Join the Conversation
To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs
OPED: Hillary Clinton's screeching, mansplained
It is well-established among the gravitas-blessed male punditocracy that Hillary Clinton yells too much.
She yells when she's happy. She yells when she's trying to make her voice louder. She yells when she's mad, which seems like always because she yells so much.
She probably even yells when she drops something heavy on her foot. (The correct reaction is to choke back the undignified scream and punch a wall, a nearby tree or your closest golfing buddy.)
Yell, yell, yell. Why can't she dial it down a few notches, say those of us man-pundits who are learned in the art of yelltiquette.
Allow me to mansplain.
Yelling was developed in England during the Middle Ages as a way for noblemen (there were only men at that time, women hadn't been invented yet) to be heard over the wailing of peasants. It evolved into a primary form of male communication used to express anger, outrage, sadness, joy, glee, merriment, pain and bliss.
There was a great deal of yelling in the Middle Ages.
Once women came along, some tried to raise their voices to be heard over the yelling of men. That's when the phrase "not ladylike" was coined, by men, and a sensible and totally fair societal precedent was set:
Men yelling = good and assertive.
Women yelling (or raising their voices anywhere near the "yell range," a decibel level determined by nearby men) = bad and unbecoming.
And the rest, as I might yell if I want to, IS HISTORY!!!
This should lend some perspective to the reaction many men had to Clinton's victory speech in the wake of Tuesday's presidential primary wins.
Fox News host Howard Kurtz tweeted: "Hillary shouting her speech. She has the floor; a more conversational tone might be better for connecting with folks at home."
Fox News political analyst and professional harrumpher Brit Hume tweeted: "Hillary having a big night in the primaries. So she's shouting angrily in her victory speech. Supporters loving it. What's she mad at?"
I don't know what Clinton expects. Any right-thinking man knows that if a female candidate raises her voice in any way, it's an expression of anger. It's like when a mother has the nerve to cheer for her child from the sideline of a game — we all know she's just angry that she isn't the dad, who is presumably awesome and also on the sideline doing some perfectly appropriate yelling.
Of course if any super-secure man has the guts to point out that Clinton — or any other non-penis-having person — is yelling, he is immediately branded a sexist by the radical womanocracy. These are the same femiknowitalls who promote absurd behavior, like being respectful, not starting unnecessary wars and "listening." (Blech.)
But there is nothing sexist about believing in the sanctity of traditional speaking volumes. Men yell, women don't — IT'S IN THE BIBLE, I THINK!!!
I say that if Clinton wants to occasionally raise her voice or shout out to rally her supporters, she should do it in the privacy of her own home, assuming Bill gives her the all-clear.
Because there is nothing more insulting to strong, in-no-way-threatened men than a woman who raises her voice. If we let that happen, we might hear her.
And that could really shake up the order we've tried so hard to preserve.
— Rex Huppke is a Chicago Tribune columnist.