Today, the last book of my FAVORITE series by my FAVORITE author released!
It’s called Kingdom of Ash from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J
Mess Maas, and I am so excited that it’s finally out and I can FINALLY read it!! I’ve just been anticipating it for so long, and I’ve been screaming about it with all the WONDERFUL people in the fandom…
(In case you couldn’t tell, that was complete sarcasm, emphasis on the “wonderful people in the fandom”.)
Hi! Last week I was attacked by SJM stans on Instagram, and today, I’m sarcastically answering all the hate comments and making fun of how absolutely ridiculous they sound!! Because I have nothing better to do with my life and I’m also a Scorpio and Slytherin and my soul will not be at rest until I do this!!!
Basically, I posted a photo on Instagram of books written by Asian authors with Asian rep, and the caption was a rant of why and how Charlie Bowater’s recent art of Manon as East Asian was hurtful to me. Four days after I posted it, one stan commented, and then they all just FLOODED INTO MY COMMENTS.
Long story short: I decided that instead of engaging (as much), I would write this post and respond to comments here!
And before people JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS (though they still did with a disclaimer), I do not care if you like this series or not!!! That may be hard to tell with my sarcasm, but genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, enjoy the books you enjoy reading. All I ask is that you recognize (or at least just… consider??) that there IS some problematic content in SJM’s books.
Anyways, here we go! Here are the comments that I got from DEEPLY OFFENDED SJMess stans! I tried not to feature all the comments but all of them are outrageous and deserved to be called out so… oh well.
Content warning: The comments are just really gross in general. Even I have a hard time rereading them, and I’ve read them a lot of times before.
I didn’t cover usernames because it’s a public post on my account you can easily find and look up the usernames, and I like to think that people would want to avoid these users. If the users see this post and would like their names covered, I’ll do it, but I mean… your fault for attacking me!!
Ah, the comment that started it all! I actually responded to this one:
Then they replied saying that they weren’t white, as if that excuses ANYTHING. If they’re a POC, they should ESPECIALLY understand where I’m coming from, respect that I was hurt, and not ask me to pretend I wasn’t.
I mean… my caption did not “concern you speciafically” or “personally hurt you”. And yet, here you are, dropping your unnecessary, completely-out-of-place opinion into my comments section.
1) You think I’d rather a character be white than Asian?? The PHOTO that this is a caption to is promoting NINE BOOKS by Asian authors about Asian characters. If Manon had been canonically, explicitly, CLEARLY Asian in the beginning of the series, I would love that. But. she. wasn’t.
2) “Calm down, girl” is patronizing and marginalized people are told constantly to calm down over issues that matter to them. Not to mention that you misgendered me.
3) And funniest of all, this person @s SJMess like three times and it’s HILARIOUS. “SJM, my favorite favorite author, please see this and give me a gold star for standing up for you!! You’re the best person EVER!!! I love you SO SO MUCH!!!!”
This person says, “I understand that you’re hurt.” Two sentences later, they say, “It can’t be wrong to draw her as Asian nor is it offensive in any[ ]way.”
My dude, you realize you just… completely contradicted yourself, right? You clearly DON’T understand that I’m hurt if you think the art can’t be offensive in any way, so stop pretending you do.
And also… I didn’t know that people’s perspectives changing over time can completely change a person’s race?? I mean wow what if I have a white friend who I’ve known for five years but then—oh! All of a sudden my perspectives of them have changed!!! I see them as an Asian person now!!! And they completely switch races because I changed my perspectives of them!!!! Oh my god!!!!!
And people do realize that the idea of WANTING to do something and being ABLE to do something doesn’t mean it’s right, right? I mean, I could want to slap some random person in public and be completely able to and that would totally be an okay thing to do, right!!!
All the things wrong in these comments:
- “last time I checked Asian people did not behave in any different way than anyone else”: Oh I mean for most white people, New Year’s is celebrated on January 1st, but for Thai people, it’s celebrated on April 13, but like… same day right????
- “I will never get how that could ever be hurtful, but I respect the fact that you are even if I don’t understand it in any way”: A translation of this would be “I don’t get how you’re hurt, but I respect it, but I still don’t understand because it’s ridiculous”
- “but there is no Asian in TOG so that wouldn’t change anything”: You literally said the word “Asian” SEVEN. TIMES. in your previous comment. The whole fandom is screaming “OMG ASIAN MANON I LOVE IT SO MUCH”. The first comment you wrote to me was telling me to be happy about this rep, which couldn’t have even been rep if it wasn’t representing ASIANS
- “you can be hurt if you want”: Yes, you’re completely right. I’m choosing to be hurt. I mean like if someone says something to me that’s racist, I can just CHOOSE to be hurt or not, wow, really got me there
(Yes, this person’s back again. I had to use my friend Ju’s screenshots because I ended up blocking them, and then unblocking, and then I couldn’t see their comments.)
This comment seriously made me laugh for honestly half a minute. Like, the lengths this person is reaching? Oh god.
Let me just dissect this carefully because this person was the rudest to me out of all the people who commented:
1) “What the hell does it have to do with you?” can LITERALLY be said to you too. If, by your logic, the art “having nothing to do with” me (when in fact it is a portrayal of a marginalized identity of mine) means I can’t criticize it, then my caption “having nothing to do with” you means you can’t criticize it either.
2) “If no then keep your opinion to yourself”: Oh yeah, I definitely am not allowed to make my own Instagram post about my opinion, but you’re allowed to come onto my post and tell me that you have the opinion that I should keep my opinion to myself, I forgot that that’s how this worked!!
3) “I need to encourage you to understand that we love Manon’s character”: THIS WAS THE PART THAT MADE ME LAUGH SO MUCH. Like, oh my god. Did I SAY you couldn’t love her? I don’t care about your opinion of her, I’m literally talking about the artistic portrayal of her!! Stop looking for reasons to fight me!!!
4) “she is a character I love and no one should have the right to diss her for being whoever she wants to be”: The best part about this is the “whoever she wants to be” part… regarding being white and Asian. Oh yes, whenever I don’t want to be Asian anymore I just put it all into a bag and pull out the bag labeled “white” from my closet, and put that on!! And sometimes I want to be white SO MUCH that I don’t even need to pull out the bags, I just close my eyes and wish for it so hard that I just magically become white!!! And this is a completely natural occurrence: sometimes I’m just waiting in line for my coffee and someone randomly changes races and no one is shocked at all because NORMAL!!!!
(Also wow I didn’t know that it was the FICTIONAL CHARACTERS who decided what race they “wanted” to be… in an art piece… made by an artist…)
5) [the whole section of praise towards SJM and Charlie in an obvious attempt to somehow gain a gold star from them]: This also made me laugh hysterically. I mean, “you have no RIGHT absolutely no right”????? I can’t believe I actually manage to so deeply offend a SJMess stan by stating how something was personally hurtful to me uwu
6) “So long, haters”: Yes. I wrote my own post about my opinion that didn’t require your input at all. And you just randomly came onto it and decided to drop hurtful comments. But yes, I am the hater.
In the wise words of my friend Mel:
Also I can’t believe this user literally said “you know pale can mean Asian rep right” and then completely turned around and said “also Asia doesn’t exist in the TOG world so there can’t be any Asian rep”. I’m just… uh… great job. Really. Great job.
And here we go. The rudest, most disrespectful person in my comments.
(This is just the first in the chain of comments they left me.)
1) “do you have any right to judge her characters or her drawings? Hell no.”: My dude my guy we have been over this SEVERAL TIMES: art !! is !! free !! to !! judge !! when !! you !! put !! it !! out !! in !! the !! world !! If this is your logic, then who’s to say you have any right to judge whether or not I should be hurt? Because I promise you, you questioning my feelings of hurt is more harmful than me “judging her characters or her drawings”.
2) “everyone has the choice to imagine characters, to understand characters the way they want to”: I mean… since we’re talking about race and art… if a character in a book was explicitly described and confirmed as Asian… but then oh no! You imagine them as white! So you draw art of them as white! Aka whitewashing! Which is not okay! Again: the ability to do something ≠ it’s right and/or NOT HURTFUL!!!
3) “what you’re saying is not simply hurting someone, it’s hurting the stories they’ve written […]”: M Y D U D E. What makes SJMess has seen this post??? I have like 400 Instagram followers. Surely this godly person you admire so much has better things to do than read captions from people like me. (Also how is this an excuse for ANYTHING. “Omg calling out that homophobic family has RUINED THEIR LIVES!! How DARE you stay silent about the pain those people have caused you!!! Now look at the pain you’re causing THEM!!!!”)
4) “ruining the book and my characters”: If I had been sipping water, I would have spIT IT OUT OH SO NOW THE CHARACTERS ARE YOURS??? NOT SJM’S?????? This is EXACTLY what I’m saying with the level of entitlement and thinking that your opinion about your favorite series is above everyone else’s.
5) “believe it or not, Manon being drawn Asian is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS”: Well, uh, believe it or not, _.kaira2145_., me being hurt by this portrayal of Manon is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS either but I guess you feel like your hero mentality puts you above that doesn’t it!!!
6) “you yourselves are the only people overthinking things”: You did NOT just say that a POC is overthinking something that hurt them. You did NOT just utter words that have been said to POC for decades to diminish their pain.
7) “GET OVER IT”: Hmm, sounds like another phrase said to POC to invalidate their feelings for decades! And it’s also hypocritical of you to say this, when you’ve literally COME BACK TO THIS POST and checked the comments section, looking for something/one to fight, and wrote hurtful lengthy comments.
8) “Put yourself in her position and try to UNDERSTAND because ranting about how this hurt YOU but not HER is completely and utterly wrong”: This… just makes me want to crawl into a hole and slowly rot to death. Because as a human being interacting with other human beings, you should… not have this kind of mentality. (And by “this kind of mentality”, I mean, “don’t speak out about how you’re hurt by someone if it hurts them”. Aka victim-blaming.)
And wow, telling me to try to sympathize with someone who has obviously hurt me? Just go ahead and tell a POC to sympathize with racists, I’m sure that’ll blow over well.
9) “when she obviously did not mean it that way”: Just a quick question… we all understand that someone not intending to hurt people doesn’t cancel out the harm done, right?
10) “You forget that sometimes even the most famous people ARE ONLY HUMAN”: And you, my friend, have seem to forgotten that I, who you seem to hate so much for speaking out about something hurtful to me, am human too.
The saddest thing about all of this is? All of them are literally defending a fictional series and two people who don’t even know who they are, while I’m defending my own FEELINGS OF HURT. I’m defending MYSELF, because they comment and try to prove that the hurt I feel in regards to my marginalized identity is in fact invalid. The imbalance here is just… incredible.
PSA: You do not have to understand my view! But please, when “expressing your opinion”, ensure that it’s not an explanation that tries to undermine the validity of my feelings! If you say “I understand you’re hurt, and I respect that, but [thoughts on why it’s not hurtful to you]”, you’re explaining to me why you don’t think it’s hurtful, when I obviously think it IS! I don’t need that, and it is not your place to try and convince me that something isn’t hurtful to me as a POC when it is to me!
Anyways. I’m done with this. Like I said, if you love this series and are unironically celebrating Kingdom of Ash’s release, I’m happy for you, and you do you. Just recognize problems where they exist, PLEASE.
And my final note, since I can’t NOT talk about Asian books: Next week, on Tuesday, November 6, three books by Asian authors about Asian characters are releasing, two of which were originally supposed to release today but got pushed back because of Kingdom of Ash. So please, if you can, consider supporting these books as well! (They are: Girls of Paper and Fire, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix, and Empress of All Seasons!)
sorry for the length of this post! (I got more ranty the more I wrote) have you been attacked by stans before? do you like the TOG series? (again, no judgement!) also, do you have an instagram?? drop your @ in the comments!