Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#21

HereBeTreasure Wrote:
Briizy Wrote: I should pose a question...

How does a character's gender really affect the demographic it's targetting? Wouldn't that be the plotline and thematic elements that are portrayed throughout the story? 

Bear with me for a second.

Theoretically speaking, if an ungendered MC loses their partner, their family, or their closest friend, generally the motives are the same regardless of gender. To venture out to the unknown, and save their partner/family/friend from the monster/antagonist at fault. If an MC trains their entire life to become the world's best warrior that is to fulfill a prophecy, gender does not matter. What does matter, however, is when readers cannot get past the fact that one MC has boobs, and one doesn't.

While, you may be speaking to stereotypes (i.e, a female MC being far more emotionally driven than a male MC), a good author knows how to take stereotypes and bend them to their benefit. Not all feminine MCs are going to cry at the sight of conflict or danger, but they might. Not all male MCs are going to have a desire to become the strongest, baddest fighter in their world and seek out their glory, but they might.

Overall, I think your question is redundant, and I mean that as nicely as I can. I challenge you to take a cultural expectation - as in, Korean culture is far more tilted toward non-gender-bending traditions(as stated by other users on this thread) - and let go of it. 

Azarinth Healer? BADASS MC. Wandering Inn? One of the most successful stories on RR to date. And I guarantee you, the popularity of those stories, or the effectiveness of those character arcs, would remain the same (or extremely similar) if they were male MCs.

Not trying to be combative here, but simply posing an alternative question to what the OP was asking.
There seems to be a huge cultural disconnect between east and west when it comes to gender of the MC. Webnovel (chinese) I know is a bad site and all, but they literally have two guides in their "author's guide" section, one for male lead and one for female lead (with pink titles in the guide) please don't shoot the messenger this is all factually verifiable on their website. KR novels as I linked above are 100% male lead. 

I'm a bit disconnected from the western d&d and female lead heavy angle so... made a thread here to dig a bit more.
Yes - and I think there is a large disconnect when we have readers migrate to the site. I think it takes a bit of overcoming as a reader to challenge your own biases (your = eastern readers). 


It sucks to know some people think MC gender is enough to affect demographic success, but I know it is largely just culture. It is unlikely you will see female MC slaying monsters in an epic LITRPG with eastern fiction. I am happy RoyalRoad is challenging that demographical expectation, but I understand it will come with challenge as the site gets more and more attention when people leave those sites (WebNovel specifically).

And, keep digging. I posed a theoretical counter-question in hopes to help you dig, as well as any other reader/writer who has come to this road block.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#24

Nestor1079 Wrote: Personally I think litRPG is written by intellectually lazy people that get off on cultural slumming. 
While real, actual authors portray their characters gaining wisdom and strength through personal development, litrpg authors go HURRR HURRRR EXCEL SPREADSHEET GO BRRRRRRR which is quite possibly the laziest form of writing ever. 

I wrote a female MC once. 
I wanted to explore different perspectives and outlooks. 
I had fun doing it. I'll probably end up doing it again.
You are on the wrong website bro do you even know where the name of this site comes from? Head on over to Wattpad where the other mediocre fantasy authors hang out.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#25

TenThousandSuns Wrote:
Nestor1079 Wrote: Personally I think litRPG is written by intellectually lazy people that get off on cultural slumming. 
While real, actual authors portray their characters gaining wisdom and strength through personal development, litrpg authors go HURRR HURRRR EXCEL SPREADSHEET GO BRRRRRRR which is quite possibly the laziest form of writing ever. 

I wrote a female MC once. 
I wanted to explore different perspectives and outlooks. 
I had fun doing it. I'll probably end up doing it again.
You are on the wrong website bro do you even know where the name of this site comes from? Head on over to Wattpad where the other mediocre fantasy authors hang out.
Just imagine a noble, elegant and picturesque life in poverty that you might find nowhere else but in a soap opera. No matter how poor you are, it does not discourage you from showing unconditional love for strangers, and even a piece of bread is there to be shared with a warm smile.
If anyone claimed that such an illusion existed in reality, Lee Hyun would beat him to a pulp, and strike once more to finish him off.
  peoEsmile I literally just started reading this again, forgot how good this was 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#26

Briizy Wrote: I should pose a question...

How does a character's gender really affect the demographic it's targetting? Wouldn't that be the plotline and thematic elements that are portrayed throughout the story? 

Bear with me for a second.

Theoretically speaking, if an ungendered MC loses their partner, their family, or their closest friend, generally the motives are the same regardless of gender. To venture out to the unknown, and save their partner/family/friend from the monster/antagonist at fault. If an MC trains their entire life to become the world's best warrior that is to fulfill a prophecy, gender does not matter. What does matter, however, is when readers cannot get past the fact that one MC has boobs, and one doesn't.

While, you may be speaking to stereotypes (i.e, a female MC being far more emotionally driven than a male MC), a good author knows how to take stereotypes and bend them to their benefit. Not all feminine MCs are going to cry at the sight of conflict or danger, but they might. Not all male MCs are going to have a desire to become the strongest, baddest fighter in their world and seek out their glory, but they might.

Overall, I think your question is redundant, and I mean that as nicely as I can. I challenge you to take a cultural expectation - as in, Korean culture is far more tilted toward non-gender-bending traditions(as stated by other users on this thread) - and let go of it. 

Azarinth Healer? BADASS MC. Wandering Inn? One of the most successful stories on RR to date. And I guarantee you, the popularity of those stories, or the effectiveness of those character arcs, would remain the same (or extremely similar) if they were male MCs.

Not trying to be combative here, but simply posing an alternative question to what the OP was asking.
This doesn't seem quite accurate. Of the most followed novels on the website 2 of the first 20 are women. Wandering Inn has been removed but it would have bumped off the second female MC story if it was there. Wandering Inn is a story which while it technically has LitRPG stats barely uses them and additionally is a slice of life which is heavily female mc centric plus the main character is a very "female" character. The story WI would have bumped off the top 20 is Metaworld Chronicles which is also a very stereotypically female story. Azarinth healer does buck the trend a bit, though. There are 5 female MCs in the second page. 6 if we let WI bump Metaworld down and that bumps off Tree of Aeons. 3 of those 6 are not LitRPGs although they are progression fantasy I guess.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#27

HereBeTreasure Wrote:
TenThousandSuns Wrote:
Nestor1079 Wrote: Personally I think litRPG is written by intellectually lazy people that get off on cultural slumming. 
While real, actual authors portray their characters gaining wisdom and strength through personal development, litrpg authors go HURRR HURRRR EXCEL SPREADSHEET GO BRRRRRRR which is quite possibly the laziest form of writing ever. 

I wrote a female MC once. 
I wanted to explore different perspectives and outlooks. 
I had fun doing it. I'll probably end up doing it again.
You are on the wrong website bro do you even know where the name of this site comes from? Head on over to Wattpad where the other mediocre fantasy authors hang out.
Just imagine a noble, elegant and picturesque life in poverty that you might find nowhere else but in a soap opera. No matter how poor you are, it does not discourage you from showing unconditional love for strangers, and even a piece of bread is there to be shared with a warm smile.
If anyone claimed that such an illusion existed in reality, Lee Hyun would beat him to a pulp, and strike once more to finish him off.
  peoEsmile I literally just started reading this again, forgot how good this was 
That he posted that on Royal Road isn't even the most insane part. For literal *decades* "genre fiction" was considered low tier trash. Since we are in a thread about female MCs I'll use a specific example. The only female grandmaster of science fiction spent a significant amount of her literary output establishing fantasy as a "serious" genre. Just imagine coming into a thread about female MCs on Royal Road of all places and calling a niche subset of speculative fiction "cultural slumming". The hypocrisy isn't literally unbelievable cause humans gonna human but frigging wow.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#28
Of the 100 top rated stories in royal road
54 male only lead
30 female only lead
16 both male and female leads or not readily apparent (as in dungeon novels)
that's more than a 5:3 ratio...

For 100 top rated GameLit
60 male only lead
24 female only lead
16 both/neither
Which is almost a 3:2 ratio, an even bigger disparity

Wild that this is so much better than it could be >_>

As for why there's such a major difference I suppose it must be market driven. If you split up genres by gender I guess it shouldn't be too big a surprise?

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#29
I understand what you mean. I read my fair share of Korean litrpg and gamerpg and I just cry at how disproportionate the ratio of male mc to female mc. 

I can see where your line of thought was going - generally litrpg and gamerpg are, at it's essence, wish fulfillment for readers. Furthermore, games are stereotypically more popular with males therefore the genre should have a male mc to gain more readers/popularity. 

It's a simple conclusion to make...albeit shallow. 

I think readers will be at a disservice if those genres are locked behind a gender based role. I also feel that by making these observations and questioning why a litrpg with a female mc is popular is you assuming that females readers must be so rare and few in between that their numbers wouldn't make a difference in the stats, which obviously isn't true. 

The fact that we have top fictions both with a female lead is encouraging to both female readers and writers to feel welcomed to RR and the genre.

It also shows that gender doesn't matter when you can write a good story. 

It warms my heart to see that a good story can transcend gender norms and social conformity of what males and females should and shouldn't like 😊

Perhaps the best way to understand why those stories are doing well is to have a read yourself and make your findings as to why that story is popular on here!

DrakanMelt

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#30

HereBeTreasure Wrote:
luda305 Wrote: I would actually tend to think there are relatively few female protagonists on Royal Road.  There are 852 pages of results of male leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=852&tagsAdd=male_lead) and only 343 pages of results of female leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=343&tagsAdd=female_lead) (for comparison, there are 1858 pages of results (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=1858), so there are stories which are not tagged either way).  If we add in the LitRPG tag, then there are 228 pages of male leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=228&tagsAdd=litrpg&tagsAdd=male_lead&includeNotInterested=true) and 58 pages of female leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=58&tagsAdd=female_lead&tagsAdd=litrpg&includeNotInterested=true). 

I don't think there is any public data regarding Royal Road readership, though it's clear that Royal Road is not a male-exclusive site.  Somewhat more to the point though, there are plenty of male readers who can enjoy a female protagonist. 
Yeah, and what's so shocking is that female protagonist is actually outperforming on the top charts for RR. It's outperforming male protagonist by a large margin (maybe someone can crunch the number statistically to show just how much of an anomaly it is), given how few female protagonist stories there are.

Perhaps it's just a variety thing. The audience on RR could be overwhelmingly male, but after reading litRPG after litRPG ith a male lead, they just want something else. Kind of like how if I read a bunch of combat stories, I start to crave a crafter novel after a while, or a slice of life. 

Though, I would love to see the statistics of RR's readerbase. I suspect that women are significantly more likely to hide their gender on the internet, so it might be way more skewed than we think. 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#31

Haust Wrote:
HereBeTreasure Wrote:
luda305 Wrote: I would actually tend to think there are relatively few female protagonists on Royal Road.  There are 852 pages of results of male leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=852&tagsAdd=male_lead) and only 343 pages of results of female leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=343&tagsAdd=female_lead) (for comparison, there are 1858 pages of results (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=1858), so there are stories which are not tagged either way).  If we add in the LitRPG tag, then there are 228 pages of male leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=228&tagsAdd=litrpg&tagsAdd=male_lead&includeNotInterested=true) and 58 pages of female leads (https://www.royalroad.com/fictions/search?page=58&tagsAdd=female_lead&tagsAdd=litrpg&includeNotInterested=true). 

I don't think there is any public data regarding Royal Road readership, though it's clear that Royal Road is not a male-exclusive site.  Somewhat more to the point though, there are plenty of male readers who can enjoy a female protagonist. 
Yeah, and what's so shocking is that female protagonist is actually outperforming on the top charts for RR. It's outperforming male protagonist by a large margin (maybe someone can crunch the number statistically to show just how much of an anomaly it is), given how few female protagonist stories there are.

Perhaps it's just a variety thing. The audience on RR could be overwhelmingly male, but after reading litRPG after litRPG ith a male lead, they just want something else. Kind of like how if I read a bunch of combat stories, I start to crave a crafter novel after a while, or a slice of life. 

Though, I would love to see the statistics of RR's readerbase. I suspect that women are significantly more likely to hide their gender on the internet, so it might be way more skewed than we think.
That female lead stories appear to be outperforming is actually indicative of their rarity.


I can't provide RR statistics but 80% of all paper novels are bought by women. Of course this is across all fiction genres. Additionally male genres are more likely to have doorstoppers. So if women read 9 books a year and men 5 it is possible the pages consumed are even in favor of men.

Supposedly more boys than girls read Harry Potter but only like 55/45. Virtually no men read major female genres like romance. Well okay 16%.

Romance was 29% of all fiction in 2015 and it was divided 84/16 in favor of women. So romance alone accounts for a 19.72% lead for women. These numbers actually support the idea that women read shorter books so the 80/20 number is slightly inaccurate.

Crime and thriller is second, hard to get a % but by sale it goes 1.44b Romance, 720mil crime/mystery, 590mil sci-fi/fantasy, then down to Horror at 80 million. Probably the incline is different if you separate crime and mystery as well as sci-fi an fantasy. Horror wouldn't look so far out. Of course romance would be alone on top of the mountain.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#32
In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#33

Cipherpaper Wrote: In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.
What the actual [censored] did I just read

Ok, we can def mark this down to a cultural difference. 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#34

Haust Wrote:
Cipherpaper Wrote: In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.
What the actual [censored] did I just read

Ok, we can def mark this down to a cultural difference.

I think, despite not having very good grammar, the user explained it pretty well.

Now, where do boy's love and girl's love novels play into that~?

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#35

Sake Wrote:
Haust Wrote:
Cipherpaper Wrote: In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.
What the actual [censored] did I just read

Ok, we can def mark this down to a cultural difference.

I think, despite not having very good grammar, the user explained it pretty well.

Now, where do boy's love and girl's love novels play into that~?
Ah no, I meant the idea of entire websites filled with just this kind of plot. Cipherpapers grammar is perfectly readable! Sorry for being unclear. 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#36

Haust Wrote:
Sake Wrote:
Haust Wrote:
Cipherpaper Wrote: In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.
What the actual [censored] did I just read

Ok, we can def mark this down to a cultural difference.

I think, despite not having very good grammar, the user explained it pretty well.

Now, where do boy's love and girl's love novels play into that~?
Ah no, I meant the idea of entire websites filled with just this kind of plot. Cipherpapers grammar is perfectly readable! Sorry for being unclear.

Well, I know for sure, there are entire websites filled with just xianxia boy's love plots half of which look like a rip-off from Mo Dao Zushi.
 If such places exist, I'm sure harems also have their enclaves.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#37
My guess would be that the tag 'female protagonist' scares away a specific demographic that has a higher likelihood of giving 1 star reviews. Moreover, I'd guess scarcity also plays role here. Fewer alternatives -> readers have less experience with it -> it's less of a trope -> higher scores. 
On other sites you see similar things with specific LGBT (e.g. boy love) novels. They tend to also be scored fairly highly, because their demographic presumably scores novels differently. 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#38

HereBeTreasure Wrote: korean gamelit novels, where every main character is basically a male necromancer
I think the thing here is that they follow a formula that is popular there, not that the appeal of male protagonists is higher in Korea and lower on RR.

This formula is about male necromancers, another is cultivation about an underdog who discovers an OP whatever and goes to conquer the land, yet another is the CEO about a beautiful girl who meets an OP guy, the western might be about a sheriff that comes to a city to set it straight, or a fantasy party on a dungeon crawl adventure, and so on.

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#39

Sake Wrote:
Haust Wrote:
Sake Wrote:
Haust Wrote:
Cipherpaper Wrote: In the beginning, Webnovel (Chinese) didn't distinguish between male and female protagonists, both male and female protagonists were existence, but soon the "harem" appeared and became the main style.
The "harem" in past is different from now, they are no logic.
A man falls in love with a princess, so kills her whole family, takes over her kingdom, appropriates her wealth, kidnaps her, and then she falls in love with him. But the story doesn't end there. After conquering her, he falls in love with another princess, so he starts the above set all over again, but this time the first princess becomes the man's helper. Over and over again. Finally, the man killed all the kings, took over the territory and wealth, kidnapped every princess, and hundreds of princesses lived in a "harem", all of them love this man deeply.
Admittedly, some people really love this plot, but also some people can't accept the humiliation, so they start to build male protagonist's fictional website and female protagonists' fictional websites. This separation is built on irreconcilable gender conflicts. To this day, they still despise each other.
RR doesn't have such a fierce gender conflict, readers care about the plot rather than the protagonist‘s gender, I think that's the best shape.
What the actual [censored] did I just read

Ok, we can def mark this down to a cultural difference.

I think, despite not having very good grammar, the user explained it pretty well.

Now, where do boy's love and girl's love novels play into that~?
Ah no, I meant the idea of entire websites filled with just this kind of plot. Cipherpapers grammar is perfectly readable! Sorry for being unclear.

Well, I know for sure, there are entire websites filled with just xianxia boy's love plots half of which look like a rip-off from Mo Dao Zushi.
 If such places exist, I'm sure harems also have their enclaves.
Oh for sure, I just got confused because with only this limited information it seems we're not talking about little enclaves, but rather some huge pop culture thing. 

Re: Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?

#40
Maybe it like you said; market-driven. You began with the assumption that korean manga reader and Royal Road's reader is matching perfectly side by side while it could be a case of A intersected with B or A is set contained within B (the former seemed more likely). I hate to use generalization here, but few of my friends while still willing and to read manga/manhwa instead of just watching the resulting anime, absolutely couldn't stomach reading a long novel (written words are boring hurr durr or something like that). I believe this is exist in kind of spectrum of manga readers who also a novel reader and vice versa. 

Also while Korean LN/Japanese LN mainly use male MC due to their own cultural biases that tend to favor male-specific wish-fulfillment, this site was more demographically western due to majority of the reader here self-selected to US/EU audience by language alone (proof: ask any author concerned about timing their novel's update time) which of course are again more leaning to the other side of the 'liberal' side of spectrum.

Then there are facts that successful mangas/manhwas usually are the one who published using traditional publishing. Which by its nature of course, only select for most demographically driven manga. So while not all litrpg/isekai manga reader are male, the publishing skewed the data to be so. 

Btw, while I'm not assuming anything, you seemed to be tunneling here because female (even your most traditional, Romance-only, vampire/werewolf female reader) DID read isekai. There are at least two genres for female that EXCLUSIVE for manga. First, otome-game reincarnation, this MC could be male/female (mostly female) but it traditionally targeted toward female audience. Second is the one where they reborn as duke daughter/pastoral baron family/imperial princess/fallen empress/concubine or other noble-esque lady. 

And as final note, while I like DrBuller find it hilarious that your market research question get barraged by people who assumed the worst about market research question, your title is kind of self-selecting people who more likely could get triggered about such question. Perhaps by preceding it with something like 'Demographic Analysis: The Prevalence of Female Protagonist in Male Market Isekai LitRPG Stories' could lend more charitable audience instead of slamming us with something so obviously full of baggage like 'Why are female protagonists so prevalent on the top stories on royalroad?'. Then again for all I know it could be intentional to gather eyeball, who knows.

Anyway that's my take on it. Good luck!