I was just reading a book review, some guy's book (James Pennybaker, The Secret Life of Pronouns), about how one's use of pronouns and sentence structure reveals what one is actually thinking.
The comments kicked off some memories.
When I first started working for The Company, in 1968, I was a rare female in a male-dominated area.
I noticed that I often seemed to turn the guys off, offend them, when it came to technical discussions. No matter how much sense I was making, they would turn away and stop listening, until I was talking to a wall. I finally asked a friend what I was doing wrong.
He explained that I make definite statements, and that's not allowed for females. Males can say "This is blah blah." Women, especially small women like me, must say "I think this may be blah blah", or "It seems to me that..." or "Do you think that..." For a female to make a definite statement is seen by males as challenging their authority. A woman should appeal to that authority, not challenge it.
He was serious. This was 1968. Before women's liberation was in full swing.
His analysis infuriated me. "If I say it, it's obvious I think it, that it seems so to me, so why should I have to say I think it or it seems so to me? And especially if I know that it IS, if this is my area of expertise, why should I say it may be? That's stupid!" Especially when the guys don't have to weaken statements of fact.
Infuriating. Even worse was when guys would later take my analysis, when they rejected it coming from me, and present it as their own conclusion.
Young women don't know what it used to be like. The subtleties. How difficult is was to get past that. I'm afraid that young women now are backsliding, wagging their tails to appease men, not knowing the dangers and what it can lead to.