Discussion WHY ARE MALE CHARACTERS IN FEMALE CENTERED STORIES SO BAD?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by AndyIvres, May 28, 2022.

  1. AndyIvres

    AndyIvres Active Member

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    LONG RANT INCOMING:

    I was just reading a novel and the 2nd ML kept getting praises and I just couldn’t understand why. Then all the 2nd MLs and some MLs flashed through my mind. In fact, all male characters from shoujo/josei/harlequin/YA romance flashed through my mind and I noticed something. These genre writers don’t write good male characters.
    There’s hardly ever an in between. They’re either complete garbage or emasculated simps! They’re either cold/calculative/manipulative/all-round-scum-bag or they’re willing to gut themselves so the FL can step on their bowels so as not to get dirt on their shoes. No, the complicated ML with dark past doesn’t cut it! Sometimes, they’re both but that’s about the range! The non-main characters are either r##pists or ‘cutesy/die-hard loyalist (usually, unwarranted). Even the fathers & brothers aren’t spared. Either complete sis/daughter-con or downright abusive and neglectful.
    I find this very fascinating because there was this whole trend on TIKTOK about how men write abominable female characters. It seems like it’s both ways. It’s not to say women write terrible men. Cause, I’ve read non romance books with good solid, realistic characters, regardless of gender that were written by women. The opposite is true, too. Some of my favorite female characters were written by men. Anyway, just interesting observation.
    That being said, if you read this far, any recommendations for a good story with solid characters would be appreciated. No HAREM, love triangles, non-BL/GL stories. Thank you!
     
  2. Kemm

    Kemm Custom title

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    For the same reason FC in male-centered stories tend to also be bad: they are more wish-fulfillment characters than real-ish people.
     
  3. Greater thunder

    Greater thunder Well-Known Member

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    Does kdrama work? Misaeng: Incomplete Life.

    It ends (sorta) happy, but holy shit do the characters have to stumble, fight and think hard on their way to that end.

    I am pretty sure there's no romance? Been a while since I saw it though.
     
  4. ngard

    ngard Well-Known Member

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    Spot on! Main reason I don't really like romance in those genres. It would've been fine if there weren't that many and the ML was decent, but there are soo many of them, and the ML is basically all the same, just different hair and eye colour.
    Reading (most) female characters in Shounen or Seinen is also incredibly painful.
    Why are opposite genders idealised so much in these novels, and the "ideals" are so meagre in quantity? And why are every character always exaggerated to the moon and back?:,(
     
  5. Marvin

    Marvin The Man who realize love

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    Ahh you readbtoo much chinese cultivation trash
     
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  6. Geor

    Geor Well-Known Member

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    it's true in both directions And in all cultures. The ML and FL are usually about as deep as a cardboard box, no one is just regular they are all better looking than the last with out saying if the last good looking person is now Fugly or not (I mean this one really bugs me, I mean makeup can only do so much before it's just gross). I mean even the supposed plain Jane bookworm in the background is every porno fantasy type the way they describe them (and I swear they steal from those for the scenes too a lot). I mean even their regular people are better looking then the top models we see in every magazine out there from the way they talk about them. Then you brought up how they all seem to share the five same personalities having less depth then a ripped piece of paper (probably the same paper an editor ripped up and laughed at when the work got denied being published by a real publisher). Then I remember, we don't read web novels for their literary achievements but just to kill time until we find something better to do, like rant about them lol.
     
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  7. Sabruness

    Sabruness Cultured Yuri Connoisseur

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  8. Meloonseed

    Meloonseed sobble

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    U gotta dig real hard to find romance novels where both the leads are regular people
     
  9. seemanta

    seemanta ţɦɛ ʏօʊռɢɛsţ ɮʀѧţ ɨռ ţɦɛ ɦօʊsɛ

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    Most shoujo CN are just wish fulfilment imo. Josei CN are too, but with better MC. I read josei when I've got nothing to do or wanna read something not so illogically cute. But I barely ever read shoujo. Last time I read shoujo for the sake of reading shoujo was when I was 12.

    There's a few josei or shoujo CN out there with somewhat better or normal MLs. I mean, they're still kinda perfect but at least realistically perfect.

    • I can talk to cats (ML is a normal good guy)
    • The Grand Princess (ML actually has some personality. Is a legit main lead that isn't just a helper for MC.)
    • Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan (ML is not really something great, quite debated among readers but imo he's a solid character at least.)
    • My Wife is a Workaholic (I just really like the ML here :) )
    • Rebirth on the Doors to the Civil Affairs Bureau (ML is super nice, kinda perfect but not unrealistically perfect.)
    • When A Snail Loves (gives off ML vibes but I'd say he does have a personality.)
    • Fugui Ronghua (ML is 100% a side character. Probably appears less than MC's maid. But he actually has a personality, though not a very good one, and we even see character development.)
    • The Chronicle of the Oriole Island (Good stuff!)
    • The Job of an Imperial Concubine (I like ML's characterization here. Probably not some people's cup of tea as there's no true love or stuff but I like how ML is an intelligent selfish scum.)
    • The Prime Minister’s Wife Is The Richest Woman (similar to The Grand Princess.)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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  10. Lemonlyn

    Lemonlyn ♥[ Incubus ] Onee-san Seducer♥

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    this is why I like short stories or no cp nowadays..
    s they usually are more centered on fluff or comedy which is much better than constant drama or love interests appearing
     
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  11. Fictionaddiction

    Fictionaddiction Well-Known Member

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    Idealized? Females? In male novels??? What novels have you been reading! The female could be portrayed as the strongest woman ever and all she does in the novel is get kidnapped and whine endlessly till all fans hate on her.

    They aren't abominable.. they are tough, strong, smart perfect in every way just like that guy you had a crush on that never looked your way! that's what they're meant to be. That's why they are always cold.

    It gives false hope to females that it's not that guys don't care much for them, but that deep inside they are actually obsessed with them blah blah like the bully is teasing because he's a tsundere.. not because he likes torturing people.

    Bad boys regretting every jerk action they've ever done... wish fulfillment.

    All are wish fulfillment, jerks getting reformed, or Nice gf slaves.
    And that is probably not going to change, because reading about realistic characters can be boring and .. not fun.
    Because to write any realistic characters really you'd have to get their focus away from revolving around the MC.
     
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  12. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Magical Girl of Love and Justice』

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    Essentially, it's bad writing. And a really common pitfall that mediocre writers fall into for that matter.

    A good writer will make a good protagonist and a good love interest... A mediocre writer will usually make a good protagonist and a wish-fulfillment love interest. A bad writer will usually make a boring protagonist and a wish-fulfillment love interest.

    That's it. Mediocre writers doing mediocre writing.

    Interestingly enough though, this doesn't happen very often on homosexual romance. You usually end up getting two actually developed characters when you're reading homosexual romance... Many people end up migrating to BL or GL because they're tired of the poorly written Shoujo male leads, so they end up migrating to the genres where the mediocre writers still try to make interesting love interests.

    It's an interesting phenomenon to say the least~
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
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  13. Sabruness

    Sabruness Cultured Yuri Connoisseur

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    totallly agreed (speaking from a GL fan point). even the mediocre homo romance is far better than mediocre cringe het shoujo.
     
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  14. seemanta

    seemanta ţɦɛ ʏօʊռɢɛsţ ɮʀѧţ ɨռ ţɦɛ ɦօʊsɛ

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    I agree so much with this! BL or GL have much better couple dynamics than BG! Both the leads have good characterization. Their power or stats are also more balanced than BG where the guys are almost always more powerful than the girls. Of course there's also some bad BL or GL but those are mostly written by bad writers. That's why I ship more homosexual couples than heterosexual couples.
     
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  15. MidstNost

    MidstNost 【 Reigen's Saltshaker 】【 Lingtian Raider 】

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    When I see you dont read BL i was like 'yeah.. That checks out'
     
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  16. Accismus

    Accismus Icarus

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    And that's why everyone loves bl.
     
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  17. MidstNost

    MidstNost 【 Reigen's Saltshaker 】【 Lingtian Raider 】

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    BL ftw
     
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  18. teargrants

    teargrants Well-Known Member

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    Not y'all praising bl as if it doesn't have the exact same problems lmao. 9/10 the uke/shou/whatever is written as the weak and demure one while the seme is just as toxic and r*pey as the ml in straight stories. Essentially, all the writer has done has swapped out the female character for a male one and called it a day.
     
  19. Lonelycity

    Lonelycity Twice Bitten Thrice Shy

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    While the tone used here is harsh... My sentiments are similar. Don't BL have similar couple dynamics as shoujo? Weak seme = girl
    Strong uke = guy
    Tyrannical and stuff... I don't even wanna think.

    However it IS true that amongst all garbage, BL has the least amount. As in theres more chances to find decent hidden gems in BL than anywhere else. But BL is no exception to the complaint that original OP brought about.....
     
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  20. Greater thunder

    Greater thunder Well-Known Member

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    Readers ignoring or skipping romance plots and charas rise up! *crickets, not even chirping, just silent crickets*

    Just me, huh?

    Gay romance is overrated (partly cause its new) on mtl sites, you'll run into inflated scores just because the genre and tag lists includes bl or yaoi or yuri tags.

    Which reflects even harsher in reviews and comments of people who actually give it a shot and find it even worse than they thought (as a story, on worldbuilding, boring and annoying characters,.... pick your poison) which ends up being the only reason the scores of these aren't kept at perfect 5.0 stars but hover between 4.0-4.9 for the most part.

    I'm not saying other stuff isn't word filler trash, I am just saying gay romance webnovels aren't immune to bad writers taking a shot at writing them.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022