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10 most anticipated book releases for November 2020

Now I know this year has been a drag. From the pandemic, tragedies, massacres and frankly just everything. Sometimes we all need an escape every once in a while. But, we need to remember how privileged we are to even escape. Not everybody has this luxury of escaping into a book like some of us do. Those protesting in Nigeria and Thailand certainly do not. 

Now that this has been acknowledged, I want to share the most anticipated reads for November 2020.

1. Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

[Image description: Image of Rebel Rose] Via Goodreads
Calling all Disney fans! I am pretty sure we are all aware of the story of Beauty and the Beast, right? In this novel, we go back in time to France in the 18th century, where they are on the brink of revolution. Finally, Belle has broken the curse and now her Beast has reverted back to humanity and he is now her prince. But remember, they are on the brink of revolution and if you know about the French Revolution, it was off with the heads of the aristocracy. Belle must consider if being a Queen is truly worth it or simply just a title.

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2. Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

[Image description: Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao] Via Goodreads
In this novel, we follow Chloe being nervous to introduce her boyfriend to her parents. But, plot twist – she doesn’t even know who her boyfriend is! To appease her parents, Chloe hires her boyfriend, Drew, from ‘Rents’, a company that trains boyfriends to impress traditional Asian parents. This is such an interesting concept and makes me think, are we commodifying humanity, for the fact Chloe is ‘renting’ a boyfriend. But, Chloe rents Drew to convince them he is worthy of their approval so they don’t marry her off to Hongbo, a total womanizer within their community. But, what if Chloe and Drew’s relationship is not as fake as they anticipated?

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3. The Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

[Image description: The Violent Delights by Chloe Gong] Via Goodreads
Imagining a Chinese retelling of Romeo and Juliet, coupled with gang rivalry – Chloe Gong’s The Violent Delights is based in 20th century Shanghai where gang rivalry is prevalent, leaving the people of Shanghai distressed and helpless. How chaotic. 

We then have Juliette Cai who is 18 and believes she is above the law and is leading the Scarlet Gang. And their rivals? White Flowers. And of course, these gangs have been fighting for generations. But, what’s most interesting is that the heir to White Flowers is her first love and betrayal. Do with that what you will. If you love Shakespearean retelling and gang rivalry – this is for you.

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4. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho

[Image description: Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man] Via Goodreads
In light of everything that has happened in the world with Black Lives Matter, this book is a must. It’s time to have these conversations that people have been talking about.

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5. A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

[Image description: A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha] Via Goodreads
A Portuguese historical fantasy A Curse of Roses follows the story of Princess Yzabel who is cursed from eating. Here me out. With one touch of bread, it turns into roses. She attempts to bite cheese, the cheese now turns into lilies. This magic leaves her starving because any food she attempts to eat just turns into a bouquet. With a famine plaguing Portugal, she needs to decide what is the best solution for her to save her people?

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6. Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

[Image description: Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer] Via Goodreads
Meet Prudence Daniel – an overachiever with a disgusting attitude. Far too quick to cast judgement on her rude and lazy residents in her coastal town. But, something strange happens, one day she wakes up with the ability to cast instant karma on anybody. What a power to have. And of course, she abuses that power and wreaks havoc on anyone who irritates her. Except for this one person where he powers constantly backfire – Quint Erickson, who happens to be her enemy.

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7. A Promised Land by Barack Obama

[Image description: A Promised Land by Barack Obama] Via Goodreads
Need I say more? With elections taking place around the world, let’s hear from the former US President, Barack Obama, who reflects on his time in the Oval Office.

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8. Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp

[Image description: Perfectly Impossible by Elizabeth Topp]
For fans of the Devil Wears Prada, this is for you. The book is about an assistant to a stinking rich wife and a philanthropist, Bambi von Bizmarck. Aside from being an assistant, Anna is also an artist. But, she is met with a dilemma. Painting and all things art is her passion, her true calling. But it’s not paying the bills, at all. Whereas her position as an assistant enables her to be more successful. Follow Anna to delve into the life of the 1%. Must be nice.

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9. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

[Image description: Chasing Lucky by Jean Bennett] Via Goodreads
Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother  – they are practically glued to the hip, moving from one city to the other. If you like the cliches – bad boy trope, friends to lovers, I can 100% confirm this is for you. Until one time, her and her mother move back to their historic New England town to run her family bookstore but this time it’s different. It’s only a matter of time until her grandmother returns and they move again. Until Lucky Karras re-enters her life.

Get this book on The Tempest’s bookshop supporting local bookstores or on Amazon.

10. Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March

[Image description: Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March] Via Goodreads
Yet again, another historical fiction. But, something makes it different – it’s a historical crime fiction set in colonial India. Think Indian Sherlock Holmes. Both of the women who died belonged to the same family, now this is where it gets interesting.  The deaths are suspicious, but no one is talking. We meet Adi Framji, who is the husband of one of the women and ends up hiring Jim Agnihotrii, a captain in the army to help privately investigate the case. (Trigger warning: suicide.)

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We truly can’t wait for these books. What are you waiting for? Get reading!

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History Education

It is high time Shakespeare is written off as a relic of the past

“She hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear” one of my high school students, playing Romeo read out. 

“Miss, isn’t that racist? Referring to the color of someone’s skin and making a metaphor out of it?” Interrupted another student. 

“Well, any piece of literature is a product of its time. And racist sentiments were very common during the colonial era.” I snapped back, partly embarrassed at my shallow save. 

“But if it’s so outdated, why are we still studying it over 300 years later?” He responded.

And there it was. The ultimate question, to which I really had no answer. My Generation Z students somehow had more political correctness than the board which set the curriculum. In light of all our Anglomania as a post-colonial society, Shakespeare continues to dominate most secondary school curriculums. And somehow, as educators, we must salvage some of this “great” playwright’s legacy, by defending his racism and sexism, which can be extremely offensive to modern-day sensibilities. 

Flipping through the pages of The Merchant of Venice, the depiction of Shylock as a stone-hearted usurer is disconcerting. Shakespeare picks up on the stereotype of Jews as being greedy and practically villainizes the entire Jewish community of the time by pitting it against Bassanio and Portia’s love story. 

Race and morality appear inextricably linked in Shakespeare’s works. Portia, when discussing her prospective suitors, claims that “If he have the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me.” As Portia is presented with the proposal of a Moroccan, she immediately turns it down on the basis of his skin tone. The idea of one’s skin color as an indication of their moral aptitude was what British colonialists thrived upon. This is precisely what allowed them to spread “enlightenment” and Christianity in the “dark continent” of Africa. 

This absurd idea is taken further in Othello. The character of Othello, himself, described as ‘the dark moor’, with ‘thick lips’ is said to resemble ‘the devil’, simply because of his complexion. 

Attribution: [Image Description: Laurence Fishburne in the title role of Othello, with Kenneth Branagh (right) as Iago, 1995.] via Castle Rock Entertainment
As you read through work after work, it becomes apparent that this is no coincidence. This is Shakespeare’s world view: devoid of diversity and nuance. It is one that exalts white Christian men and creates savages and murderous brutes out of people of color. 

If Shakespeare’s internalized racial prejudice is bothering you, wait till we talk about the blatant sexism in his works. Hamlet famously claimed: “Frailty thy name is a woman.” I remember while studying Hamlet in my sophomore year of college, many were very outraged by this statement. How can you read and respect a writer who basically undermines the intelligence of your entire gender? But then I also remember when a question was raised about his not so subtle sexism, our professor wrote it off as being Hamlet’s words and not Shakespeare’s. We must not conflate the two, we were told. 

But if it was just Hamlet who thinks of women as the epitome of weakness, why is it that this theme of fragile and hysterical women appears in many more of his works? In Macbeth, for instance, an otherwise ambitious man is led astray by his wife’s greed. Shakespeare continually emphasizes the superior moral ground of his own heroes. They are moral compasses for the women in their lives. It is as if he was trying to say: women, by their very nature, are fallible and when they transgress, they must be punished. Such is the case for Taming of the Shrew which basically glorifies domestic violence.  

Living in a society where people are still recovering from a post-colonial complex, Shakespeare is not just a playwright or an artist. He is deified into a god-like figure. He is an institution, a larger than life phenomenon. He is considered as the epitome of civilization, intellectual prowess, and spiritual superiority. At least, this is how he was institutionalized by the former colonizers in order to dominate their subjects. 

Today, Shakespeare is celebrated for his supposed universality. But how can we call him universal when, in fact, most of his writing, much like other Western Canonical texts, is about royalty and the aristocracy? He only ever wrote about higher mortals. And when these grand, inaccessible tales are told to us, we take it all unflinchingly, without a grain of salt. We don’t question it because it is not relatable.

Our own sense of inferiority prevents us from ever probing how problematic it really is. 

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Culture Life

Why I am constantly drawn to lavender

I find that my most blissful moments remind me of the strong, calming scent of lavender. For one reason or another, I relate it to a lot of the more meaningful aspects of my life. To me, lavender is like a feeling; like the wind brushing up against your skin.

While I think that lavender is largely optimistic, I also find a certain sorrow that is comfortable, even humble, in its presence. I’ve come to appreciate it in every shape and form – the color, the flower, the scent. Its hard to place; not sweet or bitter, but rather musty. 

Lavender manages to incorporate itself into my life seemingly on a whim and in the most fleeting of moments. We have a peculiar relationship. I am stomach-knottingly anxious in the presence of many, especially when I first meet them. But, with some, I sense lavender, and I know that something great is about to happen. It is more of a feeling than anything else. Just talking to some people can be rejuvenating, and perhaps it is because our meeting reminds me of that warm, soft smell of a mid-spring day when the sun is bright and pure, and the entire day lies ahead.

Nowadays, when I am feeling an emotion that is simply beyond words, I say that I am overflowing with lavender. 

According to etymology, the English word “lavender” is derived from the Latin “lavare,” which translates to “to wash.” It is a necessary refinement – a cleanse. I am purified with every utterance of the word. 

Perhaps it’s not just me. In literature, lavender has been used significantly as a token of love. To me, it’s more like a notion of love at first sight. Shakespeare offers a bouquet of “hot lavender” in The Winter’s Tale. Cleopatra also roots lavender with love, as she is said to have used its sultry perfume to seduce both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Christians are also known to have used it as a repellent of evil. The plant is said to have been taken from the Garden of Eden and is sometimes found hanging in a cross shape above the doors of some Christian households as a means of protection. There are so many songs with the title lavender, my favorite being by The Beach Boys, and there have also been many poems written about it, too. Take, for example, this quote by an anonymous writer, “as rosemary is to the spirit, lavender is to the soul.” 

Lavender is swift, like a movement, carrying me in and out of perfectly imperfect moments. The vision of it is rather uplifting as well. It stands delicately tall among the rest, but it is not intimidating either. I adore its confrontation. In fact, I look forward to it. 


In Pakistan, many women must still choose marriage over education

A couple of years ago, Kim began working at my home, in Lahore, Pakistan. She was 14-years-old then. In the first few days, she was quiet, demure, and a little scared. She didn’t talk a lot, and when I spoke to her, she jittered, and her voice trembled.  But as days passed by, we became friends. And as more days passed, our friendship blossomed into a sisterly bond. Kim had become family.

I would come home from school and tell Kim about everything that happened. She would excitedly listen to everything that I’d say and then she would tell me about her day. We would sit in the kitchen, and the sounds of our laughter and prattle would echo throughout the house.

Until one day, the yellow sun blazed in a blue sky, and the windless air of Lahore pricked my skin. I got home from school, bursting with stories that I had to tell Kim. But Kim hadn’t come that day. I wondered why she hadn’t come and if she was all right because she never took any days off. I felt a wave of apprehension.

“Mama, why didn’t Kim come today?” I asked my mother.

“I called her mother and was told that Kim will come to work after a few days,” my mother said.

I was dissatisfied with my mother’s response, but there was nothing that I could do except wait for Kim to come back. Almost a week later, she returned to work.

When Kim came back, she was in a sour mood. When I talked to her, she pretended like she wasn’t listening.  For the first time, it felt like she didn’t want to talk to me.

Some days later, we uncovered the reason for Kim’s discomfort. We found out from her mother that Kim’s wedding dates had been set. She was getting married to her cousin in a few months and would live in the village after getting married.

Kim and I sat together after she finished with work one day. Her eyes brimmed with tears of rage as she told me that she didn’t want to get married. She wanted to complete secondary school and continue work. I sat gawking at her, imbibing her words, as she spoke. I wanted to say something to comfort her, but I couldn’t. The words all died in silence.

In the week that Kim didn’t come, she was told by her parents that she would be getting married in December. Kim wasn’t asked if she would be all right marrying, she was simply informed of the decision. The dates were conveyed to her, and the name of her would-be husband was told.

She didn’t protest. She didn’t ask questions. She didn’t resist. She suppressed her feelings and submitted to the decision as most Pakistani girls do, especially those belonging to poor households. No one at Kim’s home knows how unhappy she is with her wedding, quite simply because she never made it known to them. She was afraid that her brothers would beat her, and a family drama would erupt if she told them that the idea of marriage is despicable to her at this time. But mostly, because no one would listen to her or share in her grief. I wonder how no one ever sees how her happiness is crumbling around her.

With her wedding day drawing closer every day, Kim feels like her life is falling apart. She is reduced to silence and stays gloomy. Sometimes, I feel like she isn’t the same person anymore – somebody who I would talk to for hours at end, my best friend.

At times when I look into her eyes, I see a sadness so profound, that I want to stop time so that her wedding day never comes. I see her struggling every day. A storm rages inside her, but the world doesn’t see it. Kim will have to weave into her new life, even if reluctantly, as all other girls do who are married before they are ready. It scares me to think that she’ll make a bride so soon, that she’ll be sent off with someone she’s never known closely and that she’ll be forced to live a life that she wants to flee.

Kim’s life has moved me closer to reality. It has made me realize that girls still struggle every day, sometimes for simply being given to the right to get an education before being married off.

Names have been changed to protect those involved. 

Gender & Identity Life

Going to a concert isn’t the carefree experience that it should be for me

Even when I feel that I’m fully recovered, certain moments always crop up where I am reminded that mental health is a long and strenuous battle. Usually, these moments occur when I’m surrounded by people or when I have plans that I know will trigger either my depression,  anxiety or my rheumatoid arthritis. I believe that the worst part of it all is knowing that you are an outcast and that you can’t tell everyone what you are feeling or what you are thinking because they won’t understand you.

In my case, I’ve found that concerts and shows tend to cause one or more of my conditions to act up. This is absolutely miserable because concerts, shows, fireworks, movies, presentations, in general, are those things that are always the most fun or anticipated. We are willing to pay in order to sit in chairs that may be far away just to see,  to hear, or to watch the show of someone whose talent we admire.

Even though I love these events, ever since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and arthritis I found myself paying attention to the places where the spectacles are going to be held. I’m always checking if there is access for people that have mobility impairments or as, in many of the places available in my city, the road I must take in order to get to my seat is determined by stairs.  Where I live, concerts are very expensive and if you want to see famous artists or a world-renowned spectacle with your friends or family you’ll have to make compromises, you’ll have to buy a cheap ticket (which really isn’t cheap) so that you have to see the show from a very long distance and the access is  torturous. Of course, being in the same position for a long period of time makes my bones ache, makes my joints scream and my extremities to become stiff. By the time we get out of the show, I must go out in the cold to grab a cab, which makes my pain on the next day absolutely unbearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen amazing shows and I feel lucky to have the economic possibilities to see great artists perform, but I’ve always felt bad because I never know if the show that I’m going to has chairs, or if I’ll have to sit on the floor.

This struggle isn’t always physical, but psychological.  I’ve found myself having panic attacks, episodes of memory loss due to anxiety, sweating, headaches, and/or gastrointestinal discomfort because of the number of people in these places. There is always a moment when I sit in my chair (if I’m lucky enough to have found one) and I look around to see the crowd and my anxiety tells me, “Hey if there’s an earthquake, if there’s a fire, these are all the people there are going to step on you on the stampede at the exit.” The struggle of going in and out of the place is huge because I always feel that the doors are too narrow, that there are too many people and that everyone is invading my personal space. I feel trapped. Even the prospect of standing up just to go to the bathroom makes me uncomfortable in these groups.

Of course, I feel miserable because I know that I’m not like everyone else and I know that my discomfort makes others uncomfortable. I feel especially bad for my mom and my brother as they like to go to shows, they are very carefree, and they would sit on top of a rock in order to watch the person they like play. I know that they have to accommodate their desires in order for me to be comfortable and to feel safe.

Speaking of this is really hard but I know there are a lot of people that can relate to my situation. Others who feel uncomfortable leaving their houses to go to theaters, malls, concerts, plays,  and dance clubs, but they remain shut-in because we all want to fit in. We all want to feel that we are not a burden. I invite all that feel this way to keep in mind that you are not alone and that you are not the only one who feels this way. Dream with me of the possibility of being able to enjoy our favorite band or favorite artist or a Cirque du Soleil show in a comfortable space that makes us feel safe.

Love Life Stories

Yes, I’m a witch and I have a coven. The truth behind that will shock you.

Growing up in a non-religious household made it hard for me to connect with kids whose families went to church, prayed before dinner, or celebrated religious holidays.

I’ve been inside a church exactly once in my life: when I was 10, after the sudden death of a classmate, for his memorial service.

When I share this bit of information, especially as an adult, the reactions I get vary from disgust to shock to horror.

My family never asked me to lean into any particular faith, despite some members of my family being very religious, and though I wasn’t cognizant enough to appreciate it then, I am now.

I’m glad they didn’t push me.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t have discovered and fallen in love with witchcraft as a teenager, and I wouldn’t have my coven to connect with now.

“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” from the book of Exodus, has been frequently misinterpreted and re-adapted to the more common phrase, “blood is thicker than water.” According to Thought Catalog, the original quote talks about soldiers on the battlefield, whose bloodshed in battle connects them more deeply than genetics.

“Covenant” also refers to a spiritual power of agreement — much like “coven”, which refers to a gathering of any kind, though we now use it to discuss groups of witches.

In the 1920s, Egyptologist, archaeologist, folklorist, anthropologist, and historian Margaret Murray popularized the term “coven” with her claim that witches across Europe gathered in groups of 13, called covens. Though Murray’s ideas are widely disputed, she helped give rise to the neo-paganism movement we call Wicca and provided “historical validity” to witchcraft as something beyond female hysteria and attention-grabbing.

According to Murray’s hypothesis, covens were made up of women who joined of their own free will and were never more than 13 members. Each one devoted themselves to “The Master:” a god who could take on many forms, including animal and human.

Covens would worship him, sacrifice to him, and honor him in various ceremonies.

My coven doesn’t worship a man. We don’t sacrifice animals (in fact, many of us — including myself — are vegan), don’t dance naked in the woods (though some of us absolutely would), don’t swear blood oaths (because it stains).

Those images of witches we see in Shakespeare and on occult-focused TV shows are typically sensationalized and based on myths that have surrounded witches for centuries. Some of us don’t identify as women, and there aren’t 13 of us (though we recognize the power of that number, and The Rule of Three, and the importance of pairs for creating balance).

Here’s what we do: support each other; lend magic to each other when one person speaking their needs and desires into the universe simply isn’t enough; communicate about our successes, failures, desires, and concerns; provide spell tips and tricks when we can’t spend time face-to-face working through things as a group.

By the traditional definition, we don’t fit the mold of a coven at all.

However, if you set aside those technicalities, then it’s clear that our coven is strong, fierce, and powerful. Our individual abilities bring the group together in often unexpected but always wonderful ways, and the force with which we storm through the world is revolutionary and terrifying.

Our friendships are also tighter because we open up our rawest, most vulnerable selves with each other. Sharing a spiritual practice with other people places you into a particularly vulnerable position—the trust required is immense because these people have the ability to hurt the deepest parts of you: the parts that are faithful to an outside power.

Our coven has come together slowly, across miles and jobs and more. Sharing my magical practice with others began with my partner.

We discovered, not long after we first met, that we have both been dabbling in witchcraft for about the same amount of time. Our house is protected by our combined energy, regular smoke cleansing, purification spells, and love.

Last year, when nightmares claimed me night after night, my partner made a small sleep charm to put on my pillow to help me rest. We chose the ingredients together, and they imbued it with love and good intentions and warmth.

It still helps me fall and stay asleep, even when my dreams are strange.

A friend of mine who also acts as my witchy mentor worked with me once upon a time in a crappy retail job. She taught me how to hone my practice and in the process, we became much, much closer than just coworkers or even casual work friends. I opened up to her about the trauma I had yet to process myself, let alone share with others, and she guided me through it with patience, understanding, and advice that I still hold dear.

We live states apart now, but we talk regularly. I rely on her guidance and trust her with closely guarded secrets, and she has never betrayed that trust.

Other members of our coven met through mutual friends.

The first time we all spent time together as a group, we cast a protective circle, asked each other deeply personal questions, and settled in for a night of tarot, smoke cleansing, and group intention-setting. Since then, we have rarely been able to coordinate schedules to hang out — but we still take time to check in when we see each other struggling, through social media posts or in person.

We are brutally, painfully honest with each other about bad habits, mental health, family strife, relationship woes, and trauma. We constantly share our trauma, then work through it as a team, and the feeling is one of utmost, brightest healing, even when it hurts like hell to speak the words or write them down.

Sometimes, we drift. That’s okay.

We accept that things don’t always stay the same.

I never expected to feel so powerfully connected to this group of people, especially as a young teen when I was first exposed to practical magic. Practicing witchcraft — both on my own and with others — has taught me that the universe moves on its own axis.

We have to let it.

Science Now + Beyond

It’s, like, totally okay for women to speak like this, for real

We’ve all heard it before.

The way young women speak is apparently unprofessional. Upspeak and vocal fry are considered the worst offenders of all. We’ve got NPR stories, news segments, and umpteen articles written about this supposedly offensive linguistic habit that young women have picked up.

Even if you haven’t heard of upspeak or vocal fry, you’ve definitely heard it in real life. Upspeak is a characteristic usually said to be used by young women, even if it is used by most of the younger population. It is characterized by up-tones in the voice used where up-tones would not normally be, giving the appearance of a question asked or doubt to statements where this is not the case.

Vocal fry is also something that is said to be used by young women, but if you’ve ever listened to This American Life, even Ira Glass uses vocal fry. It’s that gravelly tone of voice, almost as if the speaker is pitching their voice just a little bit lower than natural for them, leading to the voice to sound “creaky.” To some people, they describe listening to this as like listening to nails on a chalk board. In this interview done on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast, journalist Jessica Grose took criticism about her own vocal fry to a speech therapist, while consulting with linguistics professor from Stanford, Penny Eckert about the impact society has on the linguistics of young people, especially young women.

Vocal fry is just one of the four modes of speaking, and yet, somehow in this generation, it has been associated with young women and a perceived lack of intelligence. The video here describes what vocal fry actually is, in scientific terms.

Both of these linguistic phenomena are generally described as being used by young women, and when people talk about how young women speak, it’s usually with derision. In an interview with Conan O’Brien, actress Lake Bell described something she called “Sexy Baby Voice,” and called it a pandemic infecting women in the United States.

But what if we flipped the script on this idea, lost the prescriptivist glasses that tell us that the upper levels of society determine what the language looks like, and gave young women the credit they deserve?

People finally are, according to a couple articles.

Sociolinguistic research is finally pointing towards young women as the most important early adopters of new languages. We often think of language innovators as people like William Shakespeare, at least for the English language. But research has been done that points to the idea that Shakespeare wasn’t really coming up with all these new words on his own.

What he probably did was listen to the common people, his preferred audience (and the one he really wrote for), and used words that they were using, which is what this article is suggesting. But a lot of the slang that Shakespeare was using he picked up from the people who were actually speaking it.

Here’s where women come in.

Women, especially young women, have always been shown to be using new language innovations before men.

Because of how women have been socialized, we talk more. We communicate more. We have wider social circles with which to communicate. And there are good records of women writing to each other because they did it quite a lot. And because of that, we can track the change of language used by women. For example, using the -th suffix on verbs during the Renaissance period was dropped by women almost a generation before men made the same change, according to a study by Suzanne Grégoire where over 6,000 letters were analyzed.

We can be considered greater innovators than even Shakespeare himself. If we hadn’t started creating the vernacular, he could have never borrowed it to create the plays we read in English class in high school.

But if we are such natural innovators, why aren’t we given the recognition?

The consensus there is that it all comes down to sexism, like most things regarding young women. When young women refuse to follow the societal expectations, whatever they are doing is mocked. Sure, we can recognize the power of young women when doing a study, but in practice, it’s a little more difficult. Within the interview conducted by Jessica Grose on NPR’s Fresh Air, Professor Eckert said she played a tape for her students of a woman speaking using upspeak and vocal fry.

While Professor Eckert said she thought the woman sounded unsure of herself, her students thought they opposite. She sounded “good, authoritative,” to the students.

Therein lies the linguistic generational gap. I know in my own experience, I don’t think vocal fry or upspeak sound inherently bad. To my Millennial ears, when people speak like this (and it isn’t just women – men in our generation use upspeak and vocal fry too!), it sounds normal.

And that is the important part.

We are language innovators, and the dialect that we have created for ourselves is becoming the norm. And, as shown in the study analyzing letter writing, women adopted linguistic changes about a generation before men do.

As Gretchen McCulloch tweeted: Women learn language from their peers; men learn it from their mothers.

So in about a generation, vocal fry and up-speak will be accepted parts of the dialect. At least, that’s my prediction. And if I’m predicting the future, I hope that, in a generation, young women are recognized as the language innovators they are everywhere, not just in sociology articles on JSTOR.