Jesse Fox analyses the representation of women in virtual reality. She does not see women being represented as avatars on the Internet or in video games in a positive progressive manner.
She wrote an excellent essay: “Avatars: Portraying, Exploring, and Changing Online and Offline Identities” that can be found in the book “Handbook of Research on Technoself: Identity in a Technological Society” or bought online Here
“Avatars are defined as virtual representations that are controlled by a human user. Commonly, we observe avatars in video and online games, social networking sites, and virtual worlds. This chapter explores the use of avatars in the expression, exploration, and evolution of users’ identities, both online and offline. Theoretical explanations for the creation, manipulation, use, and effects of avatars are offered, including identification, transformed social interaction, and the Proteus effect. The adoption of avatars for identity expression, exploration, and change is discussed, including Turkle’s notion of fragmented selves and Nakamura’s concept of identity tourism. Research that has investigated the effects of avatars on self-perceptions and identity in various domains (such as health, marketing, finance, and environmental behaviors) is addressed. Implications and future directions for research in this area are discussed.”