How do I understand the theme of gender?

The theme that I have found most common in my work is that of gender. I often ask questions about how women are represented, whether that is female characters or female writers. Part of this is asking: are the representations of characters equal, or are there particular identities that are privileged over others? I tend to pay attention to gendered hierarchies in texts and how female characters and writers invert these hierarchies while still belonging the existing social structures.