Now I'm not saying I've done a scientific study or anything, but going through all the blogs on my blog roll, over 70% of the currently reviewed books (the books on the first page of their blog) featured female protagonists, and the majority of the male protagonists were regulated to the espionage or action genres, or they were in older books. A quick glance at the New York Times Best Seller List shows the majority of them feature female heroes, and the same goes for a lot of the other best seller lists I took a look at. And a quick glance through the books that have been made into movies the last few years, it seems as if the majority of them, especially the YA movies, are again featuring female protagonists.
Before you guys start yelling at me, and screaming words like sexist and misogynistic, I'm not trying to say there is anything wrong with this trend, assuming this isn't all in the my head. Nor am I really trying to engage in an educated sociological discussion on the merits of this phenomenon. To tell you the truth, I'm not even sure I have a serious point to make, or a profound observation to share.
By this point in time you are probably wondering, even if this is really what's going on, what is your point of all this? I'm so glad you asked. Other than the fact that I've not bought books I've liked the sound of, but didn't care for the sound of the protagonist, I'm afraid that it pigeonholes boys into reading certain types of books, or keeping them from reading all together. I totally understand the reason for strong female protagonists, as it gives girls and women someone to emulate or relate to. But don't boys, teens, and adult men need the same thing. Is there a reason why men should be forced to read two or three genres in order to find male heroes they can relate to? I could be over thinking it, and working myself into a tizzy for no reason, but I'm not so sure I'm wrong here. If this trend is stopping me, someone who already loves to read and has always been pretty open in what I do read, from reading entire genres or avoid certain plots lines, how would I not assume it's doing it to those who don't read that much or haven't found a love for reading yet.
So am I out on a limb here? Is this something that really doesn't exist, and that it's pure coincidence in the books I'm noticing in the stores and on blogs? And if it is real, what's causing it. Do women make up the majority of the American reading public? Are most of the new authors being published now women? And, assuming this is a real phenomenon, is it the problem I seem to think it is, or is it benign and not worthy of notice? I'm not sure about any of the questions I just asked, but I'm curious to see what you guys have to say about it.