyo have all acknowledged her. You think Madara would’ve been surprised at her seal if it wasn’t a big deal? You think Hashirama wouldn’t? The fact that people like these ninja, who’ve seen the best of the best, acknowledge her, means that she is powerful. 4) For those who think she’s cruel to Naruto. Grow up! Naruto doesn’t seem to have any problem with her. To be honest, I act that way around my cousins all the time. She, in her own way, loves Naruto just as much as she loves Sasuke. This was clearly shown in the scene, when Obito asks her to heal herself after being burnt by acid. Although she could’ve responded by saying “we need to save Sasuke” she instead said that she didn’t want to disappoint Naruto, as he gave her this opportunity, after which Obito smiles and comments on how she always wants to be there for Naruto.
Also, the ‘fake confession’. I’ll admit, I got angry at her for that. But, the more i thought about it, the more I see her intentions. They were to protect Naruto. It didn’t strike her, that Naruto wanted to bring Sasuke back out of his own will, not just because of his promise to her. She knew he got beaten up by Karui, and thought it was her fault, for him getting hurt. If you think about it, Sakura was ready to throw any feelings for Sasuke away, surpress it. If Naruto and Sai had not seen through her, which she didn’t know they would, she would basically have sacrificed her dream with being with Sasuke. If you think about it, people act like she did it for her own benefit, but, if she really had bad intentions, then the outcome would’ve have been one where she was happy. But, if it had gone the way she’d planned, it would’ve led to (according to her) Naruto’s happiness. She didn’t care about herself. She’s a teenage girl, and she makes mistakes. If it was really that serious, Naruto would’ve alienated her and never spoken to her again. 5) The whole keeping Naruto alive? Are we just going to ignore that? That whole speech she gave, on how he has to stay alive to fulfil his dream, and she’s gonna make sure he stays alive. She manually pumps his heart, and keeps him alive. This scene was especially precious to me, because I know Sasuke is primarily her true love, but the relationship Naruto and Sakura have, sharing the pain of losing Sasuke and holding onto each other for support, can never be replaced. Sakura always wanted to protect Naruto, from the akatsuki, from the burden of having a tailed beast. In Part I, she didn’t even know what a tailed beast was. She could not imagine the pain N & S went through. But when she lost Sasuke, she began to understand. 6) She is the reason Naruhina, worked. Like literally, the Last movie, she is the reason they end up together. And I’ll forever be in awe of her, for having the maturity to let Hinata and Naruto realise their feelings for one another, which is a huge slap on the face of those who accused her of being an attention-seeker and playing with Naruto’s feelings during the 'fake confession’. See how it comes full circle?
I’m annoyed that people who claim to be Naruto fans, do not see any of this. I feel like it’s become fashionable to hate on Sakura, like it’s a topic people can bond over. Her character development hasn’t been bad. Tbh, she’s had the most character development out of anyone in the series (except Gaara).
Yes, she loves Sasuke and yes, she worries about him to the point of obsession. But she is the most human character, out of all of them. She isn’t OP, overly intelligent, mary-sue, insanely cool or breathtakingly gorgeous (she is to me though). She’s normal! And her story, of how she overcomes her family history of ordinariness to becoming a name that’ll go down in shinobi history as being part of the legendary new generation Sannin, being part of the team that took down Kaguya, is a wonderful story to behold.
the things people write here, it frankly amazes me sometimes. what is with these people? i like how flippantly they say “argue” as if fascism is just some “opinion”, like a heated conversation about whether or not Manchester United or Liverpool is better, not a hideous ideology that resulted in genocide and the deaths of millions?
what kind of bubble do you occupy when you just “don’t agree with the goals” instead of being “completely fucking against it”? maybe if your family members didn’t have to experience to consequences of fascism firsthand (well good for them, can’t say the same for the rest of us), i suppose. still, is this what it takes to have empathy and intersectionality?
p.s i’m sure there are other outstanding women to spotlight, it’s not like we’re so short of feminist icons we have to pull out licia ronzulli from the bottom of the barrel.
Dating Him Would Include: Omaha&Magcon Preference (6/16)
Johnson- cuddling, making out, using him for warmth when your cold, stealing all his hoodies, messing with his hair, staring at his eyes, always having him carry you places, him tickling you a lot, dealing with his sass, both having insecurities
Gilinsky- touching his eyebrows a lot, him putting his hand on your thigh every time you guys are sitting down, straddling his waist a lot, him being protective of you, you getting jealous easily, random useless arguments that end w/ a make out session, sex (i mean its gilinsky lets be real)
Skate- getting high together, sex while y'all are high, arguments about nothing but making up afterwards, insecurities, cleaning his wounds cause he’s always getting hurt, listening to his new mix tape before he uploads it, him calling you lil mama
Shawn- forehead kisses, making out, piggy back rides, him making fun of how much shorter you are than him, stealing his hoodies, visiting him while he’s on tour, touching noses, him singing/humming you to sleep, going on picnic dates a lot
Sam- intense PDA, you getting embarrassed around him because he can be so outgoing at time, touching his eyelashes, satisfying his daddy kink, nibbling on his earlobe a lot, 3 AM deep talks, weird talks when you guys are high
Matt- cheek kisses, sleeping in his shirts, playing with his hair, him tickling you all the time, him doing weird faces that makes you laugh, always taking typical cute aesthetic couple instagram pictures, kissing his nose a lot and vice versa, you singing him to sleep
At some point in most fandom conversations, someone will leap in and say, “You’re reading too much into that.” I’m sure you’ve all seen it, you may have even done it.
I’m so tired of it.
It’s a really useless argument in the form it’s usually offered in – illogical, intolerant, and ignorant. This post breaks down why it’s a weak argument, just so I can get the rant out of my brain and let it go.
Seeing false patterns
First, it is entirely possible to read too much into a text. Let’s get that out of the way right up front. Human brains are really good at recognising patterns – it’s one of our superpowers, and it’s what allows us to forward-plan for winter, and do science, and create art. But it has a downside, and that is that we can sometimes see false patterns – things which are coincidental, rather than true patterns. It’s because of this very thing that science must be repeatable to be considered valid – one finding, in one small-scale study, could just be a false pattern, or a miss-attributed one.
So this possibility of seeing a false pattern, which is really coincidental rather than a true pattern, is what the argument “You’re reading too much into that” is based on.
The problem is that this argument is rarely used to actually mean that the person is seeing a false pattern. Instead, it’s trotted out as an insult – “You’re reading too much into that, because you’re delusional” is what is usually meant, and it’s often underpinned by misogynist, racist or homophobic thinking. For instance: “Only a crazy slash fangirl would read queerness into the text,” which hits both sexism and homophobia at the same time.
How do I know it’s meant in this insulting way, rather than in the sense that someone is seeing a false pattern? Because the person trotting out this shutdown rarely bothers to give any evidence that the pattern is false. They just assume it must be, because they are sure their own mainstream reading is correct.
It’s lazy thinking, based on unacknowledged assumptions about how the world works, and that really grates on me, just as much as the normalised homophobia, racism, and sexism which underpin that kind of thinking do. But that’s not the only thing wrong with this argument. Oh, no. There’s more!
Texts are constructions, not natural phenomena
Texts are not natural phenomena that “just happen”. They are not schools of fish, or tree rings, or clouds. Texts are constructed. They are deliberate. They are made things, like a bridge, or a dress, or a tube of toothpaste.
Can you imagine someone saying, “You’re reading too much into that,” if someone says, “Hey, that bridge wobbles when it’s windy”? Or “You’re reading too much into that,” when someone says, “This toothpaste tastes different to usual, they must have changed the formula”?
Because that’s basically what people are doing when they say it about texts.
You might think the person is seeing a false pattern in those two hypothetical situations, but in that case you’d probably feel you needed to put forward another plausible explanation, rather than just saying they are wrong. (Although some people might still say, “You’re wrong, and also stupid because you’re a girl,” right up until the bridge falls down or the toothpaste is recalled.)
If you’re a reasonable person, you might argue the bridge is designed to wobble, or it’s just a visual illusion, or maybe the person drank orange juice right before cleaning their teeth and that’s why the toothpaste tastes funny. You won’t just say, “You’re reading too much into that,” as though it’s completely impossible there is a pattern you haven’t noticed yet.
There’s this weird belief in the West that somehow stories aren’t really made things, and don’t follow the same rules as a bridge or toothpaste in terms of how we critique them. It’s based on a long, long history of art criticism, mainly arising from a bunch of privileged white men whining because no-one liked their art. You might think their arguments are valid, and that’s okay (although I don’t agree), but if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to stop and think about why you read texts the way you do. Where did you learn it from? Why do you think it’s right? Why do you think the way other people read is wrong?
Anyway, the history and politics of how we read texts are not the only reasons this argument is weak.
Writers have human brains
This assumption that “You’re reading too much into that” is also based on an anti-intellectual reading position. This is the idea that no writer would go to the bother to seed complex ideas, subtext or patterns into their text, and the corresponding idea that texts aren’t worth reading on this level.
That is such an entirely insulting notion on so many levels.
As a writer, I can tell you we can, and do, put this kind of planning into texts. Not necessarily every text, or all the time. But yes, it’s a thing that happens. What’s more, when you do a close reading of a text with an author present, and point out you noticed those patterns, they are fucking delighted. And will often tell you in great detail why they put it in.
In addition to that, we create these texts with our pattern-recognising brains. We will put patterns in without realising it too, because that’s how our brains work. More than once, I’ve read my first drafts back (or beta read those of others), and realised that there was a major theme in there that I hadn’t been aware of while writing. I usually tease it out further in re-writes, because my storybrain knew what it was doing by putting it in there.
In my experience, it’s mainly people who don’t write who think this kind of deep structure is accidental or unimportant. They are speaking from ignorance, or perhaps a belief that stories magically appear fully formed in a Word document while the author is off somewhere else, wearing a smoking jacket and brooding.
If only, my friend. If only that were true.
How do I avoid this fallacy?
It’s really simple. Give your reasons for disagreeing instead of just lazily dismissing arguments out of hand. If you think someone is seeing a false pattern, show some evidence that it might be a false pattern.
Alternatively, if it’s not an argument you want to get into right now, agree to disagree – “That’s an interesting take on it, but I read the text differently” – and then move on to the aspect you want to discuss.
If you can’t be bothered doing either of those things, and decide to dismiss their argument out of hand in favour of your own, recognise that you’re being an intolerant troll.
And if you can’t find any evidence that the person is seeing a false pattern… Guess what?
They might actually be right about the pattern being there, and their pattern recognition skills are better, or better educated, than yours.
What Non Natives dont realize either when it comes to cultural appropriation or stereotypes is how much these experiences stick with us. I can think of many instances from the time that I was a child of the way I dealt with micro aggressions and was treated inferior. When they wear a dead Native on a tee shirt, dress up in a costume, or get a Native tattoo, its an exotic exploit, an after thought. They do it once and IF their settler colonial privilege is challenged they trivialize it by deeming it a useless argument or “not a big deal” and they move on with their lives. For us to deal with their games of dress up its a message of dehumanization that we see reinforced daily through all facets of life. The realities of oppression through the various statistics on top of the historical trauma is a reality that Natives can never just wake up and choose to ignore. Every little microaggression is just a reinforcement of settler colonial systems that were established from the origins of America with the intent to terminate and erase Natives. Every little image that hints at the vanishing Native trope is a contribution to federal policies and settler intent to erase Natives.
Hah?! Don't call me ganguro, you stupid woman!
You started it, you ganguro kerosuke!
Don't include Kerosuke to your useless argument-nodayo!!
Don't join to their fight then!!
Ahahaaa... they're as lively as ever, right, Kurokocchi?
Can't blame them. Midorima-kun missed having an argument to either Momoi-san or Aomine-kun and he is offended because Momoi-san include Kerosuke into the fight. Kagami-kun is just simply idiot.
... that's mean, Kurokocchi. But you know, Kurokocchi, it'll be great if Akashicchi is here. Oh, even Murasakibaracchi!
Nn? What's that?
That's a loud thud, though. Hey, Kise, you're not planning to pounce on Tetsu, right?
He just did though.
You bastard!! Come here!
How could you, Ki-chan?! How could you hugged Tetsu-kun?! You are more worst than this ganguro kerosuke!!