There’s a word for this

Are you female? Do you spend your day talking about “accessorising”, “Pilates”, “size zero”, “superfoods”, “cellulite” and “kitten heels”? I thought not.

On the BBC website, there is a piece about “research” showing that women do not talk more than men but apparently have a larger vocabulary. This is “research” in the sense that it isn’t actually attributed but its results are amazingly specific.

Researchers in the US have laid waste to the long-held belief that women talk more than men. But the survey did find that female subjects get through an average of 16,215 words a day, compared with their male counterparts’ 15,669, a difference of 546

As a “lighthearted” talking point, the BBC lists some candidates for what these words might be (supposedly after consulting some women) and asks for other suggestions. There are a few phrases in the list that might be considered to be genuine specifically female concerns but most of the suggestions are what you’d get if you switched on a stereotyping machine and programmed it to reproduce the thoughts of a latter-day Bernard Manning.

I shouldn’t think I have to spell it out but I am going to anyway.

The general assumption behind most of this list is that women are complete airheads, mental sponges for Heat magazine. If the BBC had produced a similar list based on “jokey” “racial” chracteristics, you would expect that the website would have been (rightly) shut down by now.

But, hey, it’s all light-hearted fun. It couldn’t possibly be part of the cultural construction of masculinity and feminity, could it?