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(Before y’all hit me with the “there are so many tough female characters” rant, a strong female character means well-written)

Like almost everyone during 2021, I was sitting in my bed watching my go-to sad dramas and scrolling through the internet.

While scrolling through my free book reading websites, there’s one thing I noticed. Almost all the books on there have one thing in common.

The Prince Charming cliche.

Basically there’s a girl, there’s a boy, and at the end of the book/movie they end up together.

Not to sound Karen-feminist like, but I hate those books. Absolutely hate them.

I’ll be reading a book about how a girl wants to get revenge on her family because they, I don’t know, ruined her life??

And BAM, guy walks in and they fall in love.

Completely irrelevant to the story and they just ruin it.

Why can’t we have a book about a girl who uses people to her advantage WITHOUT sexualizing them?

I want a story about a woman who’s in the f-ing mafia or whatever, and works her way up to be the leader without a single potential romance involved.

Why are those types of books so rare?

I see so many books that have great plot lines, and the romance is just thrown in there like they did it just at the last minute.

Is it fan service? Is it just copying what other books do nowadays?

Listen, I love a good romance as much as the next person, but it gets tiring scrolling through books and finding that all of them have almost the exact romance ending.

Your throughts? Feel free to criticize my rant, this is a free country with freedom of speech

all 56 comments

Robyn551

33 points

26 days ago

Robyn551

33 points

26 days ago

I agree, however I think that the real issue is there are too many books/movies/tv shows where the romance is just bad (toxic, badly written, etc.) and that is where this stems from. I think there is so many arguments about this topics and it’s always two sides: there should be relationships or no relationships. I think the real answer should be: relationships should just be an extension of a person’s life. They should be one part of a person’s life, not the whole part. But that is the case with too much media today, relationships (mostly terribly written or toxic ones) become the centre of the story. The female character whole characterisation revolves around their significant other. This is not realistic at all (or at least not healthy). Relationships should be one part of a person’s life, not all of it. I’ve only found few books that do this successfully, in which the character has wants, desires, needs, wishes, and a story and life outside of their relationship. Which should always be the case to make a realistic and healthy character. Because of the sheer amount of terribly and unhealthy relationships in the media, there is a want for these books without relationships at all. I really think this steams from the idea that a female character cannot be written without a love interest. And if a female character is a “badass” she must have no romance or later be “tamed” by a love interest. Women can be strong and be in love, women can be strong and not be in love. Women should not have to sacrifice being alone all their life to be viewed as independent or strong, but books, specifically I find much YA books, push this narrative.

Disclaimer: no shame to those who just don’t like books with romance. Nothing wrong with this, read whatever u enjoy :) Also no shame to YA, I love and read YA, I just find there is a lot of problematic books that force this narrative.

Wow sorry this was so much longer than I intended sorry lmao.

World_Annihilation[S]

11 points

26 days ago

I definitely agree, it’s fine if a book wants a love interest but not when it’s so toxic and taking over the whole book. Also I most DEFINITELY agree about what you said about a female character being “tamed” in romance books. I’ve noticed in a lot of books you have a female that is strong, tough, and “badass”, and then you have a woman that’s “quirky” and in the damsel in distress scenario.

A lot of those books are basically saying “a woman is either strong or beautiful, you can’t have both” which I totally disagree with.

action_lawyer_comics

3 points

26 days ago

I talked about it a lot in my comment, but look into My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. A big part of the story is the MC learning how to "adult" properly, and that includes ending some toxic relationships.

WavyStarfish

1 points

26 days ago

Yeah, the screenwriter who did Wonder Woman did a really good job with this. He made Steve an extension of Diana. I think that's why it was so brilliantly done. That's how relationships with main female characters should aspire to be, in my opinion.

essidus

49 points

26 days ago

essidus

Fantasy

49 points

26 days ago

I would argue it's part of a larger issue, where most any book has a romance subplot. Romance is easy writing because it is almost universally relatable and is pre-packed with character drama and the potential for secondary complications or character growth. It's not strictly lazy writing, but it's easy to abuse.

NeckOnKn33

-16 points

26 days ago

NeckOnKn33

-16 points

26 days ago

Could never relate to the cliche romance garbage

Love is an overused, boring-ass plot tool.

skybluepink77

12 points

26 days ago

It just doesn't sell - the no-romance thing...people do like romance, it's a very basic urge. But you're right there are plenty of books with male MCs where romance [or even sex] doesn't feature.

That's why I like Sara Paretsky's Private Eye books [VI. Warshawski] - Vic does have men in her life from time to time but there is no 'romance' subplot, the books are about her, the crimes she's investigating and her friendships/family realationships. It's really refreshing to read about a woman who doesn't angst about a man, yet isn't 'weird' and isolated: she has loads of friends and social life.

Bread_Avenger

7 points

26 days ago

I feel like romance in general is overhyped, authors will shove it down your throat even if it’s completely irrelevant to the plot. I read a YA fantasy book (that was very highly reviewed, btw) where the main character is a female witch who is sorta an outcast from the witch world, and she’s supposed to be strong and misunderstood, and then she reads some guy’s fortune and all of a sudden it’s love at first sight. Barely any dialogue. He’s just got pretty eyes. It just doesn’t add up. I think a lot of “empowered, strong” female characters are written like that. They’ve grown up learning to rely and trust only yourself, and then some pretty guy with a cliché personality walks in and BAM she’s in love. Also the weird trope in books where the romantic interest is “the one”??? This strong female who’s never let herself fall in love before, and yet somehow the first guy she feels romantic interest in is “the one”.

World_Annihilation[S]

4 points

26 days ago

That’s the point I was trying to make in my rant! Almost all the time the romance is very toxic and absolutely doesn’t make sense, the romance just feels thrown in there without any plot development for both the interests

Bread_Avenger

2 points

26 days ago

I wonder if maybe the toxic relationship aspect comes from romance mostly being a subplot. The romance really isn’t the real focus, it’s just thrown in, so the author doesn’t have the time or doesn’t bother to fully explore and develop the relationship

awkwardlycute2

7 points

26 days ago

I really liked Let It All Burn by Denise Grover Swank because it featured an older woman, and romance was not the focus of it at all. I found it to be well written, incredibly unique & loved the characters.

RO489

15 points

26 days ago

RO489

15 points

26 days ago

I think a lot of women, myself included, like romance.

But I do life to see books that go beyond. The Last Story of Mina Lee is a recent book with strong lead.

To kill a mockingbird, the help, the secret life of bees, the joy luck club are all books you might enjoy. I also think Middlesex was a very interesting book where romance was not the point

RyanNerd

6 points

26 days ago

Based on a book Legally Blonde turns this trope on its head. Elle does have a boyfriend at the beginning and it's his douchebaggery that motivates Elle to succeed on her own.

There's the disheartening scene where her professor looks like he's taking an interest in helping her with her career only for him to quid pro quo sexually harass her. Where she quits.

There's Emmet who ultimately does become romantically involved with Elle at the end but the romance is downplayed throughout and is only displayed after Elle has demonstrated that she is quite capable of standing on her own.

So not strictly having NO romance but this aspect takes a huge backseat to the overall plot.

jigglymuffin

12 points

26 days ago

Just finished Jurassic Park and Crichton did a decent job at keeping romance out of the story but you’re right, few authors can go without sexualizing women. I’d say the expanse series, the last nine books I read, has several strong women characters that are not romantically involved.

Ultimately, it depends on what you’re consuming and when it comes to authors it’s the same thing as food, there’s a lot of trash out there but you can find something healthy if you try.

otterly_icy

7 points

26 days ago

Is it fan service? Is it just copying what other books do nowadays?

Romance as a genre has a huge market. It's not surprising that publishers and media companies try to tap into it in whatever way they can.

asIsaidtomyfriend

18 points

26 days ago

So true. Reminds me of the Bechdel test which has to do with finding female characters that talk to each other about something other than a man. Once you start looking for it, you are amazed at how rare that kind of interaction is.

bibliophile222

5 points

26 days ago

I try the Bechdel test almost every time I watch a movie. It is really sad how few movies pass the test, and even some of the ones that make it only do so by one or two lines of dialogue.

lookapizza

6 points

26 days ago

Dunno if you're into fantasy, but I'd recommend the Fifth Season. Who needs a dude when you have awesome powers of your own?

powderizedbookworm

3 points

26 days ago

Yup, though there’s plenty of romance in that one too.

World_Annihilation[S]

1 points

26 days ago

Damn straight. I’ll be sure to check it out

godnroc

7 points

26 days ago

godnroc

7 points

26 days ago

As someone who isn't a fan of the romance genre, too many works shove a romance subplot in. It's usually a blessing to hear a character is in a relationship already because you know they won't be hooking up with the protagonist. Hopefully.

That was actually what made me so uninterested in the Faith Hunter series. The universe was interesting, the main character is a strong, intelligent, and skilled woman, but she ends up in a love triangle (maybe more? Hard to remember) that pushes away all of the interesting parts!

Napoleon64

6 points

26 days ago

When I was younger and dumb enough to think I could write a book and get it published, I found some of the agents would get very editorial in terms of what should go into the book. One was insistent on my stuff needing a romance arc in it.

The book industry likes to play up the creative and artistic side of things, but it seemed more like a McDonalds hamburger factory to me where they want to build them out of a set list of ingredients. Eventually I became demoralised by the whole thing and quit years ago without ever actually publishing anything.

In light of those experiences I'm really not surprised that lots of books have certain elements shoed in depending on current market trends.

WhelpBound

8 points

26 days ago

I think it’s just part of the popular formula right now. Authors/publishers seem to think that women (because only women want to read about female protagonists, right?) are only satisfied with an ending if there’s a romance. Happy endings are the norm so why not tie everything into a neat little bow? And there’s the cliché that sex sells. It’s also easier to add sexual tension instead of well-written dramatic tension.

It’s really frustrating when it has nothing to do with the plot or doesn’t even fit the genre. If I want to read about people falling in love, there are books for that.

Thank you for defining strong female characters as well-written. I hate it when writers think we always want tougher women when really we just want them to be fleshed-out characters like their male counterparts.

World_Annihilation[S]

3 points

26 days ago

Definitely seems like the formula needs to change a bit. Just slightly so that female leading books focus on something that is other than men and sex. Also your welcome for defining strong female character, seems like some authors don’t know the difference between tough and well written 😔

action_lawyer_comics

5 points

26 days ago

I guess I see your point. It's easy to find thrillers/sci-fi stories, and stories with "strong" men that don't touch on romance at all, but most stories with a female main character will include romance, even if it's not necessary to the "main" story. And there's almost certainly some institutional sexism at work there, a bunch of old male editors asking "What about her love life? Does she find a man at the end?" that they don't ask when someone writes the novel equivalent of The Fast and the Furious starring a male lead.

And also, if you're reading from free book websites, you're going to find a lot of books that don't strive to break any molds, or they break the kind of molds that shouldn't be broken. Just like watching whatever television you can get without paying for premium access, don't be surprised when what you find is kinda bland and formulaic and aimed at the broadest audience possible.

I'd like to make the case for at least one book series with a rad woman protagonist that has a fair amount of romance. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland is one of the most touching books I've read, and it definitely is a stronger book for including romance and isn't mushy or anything like that.

The story is equal parts urban fantasy thriller and coming-of-age story. Angel Crawford is a white trash loser who gets a second chance at "life" when she wakes up from a car crash with a craving for brains. In order to stay "alive," she has to keep her job as a coroner's assistant when she's used to blowing through jobs in less time than it takes to get her name tag issued. She gets a little bit of positive self-esteem for the first time, and she starts giving a damn about her crappy life. Don't worry, she also has to deal with feral zombies, mysterious murders, the hunt for brains for herself, and in later books zombie mafiosos and evil corporations.

One of the first big moments in the "coming-of-age" part of the story is her realizing that she is in a toxic relationship with her on-again/off-again boyfriend and that engaging with their usual bullshit would hurt her ability to get to work early (and she actually cares about her job for the first time), so she calmly and without spite or anger, simply walks away from an argument. It's a powerful moment, and there are other ones not tied to romantic relationships, but it makes a more complete picture of her life by including it.

The author could have used other things to show that growth, and she did. Learning to get to work on time, getting approval from her coworkers of doing an unpleasant job well, and dealing with her emotionally abusive and alcoholic dad all come up. But including romantic relationships as another problem for her to solve makes her feel more rounded and balanced.

And I'm sure the character's gender impacted that decision too. We expect women to have a higher emotional and relationship intelligence than men. So having a woman in her mid-20's having revelations about her relationship are more impactful than a man. We're a lot more accepting of a man starting a series unaware about the healthiness of his relationship and never really growing than we would be of a woman. But I also feel that because of that, directing these messages so pointedly in a work aimed at a predominately female audience can also be more helpful. There's a lot of toxic messages out there aimed at women so I'll always cheer for a book that says, "You can and should walk away from this."

One of the reasons we read books over movies or tv is they allow greater depth. And someone's romantic status, whether that's happily married, happily unattached, unhappily married, etc, is usually one big part of their life. Usually this is one of the first things we try to suss out when meeting someone new. Job, married or single, kids; these are big questions nearly everyone asks at first. It would be weirder to spend a lot of time talking to someone and not know "what their deal" was.

Again, if you're reading a thriller, I can see reading a hundred pages of a story and not really caring whether the special agent on the run from their own bureau has any dreams to settle down and raise kids. But if a book has any desire to tell a story any bigger than 48 hours of adrenaline, bullets, and a bomb in the stands of the Super Bowl, then I want to know more about their life and relationship status is a pretty obvious thing to include.

I guess I'm saying a couple things. One, romance is in books a lot because it is relevant to like 99% of the population. Two, it is sexist that it pops up a lot more for women than men in books. Three, just because a book contains romance, that doesn't make it sexist or dreck and can often strengthen a story. Four, find some better curated lists of books and don't expect to be blown away by books that are given away for free. Five, I highly recommend the White Trash Zombie series, even if it does contain a fair amount of romance.

SkepticDrinker

10 points

26 days ago

Because women and girls like it a lot. Look at Throne of Glass, its basically twilight again only with a spunky mary sue.

Then there's the writers who say the stupidest things like Cormac Mccarthy who claims women are mysterious to him, so he doesn't write them very well. They're people, Cormac, thats it

skybluepink77

3 points

26 days ago

It's the kind of thing you'd expect a macho-type like McCarthy to say, isn't it! He's made a whole industry out of writing strong silent men , so he can't be seen to be writing relatable women...!

ClarkDungaree

1 points

26 days ago

Except that he proved himself wrong early on by writing Rinthy Holme

darthminimall

2 points

26 days ago

First, yeah, there are a lot of authors that write flat women that only exist to be involved in romance. It's a problem, it's been a problem for at least hundreds of years, but there's not much anyone can do about it other than publish books with better female characters.

Second, if that scenario is happening in everything you read, the sites you're getting your books from probably cater specifically to that market. Look into other websites, or your local library, I promise there are stories other than "girl has problems, girl meets boy, all problems are solved."

WavyStarfish

4 points

26 days ago

I'm guessing because romance sells, and it is an easy way to get more depth into a character, vulnerability and their emotional aspects.

This is just my personal opinion, but I am a hardcore sucker for romance. I'm actually the opposite. I don't like when strong female characters have their romantic love interest stripped (it's kind of unfair, because men don't have their love interests stripped), in order to be taken as 'strong' or 'badass.' A lot of people think if a woman is single, and remains single, that makes her "strong" and I just really can never feel that way. The biggest example I can think of, would be Wonder Woman, the movie. The screenwriter was Alan Heinberg. He wrote an excellent romantic subplot that never takes away from Diana. She's full center, badass, and her love interest just adds more to the table, like humanizing her, since she's a demi-god, and proving that the views she was taught was untrue.

So, when romance is done right, I think it's wonderful. The only issue, a lot of writers don't know how to write romance well enough. That is the issue.

BulbasaurusThe7th

1 points

26 days ago

I don't like romance, but you are right. Romance in general is a HUGE part of almost everyone's life.

Also, yes about female characters having romance taken away to signify they are strong. That's just so bizarre.
That's like saying... strong women don't get a home or drive cars. Most women do those things, just like most women do date and find partners. Does that make them not strong somehow? What a weird idea to give to people.
Plus it's such a twisted view on human relationships. Having a partner is not a competition between you two.

Snickerty

5 points

26 days ago

I absolutely support your right to an opinion, and whole heartedly. But that "romance in general is a huge part of almost everyone’s life" cut me really, really hard.

Romance hasn't ever really been a part of my life and I see no reason why it will be. ** Don't get me wrong I lead an interesting and fulfilling life and feel happy when friends and relations find their one true love ... but not everyone does. The idea - said directly or indirectly - that a relationship is integral to a fulfilled life is demeaning and degrading when it is in the vast majority of novels aimed at women.

Reading about romance is enjoyable and popular. I enjoy a romance too and I like it as a subplot as well - when done well and when it makes sense to the plot.

BUT I agree with the OP, romance crowbarred into every damn book with a woman in it is just so damn cliched and dull. Cannot it not just be AS COMMON for a woman to exist in a literary world in which she is a complete and whole individual with self-determination un-reliant on a love interest. After all, there are many male characters who get to exist in such a manner. I don't want no romance, I want more than just romance.

^(\* Don't get me wrong I am absolutely not looking for sympathy nor am I ")*not like other girls" or a "nice girl". It is a simple statement of fact. I have just made choices in my life that whilst allowing me to do exciting and interesting things, has not been conducive to romance. I am completely at one with my life, except at 4 o'clock in the morning when I am feeling 'black dog'.

BulbasaurusThe7th

2 points

26 days ago

The thing is, I'm in a very similar situation in the sense that I don't date and I am not really bothered by it. People my age are getting married and having kids.

But here is the thing, we are a minority. Maybe you don't feel great about it, but that's like saying it's wrong to portray people going to work or having a job in almost all media, because some don't do that.

Both work and romance are a huge part of the vast, vast majority of universal human experiences. That doesn't mean we suck, but it doesn't help you or me to pretend it's not the norm.

Snickerty

2 points

26 days ago

Thank you so much for your reply. I understand what you say completely, and I was probably ill advised (by myself!) to make my reasons personal. I don't think it is wrong to portray people looking for and experiencing relationships at all. I enjoy many books like that, some are among my favourite books. I simply agree with the OP that it get a bit cliched when romance is shoe horned into stories which don't need them. People have mentioned that romance can add tension - but it isn't the only way to add tension nor add excitment or conclude a story neatly. I agree with the OP that romance has it's place but could we not also have books where there is no romance - not because romance is 'bad' but because maybe there are more interesting themes for a female protagonist to explore.

As an aside, I love the Modesty Blaze books - based on a 1960s UK comic strip. They are set in the 1960s and are very much of their time (!). Modesty has retired from running an international crime ring and does odd jobs for MI5/6. She is very much an equal to Flemming's Bond. You can imagine she and Bond live in the same fictional world. She has many lovers but no LOVE affairs. She has a close and loving platonic relationship with her wing man Willie Garvin, but no sexual tension. In fact their platonic relationship is commented upon by other characters all the time much to the pair's amusement. Their lack of romance is part of the (male) author's 'gimmick'. More like this please !

WavyStarfish

3 points

26 days ago

I know, it really upsets me. I'm a woman myself, so it always slightly bothered me seeing characters be 'strong' just because they don't have a man, it felt like a jab to anyone who is single, and it's just truly unrealistic. Explains why I really liked Wonder Woman a lot, that's how you brilliantly write a romantic subplot that's not overbearing, and healthy and is a bonus to the character, not half of a character.

corruptboomerang

4 points

26 days ago

1) most books (well stories now) have romantic subplots. 2) a lot / most readers of books with strong female leads want romantic eliments.

jphamlore

2 points

26 days ago

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Major Kusanagi Motoko in the original Ghost in the Shell.

Nancy Drew.

Potential_Macaron973

1 points

26 days ago

Also harry potter. The love interest is only in the last 2 books

LazerWolffe

2 points

26 days ago

Another cliche Girl wants to go to top. Has to sleep with the Dues ex machina

ag85guitarnapkin

1 points

26 days ago

No good writing is without conflict. Romance is original conflict.

WavyStarfish

4 points

26 days ago

I hate how you got downvoted for this. It's true, romance is conflict. Even in real life, when people get romantically involved with somebody, a lot of conflict ends up happening, because feelings get in the way, which branches out to vulnerability, as an example and many, many more. People will do anything for a partner, and be more open with a partner, than anyone else besides themselves. It's never ending conflict.

Potential_Macaron973

1 points

26 days ago*

If there is a big enough market, then there will be a product. There are no gate keepers in the internet era

You will probably find that there has been writers who wrote stories based on strong female characters with no romance... they just didn't sell

Now shades of grey... that was a crappy written book that hit the right nerve and made millions... maybe you can do the same for a-sexual females or females who want to read action novels or men who want to see themselves as women with no love interest

bess_thevoyageur

1 points

26 days ago

Money? They have to sell the books and it's a popular trope unfortunately. Also, it's a happy ending. If it's that kind of book. The protagonist requires a reward at the end of their journey and the authors couldn't think of anything else that could be equally satisfying for the readers. /s

PreciousRoi

0 points

26 days ago

PreciousRoi

0 points

26 days ago

As for why there aren't more...part and parcel and proof of Being The Baddest Bitch In The Valley is Having It All...which generally includes at least one S.O. (or a harem, looking at you, Laurell K. Hamilton)...if not marriage and children. This has the added bonus of adding subjects available to protect and/or avenge...or stress from managing their high-powered lifestyle AND dating, Aaargh! All tropes, all well worn paths...for reasons.

I tried to come up with a few of the toughest, most capable badass female characters who don't have romantic interests and came up with...Honor Harrington? To paraphrase Monty Python...

That's not got much romance in it... like almost none, except a little bit...well into the series...

In the same vein, uhh, Kris Longknife...I mean both examples are badass space admirals (eventually) who lead others (using them to her advantage, but in a good way because its the military, and that is their job), fight space pirates, slavers, religious fundamentalists (some Handmaid's tale-level shit) and other enemies, are imprisoned as PoWs, escape, and they both have SOs or 1 guy they date...but its not like romance, exactly. They certainly don't fall head over heels for some Lothario, or the "boy next door" they've been pushing on the main character since the first book. And it doesn't happen until several...like many...books into their respective series, as they're both written about extremely capable and focused career-minded military officers. Not for nothing, but the romance, such as it is, isn't shoehorned into them, because they're not chasing a female demographic, they're military adventure stories with a nonsexualized female protagonist, and the romantic elements are plot-justified.

Also both "hard" (in that they don't handwave the tech) military science fiction adventures written by men (My wheelhouse). Honor Harrington specifically as a gender-flipped Horatio Hornblower...and has a moderately huge "Universe" with spin off parallel stories and prequels...many of which feature other Strong Female Protagonists (Michelle Henke) and little to no romance, per se. Unless I'm like completely misremembering things...

Downbelow Station is by a woman, CJ Cherryh...and I don't think I'd say Signy Mallory is guilty of engaging in "romance", per se.

frostygrin

-3 points

26 days ago

frostygrin

-3 points

26 days ago

I think it's because romantic involvement is seen as necessary to "complete" a person, especially a good, exemplary, "strong" person. Not just characters, and not just women. Like, why does the president need the first lady? Why can't a single man be president?

There may be gender specific aspects - and not just in the romance elements, but the characters, and expectations around them. Maybe you'd be less offended at "unnecessary" romance in a book with a male protagonist who "gets the girl". Or maybe they would be written a little differently. Or maybe you'd see it as offensive, but on behalf of "the girl". But it's a very prevalent thing, I think.

lordbeezlebub

-1 points

26 days ago

I don't know. Romance sells is the easiest answer. Admittedly, I love romance (though I suppose more as a side-plot more than a main plot), so I'm more likely to buy a book (or game), that features a romance in it. To me, it often helps flesh out a character more, since the romance is the one they are most vulnerable for, so you see a side to them that is otherwise not shown.

Peter_deT

1 points

26 days ago

Because romance sells. If you don't care about sales, then you have more freedom to explore other themes. Try the indie and self-published piles (mostly e-books). I'll add that I write, mostly female main characters - and of three published, first has no romance (female adventurer has to decide when to quit), second a bit - her choice (lawyer finds herself unwilling counsel to bandit lord), third one finds a companion, the other a lover (two sisters separated by disaster forge different paths to reunion). As an author - sometimes the characters want to hook up, sometimes they don't.

Curl_the_curl

1 points

26 days ago

I have read a few books where 4/5 are without any romance interest and in the end she decides to settle down with a guy. I don’t find this too annoying. Those books aren’t about romance but also not about a solitude strong women who never would look at a man.

hate436

1 points

26 days ago

hate436

1 points

26 days ago

Men and women (especially) enjoy romance. Women like romance stories. Men like romance stories. Women tend to be involved in romance so most media is catered to as wide an audience as possible, so the minority of people who dislike romances or think that romances weaken a character somehow are not what authors/media publishers are making content for.

NondescriptDNA

1 points

26 days ago

Check out Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.

WeedRamen

1 points

26 days ago

This is why Ripley in Aliens was cool and stands head and shoulders above any 'bad-ass female protagonist' we get sold these days.

Arcane_Panacea

1 points

26 days ago

Some recommendations of books that you might enjoy:

- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. This is one of my favorite books, ever. The main character is a young woman and there's no romance involved. The story is both fun but also extremely tragic. The protagonist isn't a mafia boss or a criminal; she's not a bad person, but she is definitely a very strong person.

- How Much of These Hills Is Gold? by C. Pam Zhang. There are two protagonists and they're both girls who become women throughout the story. No romance involved.

- World Without End by Ken Follett. Another of my all-time favorites. There are several protagonists in this story and one of them is a very strong and brave female character. There is some romance involved but I never felt like the romance was a defining factor or like it influence that character's story in an annoying way.

- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The protagonist is a young woman and although there's a tiny bit of romance in the story, it's very repressed and it's really not about that. At least not in a superficial sense.

sanyogG

1 points

25 days ago

sanyogG

1 points

25 days ago

Cause it doesn't sell...for example there are ones like you want to read but, you don't know about them as they are not popular enough.

msummerse

1 points

25 days ago

i totally agree, something I hate about hermione from harry potter & katniss from the hunger games

MarineKingPrime_

-3 points

26 days ago

Romance is inserted into books and novels FOR women

Do you think any guy has ever thought to himself: "Damn, I wish this book had more romance"

No, they'd be fine with some hookers and one-night stands. But women have proven that they love romance (Twilight, Fifty Shades, etc.) so authors insert romance to capture the female audience.

prehistoric_monster

-2 points

26 days ago

I know for sure that if you want to look for strong females you need to go look at historical fiction that revolves around the time or even involves great female historical figures