here me women all of us exist as deconstructions of mary sues now. look at us with our flaws and struggles. we are challenging that sinister status quo of with every action we take. next time you fuck something up be sure to yell DECONSTRUCT because you have struck a blow against the sue empire. it’s our official attack phrase

Tags: mary sues

tv tropes says sora is totes a deconstruction of a mary sue 


because she’s sweet and incredibly talented and hardworking but struggles a hell of a lot and makes mistakes? WOW THAT’S CALLED BEING A WELL WRITTEN CHARACTER

this just in any well rounded competent and successful female lead is now a deconstruction of a mary sue tell ur friends. the default state of female character is mary sue so. that’s what female characters are. either sues or deconstructions of one. there is nothing else.




Looks like this essay was needed, so I went ahead and did it. Not sure I said everything I wanted to say, but I tried.

So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in…

Okay, there are some valid points made here regarding the origins of the term.

HOWEVER, I think there is a very real reason to be critical of the “Mary sue” trope when it is used in literature, film, etc., namely, that it is one of the only ways women are represented.

Male characters are not only heroic, idealized “Gary stu” types. We are given flawed male characters, imperfect male characters. Characters that represent the diversity of REAL MEN in the actual world. We don’t get anywhere close to that range of women.

Female characters are too often either two dimensional window dressing, or “Mary sues”. More recently, we have seen more and more “Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl” type women, which is arguably a type of “Mary sue” (I could write pages about that, but I’ll refrain because it just makes me mad). But these aren’t anything like real women.

So maybe, instead of writing another “Mary sue”, write a real woman. Write a woman who is imperfect, who has a temper, who fucks things up, who doesn’t always get the guy. Write someone that actual women can relate to. Write a woman, instead of how you think a woman should be.

The thing is, those are not what people call “Mary Sues” . It’s typically characters written by women that get stuck with those labels and flawed female characters are just as likely to be stuck with that label if they experience any range of success.

"Manic Pixie Dream Girl" and "Magical Girlfriend" are tropes that already have names. You don’t need to call them "Mary Sue". What’s problematic about these women is they are defined by male characters and how they benefit male characters, not that they are successful. Men are still central in those stories, women are accessories or sexual fantasies.

It is very possible to criticize the lack of range of women in fiction without demeaning female writers and characters by sticking them with a dismissive, HIGHLY GENDERED, broad label that can essentially mean anything, but really means “too powerful and important” or “female power fantasy” or “eh i don’t like her”. It helps the dialogue about representation of women in fiction to be more specific in our criticism. Terms like “Magical Girlfriend” and “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” are valuable because they DO focus on specific narrative trends, and these trends happen to be perpetuated by men far more often than women, while people lean more heavily on female works for the mary sue characterization.

Honestly, female authors, write whatever women you want. If you feel like you want to write a power fantasy, fucking go for it. You deserve it. Everyone’s always tearing us down, let us fucking conquer. Just be aware of problematic, sexist tropes you could fall into that have nothing to do with being too powerful. And try to be interesting, or people won’t be interested!

If you want to write a character that’s a pile of flaws, GO FOR IT. 

Don’t fool yourself thinking “mary sue” was started, and is largely used, to criticize lack of range of women in fiction. It is absolutely not. It’s just an easy, gendered method to blanket dismiss female characters and writers without engaging in real critical analysis.

(right now, i, the author of this essay, am writing a clinically depressed protagonist who has alienated all of the people around her, is distrustful and self-hating, afraid of touching, has underlying rage issues,feels like she’s never in control…and well, no getting the guy cuz she likes girls but she has a very rocky relationship with the one she does like but…what i’m saying is everyone reading this essay assumes just because i said i’m not going to be bothered by the accusations of writing a mary sue or that i advocate women having power fantasies like men do I must clearly not know how to write ~real women~ despite being one. (100 percent for realsies! complete with certificate of authentication) but you know, actually i love writing heavily flawed characters who screw up every five seconds. I just notice even those characters get called mary sues.And women should get to be powerful and successful and central too.)

Tags: mary sues
wow it’s so weird some random website referred to me by my first name
but i sure did explain that! A year ago!
it’s also accurate i’m a bookworm

wow it’s so weird some random website referred to me by my first name

but i sure did explain that! A year ago!

it’s also accurate i’m a bookworm

Tags: mary sues

nickyenchilada replied to your post: nickyenchilada replied to your post:oh…

Yea again I never stated there’s something wrong w/ more ladies it’s just that it’s such a common occurrence and i think trailers try to frame it that way too even if it’s just to make audiences mad and actually not the case.

Yeah, I wasn’t trying to say you were! :) It’s just my point, fandom needs to change how it discusses female characters because the way it does now actively seems to discourage them from appearing and being central, instead of criticizing how they’re used. Instead of discussing what the problem is in how female characters are treated, we just slap the “Mary Sue” label on any new female character we see, effectively dismissing her as worthless and holding her to a different standard. It’s different from saying “wow, a new lady! I hope the story gives her something to do! Let’s talk about how stories often limit the options of what female characters can do!” instead it just casts resentment on any new female character.

That’s really the main thing I’m trying to communicate here- instead of scorning and dismissing them with an easy label that is really fucking broad, is used to attack women and has a million different connotations, let’s have a discussion of what’s actually wrong (and it can be wrong in several different ways- it can be that she doesn’t get to struggle, it can be that other heroines are sold short, it can be that she doesn’t get to have any real impact… it’s not an easy thing to label) in depth. All the “Mary Sue” label does is prevent that discussion and make young women afraid to write female characters for fear of it being seen as a self-insert. 



a part of me ships Al with May, but another part of me ships Al with Mary Sue Julia (FMA:B / Sacred Star of Milos).

look this is literally the fourth post in the julia crichton tag


oh yeah, looking back on it the people accusing Julia of being a Sue based on two seconds of her face were like “she’s going to be worse than Winry” and “ugh Ed will be all about her”

so yeah, I guess when Edward Elric looks at a woman they become a Sue automatically. It’s his superpower. Sueperpower. really.

so really righteous raging affection for Winry Rockbell gave birth to the Mary Sue essay.’

The moral of this story is affection for Winry Rockbell is behind most things I do.

To think most of the ppl who reblogged that essay probs don’t even know what fma is…


bespectaclednerd asked: I always assumed a Mary Sue had less to do with how powerful an individual character was, and more how this character functioned in the narrative. For example, if the character is powerful, accomplishes a lot, but also is faced with adversity s/he must overcome, then that isn't a Mary Sue. If a character is so powerful and well-liked and always right and so on, and there is nothing else that can stand up to her in the narrative to the point where tension is eliminated, then it's a Mary Sue.

okaym going to cut it off here, because aside from this basically being the same question I just got, I really need you guys to please look at my FAQ. I’ve talked about all this stuff during previous rounds of reblogs that it’s been like a year (two even? who knows?) and I’m a bit tired of discussing the Mary Sue thing every time a new round of reblogs/questions comes along. You can read all my original arguments/discussion about it in the mary sues tag, I’ve pretty much said all I can say in the matter. My original essay made it pretty clear what I was referring to, and it was how this only became a problem when women started writing wish fulfillment characters that were mostly women. That’s why the default is female.

Most people don’t give a shit about how Mary Sues function in the narrative. It really, really is about a female character being central.important for most people. They’ll call Mary Sue on a female character before they even see the narrative itself- the reason i even wrote the essay was a portion of fandom literally saw a female character in a movie trailer for two seconds and decided she was a Mary Sue (Julia Crichton in the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos movie for the record, and she ended up getting shit beaten out of her on a routine basis in that movie so), That was what got me thinking and that’s why I wrote the essay. 

Anyway,that’s the last question I’ll take on this right now until one that that’s never been asked before comes up. In the meantime, PLEASE check the tag.


nickyenchilada asked: Okay, I'm not gunny say that wish fulfillment is bad or that people don't use the term Mary Sue to wrongfully corner female characters but I still think the term is valid for many characters that are written OP'd and shallow which is just more of a sign of a bad writer. Though this is kinda a hard criteria to judge, but I think the term should still apply because too often PRO MALE writers will write female chars who are "Strong" but don't really give them any actual personal motive or agency.

Then why don’t we just actually explain why we think it’s badly written? Why slap an easy label on it, a label that is explicitly associated with the idea of young women writing a character as a self-insert or wish fulfillment and call it a day?

The term “Mary Sue” isn’t used to describe a female character who’s “strong” but doesn’t have agency.  I’ve never seen Mary Sue used that way, personally. It’s never been for that, I think. It means “too perfect” (which is vague as hell), not without motive or agency. The idea is she has SO MUCH agency that the plot twists around her, she becomes too central etc. I believe people describe female characters who as blandly “strong” but without  without substance, motive or agency as typically as “Strong Female Character TM”. (These seem to be more typically written by men as far as I can tell too) At least that’s what I picked up from others.


thefuriousmoles asked: Hi, I just read your post about Mary Sues. You really had some very good points in there. Though I'm a bit confused. I always understood a Mary Sue not just as powerful female character or even a wishfulfilment. It is more about the way the "Sue" shoves aside the actual main characters (female & male) and canon couples and twists the story beyond recognition to fit around the added plot line. The original heroine is kicked out to make room for the "newbie", the hero gets reduced to a sex slave.

That may be what Sue was supposed to be (tho tbh if it originated in Original Star Trek there weren’t any canon couples to twist really with the main dudes, were there? And the only main heroine that could be shove aside was Uhura, who didn’t get much attention in the show itself to the point she considered quitting until MLK helped convinced her it was too important that she was a positive black character. So…) but it’s basically applied to every female character seen as powerful/wish fufillment now. It transformed into that incredibly quickly, which shows the bias was always there and the term was ready made to be twisted like that. There are plenty canon characters accused of being Sues.

The fanfiction origin and the idea that women in fandom “twisted canon” with their self-inserts isn’t really an excuse for the default being women and DEFINITELY doesn’t excuse the fact female characters, even in canon, are more often targeted. Fanfiction predates the internet in many forms- there are many published texts that basically update/rewrite/insert new characters into existing canons of a previous author. My example was Batman, and comics can be considered a form of fanfiction- the creators of many characters left early on, and then new characters would come from other writers to replace them/overshadow other characters/make their own canon. And as noted, supeheroes are typically blatant wish fulfillment. Yet, was there a term created out of that? Or with the other examples of mythology rewritten to focus on a different character, often at the expense of others? No, because these were professional men doing this with typically male characters, and that’s not an easy target.

Teenage girls are an easy target.