Top 6 Attributes of Male Characters Written by Women
You’ve probably seen those pages which mock bad writing with tags such as ‘men writing women’. These include examples of sexualized descriptions of female characters, who only serve as a vessel to further men’s stories. While this concept is mocked a lot, it is a pervasive issue. You can even see examples of women written by men on any mainstream TV show you see on your Charter Spectrum cable. These unrealistic depictions of women are harmful to society as they instill insecurity in young girls and misrepresent their roles in life. However, is it the same scenario with women writing men?
Recently, there was a trend on TikTok, where people would label various men as written by women. This was taken as a positive trait and people like Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet were granted this honor. This trend went on for quite a while and showed how people perceive women’s view of well-rounded and realistic men. While many of the traits they described might also be idealized, it’s interesting to peek into what women want from men. Here are a few of the traits which really showcase this trend.
The first thing you’ll notice with most male characters written by women is how compassionate they are. These men are usually depicted as being kind to children, animals, and everyone around them. You’ve probably read one of those romance novels where a rugged man has an unexpected soft spot for horses or his dogs.
This compassion extends to all the actions this character does, and in romance stories, usually convinces the love interest to fall for him.
Men like to be thought of as stoic, tough, and masculine. However, women do not really want this stoicism in their male characters, so they write them being quite expressive at times. This is basically an ideal of hat they’d like to see around them in real life.
You’ve all probably seen how men are discouraged from showing emotion, and are told to ‘tough it out’. However, this leads to quite a toxic situation where they don’t know how to deal with their emotions, and cannot develop healthy relationships, consequently.
The era where rough, rugged men were all the rage is over. These days, you probably see more effeminate men making it to the top of women’s interests. Those musclebound men with zero communication skills are now totally out of trend, except when men themselves write them.
When women write men, they like to imbue them with a few perceptively feminine traits, like gentleness, fragility, and such. The rise of K-pop stars and younger celebrities like Harry Styles has really emphasized this trend. These celebrities embrace their feminine side, and showcase their interests proudly and confidently.
When you look at male characters written by women, you can see that they are quite well-rounded. They have a varied set of interests, may have some sort of physical activity, and can also hold a decent conversation about a variety of topics. This shows that women want to show men as complete beings who are not just about traditionally masculine activities.
This trait depicts men in a more realistic manner than those books and comics which show them as tough guys with women falling for them all over the place. This well-roundedness leads to more enjoyable fiction, which also has a sense of realism to it.
Men written by women are much more in touch with their emotions than those written by men. This includes being more wholesome and vulnerable when they’re in love. They also tend to fall in love more easily, and are good partners. In most hypermasculine literature, men are shown as unfeeling beings who are invulnerable to these ‘weakness’ of being in love.
You’ve probably read books like Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights, where realistic, flawed men, deal with their emotions in various ways. Their love is a driving force behind many of their actions.
If you cut down most of these traits to their very essential, men written by women are more complex than anything. They’re not completely good or evil, just like in real life. They have their motivations and emotions driving them through the story.
Whether these characters are protagonists, antagonists, or anything in between, they are quite complex and nuanced. This is a realistic depiction of human beings, and is a good way to showcase them.
To sum up, women actually write men quite well, for the most part. However, there is obviously some idealism behind these depictions, which is fair, given that fiction is where you can showcase your fantasies. Overall, women do more justice to male characters than men generally do to female ones.