That Little Girl Voice?

by Laura Fitton on July 6, 2007

The one that kills your credibility? And tacitly asks the world’s permission to voice your ideas?

Stop it!!!

Now.

Please?

Guilty pleasure Jezebel delivers with this well-sourced post on the Little Girl Voice and otherwise successful women who use it:

“… the disturbing — and apparently growing — trend of adult women who sound like little girls… this sort of vocal dumbing-down among female professionals. The theory behind it is that some women are either so scared of their own professional shadows or so afraid of being labeled feminists that they “overcorrect” by speaking and/or acting like young girls.

But, seriously: If, as Naomi Wolf intimated in the Washington Post yesterday, the childlike behavior exhibited by certain women is some deep-seated attempt to reassure the world of their vulnerability and femininity, who exactly is pushing them to do so? Other women? Or the same type of men who criticize someone like Hillary Clinton for being nakedly ambitious and “shrill”?”

For a variety of opinions, read the comments too. I think the point most missed by the commenters is which the overall pitch of your voice may be hard to modify at will, the tone and inflection are all yours and frequently used to “Little Girl” effect. It’s not that women have to be poured into a mold of “booming professional woman voice.” More important is to be clear about what women are adding to (and detracting from) the genuine voices they have.

I’m concerned on a lot of levels about the trends suggested in the NPR story, particularly as womens’ voices are figuratively and literally criticized as shrill, nakedly ambitious, etc.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Confidence, Fear, Likeability « Great Presentations Mean Business
July 6, 2007 at 7:53 pm
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