the G-man wrote:
There actually was a valid literary point to Lois not knowing that Clark was Superman.
For about 50 years one of the main themes of Superman if not the main theme was the idea of the secret hero inside of us that others could not see.
Lois was the symbol-the human face-of all of that. She was the woman that Clark loved but whom he could not share his secret with.
Why can't he? The reason we're given is, "If she knows my secret identity, she'll be in danger from my enemies." This totally ignores the fact that being publicly associated with him puts her in danger from his enemies anyway!
In-universe, popular perception of Lois is either as Superman's romantic interest or his exclusive reporter, just as Jimmy Olson is known as "Superman's Pal." Any villain can kidnap or otherwise threaten them to get an edge.
They could torture Lois to find out the secret identity regardless of whether she actually knows it
. The only difference, then, is whether Superman has confided it to her out of trust, or kept it from her out of self-interest. Which action is more heroic?
The same is true for any hero who's publicly associated with any civilian. The most egregious example is Iron Man supposedly being Tony Stark's bodyguard. I'm sure Stan Lee thought that was a great twist on the "secret identity" concept, but it makes no sense at all. Stark (and his entire company) become a great big target for any villain. They're actually more vulnerable than if the Iron Man identity was just some free agent.
Is there any other convincing reason why Superman can't tell Lois???
It added a certain tragedy to the character. It also harkened back to classic and powerful myths about Gods in disguise.
The character shouldn't publicly associate with ANY civilians for their own safety. Cut off from society, forever alone due to your sense of responsibility... that's how you could portray a tragedy.