I have read all the critiques of women’s vocal mannerisms and tics. No “just.” No “sorry.” No uptalk. No vocal fry. I have come to a few simple conclusions, which I have distilled into the following 13 tips.
1) Never speak in run-on sentences. Use only sentences that Hemingway would use. Speak curtly. Speak of fish and fighting, and the deep wisdom no woman can know. Speak of hills and strong liquor. Speak of Scott Fitzgerald and his fatal weakness.
2) Never let the word “just” pass your lips. If you find that you have used the word “just” even once, smite mightily about yourself with a mace, lest anyone live to tell the tale and lose you the respect of your colleagues.
3) Never end sentences with a question mark, even when you are asking a question. This may baffle and alarm everyone around you, but better that than the alternative.
4) In fact, avoid questions entirely, lest someone hear you speaking with a rising inflection and take away your place in the workforce. When you wish to ask a question, have a man ask it for you, to save face.
5) Never speak with a rising inflection. If you must speak with any inflection at all, speak with a falling inflection.
6) Do not baby talk, not even to babies. Especially not to babies. Avoid speaking to babies in general, as they do not control the workforce and cannot offer you advancement.
7) Never apologize. Not even once. Not for yourself, and certainly not for America. Never let “Sorry” leave your lips. If you wish to play the boardgame of that name, point at it and growl.
8) Never creak. You should sooner croak than creak.
9) When you form words at all, which should be but rarely, make certain they come out in a low, gravelly growl, like a hungover Joe Cocker who has just gargled shards of glass. Strive to sound like a cigarette would sound if it could talk. Strive to rumble like thunder that has taken a class to counteract its vocal fry. If you sound like the love child of Darth Vader and a female Ent, you have achieved your purpose. Speak so that those who hear you wonder aloud and say, “Surely this speaker is a man. Or a grizzly bear who has swallowed a man whole.”
10) Most of the time, make no sound at all. Let your actions speak for you. Speak with your fists, never your hands.
11) In general, communicate only by tearing off the arms of those with whom you are displeased. Wave these arms like flags, in a kind of gruff semaphore. To express feelings, roll rocks downhill with rude emoji carved on them.
12) Remember, be confident. You are woman. Hear you roar. It is the only vocalization you can freely make lest you be hounded off the airwaves and out of the workforce.
13) GRRRRR ARRRG. GRRRRRR. RRRRR.