Women are often punished and marginalized when men find [women] too aggressive, too loud, or too emotional.
….From an early age, girls are told to keep their heads down and play nice. If we show too much emotion, we’re told we’re hysterical. If we’re assertive and direct, we’re bitches. …Studies have found that women who are likable are not perceived as competent and that women who perform well in their jobs are not well liked. And make no mistake, likability goes a long way. It’s not the smartest person in the room who gets the job – it’s often the one who people like the most.
Perhaps no place is this conundrum more publicly evident than in politics, where female candidates are advised to conform to some outdated, societal standard of female likability. Female candidates are routinely told to smile more and dress a certain way – pretty but not too pretty – nothing too dumpy, sexy or expensive. Women are urged to speak up, but not sound shrill. They are told to be forceful, but not overly so.