There are many ways women are conditioned to police their words, their actions, their bodies, to not take up too much space or be too loud. Including the urge to say “I’m sorry” just for having an opinion – especially, for a controversial opinion. By saying that, we are bracing ourselves for backlash, anticipating serious anger. It fits with the conditioning towards femininity, masochism, submission, simpering smiles and laughs.
There was another article but this one actually focuses on women and hints at psychiatric pathologizing of them rather than lumping them in as “people.” And it talks about shyness as a survival tactic. What I don’t like are doctors saying introversion and extroversion are static personality traits rather than a spectrum that can change, social skills that we learn, or an attempt to compensate as a response to trauma/abuse. But I wouldn’t say “shyness” is evolutionary in humans because it is part of the feminine gender role conditioning. Can we please stop with the zoomorphism?
In the past, pathologizing women meant accusing them of hysteria, nyphomania or sexual frigidity, or schizophrenia; women who legitimately felt persecuted by society and the men they were surrounded by, and didn’t conform to their gender role. They were treated with electroshock therapy, clitoridectomies and lobotomies to turn them into docile zombies willing to have many children and serve their husbands. Now, they’re schizoid or have borderline personality disorder. Somehow though, being “introverted” or “shy” even to the point of antisocial behavior and a lack of empathy is A-OK if you’re a man (Ted Bundy, anyone? Porn users? CEOs?); you have the choice of going either way, and no stranger will tell you to smile, either.