There's actually a section of the textbook for my "diversity" gen ed class (Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Society) that deals with this. The text gives the example of a man on a road trip with his wife or girlfriend, when she sees a restaurant and asks "Do you want to stop at this place and eat?" The man responds "No, lets keep going," not realizing that she was actually saying "I'm hungry, please stop here." The woman is then mad for the rest of the drive.
It has something to do with women being raised to not be direct and to be more passive. I'm not sure how much of that I buy, but I guess it makes sense.
I'd like the opinion of a woman on this, if possible.