Guys as Heroes

I mentioned a set of problems I encountered for presenting stories told form the point of view of the women.  Here’s one that was a surprise to me…

As it turns out, all readers seek a male hero so the reader can embrace his journey and feel his emotions. Male readers will continue to seek a guy as hero even when a female hero is presented in the first few pages.  I was asked, “Why does the hero arrive so late?  He needs to appear on page one.”

And here’s the surprise…  Female readers also wanted a male hero to follow. I researched the dynamics only to find a principle called transference where a reader identifies with a dominant figure even when that hero is unlike the reader — even when that hero resembles someone in real life who is abusive to her, or withholds opportunities from her, or tells her that she doesn’t matter.

Women as readers have been trained to prefer a guy as hero because we are trained to believe the guy will solve problems for us. How is that working out for you?

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