I’m wondering whether it’s just me or…whether most women who never become mothers simply never develop an authoritative manner. Men have it from the get go: they are automatically thought, by themselves as well as by others, to be authorities, and early on, they develop both the habit of telling others what to do and the expectation that they’ll be listened to.
Women don’t. (Unless they’re deluded.) At least, not until they become a parent. Only then do they gain some authority. Only then do they start telling someone what to do and expecting to be listened to.
Sure, the authority they now have extends only to their kid, but it leaks out. As it does with men. When you talk with authority in your house, to your wife or kids, you don’t suddenly ‘turn it off’ when you leave the house. It’s an acquired manner, a way of carrying yourself, a way of presenting yourself that becomes part of yourself.
I’ve never acquired that manner. I’m not in the habit of telling anyone what to do. I don’t expect to be listened to. So, despite my breadth and depth of knowledge and skill, I don’t have any authority.