I’ve seen people of every gender have problems being direct. Even I struggle with that sometimes, and I consider myself a direct person. Confronting someone about a problem can be unpleasant, and if it doesn’t go well, you can wind up in a worse situation. That said, I’d keep working on attempts to communicate with this person — knowing that they don’t do well with confrontation, regardless of whether it’s a gender issue, or just her perception of gender based on her upbringing. These problems happen a lot, so maybe I could follow-up with a workplace communication post.