FUNNY WOMEN #133: Ladies! You Should Talk Different

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It’s simple: if we want to achieve true equality with men, then we must fundamentally change the things about ourselves that annoy men so much. And men haaaaaaate the way we talk. My fellow women, I’m sorry, but here’s some advice for how to completely overhaul the way you speak so that you will finally be heard!

Don’t say you’re sorry so often, but also don’t apologize for your apologetic preamble.

Let your sentence stand on its own, but also have a hint of a question? But only if you’re asking a rhetorical question. Are you? If you’re asking an actual question, then write it down on a piece of paper and have the male-gendered person standing nearest you ask it out loud.

You are undermining your own authority if you use Vocal Fries—the way you speak when you attempt to tell someone you’re choking on fries.

Tell Debra, your assistant, that her use of “like” when she intends to state a preference is annoying and that the elder males at the company will find it distracting when she’s leaning in to present an idea.

vocal fry

We must get rid of nasal uptalk—when you inhale sharply and express disbelief through a shocked snort. It sounds to grown, suited men like a French horn player drowning in a tub drowning in a swamp, and gives them an excuse to pay you less.

I just can’t even get started on “just” and saying “can’t even.”

And let’s vocally abandon exclamation yelping, conjugation junk, glottal clicks, tsk-tsks and tut-tuts, verbal upswing, expressions of unbridled joy, humblenagging, baby noises while speaking to babies and kissy noises in response to real kisses.

Never ever use the past perfect: I had never heard of this being problematic until I read about it in an article telling me not to use it or risk being called Ice Queen.

Never say you’re never not doing something. Even if you’re always ever doing it.

Probably you should speak without any sort of indication of emotion. I mean, only if you want to.

Speaking of emotion, which you shouldn’t, saying the word “emotional” out loud is the oral equivalent of running your tampon up a flagpole in the middle of a law firm. Your colleagues will stare at you then quietly confide to nearby journalists blogging about feminine speech patterns that “the having of [female] emotions make [the men] scared and less likely to promote.”

flagpole

You might wonder, “Well, hey! What are the vocal ticks of men?” Confidence, loudness, the use of declarative sentences without regard for future publication of a think piece criticizing the way they speak. They vocally “crush it” “on the regular” and will tell you, “I crushed that” with authority, regularly.

That reminds me: ladies, it would help everyone know that you’re confident if you finished every sentence by saying, “I am confident.” Though when in doubt, fall silent and nod, comply.

Not to be repetitive, but now you see that it’s simple! Once you eradicate these problematic speech patterns you were raised to have, then you will arrive at the only surefire way to get men/the world to listen: speaking in an explosive barking monotone.

Of course, the other way to get men/the world to listen is to have A+ breasts in a Jennifer Lopez body that never ages, a submissive demeanor, and the intellect of a less intimidating, 100% sexually open Joan Didion. If you choose that route, then we will totally support you, sister! Namaste.

One last thing: stop staying “Namaste” so goddamn much.

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Celeste Ballard is a New York based comedy writer. She is the head writer at Above Average and contributes to The Hairpin and NewYorker.com's Daily Shouts. She tweets @celesteballard. More from this author →