Vocal fry is becoming more and more prevalent in the American cultural pantheon, but is that a problem? In a Guardian column last week, author Naomi Wolf wrote that vocal fry - the gravelly vocal effect that happens when one lowers the pitch of his or her voice - has a demeaning effect on the perception of women, making them sound, as Wolf puts it, like "a Valley girl might sound if she had been shouting herself hoarse at a rave all night."
Wolf argues that women should avoid using vocal fry to avoid being disregarded or disrespected. Oxford professor and feminist linguist Deborah Cameron disagrees. She argues that policing the way women talk is a harmfully limiting tactic akin to policing the way women look. Cameron discusses her response to Wolf's column with Here & Now's Robin Young.
- Naomi Wolf: Young women, give up the vocal fry and reclaim your strong female voice
- Debbie Cameron: Let Women Speak How They Please
- Deborah Cameron, professor of language and communication at the University of Oxford and author of "The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages?"
This segment aired on August 5, 2015.