General Question

PupnTaco's avatar

Why don't lesbians have an accent?

Asked by PupnTaco (13835points) September 29th, 2008 from iPhone

You know that (stereotypical) affectation some gay men speak with? Why are there no instances of a similar manner of speaking among a group of lesbian women?

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20 Answers

lefteh's avatar

Hmmm…I would disagree with the assumption of the question.
I think there is a very distinct “butch” way of speaking among lesbians.

Magnus's avatar

Yea, have you ever met a homosexual in real life? Not everyone talks like they do on tv…

shrubbery's avatar

There is a sort of stereotypical accent, of the butch sport playing kind of lesbians, as in they talk more like men than women, you know? Stereotypes are stupid anyway, though.
lefteh beat me to it

blastfamy's avatar

O.o.O Gadzooks! they don’t have accents?

In all seriousness, I think it is because, by comparison, homosexual males are (typically) more feminine than girls are. There are the butch lesbians, but of those I know, most of them are not the butch assortment.

I do know homosexuals, both who have, and don’t have accents. It really depends on the person.

lefteh's avatar

Note to all: please, please, do not lose sight of those of us queer males who are far from feminine.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Technically, that way you think of gay men typical talking is not called an accent, but a sociolect, which is a type of dialect. African American vernacular English is another example of a sociolect.

Whenever a community forms and wants to separate itself from the greater community at large, these sociolects tend to naturally arise. I am not personally familiar with the lesbian community, but armed with a little knowledge of sociolinguists, I would wager that there actually is a lesbian sociolect (as Lefted posited), but that it just has not been picked up by the media yet, and converted into a stereotype.

This has nothing to do with being “masculine” or “feminine”—- straight, gay, male, female, everyone communicates!!

iwamoto's avatar

they’re easy to spot by the short hair, army pants and piercings…any other stereotypes i forgot ?

PupnTaco's avatar

@ Magnus, absolutely. Many people close to me are G/L/B.
@ Lefteh: I’ve never noticed the “butch” sociolect (great word, Gomela).

I hope you all know I mean no disrespect and I’m loathe to lump all gay men into a group or to imply there’s anything wrong with the vocal affectation.

maybe_KB's avatar

Yeah, There are fem. males and butch/stud fem.
A Stud/fem. may have more of a dude-like draw.
Subtle as well as prevalent

Example: Not all southerners carry a southern draw.
Not all NewYorker have a heavy East-Coast accent.
Some native Hindu speak perfect english
(so on and so on…)

PupnTaco's avatar

C’est la vie.

wundayatta's avatar

What kind of question is this! Are you geographically illiterate? Lesbians speak with a Greek accent, because Greece owns the isle of Lesbos.

No, wait. Sorry. Scratch that. Lesbians speak with an Arabic accent peculiar to Lebanon. Lesbianese is hardly understandable in other Arabic countries. There are two varieties. North of green line Lesbianese, which is said to be a more masculine accent, and South of the green line lesbianese, which is called Femme.

Recently there was a war between the Lesbians, but the Hezbollah set things straight… er… uh… queer, I mean, and now there is a much greater mingling of the north and south lesbianese, much to the relief of all.

Hope that helps.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

oh daloon…. the eye rolling was profuse when i read that. lol…

queenzboulevard's avatar

I think it’s just because gay men associate their personalities more with women (heavy on appearances, interests in men) so they talk like women. It just sounds like a weird accent because a male voice making female-related noises is odd to our ears.

wundayatta's avatar

@la chica: yeah, I thought it had a bifurcated sense of drama, too. I always feel so unanimous when I can set people…. uh, relocate people…. oh gosh, well, this I know. You won’t hear more Lesbianes accents per capita anywhere than in Northhampton, MA. I’m pretty sure I’m responsible for half of them deciding that men just aren’t worth it.

[daloon ducks to avoid a barrage of rotten tomatoes and runs like hell]

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Queenzboulevard, I have to disagree with you, from a linguistic point of view, the sociolect of gay males is actually its own speech pattern. To the degree that English-speaking women have any commonality between idiolects (idiolect=each individual’s particular way of speaking), the “gay sociolect” has little in common with it. Women speak a little higher pitched, which can be part of the gay sociolect. People actually subconsciously choose pitches within their possible range at which to speak (most women raise their pitch a little, and men lower theirs). Some gay men may choose not to lower theirs, or to even raise it slightly. Beyond that, it would be very difficult to pinpoint any other factors common to all even most English-speaking women.

I am also a little perturbed by the phrase “female-related noises” . For some reason I’m just…kind of offended and weirded out by your choice of words…I don’t know.

And Daloon! You taught me a new word!! “bifurcated” I had honestly NEVER seen that word before! Thank you!

aneedleinthehayy's avatar

@iwamoto, hey, sounds like me! lol

PupnTaco's avatar

I like female-related noises :)

Knotmyday's avatar

who you calling an “idiolect,” chica?

My ex-girlfriend, the married lesbian, is pretty, feminine, and speaks with no discernable affectation. Nor does her wife.

I guess it all depends, though…some of their friends sport mullets and wear flannels and Dickies. And produce female-related noises, on occasion.

missafantastico's avatar

because we are cunning-linguists.

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