The truth is, I want to be known as a writer who can write almost anything. That extends to character. I don’t want to spend my career specializing in twentysomething white guys with a college education who come from working class backgrounds because that would get really boring, really fast. When I take a roll call of the characters I’ve written over the past few years and check them for gender alone… well, it’s embarrassing.
Know the feeling.
It may be an excuse, but I find women harder to write because girls are more thoroughly socialized from a young age. My own rather pronounced introversion and terseness make me kind of an odd duck as a man. If I were a woman those traits would be outright discouraged, maybe on threat of witchburning.
Of course whatever the reason, it's better to at least know this is a deficit and to work on it. Some male authors "know" that they understand women and can write them naturally, in the same way that Peggy Hill knew she was a fluent Spanish speaker. It's not pretty.