I just...I gotta vent. John Fucking Winchester. My fandom hates him, at least the ones that write Dean/Castiel. I doubt the Wincest writers love him much more, since he's inexplicably often opposed to his sons fucking like gay related rabbits (they need to go to Bobby for acceptance of their awesome love). Does your fandom have any prevalent trends or opinions that you find irrational and/or inexplicable?
John Winchester is...was...a hero. He was a complicated man. He loved his wife so much (perhaps because he had to, but the love was undeniable). Her death unhinged him, but not enough that he stopped loving his sons. His life was primarily driven by two things—avenging his wife and protecting his sons from what killed her.
Now, I wouldn't let him raise my kids. I wouldn't even let him babysit. But he was a hero. He saved uncounted lives, and brought his sons up to protect not just themselves, but unknowing innocents across the country. In doing so, he committed a form of emotional incest with his older son. Which isn't what you might think—Dean became a functional but not emotional or physical replacement for his wife, and in more ways that John knew. Dean spent too much of his childhood protecting and nurturing a brother that's only 4 years his junior, and was raised in the same hunter tradition his mother had been.
Yes, he robbed Dean of a normal childhood. But he thought he was doing it for a good reason. He was not vindictive, or what he'd consider pointlessly cruel. He was an alcoholic by all evidence, but a functional alcoholic, and no one seems to hate Dean for being one too.
Thing is—he wasn't wrong in his motives, as flawed as he was in the execution. Sam was in continual jeopardy, and unfortunately John didn't understand the scope of it. Demons clustered around him anyway, but John was doing everything he could to keep him safe.
You don't give a ten year old a shotgun and tell him to use deadly force to protect his brother. That's CPS bullshit, and no doubt the kids would have been yanked from him post haste. But for all we know, his efforts were all that kept the demons from taking Sam and raising him themselves as a dedicated Boy King of Hell candidate in an even worse childhood.
I don't think there was a good answer for John. Giving his kids up to strangers or family would have put them in more jeopardy than they were, even with the hunting they participated in. He raised two very strong and heroic sons, and I don't think that was entirely despite his efforts (it's clear that Dean was a nurturer before the tragedy, but that's not enough).
We were all there to learn about Dean deciding to return to a life where his father had saved hundreds of lives. Do we hold that against him? Do we chalk that up to Stockholm Syndrome? I don't. I chalk it up to a desire and ability to continue the family business, which incidentally wasn't "booze it up and beat defenseless children" (I don't discount the idea that John might have hit Dean as a kid, but I grew up with corporal punishment, and I don't view it as harshly as many fans do). But we don't know John hit them, and damning him for it is sure prejudicial.
The reason they can save the world is because of John. The reason they have to isn't.
They're damaged, Dean especially, but I don't see any question that the forces rallying against them just because they were born wouldn't have damaged them too.
In the end, John sacrificed his life to save Dean's. Gave himself up to the monster that killed his wife, that he'd spent half his life tracking down with the intent to annihilate. Why do so many fics have him dying of cirrhosis, alcohol poisoning, or wrapping himself around a tree in a DUI while also killing innocents? Saving innocents was his unpaid job. Not killing them through selfishness and disregard. But his complexity so rarely makes it into fics.
Sam forgave him. Dean loves him. Why can't we give him a break?
So that's my rant counter to my fandom's prevailing opinion. Maybe you don't have quite the amount of tl/dr that I have festering (trust me—this is the short version—I even created a tumblr (now abandoned, unfortunately) in his defense), but is there anything about your fannish peers that drives you up a wall?