Outside of my experience as a student at Wellesley College, where we loved discussing gender issues, I’ve found that talking about gender is hard. And discussing gender in literature is definitely not wildly popular. No one wants to call out T.S. Eliot for being sexist (even though he kind of was) or reprimand a bunch of dead old white men who contributed to the vast majority of our Western literary upbringing. But I think it’s important to talk about these issues. That’s how we help society move toward a future where it won’t be as hard–because we’ll have forced solutions as a result of discourse.
So today’s topic? The distinct imbalance between male and female protagonists in literature: specifically, the stark inequality when you take literature where the protagonist is involved in romantic or sexual plotlines out of the equation.