In 2006 I wrote a piece for a magazine on the tyranny of the "sympathetic" female protagonist. The mag decided, inexplicably, not to publish it, so it's never seen the light of day.
Today, the conversation still rages. Why are female novelists pressured to make their female characters "likable," "relatable," "nice," when male writers of male characters are not? Laura Miller encouraged me to add it to the current conversation. Here it is, with some identifying details X'ed out. Pathetic but true: it's as relevant in 2013 as it was in 2006. Read it here.