Jane Lynch In Hot Water For Saying Women Should Lower Voice Pitch

Tweet mocking Jane Lynch for a dumb tweet
twitter | @whoweekly

Women face an inordinate amount of sexism in the workplace. From the way they dress to the way they smile to the literal sound of their voice, women are subjected to a level of scrutiny that men rarely encounter.

This policing of virtually everything a woman does extends from the workplace into the wider world. It comes not just from sexist male bosses, but also from well-intentioned actors with their foot planted firmly in their mouth.

Jane Lynch is attracting criticism for something she said on Twitter.

Lynch, who's well known for her comedic roles as well as her star turn as Sue Sylvester in Glee, is generally beloved and not particularly known for courting controversy. That's changed, though, after a recent tweet.

Here's what she said.

Apropos of nothing, Lynch chimed in on the topic of women's voices: namely, the fact that they should apparently lower them because they can be perceived as annoying.

She doesn't deny that this tone-deaf tweet is sexist, merely saying that she doesn't "know what to do with you" if you think she's being sexist.


Aside from all of the other responses, some commenters were simply baffled that Lynch spoke authoritatively on the subject of, uh, doing podcasts. While Lynch has spoken on plenty of podcasts, it's kind of odd that she'd treat herself like an authority on the topic.

It comes off as more than a little bit sexist.

Everyone has the right to their opinion, but suggesting that women need to alter their natural speaking voice or risk being perceived as annoying comes off as, well, pretty sexist.

Let's think about this a little bit.

It's weird that a high-pitched woman's voice can be immediately dismissed as "annoying" when other voices — notably, men's voices — are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny. In most cases, we accept men's voices for sounding the way they sound.

There's no right way for a woman to speak, apparently.

Lynch probably wasn't thinking of this when she fired off her tweet, but she's feeding into an ancient tradition of silencing women that goes back centuries. Dismissing high-pitched voices as 'annoying' is just one more way to devalue what women have to say.

You can go too far in the other direction.

Theranos co-founder Elizabeth Holmes has been roundly mocked for the artificially low, Kermit the Frog-sounding voice she adopted. But she only started using that voice in the first place because it was a way for a woman to gain credibility in the tech field.

It's all kind of baffling.

We're not too sure why Jane Lynch went in the direction she did with her tweet, because it wasn't really tied to anything, nor was it a response to anything. It's apparently a random thought that flitted into her head, one that she thought was worth sharing.

Gleeks won't like this.

If you're like me and thought Glee was about the most annoying show that's ever been created, you might see some irony in this. It's personally disappointing because to me, Sue Sylvester was the only redeemable character in the whole show, and she was the villain.

What do you think?

Many women know what it's like to lower their voices. But to be called out like this by someone who's self-identified as a feminist in the past has rubbed many people the wrong way.

Let us know what you think in the comments.