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Bob Dylan recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Seems appropriate, because one of his best songs is “Just Like a Woman,” and that’s how Donald Trump speaks. What? What’s that, you say? How can the macho Trump, who belittles opponents and brags about his sexual prowess, be anything like a woman? Well, that’s what language experts are saying.

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In the 2016 presidential contest, there has been one thing that supporters and detractors of Donald Trump have agreed on. The chest-pounding real estate mogul from New York has emerged as the quintessentially masculine candidate. Love him or loathe him, Trump’s campaign has been defined by the ways he has asserted his maleness—mocking his opponents for their low energy, bullying his critics, sneering at perceived weakness, boasting of his sexual prowess, vowing to hit back twice as hard as he’s been hit.

But academic research has picked up something that thousands of hours of campaign punditry has missed completely: Donald Trump talks like a woman. . . More than just a comical curiosity, this fact about Trump’s mode of communication might help explain how a candidate who has been so extensively rebuked for his mean-spirited attacks on immigrants, women, the disabled and even prisoners of war has managed to attract support from millions of voters who adore the way he says openly what they feel. . .

It’s not just a lazy stereotype that men and women speak differently. In fact, researchers who have sifted through thousands of language samples from men and women have identified clear statistical differences. Some of these differences are exactly what you’d expect—men are more likely to swear and use words that signal aggression, while women are more likely to use tentative language (words like maybe, seems or perhaps) and emotion-laden words (beautiful, despise). But other patterns are far from obvious. For example, contrary to the common stereotype that men can’t resist talking about themselves, women are heavier users than men of the pronoun “I” whereas the reverse is true for the pronoun “we”; women produce more common verbs (are, start, went) and auxiliary verbs (am, don’t, will), while men utter more articles (a, the) and prepositions (to, with, above); women use fewer long words than men when speaking or writing across a broad range of contexts. . .

His linguistic style is startlingly feminine, so much so that the chasm between Trump and the next most feminine speaker, Ben Carson, is about as great as the difference between Carson and the least feminine candidate, Jim Webb. And Trump earns his ranking not just because he talks a lot about himself or avoids big words (both of which are true); according to Jones, he also shows feminine patterns on the more subtle measures, such as his use of prepositions and articles.

Again, we’re talking about the manner of speech—the words used—not the meaning of those words.

Here’s a chart that shows how various candidates and politicians stack up. It’s no surprise that the tough Jim Webb’s speech is the most masculine of all, but Martin O’Malley?? He was little more than a passive cardboard-cutout at the Democratic debates this year, smiling, but having almost no impact.

Likewise, Lincoln Chafee rates as a very masculine speaker. Really? It’s not surprising that Hillary Clinton is number ten on the list. She has been criticized as being “too masculine” by detractors. Studies say she has become more “masculine” as she has gone along.

My research finds that as the Democratic nominee moved from first lady to U.S. senator to secretary of state, she spoke in an increasingly masculine way. In talking more “like a man,” Clinton has conformed to prominent gender norms in American politics.

Women rarely act “like women” to achieve power and influence in politics. Women aspiring toward political leadership are more often expected to adopt masculine styles of behavior in order to get their points across. A classic example is Margaret Thatcher, who was trained to lower her naturally high-pitched voice to communicate with more authority. . .

In general, women tend to use pronouns (you, theirs), and especially first-person singular pronouns (I, me), more frequently than men. They also use common verbs and auxiliary verbs (is, has, be, go), social (friend, talk), emotional (relieved, safe, kind), cognitive (think, because), and tentative (guess, maybe) words at higher rates than men.

Men, on the other hand, tend to use first-person plural words (the royal “we”), articles (a, an, the), prepositions (of, to, under), big words (over six letters), words associated with anger (destroy, kill), and swear words ([redacted]) more frequently than women. . .

In the graph below, I calculated a ratio of feminine to masculine words in each transcript and, weighted by the number of words per transcript, averaged these values by year. The blue line represents the general trend and the dotted lines represent election years in which Clinton actively campaigned for herself (2000, 2006, 2008) or Bill Clinton (1992, 1996). Higher values indicate more feminine speech; lower values indicate more masculine speech.

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Here are a couple video clips of both candidates sounding “masculine.”

And, of course, Rudy Guiliani must have heard that being more feminine could get more votes. . .

37 COMMENTS

  1. What hogwash, he can’t be a misogynist, a predator and womanly, the author of this article is certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel for a “different angle”

            • His own admittance of it for a start. As well as multiple testimonies. Which is more evidence of wrongdoing than has ever been found regarding the email “scandal”. However, you are quite happy to assume Clinton’s guilt on such flimsy grounds, yet are blissfully willing to overlook Trump’s wrongdoing. Typical.

            • You listen to way too much CNN. Ever hear of the FBI? The FBI doesn’t investigate things unless it is serious. The FBI doesn’t deal with rumors. The FBI is investigating both the Clinton Foundation, Comey’s words, and her emails. Others have been put in prison for far worse than what she has done.

              Trump’s words, not actions, don’t compare to her level of corruption. Again the FBI wouldn’t investigate her unless there was something serious that she’d done.

            • Don’t watch CNN, so failure there.

              And Drumpf is under investigation for his involvement with Russia in interfering in the election. Treasonous behavior and yet silence regarding that investigation. So, by your logic that the FBI only investigate guilty parties (which is highly delusional and obviously false), then Trump is guilty of working with the Russians.

              Your bias, cognitive dissonace and abject logical inability is thunderous. You are merely embarrassing yourself in a public forum through your biased assumptions, logical fallacies and absence of evidence.

            • The stories you make up are rare. Trump isn’t under investigation. Hillary was and always will be under investigation.

              Embarrassing my self. Lol. But I’d still get another draft notice, if they still had the draft, so that you could make foolish comments.

              I wouldn’t degrade you by saying the things you did about me. You have, however, made statements that just don’t make sense.

              What reputable news organization has indicated that Trump is under investigation for what you believe is his Russian involvement?

            • No smoke without fire, right? Therefore he’s guilty by your logic. But, of course, you will never admit it. That you hypocritically apply different rules to Clinton than you do to Drumpf. That she’s guilty until proven innocent, but somehow Drumpf gets off scot free from any remote sense of wrongdoing despite even his own admissions of it regarding hacking, sexual assault of women, racist/xenophobic comments and multiple litigations regarding failure to pay his workers/contracts, taxes, etc. And he STILL does not have the gonads to reveal his taxes. Again, no smoke without fire, right? So he MUST be hiding something by YOUR logic. SMH.

              http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html?_r=0

            • He is still racist. His words implied that the vast majority of Mexicans were rapists or criminals of some sort. He then said that some were OK. That iis precisely the thing racists say immediately after being racist.

              I agree, however Drumpf is his real name. Far more fitting than the Trumped up one he goes by.

              You are a hopeless apologist for a racist, misogynist xenophobe. He is these things by his own words and you defend him. SMFH.

            • You’ll understand someday. It’ll take awhile. I have faith you’ll grasp reality.

              Talking about reality what do you think about so many Americans voting for President Trump. Say it over and over again, President Donald Trump.

            • Actually Nevada’s electoral votes, where I voted, went to Hillary. However, the Reagan Democrats, I’ll raise my hand, in other States voted Donald Trump into office.

              At least he wants to rebuild the infrastructure. He knows the inner cities need a great deal of help. Sounds like a great agenda to me. Sounds like a Democrat. That’s fine.

              Call him any adjective you want. Just so he gets the job done. Hillary obviously didn’t want the job. She barely campaigned compared to him, right?

  2. HaHa. Gem of an article. Although, it is not his femininity that bothers me. It is that he speaks like an infantile imbecile. Zero thought or eloquence involved. Constant repetition and lazy adjectives. Horrible to listen to and that is before you get to the hateful substance.

      • Even if he were a successful business man(which he clearly is not given his multiple bankruptcies, bailouts, corrupt practices and reticence to reveal his tax returns), he still would never be presidential material. He is an obnoxious, racist, misogynist, xenophobic buffoon with skin so thin he throws a fit and just insults everyone when he is shown to be wrong. He is an infant. Reasonable, humane people won’t allow such a despotic asshat near office. He has already done quite enough damage worldwide to US respectability. He won’t get the chance to do any further damage.

        • He certainly is a successful businessman. You just don’t want to admit it.

          It has been said that Clinton is the most investigated person or politican. Why is that? Where there’s smoke isn’t there fire? Was Obama investigated as much as Clinton?

          • I don’t rate businessmen who have to repeatedly file bankruptcy. Your standards of success are incredibly low.

            There is not even smoke never mind fire. No evidence. Just sheer Republican paranoia and conjecture.

            • You obviously have never followed businessmen. You obviously never seen Bill Gates’ taxes. Or ATnT, Sprint, BCBS, etc.

              I’ve talked about lottery winners that file for bankruptcy. Yet you never mention them. All you say is it’s irrelevant. It’s very relevant when talking about businesses which is what they want to open. But don’t have Trumps knowledge.

              So how can Hillary be considered for the presidency? She’s always being investigated. Where there is smoke there got to be fire, right? If you say it is partisan politics please explain why Comey reopened the investigation.

            • You could look at it both ways: Where there’ smoke there’s fire. . .OR that the “investigators” are blowing smoke. After all, the investigations always come up empty.

              The public may well reject Hillary because they’re sick of hearing about investigations. Hillary would say that’s the “vast rightwing conspiracy’s” plan all along.

            • His debatable business acumen is irrelevant given his other failings (racism, misogyny and xenophobia). Such a hateful monstrosity will never be president. I don’t care if he is the greatest businessman who ever lived. I still would not vote for an evident villain of Trump’s variety.

              Again you try the smoke/fire metaphor, but it does not apply. Firstly, there is only alleged smoke, not actual smoke. And there has been no evidence of any kind that there has even been any smoke, never mind fire. And seeing smoke does not always mean there is fire. This is the same as saying there must be a god because lots of people believe there is one. No evidence, no fire. In either example. And if you believe in nonsensical claims without reasonable evidence, then you would be a gullible fool.

            • Checking something doesn’t mean that anything wrong exists. And even if it exists, it does not imply that any actual wrong doing has occurred either. So, if we take your smoke/fire analogy to its natural conclusion, then Trump MUST be guilty of sexual harassment and rape given that there’s so much smoke about it, right?

              The only difference here being, of course, that Trump has already admitted to this by his OWN WORDS. He has already admitted sexual assault and a complete disrespect for women by HIS OWN WORDS. I happen to believe him. Why don’t you believe him given your “no smoke without fire” analogy? You seem quite happy to assume Clinton is guilty until proven innocent, but are blithely unable to accuse Trump in the same fashion. You are a hopelessly hypocritical apologist for an obnoxious, racist, xenophobic, misogynist abuser.

              Also, the FBI are equally investigating Trump for wrongdoing regarding the Russian hacking of the Democratic party, despite their director’s criminal bias and disclosure re Clinton. No smoke without fire, right? So Trump is guilty of working with the Russians to bring down American democracy, right, according to your logic? However, you fail to accuse him of his wrong doings by your own logic yet still continue to accuse Clinton of guilt despite the fact that there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER, even after multiple investigations spanning over a year. By REPUBLICANS no less. SMH. It is absolutely incredible the amount of conspiracy theory, conjecture and hypocrisy from Republicans. Evidence is what counts. No evidence, no reason to believe in nonsense.

          • So? It is no measure of success. And it is frankly irrelevant. He is a despot who will never be president. White supremacist, misogynist sex offenders don’t get to be president.

            • According bto your description Bill Clinton shouldn’t have been president. So Please explain Why Bill Clinton was president?

            • OK, let me break this down for you so that even you will finally be able grasp it.

              ANYONE, whether they be Trump, Truman, Clinton, you or I, spouting the racist, xenophobic, misogynist bullshit that Trump has been spouting the entire campaign could never be president. They would be quite blatantly unfit for office.

              Clinton is not running. And the actions he did, whilst not moral, we’re consensual. And AFTER he was in office. So the comparison is futile regardless.

            • Wow, thanks for breaking your comment down. I think I get it now.

              Let’s see. Bill Clinton was all those adjectives you used to describe Trump when he was governor. But that is ok because the media didn’t tell people when he ran for president.

              Besides they were adults, and it was consensual, so it’s ok to disgrace the presidency. Of course so are Trumps accusers.

              It’s a good thing your not the FBI director. If you were there’d never have been a Watergate investigation. There’d never have been any Clinton investigations.

              Truth is you’d only investigate Republicans. Those evil people and many are. But so are Democrats.

            • Like I said, if Bill Clinton said the same things as Trump is saying now, then he would not be elected. Simple as that. The American people do not tolerate those who are racist, xenophobic or misogynist. And especially those who blatantly go against American values and the constitution like Trump is attempting and failing to effect. Because he won’t be allowed to. No one is going to suffer his denigration of the first amendment, never mind all the above traits that disqualify him automatically from office.

  3. Goethe, please write an article ie comment about Comley opening up the Hillary Clinton email case. If she is elected, and found guilty what happens? We have 10 days until the election… If something comes out that sends her to jail does that mean the DNC can replace her?
    Apologies in advance, it is extremely late, and I’m tired…. Looking forward to your reply.

        • The vice president is second in line, then the speaker, president pro tem of the Senate, then Secretary of State, Treasury, Defense, AG, Interior, Agriculture, Labor, HHS, HUD, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security. If all of them are gone, we probably won’t have a country to lead!

          In the case of Gerald Ford, there was a “deal” to let him pick his vice president, so that it wouldn’t look like a coup. It was the only time we had an unelected president and an unelected vice president.

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