of "girly men" and "smart talk"

Melissa emailed this to me earlier:

Smart Talk and Girly Talk on the Campaign Trail

According to a computer text analysis that used 271 transcripts of debates, townhall meetings, and televised conferences and interviews:

Cheney is a “man’s man”, Edwards edged out Bush on being “girly”, and Kerry sounds suicidal.

Specifically, they rated each candidate’s use of language along six dimensions: cognitive complexity (marked by sophisticated sentence structure and word choice); femininity (use of words and speech patterns favored by women); depression (use of words that are markers for depression or known “indicators of suicidality”); age (preference for words favored by young or old people); presidentiality (speech patterns and frequently occurring words favored by presidents since FDR in their speeches); and honesty (based on analyses of samples of truthful and deceptive language).

The article mentioned results for all categories except honesty. Interesting.

Let’s go back to the “manly/girly” thing for a moment, shall we? Just what was it Edwards talked about more than Cheney that, apparently, made him “girly”? Equality? The poor? Education? What is it that Cheney said that is so manly? Could it be "go fuck yourself"? Ok, to be fair, that wasn’t from the campaign cycle. But this is, taken from the Veep debate:

It’s important to look at all of our developments in Iraq within the broader context of the global war on terror. And, after 9/11, it became clear that we had to do several things to have a successful strategy to win the global war on terror, specifically that we had to go after the terrorists where ever we might find them, that we also had to go after state sponsors of terror, those who might provide sanctuary or safe harbor for terror.

Maybe it’s saying the word “terror” four times in one breath. Is repetition manly?

Next we get a good idea of why they didn’t report the honesty category. From the same debate, next paragraph:

Concern about Iraq specifically focused on the fact that Saddam Hussein had been, for years, listed on the state sponsor of terror, that they he had established relationships with Abu Nidal, who operated out of Baghdad; he paid $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers; and he had an established relationship with Al Qaida.

Then responding to Edwards (who just responded to the above):

I have not suggested there’s a connection between Iraq and 9/11…


Anyway, the WaPo article theorizes that these finding illustrate the real reason Kerry/Edwards lost. That Bush/Cheney gave the most “smart talk” and Kerry/Edwards the most “girly talk” and Americans can’t do for “girly”, no siree. Wev.

(go cross-post yourself!)

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus