Both Genders Do Uptalk But Women Do It More Often
I feel compelled to weigh in on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s comments on ‘uptalk’, previous known as ‘Valley Girl’ talk. The myth that only women do ‘uptalk’, basically ending a statement or sentence with a lilt in the voice, rather than a more declarative downward finale, has been debunked. Researchers now claim that men also do uptalk, but women outnumber them two to one.
Senator Gillibrand was speaking yesterday at The Atlantic’s Shriver Report summit on women and poverty. As expected, Gillibrand mostly focused on policy issues: universal pre-K, affordable daycare, paid family leave, etc. During the questioning period, a male member of the audience asked about a stickier gender conversation: women who hold themselves back through their self-presentation.
Instead of responding with a Lean In-style answer, the senator gave a more nuanced answer, writes The Atlantic.
“The interesting thing about women is that we are often collaborative in nature,” Gillibrand said. “We generally prefer to be well-liked, and we like for people around us to be happy. These are some skills we learn being mothers and daughters: We feed everyone at the table, try to make everyone happy …”
At this point, her interviewer, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, interrupted. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked with a sly smile.
Gillibrand smiled and demurred, providing a real-time illustration of her observations about men and women’s social tendencies.
“This issue of likability. For a lot of young women, they want to be well-liked. If they’re too aggressive, or too pushy, or too declarative, they won’t be well-liked,” she said.
Anne Learned To Do Uptalk, AKA Known As Going To Charm School
Bingo! In my case, learning to do uptalk required a total remodulation of my Manhattan voice after I became an executive at Victoria’s Secret. Perhaps midway in my 10-year tenure at Victoria’s Secret, after I became the head of product development and fashion director, I found myself in a situation where I had to influence many VS buyers and other executives within the organization.