Missing the Mark: Misogyny in Fiction

As you can see from the title, today I’m going to be discussing female characters and the way they tend to be (horribly) portrayed in fiction. Now to start with, I need to come clean, when I was younger I hated reading about women. Any book where a girl was the main character I tended to disregard and didn’t even bother trying to read it. The only times where I would read a book with a girl main character was when there was a male lead character as well. It’s not very hard to figure out why I curated my reading tastes like this. I used to think that any book that focused on a girl would be boring and stupid, I thought that if I picked up a book with a female lead she would be chasing a boy the whole book and wouldn’t do anything “cool” like a male lead would. 

Obviously, this isn’t the case, but I think that one reason why I started to think that way is because when I was younger the majority of middle-grade adventure leads were boys. From all the popular series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Septimus Heap, The Mysterious Benedict Society etc. it was always the boys who were the chosen ones. Sure, many of these books had great female supporting characters, but the problem for me was the lead, not the general fact that there were girls in the book. 

The way I saw it, if there was a female main character she would have to fall in love with a boy at one point in the book, which would mess up the whole story. In middle-grades with male leads there were often books where romance wasn’t mentioned at all. This avoidance that I had for female leads led to me not reading much YA when I was 14-17, since the majority of YA books feature (fantastic) female leads. I was still stuck in a place where I assumed that any book that featured a female lead would portray her as weak, one dimensional, and wishy washy. 

How I used to think about female leads

There is still a huge problem with the way some female characters are portrayed in fiction, especially with how some people are trying to steer away from the weak female follower trope and lean into a “strong female character”. The problem arises when authors turn one extreme into another. When authors suddenly decide, hey, this girl is a badass, that means that dresses, makeup, and feelings, are banned. 

I think that ultimately it boils down to the fact that it’s hard for these authors to see women as people. Either they’re a plot device or a romantic interest or a prop. The lead is the male and the female serves to support. Why develop a nuanced personality for the female character when we can just talk about how hardcore she is? Or how long and luscious her hair is? Why give the male character any actual motivation to like this character other than the fact that he saw her and now wants to marry her? 

We Shall Be Married In The Morning Enchanted GIF - WeShallBeMarriedInTheMorning Enchanted Giselle GIFs

This is all my opinion, but when I look back at it, many of the middle-grade authors of my youth were men, which may have led to the subpar supporting female characters. On the other hand, the majority of YA authors are women, which is why you can find many wonderfully developed female characters in YA. This is obviously a generalization, but I think it makes sense that it’s easier for women to see women as people and therefore be able to write accurate representations of them. 

As many of you know Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. Nowadays I find myself avoiding fantasies written by male authors because of the general disparity in the way women are regarded in these books. The way I see it, this is a fantastical world, it’s not real, the only reason why there is a huge amount of sexism in these worlds is because these men make it that way. 

Why would I go and read a book where women are treated like cattle and a man is exalted above the rest for his manly ruggedness? Fantasy books like these just seem like a weak projection of the author’s pathetic male fantasies. 

Wise words from our icon Elastigirl

There’s not much more I have to say about this other than I’m glad for female authors and I’m happy that through reading their books I’ve managed to overcome the internalized misogyny that led me to think that female leads suck. If you’re wondering what books you can read with wonderfully developed female leads, here are a few favorites of mine that I highly recommend!

37794149. sy475
40275288. sy475

53152636. sy475
44157462. sy475

So pretty much all of these recommendations are fantasy since that’s what I usually read but if you have any contemporaries, mysteries, thrillers, etc. with great female leads, please recommend them! Also, I do love all of these books but special shoutout to The Wolf of Oren Yaro, as it is quite literally the most fantastic portrayal of a nuanced strong female lead that I have ever seen.

What are some books with great female leads? Why do you think media is so obsessed with using women as one dimensional plot devices to further a male leads character arc?

54 thoughts on “Missing the Mark: Misogyny in Fiction

  1. You made some great points here. I think often the books with one-dimensional female characters have male leads who are just as dull. They fall into gender stereotyping, hence the women are pretty and weepy while the men have no emotions. A part of me thinks this trend is symptomatic of not being able or willing to embrace the full spectrum of human emotion across the board.
    Another stereotype that is actually most offensive to me is the “angry feminist”. The expansion of women’s rights and the ability to pursue broader opportunities may have changed the women-are-weak narrative, but the notion that strong women are angry and demeaning towards men is, in my opinion, more widespread and insidious.
    One book that I think did a great job addressing this is The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish. What I loved about this book was its ability to unite the experiences of women from different time periods and develop a coherent view of the strong female character from them. In this book, their strength is rightfully portrayed as a consequence of both fierce intellect and the courage to engage with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re 100% correct! When I think of the books that portrayed women in the worst way possible, the male characters were also just a toxic stereotype in which the character had to be strong and unfeeling. Honestly, it’s harmful on both sides since real humans don’t fall into basic stereotypes.

      The Weight of Ink sounds so good! I just added it to my tbr, can’t wait to read it!


  2. This is such an interesting discussion post! I’ve actually never really noticed it, but now that you point it out I can totally see how male MG authors tend to use females as props to the male MC. Now that I’m older, I definitely read WAY more books by female authors, and I’m sure that inherently says something about my perception of well-written female characters! I agree that Rin from TPW was an amazing female lead, and I’ve heard such great things about The Priory of the Orange Tree so I’ll definitely have to pick it up this year!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honestly so happy with how my reading tastes have changed! I used to avoid books with female MCs completely and now I’m able to read fantastic books with female MCs. I don’t actively avoid books by male authors, but I do try to seek out books by female authors especially in genres where there might be a discrepancy, like in fantasy.

      Aah, Priory was so so good! I will admit that it’s quite long 😅 but totally worth it! I hope you enjoy it when you read it ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a great conversation! I didn’t totally dismiss books about girls growing up. I think I was pretty lucky in middle school and high school to have teachers and librarians that really championed books by women. So, a lot of books about girls that were recommended to me before I found book blogs/booktube/bookstagram weren’t written by men.
    One unbearable aspect of certain books, that will almost definitely make me dnf a title, is when the ‘strong female character’ is sooo strong that she basically isn’t a person anymore. Like you mentioned, sometimes the pendulum swings too far in the opposite direction, and in an attempt to write better female characters some authors end up villanizing all feminine qualities. That’s almost worse to me in a way. A girl can like doing her makeup and still be a badass lol.
    You also made an interesting point about writing sexism into fantasy stories as being male fantasies. I can definitely agree to a certain extent, but I’ve also seen these types of stories used to draw parallels to our own world and condemn those kinds of behaviors and thought processes, which I personally don’t mind. It can be uncomfortable though when that isn’t the case and you get the impression that the author holds some of those beliefs themselves, so I think it really depends. I’m curious about how you feel about genre fiction written by women that include the same types of sexist characters? In those situations, I think I’ve only ever seen it used as really effective social commentary. The book I’m currently reading is such an example, The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson. Even though the town in the story is explicitly misogynistic, the text is not and contains some strong feminist themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh yes! I hate when “strong female character” becomes more unbearable than the weak female stereotype. I find that it happens in movies a lot too, and it’s very upsetting because it’s like people are saying that to be “strong” women have to reject their femininity 😤

      I agree with you! I think that fantasy books can be very powerful when they draw a parallel to issues we face in our day to day lives and make a sort of commentary on them. My issue is usually when there’s a sort of “senselessness” to it. I’m not sure how to explain it but one way that I see it a lot is when authors use rape as a plot device but only so that it shocks the readers and diminishes the character. I’ve seen often that (male) authors will write a rape scene into a book and use it as a way to make the female character depend on the male mc more.

      Ooh, I want to read The Year of the Witching, are you enjoying it so far?


      1. Yes to everything you said! It is super frustrating to see stories where to be considered strong the women have to reject anything feminine. It sets up a dichotomy where maculine=good and feminine=bad. It’s almost like some people can’t imagine a character who is both complex and capable but also likes ‘girly’ things 🙄. I think this trend, in books and movies, also contributed a bit to the whole ‘I’m not like other girls’ mentality. By presenting feminine traits as bad, young girls are encouraged to not engage with them and to identify themselves by separating from girls who do engage with more feminine traits.

        Also, I get what you mean by ‘senselessness’. I’ve had the unfortunate displeasure to read the occasional story where rape is used for shock and really has no purpose. Why would that be included if it serves only as a way to make the readers uncomfortable? It’s definitely weird and I don’t like it.

        The Year of the Witching is amazing!! I’m about 40% of the way through it and I could already spend hours talking about it and still have more to say. It’s really interesting and I love Alexis Henderson’s writing. There is also just a hint of a romance brewing that I’m obsessed with but it’s not distracting from the actual plot. I don’t want to jinx it but this might be my first five-star read of the new year 👀

        Liked by 2 people

  4. This is such an interesting discussion post, Chana! I actually never really minded whether the books I read had female or male protagonists, but then again, I also read a bunch of middle grade books with wonderful female protagonists, so that might be part of it? Though I do think it’s extremely noticeable how few male protagonists there are in YA… And there are definitely books out there that have me grinding my teeth over how much they objectify women! For example, one of my most disappointing books last year was Leviathan Wakes, pretty much for that same exact reason 🙈 But I do usually feel that the characterization of other characters also often isn’t that great when the female characters are just flat lust-objects for men… So I don’t mind avoiding those books altogether 😂 And I do think there are also male authors out there who write good female characters! For example, I do really like Jay Kristoff’s books.

    However, while I don’t prefer male protagonists to female ones, I have noticed that I usually like male audiobook narrators more than women! I have listened to so many audiobooks where women read them in this “terribly annoying quirky way”, whereas I often find men way more calming to listen to and better with different voices. Of course, there are exceptions, but it is pretty noticeable, so I’m really wondering how much internalized misogyny might be behind that… Or whether it might be because books with male protagonists often have high quality productions with actors reading them, whereas many YA books often get a cheaply produced version… Either way, I think that’s definitely something to reflect on, and you certainly got me thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true! Usually when the female characters are horribly written the rest of the book/characters tend to be horribly written as well, so I definitely never feel like I’m missing out on anything 😂

      Ooh, that’s interesting! I’ve never actually listened to an audiobook before so I don’t know which type of narrator I’d prefer. I guess I’ll have to start listening to audiobooks to figure that out 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, if you do ever decide to go down the audiobook route, definitely let me know what you think! I desperately need to know if these are just stupid issues I have, or if other people actually agree with me 😅😂


  5. ahh chana!! this is SUCH an interesting discussion post!! i feel like when i was a child i didn’t try to purposely avoid books starring female mc’s just not pick them up when i went to the bookstore or library, because i just enjoyed the ones with male mc’s more. even now, when i read fantasies, i don’t like reading books with female mc’s written by a male author, because the portrayal is just so wrong!! either she’s going to be the “weak, helpless type who needs a man to save her” or she’s going to be someone with no emotions, and a supposed “strong female”, which honestly just doesn’t work for me. i mean, looking back now, in a ton of the MG books i read, all the female characters were just the supporting ones…

    i love the “strong, independent female character” trope, but i HATE when it’s being done wrong!! i mean, a girl can like buying clothes, doing her make-up, and even cry once in a while but still be strong!! she doesn’t have to become a mindless drone to have a good story!! or have a man to be important!! ahh sorry for rambling🥺, i just loved this post so much!! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Exactly! I only started noticing it recently but there are so many male-written fantasies that are great except for the fact that the female characters are a little bit too one dimensional and stereotypical 😭 That’s not to say that there aren’t male-written fantasies with great female characters, because there definitely are, but I don’t think that they’re the norm.

      Yes!! I think it’s hard for people to understand that a strong female character doesn’t need to fit a specific mold like there are so many ways for a female character to be strong and rejecting femininity is not the only way to show that!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a great discussion! When I was a young teenager I felt the same way about female characters and I think at some point it really put me off from reading until I started reading YA books that had fleshed out female protagonists. And I hate the idea that a “strong female character” just means an action heroine who has no personality and beats people up while doing an annoying little smirk. A strong female character could be a stay-at-home mother who is really supportive of her kids. Just because she has a stereotypically “female” role doesn’t mean she can’t be strong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The same exact thing happened to me! When I got into the age range to read YA books I didn’t really want to read them because I assumed that they wouldn’t be fleshed out, developed, or interesting, but I was totally wrong!

      Exactly!! That’s actually one reason why I loved The Wolf of Oren Yaro so much, one part of the mc’s character is how much she cares for her son and I feel like that works to make her an even stronger female character rather than a weaker one.


  7. Amazing discussion!
    I definitely can’t think of many books I read as a kid that had a girl as the main character (other than maybe Inkheart?), and I think that’s why I jumped straight from kids books to adult books, looking for some female leads. I didn’t really get into YA until I started blogging, and only then did I realise what a good variety of female main characters there was in the genre.
    And I definitely agree about your thoughts on strong female characters. In many regards they can be just as bad as the typical ‘weak’ female characters that came before, as they can be equally two-dimensional and one note. Plus I have to question the logic of putting a lot of traditionally masculine traits on a female character and implying that makes her better…isn’t that implying that femininity itself is bad? I always love female characters who are tough in different ways, like being really clever but not physically tough, or they like typically feminine things, but can also fight. I just like nuance and complexity, which I agree that a lot of female characters in male written books just don’t have!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I went through the same thing! I kind of disregarded YA books until I started blogging, and that was when I realized that there are *so many* fantastic YA books with well-developed female characters out there.

      !! YES! I feel like it works both ways where when people want to show that a female character is strong they project traditionally “male” characteristics onto her and when they want to show that a male character is weak they project “female” characteristics onto him.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic post, Chana! I love books with strong female protagonists, and I completely agree with what you said at the start about extremes. I’ll check out some of your recommendations, a couple are on my TBR already ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I always feel as a male reading these types of posts, where it says girls are portyad as boring weak and chasing after boys. They never discuss how boys are portyad in books, and films, The men having to be strong and saving the day and showing no signs of weakness.

    I think writers need to write more balanced characters of both sexes, and do not use stereotypes, for example not all women a damsel in distress while not all men are heros.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I 100% agree with you! For this specific post, I decided to focus on the female portrayal in fantasy and my thoughts on it since that’s what I have experience with. But I definitely see what you’re talking about. Usually, in books where there’s a toxic portrayal of a female character, there’s also a terrible portrayal of a male character as well.

      It’s horrible how often male characters are forced into these boxes about what authors think masculinity should be. Hopefully, we can see more balanced storytelling in the future!


  10. I hadn’t noticed that MG was often male leads and YA female before but you’re absolutely right. I think it’s one of those situations where as a male, the privilege afforded to you due to your sex means that it’s harder to understand the perspective of a woman? Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah exactly! Like I don’t think authors who write female characters as consistently supporting roles do so because they hate women or something, but a lot of times when you’re not in a specific situation you don’t realize what’s wrong with it.

      Thank you! 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is actually a huge reason that I read mostly female authors. I agree with you. As a generalization, I find that female authors tend to have more robust female characters, even if a male character is still the lead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! When I started reading more books by female authors I was so surprised to see such well-developed robust characters. Hopefully, it’ll come to a point where it’s not a surprise anymore, but the norm 😄


  12. How interesting that you had that impression of books with female leads. It’s definitely true that romance is almost always a factor in YA fiction, so I can definitely see that point, but I’m glad you have now found plenty of books that are written by female authors and show women in a positive light!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we need to have less romance in YA fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steamy romance as much as everyone else. However, I also love seeing other kinds of relationships modeled in books.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! I’m so happy that I moved past the weird prejudices I had in books from when I was younger. Its allowed me the opportunity to read so many amazing books.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think this is a great post and one I really agree with. There is a whole Twitter account dedicated to calling out male writers writing female characters that I think really highlight this. One of the reasons I’ve never gone back to read old adult high fantasy stories or current adult fiction is best of these reasons. I don’t remember this as much in my middle grade books but I do agree that female characters tend to be written a lot better in YA from women authors. However I do think there is a catch to writing “strong women characters” because I think it cuts out on girls and women who don’t see themselves like that. It stereotypes women in another direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 💕 Omg I must find this Twitter account immediately, it sounds AMAZING! Yesss, like I love SFF but I’m always wary when picking up any random book because there’s always a chance that the female characters will be horribly written and ruin the whole book for me.

      Yeah definitely! I think sometimes authors lean a bit too far into the whole “strong female character” trope and end up making the character just as bad as if it would be the opposite stereotype.


  14. This is a fantastic discussion, Chana! When I was younger, I actually did the opposite. I hated books with male lead characters and lost interest as soon as I found out that it was about a boy. The annoying thing though is that there were barely any good middle grade/juvenile books that I could find with female characters where they were true heroes and did awesome things. It’s probably why I read every American Girl and Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on, and barely anything else (besides Geronimo Stilton), because nothing else was really worth it.

    Of course, at times I did read books with male leads but I didn’t appreciate the fact that girls weren’t as common too. Especially in the mystery and thriller genre. Seriously, it’s frustrating how undiverse that genre is. 90% of the time, the main character is a white guy, and all the female characters are side characters. Or an ex-wife. It’s really annoying.

    When I found YA and a never-ending list of books with female leads who were strong, who were the chosen ones, who actually saved the world and didn’t leave it to a boy, I was so happy. It was around that time that I started book blogging, and I read so many fantasies in that first year when I discovered it. It does make me happy to see female leads who are strong and fight for what they want, but I’m now starting to not like that trope much either.

    There are so many types of girls, not just the ungirly-makeup-and-dress-hating kind of ones. There is nothing wrong with liking “girly” things and it’s sad that that’s the way strong girls are portrayed to be. I like dresses, and makeup, and shopping. I wear glasses, I love books, and I have no idea how to fight or use a sword. Does the fact that I am all those things make me not a strong female character?

    I also love what you said about how sexism existing in fantasy worlds is unnecessary because it’s a fantasy world. It’s not historical fiction, or contemporaries, or something that’s set in our world and time, so authors don’t have to include sexism, or racism, or anything like that. I guess maybe they want to use it to make a statement or a point or something, but it’s not really necessary. That actually made me think of the Mistborn series (the first three books), which does follow a female lead, but she’s pretty much the only living woman in the entire series. There are two other characters who I can think of that come later but for an epic fantasy series with books that are 500+ pages each, I think it wouldn’t have killed Sanderson to add more female characters, even if they’re just side characters.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this Chana ❤✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Yes! Male leads really saturate the middle-grade genre (at least they did when I was younger) and I feel like that makes it annoying to young girls on a variety of levels. Like boys get to read all these cool adventure books with male leads and then girls have maaaybe one adventure book and then 30000 babysitters club books 😭

      Omgg, the mystery/thriller genre usually has female characters either as the damsel in distress or as the insane revenge-fueled ex. Yesss, I had the same thing when I started getting into YA! It’s such a diverse genre with so many great female characters. It is annoying though that so many people like to look down on YA, and maybe it’s in part because the bulk of the main characters are female that people tend to view it as more “childish”?

      Oooh, I haven’t read Mistborn yet but that’s so weird! It kind of feels like when an author puts one POC side character in a book and then doesn’t mention any other POC for the rest of the series. They feel like their quota has been met and now they can fill their book with as many mediocre white men as possible 😂

      Don’t apologize! Thank you for leaving this comment! I loved reading and responding to it 💕


  15. amazing discussion post as always, chana!! you really hit the nail on the head with how writers get female characters wrong. and yes i always wondered why female main characters are more likely to have romantic subplots than male characters. i love romance, but sometimes it really isn’t necessary for a book, and i really wish writers would be unafraid to have no romance in their book bc a forced romance is worse than no romance. and the strong female character who rejects all things feminine is so ve schwab 😭😭 idk, for a feminist, her female characters are just.. not it. it’s a little annoying that her books usually only have one prominent female character who’s not like other girls. the feminism in vengeful was particularly annoying, bc not only was it very white, but so many other girls were brought down just to bring marcella up, and it just annoyed me so much. i am done with girls who reject all things feminine and are better than all the girls around them, and i am just so here for female friendships, and girls who are flawed, well-realized characters

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Caitlin!! I knowww, it’s so weird! It’s like some authors think that there’s no purpose for a woman if they don’t have a man by their side? Like why can’t she just go adventuring and slaying dragons without falling in love with some mysterious loser prince 😤

      fdafjadlfkdj I really don’t understand Schwab 😪 Like it’s such a consistent problem. If it was just in her first few books *fine* but every single book that she writes has the “I’m not like other girls” main character. From kind of glancing at her socials it seems like most of her author friends are the big male fantasy authors so maybe she draws inspiration from them in her horrible representation of women?


  16. Love this post, so true that there’s no real reason fantasy books have to stick to the patriarchal society thing, but most of them do. Been working my way through Tamora Pierce’s books though, it’s quite a traditional sort of fantasy world but all her girl heroes are so great. Wish I’d read them when I was younger!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! That’s the funny thing about fantasy to me, so many fantasies draw inspiration for the society and government from our society and it’s like if you’re writing a fantasy go crazy! Make up a government system! Write a Utopia!


  17. Such a wonderful, thought provoking post! I had to think back to when I was younger, and I realize that you probably pinpointed why I felt so… boxed in, in terms of finding new books to read. I had my go-to authors (all women, frankly) who wrote books about girls being the hero, but they were mostly contemporary. As a younger person, I was just not interested in reading about some white male hero- like you said, they were everywhere already!

    It’s so great that there are so many more female authors (and certainly more men are more responsible in writing women- obviously there are those problematic ones, but there are also male authors I know who don’t fall into those traps) and I feel like we’re finally starting to bridge that gap (at least in books- the real world is another story entirely ha).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! 💕 Looking at the oversaturation of male leads in middle grade it makes me wonder if female authors are more drawn to YA because there’s already a presence of great female leads there or if there’s some other reason that there’s such a lack of female leads in MG.

      Yes! I love seeing more and more well-written female representation! It makes me so happy that I have to worry less and less while picking up a book whether it’s going to be filled with misogynistic themes or not.


  18. I have never been a fan of the romance genre for exactly this reason but I feel its unfair to tar all female leads with the same brush. One book I have read recently which is still available from to request on Netgally is Threadneedle, definitely a strongly feminine book, in fact all the male characters are a bit not quite there but all the same.( see: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/catalog/book/203104 or:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, thank you for sharing! I’ll have to check it out! I tend to steer clear of romance too, partly because I don’t usually like seeing a female character run after a man for a whole book. And though I know that that’s a generalization of the genre, I’ve realized that romance just isn’t my thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t have to like all genre’s and I don’t mind a bit of romance in a book, I just cant see it being enough to hold my attention for 300 pages on its own.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post! I keep hearing so many good things about The Wolf of Oren-Yaro.

    Thankfully there are so many brilliant women in fiction nowadays, and so many different kinds of women who have different kinds of strength, but it’s certainly been a struggle to get to this point. It’s funny you mentioned HP because so many of us love Hermione, and she is brilliant, but the older I get the more annoyed I get that she has to be the most intelligent, most skilled girl just to hang out with two mediocre boys.

    Sadly I think some women have also got into the habit of writing heroines who ‘aren’t like other girls’. I see a lot less of it now, but it’s so frustrating when it happens! The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher is one of the best novels I’ve seen tackle internalised misogyny. 😀


  20. There is a lot of conditioning that goes on and we sometimes do not realize that men have conditioned us to have an aversion to females.
    Due to objectification of women and wanting to keep women in a little box that is supportive and insignificant compared to men, people began to see women that way. I am glad some are waking up to realize this.


  21. Actually one thing I like about MG is that there are a lot of male leads, which is distinctly not true in YA, and I’ve seen a lot of guys (plus teachers) indicate this is an issue for keeping up male interest in reading. You leave MG and suddenly 99% of books in the next age group have female protagonists. (And of course guys can read about girls, but I think we all can agree that guys like reading about guys sometimes, just as girls like reading about girls sometimes.) But I do think the “big” MG tend to feature boy characters, which is…interesting. Which is to say I agree with a lot of your post, just that it looks to me as if publishing can use a lot more balancing in general. Hype up more MG books featuring girls. Get more YA featuring guys. Get more realistic women everywhere.


  22. Oh this is such an incredible post, Chana, I love it so much and it really makes me think about the books I used to read and the ones I read now and how the change in protagonists is a bit… well, obvious. It’s also true that sometimes they go to different extremes, like the very strong female character isn’t allowed to wear make up and dresses and it’s like… no. that’s not what defines a strong female character at all, either.
    anyway, i loved this discussion!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s