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Young women have recently developed a cynical tone to their voice.  Have you noticed?  Perhaps you haven't identified it as such, but listen carefully and you will notice a weird phenomena going on with young girls and young women.  I'm referring to the very nasal method of communicating that originates from the front of the mouth rather than the throat.  Lily Tomlin demonstrated this nasal and almost mocking voice years ago when she portrayed a telephone operator.  

Often heard on the radio and in TV commercials, you don't have to look at your TV screen to know the approximate age of the person speaking.  She won't be a Baby Boomer.  She's likely a member of the Millennia generation, born after 1980; but she could also be a member of Gen X, born roughly between 1961 and 1980.  In essence, she sounds like she has a distrustful and negative attitude to life.  

Unfortunately, this trend is spreading rapidly.  At the mall, very young girls with innocent faces speak to friends with the voice of a cynical whining woman.  Rarely do you hear young boys or young men use this tone of voice.  Why you may ask?  Or maybe you haven't.  I have, and I think I know.

Generation X is scornful of the values of their Baby Boomer parents who left them a legacy of fractured families and federal deficits.  Dad was promised a gold watch but got a pink slip instead.  Thus, they are cynical and trust only themselves; team play is for Boomers.  This reclusive characteristic was passed on to the Millennia children.    

Colette Dowling's 1981 book "The Cinderella Complex" may have inspired the Gen X girls to convey to the world that they had both feet planted firmly on the ground and were not about to depend on a man to take care of them. Sadly, they entered the workforce and encountered the Glass Ceiling.

Consequently, the stage was set for many of these young women to continue to express their cynicism.  It can only be assumed that their young daughters subconsciously learned this habit.  Within a few years, their friends picked it up.  I truly hope it's not too late to snuff out this unfortunate trend.  

Perhaps the most shocking issue is that radio and television stations actually hire young women to do commercials with this grating voice.  Personally, I cannot trust any information given by someone with such negativity.  Female announcers reporting on the world's news have also used this distracting voice.  After several months of hearing a young woman report the news from China in a cynical tone, I sent an email to her station expressing my concern.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one to complain because she is no longer heard on that station.  Hopefully, she was sent back to "remedial" radio school.  

Women still have a Glass Ceiling in the workplace and part of the problem has to do with speaking styles that differ from men. Women have higher and softer voices, so they often command less credibility as a result.  Furthermore, they often pause out of ingrained "gender politeness" before speaking up in the board room or other mixed-gender settings.  Two strikes and you are not out; but if young women speak out in a voice that sounds more like a nagging mother than a mover and shaker, they may strike out. They may literally talk themselves out of business.

It is acknowledged that it is not always what you say that makes an impact, but how you say it. That definitely includes your tone of voice.


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