Interesting article by Rebecca Solnit. Interesting comments and responses as well.
Insightful on the differences between how men and women perceive the world.
Here's one difference. If someone is explaining something to me about which I am an expert, I would try to gently correct them. If they protested further, I would turn into a smug, snarky asshole who wants to make that person feel 2 inches tall. I don't know many women who would behave this way (and maybe the world is better for that, as we don't need twice as many jerkoffs in the world).
Self confidence is transcendent of gender. Belief in oneself is freeing, but no one can give that to you; you have to realize that only you can provide it for yourself. I don't know if society conditions women to not be confident in themselves--or if there is something more innate about it--but in a Western country where opportunities abound there is nothing holding women back but themselves. Self confidence and mental freedom come from within, and its up to each of us to decide we're worth it, men and women.