tv Veronica Rueckert Outspoken CSPAN August 10, 2019 11:40pm-12:46am EDT
>> welcome to day number three. [applause] our speaker is a peabody award-winning communications specialist who is a producer and contributor to wisconsin public radio to the best of our knowledge. now conducts media training and outreach at the university of wisconsin madison her newest book has won praise from reviews to offer this take that her own literary voice is an encouraging supportive and cheerful was hard to imagine anyone who would not benefit from her advice. in a sea of self-help books for women this stands out for its unique perspective and concrete recommendations.
please give a big hand to veronica. [applause] >> thank you so much. and i will take this out right now if you ever have any doubts the voices and instrument. wow. that was incredible. thank you so much for coming out tonight and a huge thank you for having me here and i am delighted to be here gathering together listening to voices. this means a lot to me and i'm
very grateful to be here. my hope is that this challenges you and inspires you and shakes things up for you in terms of what you think is possible in the world and what you are capable of doing with your own voice. i want to start tonight by asking a question that i ask of all of my voice workshops. how many of you here love your voice? five? a couple of people raise their hands but most of you did not. percentagewise it was hardly
anybody. actually that was a little high normally nobody doesn't. especially those that i work with nobody raise their hands and i thought that they have trouble interpreting their voice so there would be teachers or students but hardly anybody raise their hand although men are little more likely to raise their hand but especially with women it is so important but i care a lot about women's voices and it's important because the
voices of who we are what is the reason of the country that we live in what those opinions and feelings sending them sailing out into the world i believe it's a true reflection of any other measure it is that important so what we need to do is rewire so this is how you communicate it is an incredible instrument so what
do you do at the ferrari in your garage you drive 20 miles an hour around the block once a day. and to be an incredible instrument as a tool to change your life's i hope you leave tonight but especially for women there are reasons we feel we should not talk and that we are being silenced you might be wrong about it but
there is growing data the way that women's voices are marginalized. and by the way a huge body of research i will probably be crying by the end but i want to share a little bit. in a yale study hypothetical ceos in terms of competency and then they say if a woman is less confident than the male ceo and they said if he talks more than his peers and what happened to his competency? it goes up.
if a woman in power talks more often she is incompetent that's a pretty strong reason not to talk. and then to think i'm getting a strange feeling that but then i talk about this because it still feels like a sucker punch to the gut. but they want to know if having a lot of power for women to be disrespected the supreme court justices were at three times the rate of male justices women on the us supreme court that does not make women immune so they had
but hopefully as the courts change in the culture will be more friendly to women's voices. and the way they stand on the us supreme court and then they get interrupted by women and men. how many of you have seen the movie frozen? i love the movie my daughters are here we know all the songs and i was feeling really good about that. it was about two women who learned it is love between sisters is more than any guy.
but the relationship between the sisters is what it is important but even in frozen them then talk more. there is more lines for men than the women. but this is what our children see with generations of men talking more than women and by the way frozen is not unique. it is troubling but with a review of what is out there keep watching. but you are not crazy it is out there that they are
marginalized or they are not heard and you have an idea but nobody says anything. but then two people sitting away from you you say it is an amazing idea. [laughter] and then you say what just happened? but now we start to measure that so that is part of the solution because the world needs everybody's voice we are waking up to that finally. so along with building and awareness i hope this book
hopes one that shows you feel less alone. >> and then that makes me feel less alone and i want to share one of them with you. a woman named audrey who were is watching the great recession unfold. but to say that you can do this and she did and she went back to school with a different degree and she became a regulator she showed up with an all-male team at a bank and the bank president
said i have a tax attorney who wants it so of course she raised her hand. that is why she was there i got the degree and the bank president stopped and looked at her and in front of the room with all of these guys said you don't know how. and she was livid. but she didn't say anything. she let it go. and later she told the boss and i'm not happen said that's just that guy.
but the president was even younger than she was and she had more degrees than he did. that was introduction to banking regulation and she hoped it was one and done kind of thing. so she always felt like she was on the outside and at the national level and told me a story of she just stopped cold she just up going because audrey herself had a different technique she would ask a male colleague to put her right - - ideas on the table for her is
that we put the idea out there? and then should they threw their head back and laughed. so looking back now she says i would have blown up the room it comes at the emotional cost but that was her solution but it is an incredible story and to be very successful but that is a hidden cost with the marginalizing of women's voices. but then they give up and think this is not the place for me.
with that passion and expertise but they lose their voices. but now she is getting ready for a political run and i suspect anytime in the next couple of years we will see her name on the ballot and i am excited about that. but with the stories you share them and you share them with your friends and colleagues. and then around women's communications with that man's planing. man procreation.
and then with that experience and there's something magical and instead of walking away to feel yucky afterwards thousands of other women know what that means so you are not alone. and then use that power to use your voice but really what my book is about i want you to learn to love your voice and use your voice.
but that just makes you want to plop down on my couch again. manages to go in a different direction thinking of our voices and then how it works. so how many here have had training or that you go out with a group of friends? so that gives you a foundation on working with your voice. i would not trade that for anything it is so incredibly valuable in my life. so learning how the voice works but this is the only instrument in your body but it
also makes it personal. and somebody criticizes your voice because it is part of your body and that is a natural reaction so makes it hard to talk about because it is right there like somebody's looking at your hair and commenting freely about it. it with the female politician voices so much free advice . . . .
>> it is commenting about the body. it's very personal. but we still have that where we get uncomfortable when women speak in public. there is long history there about why we feel that way. aristotle has a quote, silences the glory of women but it is not equally the glory of man. so, women are glorious and apparently mutes, but men get to speak and that is their glory. king lear says he is talking about his daughter cordelia and says her voice was ever soft, gentle, and low, an excellent thing and women. so, women have these expectations to be quiet and low i may be to be silent totally. and we still have that. it is still ingrained. we may not feel it, it's not something we talk about explicitly but when you hear those adjectives, she'll shrill,
harsh, that's essentially what you're hearing. we don't have that same kind of conversation about men. if you look at that last election, you had to hillary clinton who was just told apart and there were things about why we hate her voice and adjectives every day, you had bernie sanders and donald trump with these in incredibly nasal on flattering voices that made you want to reach for a glass of water and go but down or clear your throat whenever you listen. but no one said anything about that. it didn't matter. or if you look at the radio hosts, he really turned around the way radio voices can sound. and he is a man who proudly resonates his voice right through his nose. but nobody cares because apparently he's good at his job, yes.
he has a brilliant radio show but also he is a man. women i know are still daily and twitter talking about the rebuke they get about their voices from listeners. and as far as vocal, does everybody know it vocal fry is a method of vocal production which is currently popular with young women. a lot of people think it originated in england with affluent men, older men but now it's been popular is two-year among young women who are frequently at the vanguard of local changes. we supposed to sound like thundering in a pan, kinda like this. hello, how's it going. let's like that. but really just lowering of the voice and it gives an air of nonchalance as well. but there's something interesting about that. older generation seems to almost uniformly hate that. radio hosts from npr says she
finds out on lonely and she can't stand it. she tries to coach the people she interviews out of the the younger generations of women, there is research that shows younger generations of women here that and what they hear, they hear power. and self-assurance. so this generational divide. so who's in charge of hiring? it's usually older people, people who are later career and often men. so, this is a very difficult thing for young woman. i've had people tell me more than once that they literally track viewpoints when they hear these we have strong reactions to the voice and that's okay as long as we are aware of these reactions, where they are coming from and how if for having a negative reaction and think i am feeling like a person is less capable because the voice sounds like that we need to start pushing back against that
ourselves and saying, okay, that's not okay, that is a form of bias and i am going to listen to how this persons ideas are formed, the content of their mind, their answers that is what is important. and to make people at the organization aware as well. younger women have enough going against them. there is a lot of pressure. we need to help them move beyond these things and be aware ourselves and not lean into the vices that we have. so thinking again about how to use the voice, it begins with the breath in the breath is seated in the lower abdomen, this is where the deep breath come from that help support our voice and gives us residents. the breath helps calm anxiety literally, it helps you. if your breathing like this all the time it gets very hard to
talk shallow breaths makes us feel anxious but if we sink into a lower breath, there is evidence that it actually columns are person headache nervous system and we can move from may be a fight or flight into a state of calmness. that can only happen if we are working with our belly and taking a belly breath but here's the problem. what happens for women, what have we been told since we are five years old about her belly. , suck it in. suck it in. it's really hard. it's so hard to forget that one. it's something we constantly remind ourselves. we can't take it deep breath your belly has to expand. when i work with women in my workshops and classes, it is often really difficult and there's usually a few women in the workshop who literally cannot get when you breathe in deeply air belly experience like you're blowing a balloon.
if you're blowing air into the balloon it gets bigger. same thing with their bellies if you breathe in deeply our belly will get bigger. because we're so used to not doing that at any time. we always try to suck it in and it's hard to breathe. and then compound that with the fact that women tend to not take up a lot of space. we go into the lady -- which is crossing legs and crossing arms. if you look for women online, i look online and is so hard to find women who are in broader stances unless they are models and really exaggerated almost man spread posture. i think that's one thing we can work on since it's not too crowded here let's try. can you cross your legs, nice tight and then cross your arms as tight as you can now, tried
to take it deep below belly breath. from here, not that breath, but from here, the seat of power, is it kind of hard? it's kind of hard. so now, on cross your arms and on cross your legs, maybe her knees are a few inches apart. shoulders are rolled back, chest is expanded. now try to take a nice slow breath. >> how does that feel? better? letter. we have to give ourselves permission with our bodies to take because when we give ourselves permission with the body than the voice gives the supported needs. it is really hard to feel like you are commanding the room or even commanding yourself in a space when you're in a tiny footprint making it hard for you to breathe. and then on top of that, a lot
of us here, i was going to ask for a show of hands but i want to do that. a lot of us where these teary great undergarments likes banks that really suck it in and make it hard to breathe. so, imagine this. this is what a lot of women are up against to her in these are feeling like our voices have been marginalized and we're wearing incredibly aggressive sheep where. does that sound like a losing scenario? it's hard. then we want to come in and use voices that are strong and confident in we want to bring the power we feel inside out and with this scenario it's really difficult. so shorts are telling you to burn your spanks or shape where which i think would be okay by the way. you have my support if you do this, to at least not wear them on days when you need to speak. especially public speaking days
were days when it's important you feel really at home in your body, calm in your mind and to ready to seize whatever comes at you. just don't wear them on that day and give your voice all the support it needs. your voice needs a lot of support. you have a lot of stuff coming at our voices that marginalize them. it is important to do it you can to support your vocal instruments and get out there and share what you have inside. and so, at the end of the day that is what it's about. is becoming at home in your body is a place that is the seat of your voice and so much more you want. and all of this begs the question, do i have to change my voice? people asked me this, do you have to change your voice? the answer is no. i am actually working with the voice so that it reflects who
you are on the inside. a lot of times women come to me and they are professional women, they may be partners in law firms, they merit be doctors giving speeches, hedgehogs, all of these things when they are high up in their careers and they say, i get great reviews when i speak but i feel crappy afterwards. like not at home doing it but people say i am a good speaker. that is because there is alignment of who we really are inside and how her voice conveys that. so either a person feels a lot of power and a lot of assurance but when it comes time to talk the voice sounds different and they are confused by that. what is going on that my voice doesn't reflect the power that i have and then we work to align these things. and sometimes that means changing the voice and working
so with the voice the power a little better and more strong more strength. and sometimes that may mean something different, that they are not letting themselves be themselves. to succeed in the past women have had to be very careful. what that meant is when they spoke they cannot be too emotional because that was rather historical. you don't want a historical leader so they had to be tamped down with the motion because that was a critique that was leveled against women for a long time. or if they were to flat with their voice then people would say they didn't care, they weren't invested. if you look at mail orders, they were the ones who had license to do it all. they can speak and call him stern tones and that's what a leader sounded like when they
could speak in these bombastic putting down the thunder type of voices and that was considered inspiring about women's and have those options. so they had these carefully modulated voices that did not have characteristics that caught the ear. a lot of times women come to me and say i don't feel right and it's because none of who they are has been allowed to be expressed in the voice. in that case we want them to sound like themselves because we don't feel good until we sound like ourselves and feels like ourselves and share who we are in our voice. those are ways in which you might want to change your voice just like an athlete trains for a race a swimmer might work out with free weights to change their body, we can do the same thing with the voice. it's your choice to work with your voice the way you would like to. but the important thing to do is to use the voice went to start
speaking. if you're someone who tends to hang back a little and not go into those spaces, i challenge you to do that. or if you are in the space where it is a male voice dominating or going first every time, see what it's like if you are the first one he speaks at the meeting or the woman in the room to raise their hands and volunteer your thoughts. they're saying these are things we can do to push ourselves to know that it is out there and to speak anyway. i think i can do a quick reading from the book. no, i can't hear. but i would love to hear your questions and we can wrap up with that. >> i have read that babies as
young as six months they've done research to show that these babies will cry in the rhythm of their mothers voices. don't you think it's really important that women be confident in -- and that's affecting males or females but everyone and secondly, i want to know if you have experienced being silenced especially in the writing profession? >> the first question was about the importance of mothers in particular modeling voices that are heard and important for the next generation and for everyone. and then the question was about me whether i have experienced this. to answer your first question. yes. it's incredibly important that we model for the next generation. there is modeling we can do at home and in our own lives and there is the modeling in the
media where we want to see women talking. we want to take our daughters and sons to movies, and watching tv shows where everyone's voices are heard in equal proportion to men's. so that is something we need to turn the wheel on and really start thinking consciously about kim i have friends who say i would rather not talk if i don't have to. and i understand that and is perfectly fine to be an introvert. there's nothing wrong with that. but it's important to model this and to push ourselves in the spaces. i think we have an obligation to use our voices. so we do have to honor ourselves but i also think yeah, this is the.in time. i feel like it's waking up to the power of women's voices and other marginalized voices and helping one another as we go along, bring our voices to support each other and change
it. and to answer your question have i been silenced? sure. not so much with writing but as a person going through life. i've been at meetings like i've talked about where i have an idea and noah says 70 thing in ten minutes later someone else has an idea and they're clapped on the back and given a promotion or something like that. you do wonder what's going on. you walk away feeling baffled. i wish i had known this earlier on in my career but we can change that now. we have the power to change it together. >> how would you blow up a room? how would you blow up the room is the question. i wish audrey was here and you ago, that's how. it's personal. first of all, i'm not saying
this audrey story and blowing up the room is the solution. there are other solutions and i talk to women who would've handled it differently. what she would've done essay, of course i know what i'm doing. i just came from my degree, prepared for this, i have years of experience and i know what i'm doing, you can't talk to me like that. so you check the behavior. it's like a hip check, he like no, that's not okay. i don't care, it's not my job. if you are comfortable sorry you're uncomfortable but i need to check this behavior right now so you don't do it again and hopefully everybody else sees it's not okay. we don't get to talk to anybody like this and here's what happens if you do. i imagine that would be easier to do today than it would have been when she experienced that. we are all going through this in learning as we go along.
might be blow up the room is right for archery and you, but i might not be right for someone else. the important thing is not to internalize it and walk away with that feeling of shame but to take some type of action, maybe it's an e-mail after work or maybe he is pulling him aside and save you know what he said to me, that wasn't okay. there are many options here but the important thing is to address the behavior and so you are not walking away with this feeling of failure. and helping other women. >> i just wanted to pass on a couple of things i've heard other places when you are talking about the underwear, i once heard the phrase punitive underwear. >> that's a beautiful. i love it. also on an npr interview once i heard a woman, i think it was on
the ted talks where they can do this on the ted talks and she suggested before going into a meeting or doing something where you have to you know you're going to have to talk, two or three minutes before going into the meeting literally stand like wonder woman. and she said, they have done tests on it, it makes a difference, just like you were saying, spread the body into the breath, it makes a difference just two or three minutes. >> right. i'm glad you brought that up. she was referencing amy's work and what she calls power postures. the idea that you as a woman assume a superhero posture like this, her research showed at the time the there was increased testosterone and capacity for risk. essentially if you felt more like a man you are entitled to take up the space. the interesting thing about that
is that research was not able to be replicated. so, others came along including the person who had co-authored or worked on the study and said no, i am distancing myself from the research. i don't stand behind and it was not conducted well. so i'm careful about that. a lot of people bring that up. i don't think necessarily if you're looking for that increase feeling of empowerment in terms of risk-taking or testosterone, if you look it up there was the new york times cover story that blew up social sciences and methodology and all kinds of things. but, i do think it stands and that very simply if you rollback the shoulders, make arch valleys expand but naturally we will take these breasts and give our
bodies remember doing so we can support our voices and have a bigger imprint and therefore we can be more present in these meetings and more poised for a leadership role. so the power postures are an interesting study. i think there's something there but not exactly when he said it was. >> i was thinking as you are talking about supreme court justices and how they tend to change the way they spoke to fit into that dominant male paradigm and how the conversation was happening, is thinking about a conference i have been attending over the last couple of days were some of the male participants feel pretty entitled to take a lot of time, like more than their allotted time to talk about whatever they like talking about. and a lot of the owners in changing how the dialogue cap and seems to be on women to change the way they talk to
participate in this dominant paradigm. do you see in your work any conversation about men changing how they talk? >> that's an interesting question. referring to the supreme court study where the women on the court begin to talk more like men. they could get in there and have their fair share of the conversation and the panel where men talk a lot but the women are told well, instead of what may be the men are speaking the women the onus is on them and it's really interesting. i think it is something that is unfolding and is complex. i don't think we put so much on the back of women are ready and now it is up to us to change so we can talk more. that is not the way it should be. it should be shared. everyone has a say in bringing all voices to the table. men have a stake in it and women have a stake in it. if you notice, i don't know if
you caught this recently the head of the nh that you're no longer be a panelist on panels where they were all men. he will go to the conferences anymore. that's something men can do for instance. have you heard the word mammal where there is these panels and people are more attuned to that lately saying it's not okay to have this on the panel which is giving us the diversity of opinions. that is one way this can start to happen. they also things hr can do. he can get a little complicated but there are things we can do to flip the equations, exercises companies can do to say if you're the person who talks the most, if you're the person who interrupts the most we identify that and are in small groups and what happens if you are the one
now, your role is to speak less than everyone else, your role is to -- if only ten seconds to talk. what is that feel like to feel like for other people. sometimes you can run a timer on everybody at the meeting. i've been at meetings like this where there is a timer running and everybody is talking and when it goes off you are done and to have people be aware, i guess i was talking a long time or maybe for other participants i don't have anything to say after ten minutes because i clam up. what is if you like them to talk for the full minute. i think it's an awareness building moment that we are. the more we have gender equity on these panels and conventions in all of these spaces where it has been historically male dominated the more equity we get in the more we create space for
voices and communication styles and voices. things will not be like this forever but for right now i do consider it an act of subversion to talk like men. it is they're getting there voices in there. the contract for women as you can participate but not too much. you can talk but you can't dominate. even woman on the court. they are turning these expectations around so it's a tool but no ideally it's a shared burden for everybody because we all have a stake in. >> less way to the microphone reaches you think you. >> i am a spiritual person i found some time ago that another
name for god is all about. so, use that name just recently i have had the thought that of the is like the breathing of his breathing in and bought his breathing out. when you think about it we think of those who have studied spiritual and so forth, there is power there. so, if that breathing in and out is a direct connection between the deepest part of your inner resources, could that not be a source that when you're talking about the voice and looking up the voice, if a person gets it in his head that there breathing in and out is a powerful thing could that not be a source of
power? >> i think that could be a tool especially for someone like you who considers himself a spiritual person. on the breath is in many ways considered sacred in the tradition. it is considered to word keeping us in the body the flow of breath. there's interesting things to explore. the breath is fascinating. it's like a proverbial onion but there's also another layer. you can go that deep and consider that power. i don't think people do it so much anymore about lamaze breathing where there breathing was such a part of bringing a new life into the world. there is power there. i think with the breath you can use it as a vessel for power and you can go as deep as you want. that's why it's a journey. you find the more you work with this the more you work with it. it's showing the mental state
whether you are calm excited or scared you can start to use it to enhance the rest of your life and it can change the way you manage yourself in different situations and calm the mind. if you work and think of it like this and think of this long-term journey you can be incredibly rewarding other anything that could accommodate? >> there is, it's unfolding. it's fascinating. i can't remember exactly where it's in the book essentially if
we want people to be more equally in the meeting spaces one thing that works is to have a consensus model. this applies in the way most meetings are run in the way most places would be able to do a bit maybe there are ways to move into the space where one faction of the meeting group can kind of ram through numbers may be all of these are usually bringing men in most scenarios. if we have a consensus model may be more like a jury for this scenario what everybody has to agree, then you get more woman's voices. isn't that fascinating? . . .
>>. >> i don't know if this is germane or not but the vast majority of the pieces of the sopranos and the altos but the composers seem to get the women's voices instead of men. >> that is interesting but what does my ear always goes to the upper voices but some people play instruments in the lower part but that is a fascinating thought a lot of times the composers are writing that these voices were
and that is a particular style of radio but then to give me a tour and we chatted and he said you don't have any speech to fax. [laughter] but if somebody asks if you are on the radio but i ended up with a long career in radio at the university of wisconsin madison and with the alternative weekly in madison
than i was drafted by the state journal and then i had my children i decided to get back to more creative writing. and some of those it has always been part of my advice as an opportunity to write this book but the stories of my life with the rest of nonfiction but i think if you're a writer you just keep writing no matter what and then i think of myself as a writer. >> i am curious if there is a
point at which children as they are growing up with that dynamic change of who speaks more? girls or boys and i am the mother of a 14 -year-old who is a boy and i love him dearly and he's very smart but to be honest the girls are the ones participate a lot more and get up in front of the classroom more so is there an age at which that changes are the educational system encourages boys over some girls at some point quick. >> the first thing that came to mind you have to look it up but there was a research study
looking at boys and girls how they perceived their own gender so they tell a story about a nice person and a super nice person and they were asked at the end to show a boy and a girl character which one is more likely to be brilliant? i think girls five or six they both picked their own gender but then they did the same thing a couple years later the boys still picked boys but the girls also picked boys. so from a surprisingly young age start to question their
own gender capacity and they were thinking of the boys as the brilliant ones which is troubling and also some interesting research about how teachers and i love teachers but they have found in group settings like this they will call on boys tell us what you think but then they showed up in these results that teachers unconsciously unconscious bias were encouraging boys to speak but not with the girls in the same way. there is also societal pressure for girls to be perfect and another study i found it shows that maybe one girls are 13 or 14 and what happens if they decided to
speak that they are going through incredibly torturous mental acrobatics deciding whether or not to speak that i could speak but it could be at a social cost and these are really difficult things to suppress their voice but it doesn't seem the boys are going to the same thing so there is a lot going on there is a comedy and she teaches girls improv and she says girls don't need to do group improv. she does stand up but what really works for girls for what they consider about themselves that they are in charge of something studying
but they say just take ever what they care about and it was funny and also with girls with improv you have to rely on your partners so the fact that they got up there alone and connected that is so important to them. so then they encourage their own voices. >> as i understand it cell phones 20th century was the cycle of equality but now of the other side of inequality because i believe women's
power and strengthen their voices have been growing during the 20th century although it still growing but the cycle is clearing but now perhaps on the other end the quality is getting greater and greater it could be that this is such an important issue that could be the factor of the cycles to stop the continuous increase of inequality that talks about women in a unique position. >> that is a tough one perk i hope you are right. and to say we are trending in that direction but the process is not linear but it feels
that we circle back on ourselves then we go forward again but to think that women have the power i think time will tell. we have to embrace the moment to see what we can change. thank you. [applause] >> please come back to get your book signed and ask some secret questions thank you for coming we would not have a bookstore without you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
i thank you all very much for attending tonight with a little bit of background on myself i have specialized the last 20 years because somebody 21 years ago change my life now we have more new understandings about human nature or how the brain works and what drives the behavior in the history of humanity