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The dangers of women’s speech

Europe has a long history of criticising or poking fun at how women talk and what they choose to discuss. Social sanctions meted out to so-called ‘gossips’ and ‘nags’ include ostracism and ridicule. Many countries also criminalised being a ‘scold’, punishing women with violence ranging from being dunked in water to being forced to wear a muzzle. But do women really gossip any more than men?

Words by Christine Ro

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Photograph of Christine Ro

Christine Ro

Christine Ro is a writer and editor whose work is collected at www.christinero.com.