While few of us, male or female, need to be able to throw axes or stakes with deadly force and precision, it is not unimportant that these characters are physically fit. I know that I personally feel more powerful and capable of directing my life after a good workout, and I think that's a pretty universal reaction. We feel more efficacious, mentally and psychologically, when we keep our bodies in good working order.
And this may offer a partial explanation of the gender confidence gap, as men tend to be more involved than women in sports and fitness. More than the much-ballyhooed differences between male and female brains, which Wente uncritically repeats, men's greater confidence may be largely due to the feelings of heightened physical control they get from strengthening their bodies and learning how to manipulate the world of objects and natural laws.
The takeaway: To raise confident daughters, encourage them to play tennis, join the basketball team, or take part in whatever other physical activity that might appeal to them. And expose them to fiction like The Lost Sisterhood to show them some examples of women with the confidence to take the Minotaur by the horns and take charge of their own lives.