Oh boy... I don't know if I should go off on a rant about that article... Let's just say that I choose to politely disagree with the claim, as I don't think that every single fragment of reality needs to be picked apart as a "gender battle". I mean, imagine if I, as a secularist, started claiming that everyone who plays Paladins and Clerics in computer games do so because they can't reconcile paradoxes in their faith IRL, so they choose to live out their "need to believe" in a computer game that enforces their faith as something positive rather than something to be questioned... You'd instantly see what a ridiculous notion this was, and you'd just accept that I am clearly a dogmatic person who shouldn't be taken too seriously.
I find it to be a sign of a very one-eyed mind when you can only see "your own battle" everywhere, but I understand of course that Jill is passionate in this issue, and that this passion is possibly fuelled by frustration over more real injustices she's encountered in real life. But, I have to say, "men play female characters to control them" is as much of a black-and-white bullshit claim as "only white people can be racist". It is said with the best intentions to "challenge the system" and build a better world, but it just ends up being divisive and harmful instead. One step forward, two steps back, basically.
But even if someone does play as a female character just to take her clothes off and have her /dance on the spot, so what? Good for him, I hope he has lotion and paper tissues handy so he can make a night of it. Why the hell would it matter what people choose to live out in a virtual world where no one is hurt? I'd rather they do it there than sit in some bush in the park at night, or take a drunk woman home and rape her, because unlike that, guys playing as females - even if it IS in order to "be in control" - is not some kind of social issue that needs to be addressed.
...sorry, that became half a rant anyway! Now to discuss this a little more sensibly:
Actually! I may not have any female character created in ESO yet, but I have had several female characters in World of Warcraft and other games.
The reasons for creating them have been very varied, once I created a female character just to see if I got treated any differently by male players (which, sadly, I was. Now THAT is an issue worth talking about!)
Other times it has been out of convenience for roleplaying purposes - for instance because my main character has a sister who somebody needs to play as part of a storyline I've planned.
I've also had female rogues and warriors simply because their animations look much cooler than the male counterpart. When a Blood Elf female goes into stealth in WoW for instance, she actually looks like a badass assassin, unlike the male equivalent who I don't know what the fuck he's doing.
Lastly, I've also created female roleplay personas simply to try something a bit different. Clearly as a male, I identify easier with a male persona, but why not try and experience something else? I won't say I did it to "challenge myself", because that's another bullshit claim; that men and women are apparently so different that we can't portray the opposite gender believably in RP. However, I do get to see the world through the eyes of someone I would not have instantly identified with, and I think that can be worthwhile.
Then of course, there are games where your character is female by deafult and there's no way to change that. Perhaps some of you have played "Perfect Dark", which was one of my favorite games growing up. A more recent example would be "Transistor" (awesome game by the way. You should all buy it!) I don't know, are THOSE games examples of men controlling women, just because I'm a male playing it? Because I never even pondered the fact that I was playing a woman; I still got immersed with the character, and even invested in her fight. At the end of Transistor I was an emotional wreck, even though
In conclusion, I'll admit that I haven't really talked a lot with you guys about why you play female characters, but in WoW, I had plenty of male friends playing/roleplaying as females. Most of them just did it because they had created a persona they were proud of, and right now I can't think of a single one who dressed their character in skimpy clothing or anything like that. So, I think a person's reasons for playing the opposite gender can be very varied.
BY THE WAY! I should point out that in WoW, I also played with a lot of women who had created male characters. I never bothered to stop up and think about why they did that. Why should I? Some of them roleplayed as their "dream man", and some just oversexualized their character to have some steamy hot male-on-male ERP, and yet others did it just because. Again, every person has their own reasons, it's not something you can create universal, one-answer-fits-all statements about, I don't think.