Throughout history we've been treated to men writing, describing, women. How well did they do? Sometimes quite well, sometimes horridly.
For the short while women have been writing at all, and then they wrote male characters. Sometimes well, sometimes horridly.
How accurate a depiction of an 18th Century man, was Mr. Darcy? I have no idea.
It seems that writers either idealize or demonize the opposite sex depending on their own psychology. Is fiction a fiction or is it a representation of reality. I tend to like things more on the realistic side myself but I think I'm in the minority.
I'll just ask a couple leading questions and you can work out your own answers. I don't know the answers.
Do iconic or archetypical portrayals of men or women impact our expectations and relationships?
Do writers write solely to entertain or is there another component at work?
What male writer wrote the most accurate female characters? What female writer wrote the most accurate male characters?
Is there anyone who doesn't think Arthur Miller was writing about Marilyn Monroe in After The Fall? Extrapolate.
The Gilderoy Lockhart Question for extra points--What's my favorite color?