Two things happened today that reminded me of the things we miss. My kid is…
Yesterday, I read another article about how women are giving up their power by using vocal fry and upspeak. If you don’t know those terms, just google, the media has decided that they are what is wrong with public speech.
But, only when women do it. Some articles would have you believe that only women do it. Well, it ain’t necessarily so. This issue is yet another where women have to meet a standard not expected of men. As I mentioned in another forum, when men come to my practice — they often don’t know that they do this. No one has mentioned it. Women, however, know when they use vocal fry or upspeak. They’ve been told about it multiple times before I meet them. And often, they feel shame about it. This is an imbalance.
I don’t want to make this a defense of vocal fry. When I hear it, it means to me that air isn’t flowing well. It is a speech inefficiency. Do I wish everyone would stop it? Yes, I wish everyone an understanding of the power in the voice. But, I would be happy to start with some balance.
If we care about this issue, let’s care for everyone. So if you are out there certain that only women do this — listen carefully. Listen around you. It isn’t just women or just young people. That is just the lens through which it has been introduced. It is an affectation for some and voice dysfunction for others, and it’s more complicated than it seems. Listen and try to acquire some balance in how you hear people.
Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.