Fox News was on a wall screen recently as we walked through a space. A bevy of gilded, fast speaking and clearly educated women with a couple of men were holding forth on current affairs. A hostess was in charge. No male supremacy in sight.
But we felt no inclination to remain before the screen. We recall when the voices of female actresses and other performers were pleasant to the ear, grammatical and professional. We enjoyed hearing them. Today, it seems to us that too many female voices broadcast come to us as too rapid, too high-pitched, too nasal, even screechy. Too LOUD. And subject to “um” and other amateurish meaninglessnesses. We no longer expect to understand every word. Too many words grate upon our ear.
Triggered by this reaction, we started paying attention to discourse generally. Spoken and written communications by females now seem not only grating and often ungrammatical but also laden with cheap, foul language once considered beneath a ‘lady.’ There are apparently, no ladies left much below the age of say, 65 or 70. Even books written within the last decade or so often carry warnings of ‘strong language’ or sexual detail. In sum, women, once exponents of refined behavior, are now verbal as well as sexual sluts, by older standards. But we no longer hold to such standards; it is doubtful if there remain any generally accepted standards of any significance in these areas.
There are vestiges; young females do not bring home the gutterspeak in which they communicate with friends at school. But that divide too is dying out with the generation now aging.
We have mentioned before that Alexander Solzhenitsen predicted the end of American culture from around 1978 or so, pointing to the disappearance of the arts as harbinger. But we see now, it was not only the arts but the entire culture evaporating as he spoke. Culture imposes the rules of behavior and this, the measure of security within a group of people. Law can operate only when it is accepted by the culture. We are now discovering that, in abandoning the previous generally Christian culture, we have abandoned much of our security with it as people are regularly murdered in groups in public and by nervous police. If you may kill inconvenient babies, you may kill anyone.
We have fallen for the tempting illusion that we might toss overboard selected bits of our culture, bits that we found inconvenient. But we are discovering now that we have thrown out the baby with the bathwater; one cannot abandon selected bits of culture because it is a homogenous package.
So we go out not knowing whether some nutcase or Moslem freak will shoot us or blow us up and we listen to shrill female voices that grate our nerves. We do not find either as pleasant as we remember the past.
Feel free to rebuke our curmudgeonly attitude, we will not be offended. But we will appreciate your avoidance of shrillness …