Vanessa Jaye rounded up he vs she discussions recently and has a great example in her post.
And yet, do we really even care about a true male POV or are we more interested in the fantasy of what we wish the male POV to be?
In the comments, Rey-as-reader says
I often find, in fact, that books that supposedly portray Real Men (I feel like I should add a TM after that or something) simply portray male stereotypes. Stereotypes men *in our culture* are comfortable associating themselves with and that women recognize.
and Lucy Blue adds
The point is, I think that, for whatever reason, a lot of men choose to see themselves as less complicated and emotional than they really are, both as individuals and as a gender.
Okay, I thought I had something to say about this issue myself, but I can’t seem to bring anything coherent to mind. But, let’s try. First, Karen Templeton posts
I will say, however, that although I understand there are some hardwired gender differences between men and women, there’s no such thing as a single standard for what constitutes a real man.
And I have to admit that there is an element in some of these discussions that men are not nearly as varied and emotional and complicated as women.
There are many ways in which the portrayal of a hero can fail for the reader. Personally, while I’ve had my share of great reads with uber-alpha heroes (Dark Lover, Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockmann, etc.) I am easily put off by domineering heroes with baggage galore. Here the problem is obviously not that the heroes aren’t ‘real men’, but that they’re not someone I want to spend any time with. The fantasy has failed.
I can also lose interest when the hero acts in a way that seems unrealistic. Sometimes this is the woman-in-pants issue where, I dunno, the hero carefully observes the heroine’s clothing and labels. (Then again, some men may well be interested in clothing! I have zero interest in fashion, so I’m never terribly happy if the heroine is talking about shoes and clothes. That is something for me to get past. Ymmv.)
You know what? Time to look back on the books I’ve read in this year. Hmmm. I’m not having trouble with real men in the books I’m picking up. I wonder if it’s less likely because I don’t prefer alphas.
Okay, this post is petering to an inconclusive end. To summarize, not my issue (as a reader) but fun to read about.