Vonny Leclerc: How writing like a girl makes us sabotage our ambitions

Women risk being called curt and bossy direct, and not getting things done they soften things up AS a writer, I regularly think about words. As a woman writer, I think a lot about how those words are ‘heard’. And I’m not alone. There has been a growing preoccupation with the way women speak. I’ve read countless articles uptalk (the rising inflection that makes a statement sound like a question) and the obsession over vocal fry (a snappy name for “ register, laryngealisation”, a sort of creaking out of words) that makes presenters “impossible to listen to”. Then there’s, like, the random sprinkling of sorries, likes, justs, that diminish our supposed “executive power”. Yadda, yadda, yadda. If you’re a woman bobbing your head in agreement, spotting yourself in these habits, stop. Men do these things too. Their fry, they upspeak, but there’s no spate of articles telling them to sort if they want to get ahead. Men’s speech, written aloud, is the default authoritative voice. Their speech acts are set against a portrait of a naturally speaker. Predictably, there’s an entire industry preying on women’s anxieties about their careers, […]

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