Do you prefer male or female MC’s?


I’m going to say it: I prefer a man as a main protagonist. I realized this early on, when I picked the Hercule Poirot books over the Miss Marple’s.


  • Because I tend to be more lenient towards a male character than I am towards a female character. 

With a female character, I find it easy to put myself in her head, so if her reactions are cringe-worthy and too far from my own, I can’t relate to her and won’t like the book. If she is very different from me, she has to have the qualities and reactions I wish I had. That may explain why I have no interest whatsoever in those Alpha females. They make me roll my eyes and groan with annoyance, maybe because I am more of an introvert. I wonder if the more extrovert readers prefer a heroine resembling them? I don’t mind a self-confident, larger than life female MC, but she has to remain friendly and sweet, rather than in my face.
With a male character, I can’t put myself in his shoes per se, so that’s why I think I’m more lenient with him. I view him as a close friend, who has to woo and entertain me, but doesn’t have to be me. Obviously, if he displays some traits I find irritating in real life, he’s going to lose some brownie points, but I won’t judge him as harshly as the heroine.

  • Because I feel male characters are generally written better than their female counterparts.

Women characters more than men are subjected to stereotypes (I will dare mention that it’s the same in real life…) and I have been disappointed more often by novels with a female MC than a male MC. Hence the growing popularity of M/M romance, where both protagonists are on equal grounds. Female characters tend to be written as extreme: shy and kind, or strong and kick-ass. Male characters, on the other hand, tend to show more layers. Thankfully, the trend is improving and there are a few stories out there with fantastic female leads I adore, but in general, I feel there is still a way to go.

  • Because of my personal preference.

I feel a story lead by a man makes it easier to transport me in a different world. Even in movies, I favour a male lead. It may be because if the man is, well, interesting/sexy/engaging, I can drool over him. I can’t do that with a female character!
I wonder if men prefer reading about a female MC…


Regardless of storyline, do you favour books with a male or a female lead?


13 thoughts on “Do you prefer male or female MC’s?

  1. Interesting! I don’t think I have a preference. I like them smart and tortured, regardless of gender. 😉 But those characters may more often be male, even though there are the Katnisses and Gone Girls and Elizabeth I’s.


  2. The MC’s gender never occurs to me when picking a book. I have little patience for gender stereotypes so I get equally annoyed with stereotypical girly-girls and manly-men. As long as a character is well-rounded, I don’t care what gender they are.

    I enjoy playing with gender expectations in my books. I have a hero who looks very alpha–really tall, muscled, attractive. But he has no interest in showing off how manly he is, doesn’t walk all over the heroine’s feelings, and isn’t arrogant. Then I have a heroine who’s conventionally attractive, loves clothes and makeup and all that, but she isn’t vain, is very generous and caring, and basically has a lot of depth.

    It’s also important to me that, in romantic relationships, the two individuals have equal power for their happily-ever-after.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I have a preference, but most books i read have a female main character or sometimes dual point of view, which I like as well. So maybe a slight preference towards females. I also think it really depends on the actual character and how it is written.
    I do feel that most readers are more lenient for the male and more harsh when it comes to female main characters, I wonder if this is the reason for that.


  4. I have to agree with what annakalingauthor said, I pay very little attention to the gender of the characters I’m reading, and if they ever annoy or irritate me, I don’t attribute that annoyance to what’s between their legs. On many occasions, I’ve also noticed that when I’m annoyed at a character, I’m not entirely enjoying the overall story line, which to me suggests the reasons I’m usually irritated with a character’s reaction to any given situation is that it wasn’t very believable, but was done in order to take a story in a certain direction, leaving me disenchanted with the book altogether.

    I *do* get annoyed when I see the same things again and again though, meaning characters who are made to fit into a stereotype because “this is what’s socially acceptable and how men/women have to be respectively if anyone’s going to like them.” I’d rather see these types of predefined labels broken, perhaps in a Trojan Horse type of way. In other words, you read the description on the back and think you’re getting a hardcore female character who’ll tear someone up, but you come to find out that she loves so-called “girly” things as well, like wearing pink and sewing, etc. (I also like to see this with male characters of course).


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