My immediate corollary, twain: If you know people and if you can write characters. My bonus conclusion: If you know the true extent of Culture.
How many strangers have you talked to in your life? Talked to as in had a conversation with: you know at least part of whatever name they gave you, have a reasonable understanding of the person's public personality, and've got one or two snippets of information about their background and present lifestyle as told by them.
How many strangers have talked to you? Would you say there are 2, 5, 10, 20, 100 people in the world who can say about you about what you can say about the strangers above?
Describe your native culture. Describe two other cultures you've interacted with. How different are they, how similar? How many people are in each culture? What is the geographical scope of these cultures? Internet cultures only count if they're not anonymous. What does the word 'sub-culture' mean to you? Does it even exist?
If you can answer all those questions to your own satisfaction, you might just be ready to write characters. Even if you can't answer all the questions, write characters anyways. You'll figure it out as you go. But can you (I imply that you the reader are a man since I the writer am, if that be not the case, add whatever other gender herein that you are not, it'll scan the same) write women characters? We need to answer that question with one more question.
How much does Culture shape behavior?
Answer that question to your satisfaction and you can write any character, regardless of gender, as long as you have a firm grasp on the culture that character exists in, and to what extent the character has a choice in subscribing to that culture.
The massive project continues tomorrow with Part 2, where let's discuss Women In Culture
Speaking of massive projects, THIS is what we should be doing with technology. That's a proposed mega-irrigation system for the Sahara Desert. I didn't waste my youth and young adulthood playing every version of Civilization for us to not have irrigation or other such improvements absolutely everywhere we can fit it. Let's get busy, it's a recession!
We have a Kardashev scale for a reason, people.
2000 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die"
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Reading - "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" (Ursuala K. Le Guin)