Archive for May, 2014

Give Me a Hero

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014
I'm weak.

I’m weak.

No, I'm weak.

No, I’m weak.

I have a theory and only the barest of anecdotal evidence in support of it, but I’m not letting that stop me. My hypothesis is that women are more tolerant of – let’s say – confused male protagonists, and men are more tolerant of their female versions. My evidence? My honey had to stop reading both Stoner and The Finkler Question because he found the (male) protagonist indecisive, spineless and weak-willed. I struggled to finish both Mansfield Park and Rebecca because of the submissive, spineless, insipid heroine. Mind you I don’t know any man who has read either Mansfield Park or Rebecca so perhaps they know better to stay away from gutless female protagonists to begin with (although, I suspect some men stay away from female protagonists altogether). The reasons for the aversions are likely obvious, but why would a woman be more tolerant of a gutless male protagonist? Perhaps it’s out of relief to find after all those pathetic heroines that the men can be like that too.