Voice sexism

The Economist magazine takes on one of the great injustices of our time: no, it’s not factory farming or female genital mutilation in Michigan (thanks Islam!)… it’s women being judged for vocal fry:

The scene highlights two vocal features associated with young women: vocal fry and uptalk. Uptalk, as the name suggests, is the rising intonation that makes statements sound like questions? And vocal fry—often said to be typical of Kim Kardashian, an American celebrity—happens at the ends of words and phrases when a speaker’s vocal chords relax, giving the voice a kind of creaky quality (a bit like something frying in a pan).

From these descriptions, an alien observer would be bemused to learn that these harmless phenomena drive some people to scorn, or even anger. But they do. When Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, had sexually assaulted her, some viewers were so infuriated by her speaking style that they denounced it on Twitter: “Christine Blasey Ford’s little girl voice…vocal fry, and uptalk worse than clubbed toenails down a chalkboard.”

It’s true though. Here’s a good example in a previously unreleased video of Dr Ford practicing her fake testimony:

The article goes on to explain why women are “damned whatever they do,” whether they adopt a cutesy, fake-vulnerable vocal creak or the upward-inflected bimbo-speak once favored by Valley Girls and gay men, but now entrenched and universal among our post-literate and nearly post-verbal society. It concludes thusly:

It may be good practical advice to tell women who want to get into the voice-over industry—or indeed others that have been historically dominated by men—to use firm and deep voices if they want to impress. They might also take care to avoid the distraction of vocal fry, while simultaneously ensuring that they don’t sound too mannish. Women, in other words, are required to walk a thin line when they speak in public, a no-room-for-error performance never expected of men.

You know,  maybe The Economist should stick to its areas of expertise, such as business and economics, and leave the social justice commentary to the blue-haired fatties. I actually like The Economist. As the mouthpiece of the globalist establishment, it’s hard to beat – and the news reporting is quite good. But the magazine will not survive its transition into a vehicle for hardcore campus-style leftism. That is not, shall we shall, its wheelhouse. Sadly, the social justice convergence process appears to be terminal at this point.

But anyway, the reality is that not only are very few women expected to deliver “a no-room-for-error performance”; women are barely ever expected to perform at all.  What they are expected to do, is be women. This consists of being attractive, nice and feminine – things that come naturally to most women around the world. Very little else is expected or desired by men. When it comes to vocalization, the rules are simple, intuitive, and easily grasped through observation and experience. They are essentially the same for men and women, and what they boil down to is this: Don’t be an asshole.

Don’t yell indoors. Don’t speak so softly that people can’t hear you.

Enunciate your words properly. Don’t garble or slur.

If you are a middle-aged woman, don’t speak like a teenager.

If you want to be taken seriously, don’t speak like a Valley Girl.

It really isn’t that hard. Men know this. Women know this. We are all adults; we know the score. If you’re a woman who feels victimized by voice-based sexism, the odds are you’re just a narcissist with an annoying voice. Fix it. If it makes you feel better, men with socially unacceptable traits have to do this too.

And if you want to know what a woman should ideally sound like, let this your be your guide:

Beto orbiters

Beto O'Rourke women volunteers
Beto O'Rourke women volunteers

This fawning Pozzfeed piece on the angry and energized women who flocked to BETA OʹRourkeʹs campaign is pretty interesting.

A few details struck me. First – making allowances for potential Fake News exaggeration – the remarkable enthusiasm of these female groupies and their willingness to volunteer their time for Beta’s campaign.

Second, their scolding, self-righteous attitude towards all men, and the astonishing self-abasement of the men around them, including Beta.

Third, the role of the 2017 Women’s March – itself a response to the 2016 election – as a seismic event that activated many of these women to get involved in politics, after a lifetime of passivity.

No doubt the Betamania was propped up by Democratic money and organizational support, but it also drew much of its energy from a hydrothermal vent of organic female hysteria. Trump’s victory unleashed something deep and dark in the female psyche, and the effects are still rippling through the body politic: #Resist, #MeToo, #TimesUp, and now this.

I think we may be seeing something like a revival of the women-led Temperance Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, translated into the modern vernacular of feminism (“Temperance” –> #TimesUp), and without the Christian overtones of the TM. It’s a pseudo-religious movement, but the god they are worshiping is not God.

“I remember this time, two years ago, when women were hiding their energy in secret Facebook groups,” one woman told me, referring to groups like Pantsuit Nation that flourished in the days leading up to the 2016 election. “Righteous, visible anger is much better.”