Last month over at Fangs, Fur, & Fey on LJ, one poster discussed a conversation she overheard in the fantasy section of a bookstore:
Dude: Man, look at all this.Wow. Just.... wow.
Dude: I'm getting so sick of seeing this shit.
Dude: This, and this and this (*pointing to books on shelves I'd have to crane my neck to identify*) and this and this.... All these books with heroines who wanna be the hero and shit.
(At this point, if I'd been drinking a beverage, I'd have spit it out.)
Dude: And vampires, man, quit with the stupid vampires. We need more books like this.
(He picks up the latest video game tie-in.)
Oddly enough, only a few commentors remarked on the misogyny underlying the conversation. The rest of the commentors discussed the legitimacy of being frustrated with the vampire fad.
Frankly, I don't give a shit if they have reason to bash vampire fiction or not. That wasn't the main point of their conversation. The fact that they're assholes who don't respect women? Yeah, I care about that quite a bit.
The question of whether or not there are too many heroines and not enough heroes in current fiction was also raised. I've personally considered if I should be writing about more heroes. The conclusion I eventually came to is that the fantasy/scifi genre has historically been dominated by male leads and male writers. This is not exclusive to the genre; it mirrors real life. As much as I dislike how far too many authors portray the new kick-ass heroine in UF, I will admit that it's something that did not exist on bookshelves about 10-20 years ago. And it's such a pervasive concept for exactly that reason.
So, no. I don't think there are too many heroines and not enough heroes. Perhaps one day when women aren't paid seventy-five cents to the men's dollar and one in four women aren't raped and we don't need domestic violence shelters because there isn't domestic violence and other people cease attempting to control, shame, or distort our perception of our bodies and...
Maybe then I'll reconsider.