There’s a lot of criticism out there about the portrayal of women in fiction, and there is a reason for that, the way that characters are conjured from people’s minds can say a lot about the society of the day, the way the author’s sees certain types of people and just in general is a reflection on real life, at least in several cases.
For authors that have been complimented on the strength of their female characters, such as George R R Martin, who has been quoted as saying that he writes them just as he would write his male characters, there’s a semi-obvious perspective that (from a couple of interviews I have seen) certain writers don’t seem to share, and it’s only semi-obvious because some people apparently just don’t get it.
It seems to me that there are some that see males and females not as two variations on the same thing, but as two completely different animals, ones that can’t be understood from an outside perspective and one of which they feel they have to treat according to these differences, based on presumptions absorbed somewhat from the society around them and partially from their own untested assumptions.
But does this take away from fiction? Is there a certain point to which we can’t suspend our disbelief that in the world this person has created all women are a certain way and all men are a certain other way. Personally I haven’t read a book where I saw this happening, but perhaps I’ve been lucky, because when fiction does tell me something that I completely disagree with I do find myself cringing and I do have to force myself to carry on a little, even if the story is amazing. I assume that’s just part of human nature, after all, it’s easier for us to get along with people that agree with us, at least on some level, the same could be true of people that only exist in print.