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The concept of femininity frequently interferes with a woman’s ability to be assertive and aggressive -- especially at work. We so want to be liked that we worry about alienating people, so we often try to get what we want behind the scenes while still being careful to avoid seeming manipulative and disingenuous. It’s nice to be nice, but it can be extremely draining and self-destructive when it mutes our voice, holds us back, and undermines our authenticity. Fear of sticking our necks out because of how we’ll be perceived often causes us to sabotage our careers. And the consequences of stifling ourselves aren’t just financial. Deeply ingrained cultural ideals of femininity make it much harder for women to own up fearlessly to their ambitions and pursue them without apology. We pay the price in opportunity, achievement, success, and satisfaction.
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