Or is it me?
Recently we did an episode about the female archetypes of romance. It showed that as a reader I focus more on the label for the hero than the heroine. But at the same time it shows the differential in the lack on strong heroines in romance as well. Heroes are often written as independent characters that are capable and able. But often times we read heroines that come across as a simpering idiot.
Why can’t all heroines be strong too?
Now that isn’t to say that we don’t get heroines that are, but yet can you name a book in which the hero is too stupid to live. He might not be a likable character. And he might be kind of blah, but I can honestly say that I haven’t read one in which I had the thought.. man this guy is dumb. It might be harsh, but why are women boxed in at times. They can be insecure but have confidence simmering under the surface. A woman can be quiet, but strong in their convictions. Making bad decisions is a given in life, but it’s what happens after those decisions that shows the strength of a character.
Is it more personal reading as a cis white woman?
But then I have to ask… is it my view of how I read the heroine? Am I harder on the heroines that then heroes? Do I have unrealistic expectations for them? I think that yes I do go into a romance with different feelings on the ideas of what I want from a hero vs. a heroine. But at the same time, I want heroines to be capable of living their lives for themselves. I want them to have the capabilities of creating their lives if they never came in touch with their hero. BUT at the same time, I want them to find the missing piece of their souls. You can have both though, you can have a submissive woman who is strong in her own right. You can have a boss lady who is able to be soft for the right person. Why are these qualities that are shown in the men in books… but the women don’t necessarily have the same character arcs.
Just some food for thought.