“Women talk.”

Thinking about ‘women’s language’ for Cambridge Girl Talk…

Cambridge Girl Talk

Jess Molyneux 

It’s not the only example of casual gender stereotyping in F.R.I.E.N.D.S which makes re-watching your favourite teenage TV show a revealing and uncomfortable experience. Ross is annoyed at Chandler for spilling the beans to his girlfriend Janice (who in turn spills them to Ross’s girlfriend Rachel) on his secret ‘hug and roll’ technique. And in his frustration, he seizes on the cultural trope of ‘gossipy women’ for blame.

There are quite a few of these intriguingly pervasive, and more intriguingly unfounded, myths about female speech floating around. Here we’re dealing with the idea of women who just can’t stop themselves sharing, which isn’t too far from that stereotype of ‘the loud mouth’, the fishwife, that inane, mundane female babbler. There’s this perception that little girls are chatterboxes and continue to be so into womanhood. Looking into the actual research in this area, though, is confounding because the…

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