I was a quiet student who often knew the answers but who did not raise her hand in fear of "showing off". It's not nice to draw attention to one's self. As I grew older, I found it difficult to participate in undergraduate discussions because my voice was weak and "girly." It is difficult to break into a discussion when one is uncertain. I preferred to write essays or exams where I was more comfortable showing my knowledge.
In the 1950's and 1960's, it seemed to be important for a girl to "know one's place" and "not to overstep". The attitudes were better suited to life as a wife who would "retire" after the meal than a full participant in the world
At some time, probably the 1970's, the world changed. Fewer women went from father's house to husband's house. Sexual freedom meant that a young woman's "no" had to mean no. Many women were no longer satisfied with a "supporting role" at home or at work. Employment was a greater investment for a woman whose supporting role might include supporting herself and her children (or even her husband/partner!)
I did not develop these skills as a younger woman. I did not know how to let a man know that I really wasn't interested. I did not know that I could be the "boss" of me and of others without being bossy. But bossy isn't a bad word except that it's only applied to girls. I had a hard time keeping control of a class because my voice was tremulous. Don't ever put me in charge of a gym class. Even the whistle
Sometimes a woman "wears the pants in the family" because it's a better fit. Some men are nurturing, some women not so much...
Younger women have often been spared the admonishments to be "softly spoken." My daughter, strong, single, self-supporting, represents the grievances and concerns of food service workers to the management of a multi-national corporation. She is articulate and "well-spoken" but can joke about her "resting bitch face".
I am still learning...Sometimes my voice is weak, sometimes strident, sometimes when I didn't say something, I'm passive aggressive!
I'm developing self awareness, I'm learning and frankly at age 66, "I've come a long way, Baby!"