Or, as some have questioned, can female authors write a convincing male character, gay or not? Can she seriously know how a man thinks enough to produce a male protagonist a reader will care about enough to get completely lost in his manly sensibilities (or non-sense abilities), one who can be a total jerk and yet be scathingly swoon-worthy? I have one name for you: Rhett. Butler.
Mr. Butler was a rogue black-sheep who was thrown out of West Point, chronic gambler and pretty much an anti-war guy who left Scarlett-and-company alone to face the soldiers on the road back from Atlanta and lest we forget, turned his back on the spoiled heroine after letting her know he really didn’t give a damn anymore — he is what we would refer to today as a big, fat jerk. Margaret Mitchell, first and foremost was a woman, one who grew up in early 1900’s Atlanta; she wrote Gone With The Wind, Rhett Butler, when she was in her mid-twenties, married and the writer of a society column. So how was this woman able to flesh out such a believable and eventually beloved rascal of a character? Simple… observation.