Your voice is too squeaky, it’s too loud, it lacks authority, it sounds childish, it’s grating or obnoxious or unprofessional. Ever heard that before? Many of the women reporting for NPR have.
The team at NPR worked with animator Kelli Anderson to put together this animated video of Selena Simmons-Duffin’s great audio report, “Talking While Female.” The report discusses how people have an tendency to think lower-pitched voices have more authority and express greater knowledge. This can lead to people dismissing the voices of women, saying that people who speak in higher-frequency ranges don’t know what they’re talking about. This trend plays into mansplaining, of course, but also it’s important to recognize how men host the majority of podcasts. Because radio is a male-dominated field, listeners are used to hearing deeper, male voices more often as hosts. As women make headway in becoming TV anchors, radio hosts, and starting up women-hosted podcasts, maybe the listening tastes of audiences will change, too.
Related Reading: Why are 70 percent of podcasts hosted by men?
Sarah Mirk is Bitch Media’s online editor. Oh, and she hosts a podcast.