The taming of the shrill

language: a feminist guide

During last year’s UK General Election campaign, Richard Madeley told readers of the DailyExpress:

I can’t get enough of Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. That gorgeous accent! I could listen to it all day. It’s warmer than sunlight shining through a jar of honey.

Madeley wasn’t the only commentator who found the ‘warm’ or ‘lilting’ quality of Wood’s voice a bit of a turn on. Over in the USA, by contrast, it’s become a truth almost universally acknowledged that Hillary Clinton’s voice is a turn off. It’s been described by commentators as ‘loud, flat and punishing to the ear’, ‘decidedly grating’ and, inevitably, ‘shrill’.

The extent to which her critics have made an issue of Clinton’s voice has become a mainstream news story in its own right. Yet the topic of the male voice has barely featured in discussions of Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders, nor in reporting…

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Yes and No: Women’s Sexual Liberation is a Package Deal

Yes and No: Women’s Sexual Liberation is a Package Deal..
(Kelly Vee)

Kelly Vee

Women are caught in a constant war between the pressure to have sex and the pressure not to. “Slut.” “Prude.” “I bought you dinner—why did you lead me on if you didn’t want to have sex?” Even within feminist circles, we face pressure from those who claim to care about our choices. “Sexual purity is a creation of the patriarchy.” “Sex is one of the ways men exert power over women.” “Liberated women have sex like men.” Feminism becomes divided into sex-positive and sex-negative. Sex is not positive or negative. It can be either, sure, but there is nothing inherently positive or negative about having sex. We should be framing our feminism as choice-positive or agency-positive.

A woman who has sex with a different person every weekend is no more or less liberated than a woman who waits to have sex until she has found someone she loves. Liberation is not measured in…

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Why Genocidal Violence on Women in India Increases with Wealth and Education


photo by Divyesh Sejpal ©. All Rights Reserved.

       by Rita Banerji

By far, the biggest myth about India’s female genocide is that it is the outcome of illiteracy and poverty.

What most people feel is – if you build schools, educate people, educate girls, and create jobs, then people won’t kill their infant girls or eliminate their daughters through sex selection.


When wealth starts flowing into a household, a community, a village or a state, in India, and along with the economic prosperity come other amenities like schools and clinics, then one sees a simultaneous drop in the ratio of females in that particular household, community, village or state, as the case may be!  “Economic success seems to spread son preference to places that were once more neutral about the sex composition of their children,”observes Indian demographer…

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