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To hate how women speak tentatively

(151 Posts)
amillionnamechangeslater000 Thu 04-Jun-20 23:53:56

I’ve noticed it on podcasts, Radio 4 and in real life. It seems like everyone has started to add a high intonation when they speak - so a statement sounds like a question.

So Aibu to hate this style of speaking?

OP’s posts: |
Member869894 Thu 04-Jun-20 23:56:17

Yes I've noticed it and I hate it too.

amillionnamechangeslater000 Fri 05-Jun-20 00:13:55

It’s like no one ca. Make a statement anymore without is sounding like it needs approval of whomever they are being interviewed by

OP’s posts: |
Sparklesocks Fri 05-Jun-20 00:18:13

Do you mean vocal fry on more hesitation in making statements confidently? It might be linked to some internalised hesitation as women’s voices are still not as predominant on radio/media as men’s. And even our literal voices are more likely to be critiqued, this article lays it out quite interestingly:

You also get quite a lot of complaints for women doing things like football commentary for example, saying their voices are too high or generally ‘wrong’.

Alittleodd Fri 05-Jun-20 00:18:55

Its a learned response to appear non threatening. Phrase everything as a question, you're just a silly woman after all, why on earth would you know anything about anything for sure?

I think this sums it up nicely.

echt Fri 05-Jun-20 00:19:01

I notice this at work, competent intelligent and authoritative women get the squeaky voice and rising inflection when speaking in public. Nerves I'm thinking, but my God in undermines the "believability" of what they say and it's rare for a man to do it.

amillionnamechangeslater000 Fri 05-Jun-20 00:25:48

@Sparklesocksnkt goal fry / more the upward intonation

OP’s posts: |
amillionnamechangeslater000 Fri 05-Jun-20 00:27:15

It seems to me to be a fairly new thing though. I never knew women to do it when I was younger (but maybe I didn’t notice). I hear it so much on the radio

OP’s posts: |
BrummyMum1 Fri 05-Jun-20 00:52:24

I used to hate the apologetic tone my one female colleague would use (in an office full of men). I wanted to shout at her "stop apologising you're just as good as everyone else here".

WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll Fri 05-Jun-20 01:05:39

YADNBU. We watched a fascinating, excellent documentary this evening by Bettany Hughes on Pompeii. She's in her 50s, a highly respected, extremely well experienced and qualified historian who otherwise speaks with great sincerity and authority - and yet we even noticed her doing this several times.

She spoke to a highbrow perv gentleman whose 'professional specialisation' was very old grubby porn explicit ancient erotic art paintings, and even he didn't do that.

DamnYankee Fri 05-Jun-20 01:09:58

I'm in speech pathology. It's called "upspeaking."
Loathe it. Pointed it out to my daughter.
Interestingly, a former professor pointed out it was more of a call to include others. In essence, using your tone to check if your listener was "with you." Ingratiating yourself with others.
Loved the professor. Get her point. But not buying it.
If my DD said, "Hi, my name is Jane Doe?", it sounds ridiculous. Best not start the habit.
"So my dissertation? Presented today? Is formulating a vaccine against Covid?" No. Thank.You.

TheSandman Fri 05-Jun-20 01:14:41

I first came across it as an Australian thing. An upward inflection at the end of a sentence was an easy trick to add to any attempt to do an Aussie accent. Technically it's known as a High Rising Terminal and personally I blame its spread here on awful Australian soap operas like Neighbours and Home and Away.

Hangingover Fri 05-Jun-20 04:28:05

I used to encourage my (brilliant) assistant to go through her emails before sending and delete all the softening phrases ('sorry to bother you again...', 'sorry if I'm missing something but...', 'can you spare a moment to...', 'does that make sense?' etc.) Then we'd read them back together and smugly press send grin

famousforwrongreason Fri 05-Jun-20 04:35:35

Interesting post. My daughter is epic at sports, particularly football and has had a lot of recognition In various scenarios from adult sports people.
I had a chance once to watch her play in school (primary) as the only girl in a game. and was absolutely HORRIFIED at how much she capitulated to the boys when she often had ownership of the ball and some great opportunities, she would just pass it or not resist at all when tackled. I asked her why after and she couldn't articulate it (was littler at the time). It made me really sad as she's not very confident anyway but really excels physically.
The school footy scene is completely dominated by the boys, her brother is nowhere near as good as her but is given far more power in the game.
I'm trying to encourage her to join the girls team when they go back properly next year.
I hate the idea of segregation in this day and age but I want her to have the chance to feel equal and to be allowed to be one of the best.

GlummyMcGlummerson Fri 05-Jun-20 05:16:56

Is this what you mean OP?

groovergirl Fri 05-Jun-20 05:20:34

Fascinating post.
I'm in Australia, where the uptalk, rising terminal or interrogative screech has been around since at least the 1970s. It was mostly a female thing but has now spread to young men.
My speech doesn't have it -- I grew up in HK and came here with a British accent -- and even as a wimpy 20yo I was accused of being scary, intimidating, "up myself" and "too big for my boots". It probably had a lot to do with the way I spoke.
Now it's come to you via our soap operas, but please, folks, resist. It's a horrible speech pattern, and one that I discourage in my DD. Maintain your confidence. And keep speaking in your self-assured voice.

EmperorCovidula Fri 05-Jun-20 05:26:21

My son does this, more when he’s explaining something at length than if he is making a short statement. It’s actually quite sweet and much more engaging for the listener as it encourages one to confirm understanding/ask questions if unsure. I think it’s preferable in a conversational context to more ‘authoritative’ modes of speaking and shows a better social awareness. You shouldn’t be authoritatively telling someone something during a conversation, the only appropriate time for that I when delivering a completely one sided oration.

Bellagio40 Fri 05-Jun-20 05:31:05

I can’t stand it. Drives me mad. It makes the speaker sound so unsure of themselves

DamnYankee Fri 05-Jun-20 05:37:13

it's actually quite sweet and much more engaging for the listener as it encourages one to confirm understanding/ask questions if unsure. I think it’s preferable in a conversational context to more ‘authoritative’ modes of speaking and shows a better social awareness

That's what my professor said.

However, I'm not sure about that.
"I turned in my homework."
"I turned in my homework?"
"I understand the assignment."
"I understand the assignment?"
"I'd like some more pasta. Thank you."
"I'd like some more pasta. Thank you?"

Social awareness of what, exactly?

FortunesFave Fri 05-Jun-20 05:40:18

Groovergirl I'm a Brit, emigrated to Australia 4 years ago and I notice women here do a lovely line in fake, high pitched voices. It's WEIRD because actually, the women here are more ballsy than many I knew in England.

It's so obvious to me that the tone is forced in most of them. I know some women speak high naturally but these are obviously fake.

Graciebobcat Fri 05-Jun-20 06:11:50

It isn't just women who speak with an upward inflection, in fact I'd never noticed it to be a predominantly female thing at all.

totallyyesno Fri 05-Jun-20 06:31:21

@hangingover The problem is that men who do that are generally regarded as plain speaking and efficient and women are seen as rude!

Scotinengland76 Fri 05-Jun-20 06:31:39

Erm, it’s not just a female thing. Don’t know why you’d think that

TheoneandObi Fri 05-Jun-20 06:49:02

I notice this in real life. I think I do it in mixed company too. I think my daughter does it far less

Joans3rddaughter Fri 05-Jun-20 06:52:32

I don't think it's sweet or endearing. I think it's annoying and distracting. Definately first appeared with the soap "Neighbours". Then died a death. Only hear it occasionally now. I think many people that adopted this way of speaking have dropped it again.

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