Blog Archives

Bashing Hillary Clinton’s voice: “Screeching”, “shrieking”, and “shrill”

The past week has seen quite a bit of discussion of Hillary Clinton’s voice. As I wrote about last week, numerous people have called her “shrill“, a clearly gendered word. Nonetheless, the sexism behind such criticisms continues to be denied. Ben

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Posted in Language and gender, Language and politics

Are we “citizens” or “taxpayers”?

In a recent discussion with Hilton Als at the New Yorker festival, Toni Morrison offered a lot of insightful commentary on topics about race, gender, writing, and other issues. I read about it in this Guardian article, and I found one of

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Posted in Language and politics

Talking about men’s and women’s sports differently

So I guess it’s basketball season. For me, basketball is tied up with gender equity debates. I remember that what little discussion over gender equity took place at my high school largely centered around the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Women are 2.87 times more likely than men to be called pushy

My post looking at gendered descriptions of Jill Abramson has generated a little bit of attention. Notably, The Atlantic posted an article by Olga Khazan titled “Pushy is used to describe women twice as often as men”, citing my work. I’ve been asked if

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Posted in Language and gender

Beyond bossy: More on our gendered characterizations of leadership and authority

You may have heard that Jill Abramson the former executive editor of the New York Times, was recently fired. I’ve been living the life of an academic hermit for the past couple of weeks, so thankfully Lynne Murphy (Reader in Dept. of Linguistics, University of Sussex)

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Posted in Language and gender, Media discourse and media bias

Who is articulate?: Biased perceptions of language

A while back, I read H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman‘s excellent book Articulate While Black. The book takes an in-depth look at racialized public reaction to Barack Obama especially as a candidate for president. One phenomenon they explore is the use of the

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Posted in Language and politics, Language and race, Media discourse and media bias

Shibboleths of social class: On the obscurity of SAT vocabulary

College Board, the company that designs and administers the Scholastic Achievement Test (“the SAT”, the most popular standardized test used in admissions to colleges and universities in the United States), recently announced that it would be releasing a revised form of the

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Posted in Language and education, Language and social class

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