See Lisa Wade’s Gender and the Body Language of Power for a nice discussion of the ways women are socialized to be quiet, demure, and not take up space.
“Philosopher Sandra Lee Bartky once observed that being feminine often means using one’s body to portray powerlessness. Consider: A feminine person keeps her body small and contained; she makes sure that it doesn’t take up to much space or impose itself. She walks and sits in tightly packaged ways. She doesn’t cover the breadth of the sidewalk or expand herself beyond the chair she occupies.”
There is also a new tumblr about men taking up space called Move The Fuck Over, Bro that’s worth having a look at.