Femininity

Learning Language Out of Comfort Level

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This is a clip from an Indian movie 'English Vinglish'. The protagonist, a small snack entrepreneur, secretly enrolls in an English speaking course to stop her husband and daughter mocking her lack of English skills. She goes out of her comfort level and tries to learn new language. This clip shows her newly gained self-confidence and self-respect when she gives a speech in English during a relative's wedding.

Posted by Parthvi Patel on June 29, 2018

Tags:
Style-shifting;
Femininity;
Gender;
Womens Language

How Language Shapes the Way We Think

Here is a video link to cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky explaining how language shapes the way we think on Ted Talks. The video explains how people map out space in their minds and languages to keep them oriented. English speaker would say "right", "left", "behind", "in front", etc., while the Aboriginal community would use cardinal directions to describe the location or directionality whenever they need to. It also talks about the grammatical gender in many different ways. Language can make us have deep effects on what we see, such as color and visualization. [Published on 04-11-2018]

Masculinity and Femininity in Disney's Mulan

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The song “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from the 1998 classic Mulan shows gender stereotypes and battling them. Mulan is a Disney classic that confronts battling feminine stereotypes head on and throughout the movie the protagonist Mulan shows that she can do anything a man can do. In this song specifically, the gender stereotypes of being a man in the war and what a man should be able to do and be is explained to a very catchy rhythm. Along with this throughout the song, Mulan shows how she is strong and she can fight just the same as them, but because of the laws, she must do this all while dressed as a man to blend in.

Things Not to Say to Women at Work

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This video challenges language used in ways that specifically applies to women. This video produced by the BBC discusses common phrases, words and topics that specifically target and apply to women in the workplace that portray sexist ideologies. The women in the video confront these, explain why they are inappropriate, and in some cases offer alternate ways to frame these discussions.

Posted by Chelsea on December 7, 2017

Tags:
Power;
Femininity;
Gender;
Communities of Practice;
Sexism

Welcome to Hell SNL Skit

The SNL skit in this article goes into the topic of how dangerous the world is for women and how men have not been aware of it until now in line with the sexual harassment cases. The title of the song is called "Welcome to Hell." It tries to break language/gender ideologies by describing the how females see the world as "Hell", but in the light cheerful way that women are "supposed" to speak due to current social linguistic ideology now. [Published on 12-03-2017]

Posted by Naomi Phan on December 3, 2017

Tags:
Ideology;
Femininity;
Gender;
Race,Ethnicity

Words of NYTime's "Modern Love"

Modern Love is a column in the New York Times in which various people contribute personal essays and short stories about life and love. This article collected lexical data over all the Modern Love articles (it has been a column for 13 years). The author analyzed this data by words most frequently used by men and women, in order to answer the question, "What do we write about when we write about love?" [Published on 11-07-2017]

Posted by Janet Sebastian-Coleman on November 9, 2017

Tags:
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Biological Sex;
Lexicon

Lake Bell Calls Girls Out On "Sexy Baby Vocal Virus"

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This video clip shows Lake Bell on Conan O’Brien’s talk show. While discussing her upcoming movie, Bell goes into discussion about her annoyance with what she calls “sexy baby vocal virus” and vocal fry. Lake demonstrates what she means by each of these, as well as explains what they are. Both pitch and vocal fry are the main features of these vocal habits. Bell also makes a gender specific claim, that it is women who fall into this habit of speech. Also, during the clip, while talking about her new movie about voice overs, both Bell and O’Brien style-shift between voices and different ways of speaking, representing performativity.

Posted by Cassiti Wright on October 17, 2017

Tags:
Performativity;
Style-shifting;
Femininity;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Creaky Voice;
Pitch

Vocal Fry: The Rules

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A somewhat comedic look at what vocal fry is and a plea from the video's author to stop it. The narrator talks about vocal fry's spread across various mediums and how it may be a reaction to rising vocal intonation that went way too far.

Posted by Jeremy Pafford on October 16, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
Style-shifting;
Youth;
Femininity;
Discourse Marker

The Female Language Translator

A comedic if somewhat patronizing attempt to illustrate how the subtleties of communication between males and females do matter, and that "it's fine" does not always mean that "it's fine."

Posted by Jeremy Pafford on October 7, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Womens Language

"Pink or Blue" Video

A video essay set to a poem on gender. It was commissioned to open the Saatchi showcase in Cannes the film uses 3D technology to allow the viewer to switch between two different versions of the film depending which set of glasses they view it through. Much of the video and poem deals with how language and performance affect one's social interactions. [Published on 07-01-2017]

Posted by Janet Sebastian-Coleman on September 4, 2017

Tags:
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Biological Sex;
Gender;
Gender Binary;
gender non-conforming;
Stigma

Indian Summer Part One with Mom John Roberts

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John Roberts doing an impression of his mom, who is a n Italian from Brooklyn. This voice would later be used as the voice of Linda Belcher on the show Bob's Burgers.

Posted by Dustin Wendt on July 27, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
New England;
Femininity;
Gender;
Accent;
falsetto

Martin Impersonates Daphne (Frasier)

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A scene from the show Frasier which showcases Martin Crane teasing Daphne Moon's English Accent. I see a two linguistic-anthropology elements in the scene. First, by code-switching dialect during the interaction he is drawing attention to the fact that Daphne is not American. What this accomplishes is up for debate given that the two are friends and that the interaction was not hostile in nature. I'm guessing that the impression may mildly suggest that the two are not on equal footing; one is a "native" while the other isn't. This may work in elevating Martin's position in the argument. Second, Martin mentions how Daphne is always complaining about what to do with her hair. Here he is indexing a gender identity that might conflict with his own. In the reading I came across portions that relate language use as a form of identity expression and so while Daphne was being expressive of her female identity Martin, annoyed by her, replied with an antagonistic male critique of her speech.

Faith Salie Vocal fry

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Faith Salie in this video reflects on her experiences as a Rhodes scholar and comedian. Salie talks about societal perceptions of a dichotomy between intelligence and comedic ability. The misconception of vocal fry being an indication of lower intelligence falls apart amidst her clear academic success.

Posted by Sean McAlister on May 9, 2017

Tags:
Femininity;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Stigma

Alice Walker: Fear of Being Feminine

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Alice Walker is an American novelist, poet, and civil and women’s rights activist. She is best known for her critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple. In this video, she talks about the negative repercussions of referring to women as ‘guys’. The type of situation she is referencing are when someone, say a server at a restaurant, walks up to a group of women and addresses them by saying “Hi guys, how are you doing today?” Men and women both do this in America and it only perpetuates the fear of being feminine, or a female in general. With so many women still fighting for equal rights, it is crucial to be proud of being a woman and for women to not label themselves or other women as ‘guys’. This way of speaking stems from the fact that the English language is a “masculine default” language. This means that masculinity, along with masculine terms, are the default in English and other feminine terms have been unnecessarily created in order to differentiate between a male and female performing the same role. A good example of this sociolinguistic model is actor vs. actress and waiter vs. waitress. The original words are changed when talking about a woman when really, the word itself is just supposed to describe the job someone is doing. Although feminine words are added, many people still use the masculine terms by default, creating an alienation and feeling of unimportance or lack of superiority for women. Unfortunately, the aforementioned linguistic features, along with calling a group of women “guys”, are innate in most people’s vocabulary and using them can be a very difficult habit to break. Walker suggests women coming together to change the way that they label themselves and other women in order to first separate women from men and then empower those women. Although it may seem like a small step on the way to equality, it is an extremely vital one.

Mad Men: Challenging Male Hegemony

This image is from the pilot episode of the TV series Mad Men and involves a character named Don Draper and a potential business partner Rachel Menken. In the scene, Don is pitching a business venture to Rachel, whom in a prior scene was wrongly assumed by Don to be a man due to her status in the business world. Rachel forcefully disagrees with Don’s pitch and asserts dominance over him, as she has the power to decline the business deal. Don becomes increasingly agitated and eventually abruptly exits in the meeting stating, “I’m not gonna let a woman talk to me like this”, as shown in the image above. Because Rachel is a woman in a dominant position, she comes across as being a “bitch”, whereas if she were a man, she would come across as confident and assertive. This is due to gendered ways of speaking that have been socially constructed based on ideologies and through socialization. Women’s language is expected to be cooperative and supportive while men’s is expected to be competitive and dominating. Furthermore, girls are socialized to maintain intimacy and criticize without appearing aggressive, while boys are socialized to assert dominance over situations. However, roles were reversed in the business meeting between Don and Rachel, challenging the language ideologies and male hegemonic society. This role reversal and challenge of male hegemony and its associated language ideologies sparked irritation in Don, causing him to react in a distasteful way and insult Rachel, thus furthering the notion that men are seen as superior to women.

Howard Stern on vocal fry

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This video is a voice recording of Howard Stern discussing vocal fry used by a contestant on the show the Bachelor. Stern discusses the use of vocal fry and refers to it as "an epidemic" that women are using where they begin to switch back in forth between a croaking voice and their "feminine voice"

Posted by Katie Vavuris on May 2, 2017

Tags:
Performativity;
Style-shifting;
Language Shift;
Femininity;
Pitch

Louis CK 2015 - Racism and Sexism are very different

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In this video, Louis C.K. discusses gender issues and being self aware. When doing an impression of a couple of female college students, he uses vocal fry to get the message across to the audience. Not only is the content of what she is supposedly saying in this situation shallow and stereotypical, but he also uses the glottal, creaking sound of lower-register speech oscillation typical of vocal fry. By using this register to do his impression, and in making his impression of a college girl appear dumb and not self aware, he is perpetuating the dominant stereotype that vocal fry is used by young women only, and that it indexes a set of negative attributes. He does this again when describing the USA as a 'terrible girlfriend to the world'. He uses the same register to describe a United States that remembers everything bad that ever happened to it, but does not acknowledge its own faults and mistakes. Tags: Gender, Women's language, Ideology, Femininity, Sexism, Indexicalityhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-Y17YG63B4 Louis CK 2015 - Racism and Sexism are very different In this video, Louis C.K. discusses gender issues and being self aware. When doing an impression of a couple of female college students, he uses vocal fry to get the message across to the audience. Not only is the content of what she is supposedly saying in this situation shallow and stereotypical, but he also uses the glottal, creaking sound of lower-register speech oscillation typical of vocal fry. By using this register to do his impression, and in making his impression of a college girl appear dumb and not self aware, he is perpetuating the dominant stereotype that vocal fry is used by young women only, and that it indexes a set of negative attributes. He does this again when describing the USA as a 'terrible girlfriend to the world'. He uses the same register to describe a United States that remembers everything bad that ever happened to it, but does not acknowledge its own faults and mistakes.

Posted by Sierra Hurd on April 28, 2017

Tags:
Ideology;
Indexicality;
Femininity;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Sexism

Diversity Training with Pam and Dwight

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This is a video from the show "The Office". This is a short clip from an episode where the staff receives diversity training. It shows us how people can be culturally ignorant. The scene involves Pam and Dwight and they both have a card on their head in which the other person must use the other to guess what their card is. Dwight's word was Asian, and Pam helped him by saying that she didn't feel this way but stereotypical they are bad drivers. This resulted in Dwight guessing it the answer was women. This was culturally insulting to those of Asian decent because they have been given this stereotype when it is not true that all Asians are bad drivers. This also attacked women which is unnecessary too considering not all women are poor drivers.

Posted by Danielle Wismer on October 16, 2016

Tags:
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Race,Ethnicity;
Stigma

Talk “Like a Man”: The Linguistic Styles of Hillary Clinton, 1992-2013

This article examines the changes in Hillary Clinton's linguistic style from the years of 1992-2013. Many people have claimed that she talks "like a man," and this article examines that theory. In the article Jennifer J. Jones proves how Hillary went to more of a masculine linguistic approach to a more feministic approach in 2007. There are many reasons for these changes that are reflected in this article. [Published on 08-17-2016]

Rise of the 'vocal fry': Young women are changing how low they talk to sound more like Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry

Women in the UK are changing their voices to match American celebrities. [Published on 04-26-2016]

Posted by Kylie Smith on July 19, 2016

Tags:
Youth;
Femininity;
Womens Language

Always #LikeAGirl Girls Emojis

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This YouTube video sponsored by Always debates that the emojis used on smart phones are not representative of women. It says some of these may even be sexist. Emojis are wildly popular in today’s society and this issue may go unnoticed by many people. See for yourself as this video interviews women and asks their opinions on the subject.

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism by FCKH8.com

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This video uses young girl cussing to show that there are more problems in society than little girls cussing. The fact that they are talking the way they are is shocking, which is done to make people actually listen to the bigger point.

Posted by Brittany Weinlood on March 9, 2016

Tags:
Power;
Youth;
Femininity;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Sexism;
Slang;
Stigma

Sapir-Worf

This video displays an example of the Sapir-Worf hypothesis by giving the example of a male nurse versus a female nurse. The video is only a sample.

Posted by Zana Pascoe on March 9, 2016

Tags:
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Gender;
Linguistic Relativity;
Sexism

"Vocal Fry" speaking with Faith Salie

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This video explains "vocal fry" which is prevalent among young women. Vocal fry is described as a 'creaky voice' or a vibratory sound.

Posted by Kristi Sparks on March 7, 2016

Tags:
Indexicality;
Femininity;
Womens Language;
Stigma

Helping Trans People Find Their Voices

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Speech-language pathologist, Christie Block, helps transgender people find their voice.

Posted by Kristi Sparks on March 5, 2016

Tags:
Femininity;
Gender Binary;
Pitch

What Is Vocal Fry?

Stigmatizing a linguistic style prevalent among young females in our society.

Posted by Mark Beal on March 3, 2016

Tags:
Indexicality;
Femininity

"The Day Beyonce Turned Black"

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Within this SNL skit, there are many different forms of language used. For this skit, it is explaining how caucasian people tend to look at the world in a over dramatic way. Throughout the skit, there are race, gender, & sexualities between white and blacks. This skit has a comical view on different political problems that we have in this country today, and what the children of our culture are growing up in.

"Pick-Up Artist"

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This artifact is showing how different people communicate on a daily basis, and how each person has a different way of showing how the communicate. With this skit, most of it exaggerated for comical effect. But this is showing the diversity of people and there language through a simple conversation in group settings. In this skit there is gender rolls being played of femininity and masculinity, while showing the differences within the women's language. And how this "Art of the Pick-Up" class is teaching women how to properly express themselves.

My Sexuality

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This video entails a character on a TV show, who insists that a women's "sexuality" can get them in or out of any situation. Some may feel that this is demoralizing for women in todays society, because women have worked so hard over the past century to ear the same rights as men. And this is showing that all women have to do is flaunt there sexuality and everything will come to them on a silver platter. Which in fact is not true for all women.

Posted by Tori Miller on February 18, 2016

Tags:
Femininity;
Gender;
Sexism

Freshwoman

This article has an interesting perspective on Language and sexism. How our language is still objectifying woman. It's speaks to the power of the words we use. [Published on 03-20-2012]

Posted by Tricia Roberson on February 17, 2016

Tags:
Power;
Femininity;
Masculinity;
Gender;
Gender Binary;
Sexism

We Can Do IT

This sign was an empowerment for women to join the workforce and was widely re-popularized in the 80's Women's Movement promoting equality in the workplace. [Published on 09-22-2014]

Posted by Michael Allan on February 12, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Power;
Femininity

LGBTQ girls and the heterosexual marketplace

This article isn't specifically linguistic, but relates to Eckert's notion of the heterosexual marketplace, where adolescents learn how to speak/act/dress/present in the best way possible to attract people of the 'opposite' sex and thus gain popularity. This article deals with how lesbian and queer girls fair in this social structure as people who essentially do not participate in the heterosexual marketplace. Interestingly, the article posits that a good way to combat the isolation of non-conforming young people would be for schools/institutions to reward non-physical and non-sexual achievements. I find this a strange concept because I think of popularity/success in the heterosexual marketplace as being determined almost entirely separately from school-sanctioned recognition of achievement; in fact, I think institutional recognition often detracts from a person's success in the marketplace, and I wonder how/whether institutions are capable of causing a shift in the dynamics of young people's social structure. [Published on 3132013]

Posted by Chase Doremus on April 16, 2015

Tags:
Eckert, Penelope;
Performativity;
Power;
Femininity;
Sexual Orientation

Accommodation and Elongation in Texting

An investigation into what inspires soooo many people to toss extra letters into their text messages

Posted by Christina Lee Gremore on February 24, 2013

Tags:
Indexicality;
Femininity;
Womens Language;
Slang;
Discourse

NY Timess: Japan's Feminine Falsetto Falls Right Out of Favor

A 1995 article on Japanese Women's Language. Related Article: Inoue, Miyako. 2002. Gender, language, and modernity: Toward an effective history of Japanese women's language. American Ethnologist.

Transgender falsetto tutorial

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An example of one of the many tutorials on YouTube intended for MAAB, female-identifying individuals who work to "feminize" their voices. This particular video focuses on falsetto.

Chola Make-up Tutorial

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A YouTube make-up tutorial from a self-identified Chola, uploaded in 2009. I use this with the reading: Mendoza-Denton, Norma. Gang Girls and Makeup.

How to Develop a Female Voice: The Transgender Support Website

This site provides resources and instructions for feminizing the voice, discussing specific linguistic resources including pitch, resonance, enunciation, and vocabulary.