Shrill. Sharp and lecturing. Unappealing. Without modulation. “Like you’ve been called into the principal’s office to be read the Riot Act.”
All of these things have been said about Hillary Clinton’s voice since the DNC on July 28th, accompanied by much insistence from the men saying that they are not being sexist. They’ve insisted it up and down despite reporters like HuffPost’s Marina Fang pointing out that, “Male candidates, like Clinton’s primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, rarely receive equivalent scrutiny.”
Her voice has received so much public attention lately that in August The Atlantic executed a mini-investigation hoping to get to the bottom of why so many people have an adverse reaction to Clinton speaking. They found Clinton’s voice to be “average in pitch and loudness for her age and gender,” and concluded the culprit really is sexism.
However, I think the answer lies one step further than men not liking a woman telling them what to do. I’ve talked to female friends who have also found themselves surprised at times when they hear Hillary’s voice. And I think that’s all this is really about:
We’re surprised when we hear a female seriously campaigning for the presidency, because it’s something we’ve never heard once before. This is the very first time in history. It’s new. We’re not used to it yet.
After all, did anyone care about Hillary’s voice at any other point during her political career and years of public service?
Would anyone give pause to hearing Queen Elizabeth give a rousing and impassioned speech?
Would you be more comfortable with Hillary’s voice if it was the voice of a Queen, or First Lady, instead of of a President? Maybe just a little?
Queen Elizabeth II and Secretary Clinton Speaking at 21 and 22, respectively:
Queen Elizabeth II and Secretary Clinton speaking at 68: