Tom McEnaney on What We Hear When Women Speak

Professor of Comparative Literature and Portuguese & Spanish, Tom McEnaney, was featured in a New York Times News Analysis piece, “What Do We Hear When Women Speak?” on how we perceive female presidential candidates and moderators through their voices. The article explains: “In a course called ‘Sounding American,’ at the University of California, Berkeley, Tom McEnaney teaches that there is in fact a sound that people associate with authority in this country...Dating back to the phonograph, engineers had created a device that was designed for the male voice—newscasters, presidents, public figures—to the extent that if a woman spoke into it, her voice would sound distorted, thin or scrambled.” McEnaney was a 2019 Global Urban Humanities Faculty Fellow