talk the talk

No One Tell Trump His Speeches Skew ‘Feminine’

The Teflon Don and some female fans.
The Teflon Don and some female fans. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In the incredibly long lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, we have heard some truly remarkable misogyny from the man, the myth, the painfully potential reality Donald Trump. Trump has attacked former candidate Carly Fiorina, Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly, and the general existence of women on this earth as we attempt to live our lives. Would it surprise you, then, to hear that Trump is the most “feminine”-sounding male candidate in the race right now?

Textio, a company that uses software to evaluate language patterns, took stock of 126,362 words used up until March 3 in campaign speeches and four debates, assessing candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties. They found that Trump — can you even believe it? — had a greater “feminine” bent to his language than did Sanders, Rubio, and Cruz. What exactly does that mean? The software flags words as either masculine-biased or feminine-biased based on which get “statistically significant response rates from either men or women.” 

Textio notes that while Trump uses masculine-leaning words (as in women hardly ever use them) like imbecile, dummy, and idiot, he also resorts to a range of feminine-biased terms: “Trump talks much more than the other male candidates about his beautiful family, his wonderful team, and how well he builds lasting and effective relationships.” And while Clinton is obviously the most feminine-leaning of all the candidates in her speech patterns, she is judged more harshly for any “masculine” bent. CUNY linguistics professor John Locke told the Times“If she speaks forcefully, people will say she’s strident or harsh. When a man does the same thing, we say that he’s speaking with appropriate command.”

Trump’s competitors are much more likely to lean on phrases that Textio classifies as heavily masculine, like “‘demanding’ and ‘stringent,’ ‘obliterate,’ ‘totally destroy,’ and ‘towering strength.’” And worse: All five candidates told more stories about men than women, Clinton included. Clinton tells three times as many stories about men than women, though she is by far the most balanced. (Rubio tells 18 times as many stories about men, for crying out loud.)

So, please, no one tell Trump about this, lest he should decide to make up for it with more overcompensating penis talk.

No One Tell Trump His Speeches Skew ‘Feminine’