Let’s Talk Bookish – Do You Prefer Male or Female Protagonists

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.


Prompts: When it comes to books, do you prefer male or female protagonists and why? Do you not have a preference? Have you ever not read a book because the protagonist was male/female? Do you think it’s important for children to read protagonists of the opposite gender from them? Do you feel like certain genres have more of a certain gender of protagonist than the other? 

Welcome to September, everyone, and a whole new list of LTB topics! Today’s topic is one that I’m happy to discuss, even if I don’t feel like there’s a real reason why I have a preference. But I guess that’s the point of the discussion. Without further ado, let’s go ahead!

Overall, I definitely have a huge preference. and I vastly prefer reading from the perspective of female protagonists. I didn’t realize I had a preference at first. But the more and more books I read, I found that I definitely preferred one over the other. Now that I think about it though, is it more of the characters that I genuinely feel more connection with? Or is it something about the way male characters are written (in general) that makes me not as interested?

I have never not read a book just because the protagonist was male. I do admit that if I read a synopsis and it features a strong female lead that I will be most intrigued. As I’ve said in a previous LTB post, those plots (and characters) just seem to appeal to me, and I definitely gravitate towards them. I’m not really one for the toxic masculinity trope or even undertones, that’s probably why I stay away from them. I do generally think it’s better in YA though, I haven’t had as much of an issue with that.

I think it is important for children to read protagonists of both genders, just to get broader perspectives. Sometimes you can learn things just from reading from the other’s perspective in a book, and realize how the world can be viewed differently from different lenses. That being said though, it’s not exactly a problem if children just happened to be picking all male or all female protagonist books, I’m sure they’ll run into the other type eventually.

Honestly in my genres of choice (mysteries and thrillers), I’d say protagonists are generally female. Probably because that lends itself to the suspense and “defenselessness” that is more inherently expected. Or perhaps I’m completely biased because I tend to pick books with female protagonists? If anyone else knows, please let me know below. That’s my own reasoning for why I think that’s so, but maybe I’m totally off!

How about you all? Do you prefer male or female protagonists? Honestly I feel like everyone just seems to have their own preference (or no preference), I’m interested to see what people’s reasoning for it is. Let me know in the comments below!

9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – Do You Prefer Male or Female Protagonists”

  1. I have found myself reading books with mostly female protagonists in the past few years, and I don’t really miss male protagonists – I couldn’t even think of many stories that weren’t queer with male protagonist. And I guess thats the main time I read stories with male leads, if its a LGBTQ+ story. But otherwise, I don’t miss it – I’m all here for the girl power!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a good point about mysteries and thrillers, they usually are from a female point of view. However, I think lawyer-y books, or courtroom dramas tend to have male characters more? And thrillers involving intelligence agencies are more male dominated (I always get so excited to see one with a female MC lol) especially if it has to do with hitmen and things like that. What kind of thrillers do you generally read?
    Anyway, I also tend to read more books with female leads, just because I relate a lot better to them. Great discussion Fives!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re totally right! The legal-related mysteries/thrillers due tend to revolve around male characters. I usually read the ones that are more like psychological thrillers, and I think those tend to be driven by women’s perspectives!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was younger I found myself relating to the male protagonists in the books I liked as much as the females, and I didn’t understand why until I grew into myself as a genderfluid person. I don’t have a strong preference for the gender of the protagonist if the story interests me, since moving in between and through gender gives me something to enjoy in any. Not saying that if you have a preference you’re wrong, just that there’s something to like in both. I know that older spec fic especially was saturated with male protagonists (and pretty boring ones, if we’re being honest) and it’s great to be in a literary era where (insert stock male scientist character here) isn’t the only option!


    1. Thanks for sharing! Yes I am so glad we are not stuck with the same old protagonist these days. If you have any good recommendations for books with genderfluid characters or protagonists please let me know!


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