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Kathy Gyngell: It’s not sexist to say Hillary’s squawk could flatten a tank


What Hillary lacks in stature she certainly makes up for in voice. Was it me or did it take on an ever harder and evermore strident pitch as she battled it through the presidential primaries?

Could she shout any louder without damaging her vocal chords, I wondered before Thursday? Apparently so.

“Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president,” Clinton rasped out, “Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I’m happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone.”

‘If you shout as loud as I can’. I honestly thought she was about to add.

Brits haven’t commented. Not so American pundits – mostly sexist males we are told by Huffington Post. How dare they?

“After Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night, like clockwork, political reporters and pundits — mostly men — began commenting on the sound of Clinton’s voice, which they have done time and time again.”

Well if criticising Hilary Clinton’s voice is to be sexist then I am too. This has to be another case of ‘feminists united’ defying reality unless of course they are so busy shouting themselves they don’t hear her.

Is her voice the product of a coach or of her personal mania that she will and must be heard? Whatever, the result is ghastly. There is much of the bully in its determined resonance. It will cost her the White House, I too predict.

For Boris Johnson, she appears a ‘sadistic nurse in a mental hospital’.  For me her voice brings to mind the evil Mrs Boynton’s terrorising tones in Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death – as delivered by narrator Hugh Fraser.

Brit Hume of America’s Fox News describes it far more kindly as her ‘not-so-attractive voice’: “She tends to accelerate her delivery and speak louder and sterner,” he said “…(lapsing) into that familiar lecturing tone. And I suspect that there were some people who, even though they agreed with her words, found the tone off-putting.”

I bet there were more than some who did.

“She projects one emotional tone throughout, and it has a combative manner to it, and not a happy warrior manner”, another brave male commented. Truthful comment like this is no longer allowed.

According the patently feminist Marina Fang of the Huffington Post, the very fact of making history as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party should preclude any criticism Clinton (in this land of the not now so free).

Men, she thinks, rarely receive equivalent scrutiny. No? My bet is that it’s actually a lot tougher and they are prepared to take it in their stride while the feminist brigade scream foul at the first hint of criticism of their sisters. If anyone can take it on the chin, Mrs Clinton can.

Instead of asserting her victim status (some victim Mrs C), it would be more helpful for her to learn from our female exemplars of modulation and authority on this side of the pond. What better example than our new PM and her totally commanding forbear Mrs Thatcher, who was never too proud to learn?  She took voice lessons on the advice of Gordon Reece. His chance encounter with Sir Lawrence Oliver, Charles Moore Mrs Thatcher’s biographer revealed, led to one of the most instantly recognisable and authoritative voices in modern history, as her ‘hectoring tones’ gave way to softer notes.

Softer notes that Mrs Clinton would do well to copy.

(Image: Gage Skidmore)

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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