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?