Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Don't Like the Sound of Her Voice

“I don’t like the sound of her voice.”

A friend, a woman in her 60s, says this to me.

“I would vote for her if she HAD divorced her husband,” says another friend.

I’m reading for the first time The Golden Notebook, a gift from my mother this Christmas (as it usually is). On page eight of the introduction, Doris Lessing writes of the Women’s Movement, and that while it's gaining traction: “All kinds of people previously hostile or indifferent say:

“I support their aims but I don’t like their shrill voices and their nasty ill-mannered ways.”

She writes this in June 1971. Thirty-seven years ago.

"I don’t like the sound of her voice."

A newscaster refers to a young woman as a streetwalker. “Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird way.” She’s “likeable enough,” says the man who can’t be bothered to look up from his podium to address her in the eye. Her hair is awful. Her clothes? Anna Wintour suggests an entire wardrobe change in Vogue.

She’s the wife of the wrong man. She’s the mother who never had another to pursue her career. She was a lawyer. She voted wrong.

She also believes in health care for every person. Wants to restore diplomatic relations with the world. Intends to fund a Universal Pre-K program for all 4-year-olds. Lengthen the time parents can take through the Family and Medical Leave Act. Force automakers to raise emission standards.

“Really. It’s that voice. I can’t imagine listening to it for four years,” says an acquaintance.

Not something we need to worry about. Because it looks like it will be silenced yet again.

1 comment:

YLM said...

As my grandpa said not too long ago; "The American public would rather have an idiot in the White House than a woman. A female President? On no, that would be way too radical."

Obviously he was referring to Bush, not Obama (who seems nice enough but I'm not really qualified to comment, being a woman and all).