Suffice to say that little voice has quite a lot to say most of the time.
But it becomes a tricky balancing act when one is in the midst of actually writing to step back and go should the character be male? female? How much power should they have? Is that too "emotional" too "easy"? This is mainly come up with the supporting characters. The main ones I usually (key word there) have a good feel for who they are as people.
Don't get me a wrong, it's good to have the little voice. It protested strongly after Moonshine that there needed to be women, and stat, in my books. But it's a tricky process to make sure each character has their own story and are well-developed without falling back on the very gender roles that have imbued our Western culture and even language.
Yet, even in fantasy worlds, it stands to reason there are just new stereotypes that mean something in each culture. That's a balancing act too of what is brought over from the "real world" and what stays put.
It's become an interesting point in my works. Since same-sex pairings are the norm in my world, the question starts at how platonic relationships change between male and female with all that tension off the table? And then, of course, what happens in a culture when people reach across those gender lines when they're not really supposed too?
That little voice brings up some good discussion, but it sure is tricky to get it to shut up when I just want to write. I'd like to think that's what the editing process is for.
We'll work it out the muse and the critic, but it's definitely such an odd duality in your head, to examine the instincts pushing you toward various characters and conversations to make sure this is legitimate reaction and not one brought about by living in our current expectations toward how men and women should or would behave. It's usually not applicable and I have to find the right way for my characters. Otherwise the whole story is demeaned.