Want A Lesson In How People Judge Women’s Voices? Start A Podcast.
“Whiny.” “Empty-headed valley girls.” “Sorority girls with zero insight.”
When two women decide to record their voices and put it out for public consumption, these are the kind of constructive comments that follow.
We are two women. We also decided to start a podcast about “The Bachelor” franchise, “Here To Make Friends,” several months ago, because we thought it would be fun and believed we had some things to say on the subject that might be worth listening to. We knew we would have some haters — as women who write for a living on the Internet, we’re no strangers to the backlash ladies who deign to have opinions tend to receive — but we weren’t prepared for how much of the critique we received would be centered around one thing: our voices.
We probably should have been. Ann Friedman recently wrote about the underlying sexism that surrounds the critiques about the way women speak — regardless of what they’re talking about — in a piece for New York Magazine, connecting it back to her own experience hosting a podcast.
“Until I started co-hosting a podcast, I was fairly oblivious to my own vocal patterns,” she wrote. “Then the emails and tweets started rolling in, advising me and my co-host that we would sound a lot smarter if we could just pay a bit more attention to our speech.”
Of course, listeners are entitled to love or hate any podcast, including ours — hey, we’re new to this, our quips don’t always land. However, in line with Friedman’s experience, the contemptuous vitriol directed at us seems to have more to do with our female voices and “feminine” vocal patterns, than the thoughts and opinions we express with said voices.