They can be such an unwelcome conversation topic sometimes. Something that is often (in certain groups) guaranteed to be very loudly discussed by people who are about as knowledgeable on the subject as a dog with dysentery. And equally as pleasant to be around.
This can be the case even when the particular thing the topic centres around is utterly inconsequential. For example, the most commonly chosen gender of any given role player’s character repertoire. Although I’m sure there are some people who have played truly gender neutral or hermaphroditic characters, there are generally only two options. Should a person have the opportunity to play well over twenty characters, it’s likely that a preference will appear.
And some people judge you for the way you hold your friggin’ spoon while eating pudding. So of course people judge others based on their gender preference in character creation. This is worse for role players than for novelists or other people who create characters.
It might be hardest on guys who play female characters more often than male. This is grossly unfair, obviously. That’s the point. Even when they aren’t being picked on, the likelihood is so high that even being questioned on the subject is bound to make the poor guy defensive when he shouldn’t have to feel that way.
People should be free to play how they want without someone assuming reasons for why they play that way. A guy who plays girl characters a lot may just enjoy the things that girl characters get to do in the kinds of campaigns that his DM/GM runs. It could have nothing at all to do with gender roles.
WHAT A CONCEPT.
So I was just thinking about that this morning. And took forever to write anything about it. Reading Agatha Christie right now~