Holding opinions in a treacherous business for a woman. Shrill! Silly! Imprecations and accusations lurk at the edges of life and female psychology, fueling prejudices and women’s own self-censorship. Feminist writer Naomi Wolf recently called attention to how little women’s opinions figure in our op-ed pages, journals, public affairs shows, and columns, all “strikingly immune to the general agitation for female access.” Gender socialization, suggests Wolf—both what men expect of women and what women expect of themselves—undermines the boldness and self-assertion necessary to a strong public voice. Opinionated women, it is true, too often still register as in over their heads, presumptuous in
proportion to how far they venture outside their proven expertise in matters of personal life.
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