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Vocal fry, uptalk, and other reasons women should apparently 'just' STFU

The shrill of it all! Every week there seems to be a new article written by a high-powered female exec claiming that women would achieve ~so much more~ in the workplace if they abandoned any and all vocal qualities that identify them as women. That’s right, instead of busting through the glass ceiling and changing the status quo, many of these successful women think that we should all imitate men if we want to get ahead. Um…

First there was uproar over vocal fry, the throaty effect used by the Kardashians, Hiltons, and other women who purposely add rasp to their voices. The slew of posts disguised themselves as genuine concern for women’s vocal cords. Turns out, though, that if you aren’t going on a singing reality show or a world tour, it probably won’t create lasting problems…

Uptalk was the obvious next battle in the war for literally silencing women. Apparently young women tend to end sentences with a rising intonation? Instead of seeing this as a linguistic shift towards creating space for response, some see it as weaker or less confident than grabbing your balls and simply ending. sentences. deliberately.


And most recently, the word “just” came under fire, just because an ex-Google exec thinks that it softens the blow of emails too much and people see the term as the opposite of authoritative. Hey, how can we hear any of your opinions or ideas if you include a standard four-letter word in your correspondence???

Hear me out: Instead of begging women to speak more like men in the workplace, why don’t we recognize that shifts in women’s speech patterns aren’t going to change the patriarchal traditions of corporate America that have always leaned in men’s favor?

We patiently await the plethora of thinkpieces begging women to stop wearing pants, start growing a beard, and balding a little by 35, please and thanks.


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