The Long, Sexist History of ‘Shrill’ Women

 

 

William Cheng is an Assistant Professor of Music at Dartmouth.

In a 1926 survey about talk radio, a ratio of 100 to 1 respondents preferred male hosts to female hosts. Women, these respondents complained, sounded “shrill” and conveyed “too much” personality. Ninety years later, and the battle rages on, word for word. Many unapologetically vociferous male politicians and pundits have lately said that Hillary Clinton’s raised voice during speeches somehow registers as, yes, “shrill” and simply “too much.”

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