I may just be affected by an “availability bias” here, but has anyone else noticed that young women are now speaking more eloquently all of a sudden? I have a problem with this because I think that while articulating your thoughts well can signal a higher degree of consideration, maybe intelligence, it doesn’t make you right or good. It doesn’t automatically legitimize your views or make them more civilized and acceptable.
I don’t have a direct line to all young women, of course, but it’s a trend I’ve picked up on by watching Youtube. I don’t have cable TV and frankly haven’t watched any shows on Netflix in some time (are there any you recommend? Nothing scary), but I’ve still watched a lot of Youtube videos on topics that interest me for entertainment. In that time, I’ve noticed a higher degree of “poise” in the way some young women speak. Enough to think this is a new trend.
At the same time, I’ve seen articles here and there attacking Ivanka’s poise, eloquence and smarts, trying to prove that she is actually none of those things. I personally think she is all of those things, and I think she is absolutely on the “wrong side.” Her silence speaks louder than all her words on many topics and her defence of her father is abhorrent considering his racist, sexist rhetoric and more.
While attacking Ivanka to prove that she’s not eloquent or poised, these articles are subtly suggesting that eloquence and poise put a person in the right. But I think overall they actually fail at what they are trying to do. Sure, she has made a handful of mistakes, but can you really argue that she is well spoken? I wouldn’t. Her mouth is not a printing press; what comes out is not always going to be perfect, but all things considered it still nearly is most of the time.
And it’s problematic to try to fight her stance in politics by suggesting that this is not true and not instead focusing on the fact that choosing well-structured sentences, a certain tone of voice, carrying yourself with confidence, these are all rhetorical devices as much as anything. They have to do with how you present your message, the vessel of the message if you will, not with what your message is. You could be an envoy to Satan and use these things and look and sound very good, but you wouldn’t actually be good.
So I have nothing against appearances, but I have a problem with equating them to telling the truth. You don’t have to be poised to tell the truth, and that matters a lot more! You can shout it and cuss it and if it’s true, it wins over an articulate falsity many times over.