This question comes to us from Mahita @ Amateur Teen Writer, who asks:
Do you prefer male or female protagonists? 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?
In a society with increasingly fluid approaches to gender, this is a question with so many levels…however, I get what she is asking, and since most people still largely identify with a gender binary, I’m going to answer it in the spirit that it was asked.
My gut tells me that I prefer male protagonists, but I don’t think by much, at least not any more. I used to read a TON of mysteries, and preferred my Spenser and my Myron and my Elvis to any Kinseys and VIs and Eve Dallases. And I think that preference is likely still true today, although Rachel Howzell Hall and her Lou Norton have gone a long way toward turning the tide.
On the other hand, I have read more Urban Fantasy/Urban Paranormal these last few years, and the protagonists in those are almost universally female, and I think I prefer that. The idea of a male protagonist in that space seems jarring.
So. Yes, male protagonists…but really by a 51-49 margin.
I have recently read a book with a non-binary protagonist, and plan to seek out more diverse, gender fluid protagonists in the future. Because books are here to show us that our experiences are not all experiences, and that people are amazing in their not-at-all sameness. So, if you have any recs for non-binary protagonists, I’ll be happily taking them in the comments.