This post is closely related to my last one, the one about the game "Oblivion". While writing about my first impressions of this game, I also stated that I created a male Dark Elf as my alter ego in this world. Now that I think about it - my characters in role-playing games and other games in which I can choose whom to play with quite often are male.
In "Oblivion" there's no real reason for this. Males and females of most races aren't that different, so playing a female character isn't any more difficult than playing a male one - or so I guess, I haven't tried it yet. Somehow I just quite often end up with a man, even though I'm a feminist normally.
It's not that I won't celebrate the fact that I'm a woman (though probably not during a 'certain time' of the month), it's just that I find it more relaxing to be a sword-wielding warrior while said warrior is male. If I could make myself play a mage for once, I would, maybe, create a female character for it. Has this been programmed into my very soul by society? I don't think so, because I've read about a lot of men who, in role-playing games, prefer female characters.
So, maybe creating a character of the opposite sex has nothing to do with society, but is a logical result of wanting to play such a game. In the fantasy world of a role-playing game I can be whomever I want and, as I'm a woman every day of my life, I find it fascinating to be a man at least in those fantasy worlds. Nevertheless I would answer "No, thank you" if my fairy godmother offered me to change my gender.
What I find most amusing about playing a man - apart from 'undressing' my character to the underwear while fighting some zombies and then watching from third-person perspective -, is that I can act as idiotic as I want without wondering whether I'm that much of an idiot in real life as well. After all, it's just a game and I'm playing a man...