In the United States of America, we have a saying, "It's the quiet ones we have to watch." So often the ones who are the silent observers are the most capable and learned in the group. They simply wait to be approached for their opinions and assistance before they offer it.
Women in my Roman Catholic culture have been expected to keep quiet in deference to the authority of men over us. In my imposed silence, I have learned to listen to the voices around me, both male and female. Acting as their servant and entertainer, I have disarmed their suspicions, and they have shared their secrets in my presence. People take me lightly at their eventual peril.
I am now empowered to speak their own truths back to them, all the time questioning their absolute authority. I have learned to speak quietly by writing what I want to say. In this manner, my emotions don't betray me. The written word will live on long after the listeners are gone. I also often use a name that is not identifiable as a female name in order that my views are not automatically dismissed.
I seek to be one of the quiet ones that bear close watching.