Because Everyone’s Gotta Learn

Recently I read an essay in the Harvard Crimson in which the author criticized a request by a professor that she change the way she speaks in class if she wanted to be taken seriously. By asking her to change her speech– to speak up, reduce her tendency to raise her tone at the end of sentences, and use less filler words such as “like” and “you know”– the author felt her professor was asking her to “masculinize” her speech.

Plenty of men have many of damaging speech tendency that the author describes as “feminine” speech traits. Gendering speech has its place but speaking clearly, concisely, and powerfully is not the characteristic of any specific gender. Concise and clear transmission of thoughts through speech is logical, not masculine or feminine. It is a rarely a trait people are raised with and it must be learned by all.

It takes time and self awareness. Taylor Mali says it best.

To read the complete Harvard Crimson article visit the Crimson web page at http://www.thecrimson.com/column/the-red-line/article/2013/4/23/harvard-lean-in/

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