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Voice : a single case narrative study Desrochers, Rose 1991

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VOICE: A SINGLE CASE NARRATIVE STUDY by ROSE DESROCHERS Bid., Simon Fraser University, 1967 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Counselling Psychology We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 1991 0Rose Desrochers, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department Date C_ DE-6 (2/88) ii- A B S T R A C T A single case narrative approach is utilized to investigate the hfe-time experience of voice. This study arises out of research in psychology, where the concept of voice has emerged as a metaphor by which women view and experience themselves, the world, and their place in it; a metaphor central to intellectual, ethical, identity development and self-worth. This research focuses on identifying in the metaphor of voice, the constituent components of that experience throughout a life-time. It examines voice within contexts, roles, relationships and socialization processes in which it occurs in order to document complex and interrelated components of that experience including social and psychic elements, problem areas, coping responses, strategies and attributes of voice. The choice of a co-researcher in this study, a singer/songwriter ~ for whom an awareness of voice is heightened—allows this study to serve as a revelatory case. Data included taped and transcribed accounts of interviews as well as songs written by the co-researcher. The co-researcher's story revealed danger areas for voice, in a loss of voice from age 12- 24, including adolescence, marriage, motherhood, mother/daughter and father/daughter relationships. It Ulurninated adaptive and self-empowering strategies and highlighted elements of the metaphor including interaction/release, support, recognition, experimenting/stretching beyond confining ideals, being taken seriously, something to offer, and appreciation/being heard. T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT ii CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER II - LITERATURE REVIEW 11 Voice from a Historical Perspective 11 The Concept of Voice 15 Physical Context of Voice 16 Social Context of Voice 18 Voice and Language 20 Psychological Conflicts of Voice 24 Psychological Theory and Silence 29 Female Culture 31 The Quest for Voice 33 Voice and Musicianship , 39 CHAPTER m - METHOD OF RESEARCH 42 Selection of Co-Researcher 44 Case Study Procedure 45 CHAPTER IV - LIFE STORY OF VOICE 48 Childhood 48 Early Adolescence 50 Late Adolescence 52 Marriage/Motherhood 53 Divorce/Mother's Death 55 What am I doing Here 56 Being Heard 58 CHAPTER V - ANALYZING THE STORY 62 Danger Areas for Voice 62 Adolescence 62 Marriage 71 Motherhood 75 Mother/Daughter Relationship 77 Father/Daughter Relationship 79 Adaptive Strategies 81 Voice of Agreement to Silence 81 Voice of harmony and responsibility for relationship 82 Voice of acceptance of blame 83 Self-Empowering Strategies 84 Essential Characteristics of Voice 86 Interaction/release 87 Support 87 Recognition 88 Being experimental/ stretching beyond confining ideals 88 Being taken seriously 89 Something to offer 89 Appreciation/ Being heard 90 CHAPTER VI - DISCUSSION 91 Scope of the Study 92 Implications for Theory 92 Implications for Practice 95 Implications for Future Research 96 REFERENCES 98 APPENDIX A 101 CONSENT FORM 105 LETTER OF INITIAL CONTACT 107 SAMPLE OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 109 1 CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION There is little knowledge of female lives, experience and development in any of the major disciplines including psychology (Miller, 1986; Penfold & Walker, 1983). Research in the area of the psychology of women is at the margins of mainstream research. This research has shown significant differences in the ways women develop individual identities, relationships, and values (Gilligan, Lyons & Hanmer, 1990; Greenspan, 1983; Josselson, 1987; Miller, 1986). Differences in personality and identity development have important implications for both developmental theory and clinical practice. Central to the process of identity development for females in our culture is the concept of voice. Voice was central to the findings of Belenky, Clinchy, Goldbeger & Tarule (1986). That study, which involved in-depth interviews of 135 women (of diverse backgrounds and circumstances) about their experience and histories of intellectual development reported: women repeatedly used the metaphor of voice to depict their intellectual and ethical development; and that the development of a sense of voice, mind, and self were intricately intertwined....What we had not anticipated was that "voice" was more than an academic shorthand for a person's point of view. Well after we were into our interviews with women, we became aware that it is a metaphor that can apply to many aspects of women's experience and development. In describing their lives, women commonly talked about voice and silence: "speaking up," "speaking out," "being silenced," "not being heard," "really listening," "really talking," "words as weapons," "feeling deaf and dumb," "having no words," "saying what you mean," "listening to be heard," and so on in an endless variety of connotations all having to do with sense of mind, self-worth, and feelings of isolation from or connection to others, (p. 18) The concept of voice, in current research, has proven to be somewhat of a slippery entity. It is a concept, much like women's voices throughout history-at once visible and invisible; not necessarily silent but restrained and guarding underground knowledge and experience. It is a 2 concept, in some ways bound by the same problems of language, and fears of non-recognition and derogation, in a culture in which validation for female voices has been absent. References to voice in current research with women abound and reveal as many connotations as Belenky et al. (1986) noted in their study of 135 women. Gilligan (1982) referred to hearing a different voice as women spoke of their moral dilemmas and decisions; a voice of sharing, caring and interrelatedness. A study of 62 women in academe, by Aisenberg & Harrington (1988) noted the burdens on women's speech of carrying two sets of social norms- one norm which counsels professional authority and autonomy—and the ancient norm and mode of female psychic structuring which proscribes authority. They found, even in positions of authority, "silence, muteness, apology, self-blame, diffidence, hesitancy—are so inextricably linked to most women's speech that they are very difficult to extirpate" (pp. 73-74). Becker (1987) and Heilbrun (1988) have described a female voice of niceness. Heilbrun (1988), for example, noted that female voices in biography and autobiography "tend to find beauty even in pain and to transform rage into spiritual acceptance" (p. 12). Voice has also been implicated in eating disorders (Orbach, 1982). Orbach noted that "the woman is encouraged to express her unique personality through the food she prepares. Food becomes a medium through which she communicates many feelings" (p. 23). This, as Steiner- Adair (1990) suggests, "is a form of protest adopted by the adolescent who finds, for whatever reasons, that her voice is silenced" (p. 175). All of the research mentioned, has noted that even as norms for women change, old norms dictating the impropriety of authoritative, autonomous and assertive voices for women and of women's experience have continued to exert a powerful influence and important consequences for women. As Davis (1989) pointed out "the times may be changing but progress is slow, and in the meantime women experience their knowingness largely in secret, or in the relative security of one another's company. Even those in positions of power often find they must keep their knowledge carefully veiled" (p. 17). Research has shown, clearly, that the experience of voice entails adversity, conflict and challenge for females in this culture. Belenky et al. (1986) noted that: 3 women hear themselves speaking in different voices in different situations. They hear themselves echoing the words of powerful others. And, like so many women, they feel like frauds (Clance and Imes, 1987; Mcintosh, 1985). They yearn for a voice that is more integrated, individual, and original—a voice of their own" (p. 124). A quest for voice, has been found by research, to lie at the heart or nucleus of the self for females in our culture (Aisenberg & Harrington, 1988; Belenky et al, 1986; Gilligan et al., 1990). This quest has also been linked with psychological survival for females. It is a quest that has been found to be particularly critical during adolescence~a time which "poses a problem of connection that is not easily resolved" (Gilligan, 1990, p. 4). In fact, Gilligan found the voices of adolescent girls buried, repressed, and signalling an underground world of powerful experience and knowledge. The quest for voice, that is rarely resolved during adolescence, represents a crisis in female development. The quest for voice in the lives of adult women, for example, has been shown to entail a journey backward to the beginning of adolescence. It is, as Gilligan noted, "a journey to retrieve their twelve-year-old self....a journey linked with a recovery of voice" (p. 4). Hancock's (1989) study of the adult development of 20 women of diverse backgrounds and ages, likewise described the distress of the women interviewed "to find that the task of a woman's lifetime boils down to reclaiming the authentic identity she'd embodied as a girl" (p. 4). The quest for voice, according to Belenky et al. (1986), places women in conflict with the world. They suggest that "to learn to speak in a unique and authentic voice, women must 'jump outside' the frames and systems authorities provide and create their own frame" (pp. 133-134). A sense of voice, then, entails going outside agreed upon ways of knowing, external standards, definitions, roles and identifications with institutions, disciplines and methods. Indeed this represents a serious double-bind for women. As stated by Young-Eisendrath (1988), "in order to see ourselves as persons, we need the reflections, definitions, and perceptions of others. Personal experience is originally and continuously a shared existence....the concept of \ self takes on meanings of the culture in which we develop as persons" (p. 157). 4 This quest for voice has been described by women throughout history, as a fundamental component of their lives and experience. Woolf, in 1928 (in Rossi, 1976), for example, wrote of her desire for a voice of her own experience, unmediated by authority. She explained her great relief which came from receiving a monetary inheritance from her aunt, of the "freedom to think of things in themselves" (p. 635). Woolf (in Rossi, 1976) also wrote of her quest for a voice in connection with the experience of women in history. She wrote, "what one wants, I thought... is a mass of information; at what age did she marry; how many children had she as a rule; what was her house like; had she a room to herself; did she do the cooking; would she be likely to have a servant" (p. 638). More recently, the Black poet, Lorde (1984) expressed similar feelings of the primacy of voice and silence in her own life. On the eve of impending breast surgery, Lorde wrote: In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light, and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else's words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength, (p. 41) The significance of voice has been well documented in recent research. This research has paid particular attention to the voices and silences of women. It has provided a perspective and understanding of the nature and extent of influence of voice in women's lives. The concept of voice, however, has not been the direct focus of research to date. It is a concept which has arisen 5 indirectly out of research with women. This research intends to obtain a closer view of the process and experience, of the details and interconnections which lend significance to the concept of voice. The following excerpt from my personal journal illustrates my own process, and first attempts to capture a closer view of voice, in the context of beginning to pursue this researh. Entry from my journal, February, 1990 I'm in the office of a prospective thesis committee member, a wall of textbooks and the theses of previous students behind him, a few papers scattered on his desk. My thesis proposal is in there somewhere. Already seated across the comer of the desk from where he's sitting—a copy of my proposal and notes on my lap, pen in hand~I know I need to begin. But, I can barely speak. I'm hesitant, nervous, fragmented and trying to find a place of mutual recognition. This is tough. He appears puzzled. That is worse. I am unsure—about my topic, about myself. I don't know whether I'll be able to reach him— Especially, this topic of voice, which I know I know, but can't seem to find? Trying to explain. The nervous part of me is beginning to run away with me. And I fear I'll never be able to communicate anything from what's left of me in that chair. I have to catch myself and bring me back to that room, that chair, next to the man I am speaking with. He wants to know, "What is Voice?" I need him to know., somehow, intuitively, to help me out a little. Some part of me knew he wouldn't. I'm thrown off. He tries to guide me, suggesting that perhaps voice is self-concept, maybe assertiveness, maybe identity. I'm unhappy with those words, suggesting that voice may express those things, but something more. Continuing to negotiate for a shred of understanding of what I'm wanting to pursue. I'm guarding against the tangled web of concepts I feel in the air. They feel heavy on me.. "Those other terms are not the ones women use to describe their experience." He hears me. He hears me say that voice is a term that, at least some women use and relate to. I'm hard pressed to explain, and my fear of alienating myself in this 6 relationship doesn't help. Somehow, I need the context of a life to make sense of voice. The present study arises out of the question, what is voice? It arises from current research in psychology wherein the concept of voice has become an important part of the language of women-identified experience and observation. It is informed especially by Gilligan (1982,1990) and Belenky et al. (1986) who have employed the concept of voice, derived from the words of women, toward a psychological theory of female development. The subject of voice, which has been recognized as particularly common to the lives and experiences of women throughout history, is therefore intertwined with specific and complex socio-cultural and psychic influences, contexts, and double-binds. It comes from a different point of view than the double-binds which males must experience in their own conditioning processes and contexts in our culture. As such, it is an experience which occurs within a more-or-less distinct social reality of ever-changing gender-specific social relations, roles, tasks, and socialization processes. Voice is a process which evolves in relation to those contexts and is not easily separable from those situations and circumstances in which it occurs. This study is a single-case narrative investigation of the life-time experience of voice. The study will document the experience of voice with respect to the contexts, roles and relationships in which it occurs. The focus is on the social and psychic processes and circumstances of the experience, as well as female strategies for survival, coping, and changing limits and expanding horizons of voice. This research, as a single case study, represents a first step in addressing a gap in understanding of a common phenomenon in the lives of women in our culture. The intent of the study is not to homogenize complex differences among women but to provide a point of illumination in a landscape. This study seeks to highlight patterns and connections in that experience. To some degree and at some level, knowledge and perspective on the experience of voice is central to all women in our culture. Though it is an experience that may have been repressed in fear, it is a part of the social reality of females in our culture. It is an experience which, with a continued lack of awareness, vocabulary and comparative experience of others often results in self-blame, self-doubt, anxiety, depression and contributes to problems such 7 as eating disorders. As such, an understanding of the dynamics of voice are central to an understanding of the lives, experiences, identities and psychological health of women. As is further discussed in the methodology chapter, the rationale for a single case narrative approach is an effort to remain sensitive to a clearly complex phenomenon of voice. The focus on a narrative (story) format in this study has arisen out of current research in the social sciences such as that of Cochran (1986) and Polkinghorne (1988) which has highlighted the advantages of the narrative frame for the investigation of human questions. Cochran (1986) argued that unlike the positivistic tradition in which "research questions are curtailed by method, focus, and world view. . . . narrative research . . . offers the possibility of a greatly expanded scope for questions that are of direct significance to practice" (pp. 26-28). Where traditional research has resulted in disintegration of the whole~"a division between research and practice, the cult of the paltry question, and inattention to foundations" (p. 26)—the narrative approach aims for an expansive and integrated framework by which to interpret and facilitate the lives of clients. Ingenuity, as Cochran noted, "is more important than standardization at this time, but it is ingenuity tied to the necessity of checks and balances within one's approach to narrative" (p. 22). With respect to narrative, Cochran noted, as well that "we are beings who live in story, represent in story, explain through story, understand through story, and have our meaning in story " (p. 17). The narrative approach therefore provides an essential context for the study of human lives. It also provides a descriptive structure for eliciting, extracting and "integrating themes into a whole" (p. 21). In the present study, narrative provides the basis for an expanded, rich and patterned account of the process of voice throughout a life time. The narrative format, with it's close proximity to everyday representation of ordinary existence, is also intended in this study to accommodate a relatively unarticulated voice. As Duras (in Belenky et al., 1986) stated: Women have been in darkness for centuries. They don't know themselves. Or only poorly. And when women write, they translate this darkness. The writing of women is really translated from the unknown, like a new way of communicating, rather than an already formed language, (p. 203). 8 The problems of accessing the experience of women— as a result of relative voicelessness throughout history—and the repression of voice-present special considerations for the present study. This study, therefore, looks for increased accessibility to the experience of voice in a rather unique situation. In particular, it looks to the field of music for an opportunity to observe, to gain insight and to reveal characteristics of the phenomenon of voice. The field of music is, in essence, an arena of voice. This environment provides a unique opportunity to capture an experience of voice in a magnified way; an experience which may remain more obscure in a different context. The field of popular music, as Frith (1981) noted, is a cultural medium of intense conflict between aspirations for authentic expression of musicians and audiences and intervening ideological and commercial values, beliefs, attitudes and ideas. According to Frith, "all pop performance rests on a series of frauds: show-biz stars fake sincerity, rock poets fake intimacy, everyone fakes an image and a voice" (p. 36). Still, "the rock industry, as a capitalist enterprise, doesn't sell some single, hegemonic idea, but is, rather, a medium through which hundreds of competing ideas flow" (p. 270). It is in the gap between the appearance and reality of a performance, Frith argued, that singers and lyricists bring personal intensity and expression to their music. It is a situation where voice is neither passive nor determined but where a struggle for expression between performers, audiences and commercial interests is continually negotiated and paramount. This cultural institution which Frith (1981) described as being "used as a form of self-indulgence and individual escape and as a source of solidarity and active dissatisfaction" (p. 265) is also a powerful context for voice. As Frith noted, the power of pop singers is . . . the power to make ordinary language intense and vital.... they give emotional currency to the common phrases that are all most people have for expressing their daily cares. The language that hems us in suddenly seems open" (pp. 37- 38). "Pop songs celebrate not the articulate but the inarticulate" (p. 35). The words and voices of female musician/songwriters clearly attest to an awareness of the quest for voice, of the intricacies and dynamics of voice and of the connection of voice to identity. Rita MacNeil, for example, expressed in an interview, "I wasn't aware of much other music because I was caught in the turmoil of discovering myself. I was trying to find my own voice" 9 (Schwartz, 1988, p. 142). The words of another Canadian musician, Ferron, also made a connection between voice and identity. She stated: If my public life ended tomorrow, I don't think I could stop writing. It's how I articulate my reality for myself. My thoughts are not linear, which makes for kind of a hard life. The writing is a good way to make it make sense, to make me make sense....I write when I feel very excited about something extremely private and internal and I don't know what it is. (p. 46) Ferron also had a clear awareness of her experience of voice while growing up. She stated, "I grew up in silence. Nobody talked. It drove me crazy . . . . Music was a way to talk, a medium for communicating. I found a way to live by playing the guitar. Music became my life source" (Schwartz, 1988, p. 43). Her description of her quest for voice also demonstrated an awareness of her process. She stated, "I have a feeling inside of me that does not have words. I go deep, deep into that feeling. It creates a couple of chords. They're lonely and they crack something and the music and words come together" (p. 39). The songs, lyrics and music of these and other musicians often attest to the struggles, conflicts, fears and double binds which they experience with respect to voice and self. In their song entitled, Kid Fears, for example, the Indigo Girls (CBS Records Inc., 1989) wrote: Pain from pearls—hey little girl- how much have you grown? Pain from pearls—hey little girl- flowers for the ones you've known Chorus: Are you on fire from the years? What would you give for your kid fears? Secret staircase, running high, 10 you had a hiding place Secret staircase, running low but they all know, now you're inside. Chorus Skipping stones, we know the price now, any sin will do. How much further, if you can spin. How much further, if you are smooth. The experience of these musicians clearly reveals the centrality of voice in their lives and careers and numerous dynamics and challenges of that process. It is in search of the insight which arises out of this context which is the focus of this study of the life-time experience of voice. 11 CHAPTER II - LITERATURE REVIEW The subject of voice in relation to women is located primarily in three contexts in literature. It is found, first, embedded in the work and lives of female writers throughout history: in autobiography and biography, in poetry, fiction, art and music. Secondly, it is found intertwined in the work of contemporary feminist authors in the area of Women's Studies. This has included academic essays, studies and research focused on women's lives, perspectives and cultures. Third, the subject of voice has more recendy arisen as a central unifying theme of psychological studies in the field of the psychology of women. Each of these bodies of literature, though they have been variously separated into categories as mentioned, remain interconnected, each informing the other. (Belenky et al., 1986; Brownmiller, 1984; Gilligan, Lyons & Hanmer, 1990; Rich, 1976). This section begins with the historical record of silence of women in all prevailing economic, religious, philosophical, artistic and academic institutions and spheres of our culture. This is followed by a discussion of the concept of voice in relation to physical, social, psychological and language contexts of women's lives. From there, discussion shifts to focus on the context of silence: current psychological make-overs for the female voice. The final section of the chapter includes a documentation of a quest for voice in women's lives as has been suggested in recent literature. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the connection between voice, music and women. Voice from a Historical Perspective The prescribed silence of women has been documented in philosophical, literary, religious and economic works of genius in our culture. Brownmiller (1984) wrote that "woman's wagging tongue was discussed by Aristotle, Aristophanes, Juvanal, the Babylonian Talmud, Swift, Ben Franklin, Shakespeare and Milton. Her silence was counted a virtue by Sophocles, Plutarch, Saint Paul and Samuel Johnson" (p. 111). The historical origins by which that silence is accomplished, 12 however, also included instruments of torture, such as "ducking stools 'for the correction of unquiet women'" (p. 112). That punishment for "noisy females" involved confinement in a ducking stool and plunging into a river, lake or pond. "The Brank", "Scold's Bridle" or "Gossip's Bridle" was another device which was used against women speaking out of place in England and Scodand during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (Wilden, 1976). Quoting from an article in The Strand Magazine, 1894, Wilden noted, that the Brank: was armed in front with a gag plate, point or knife (of iron), which was fitted in such a manner as to be inserted in the scold's mouth so as to prevent her moving her tongue; or more cruel still, it was so placed that if she did move it, or attempt to speak, her tongue was cruelly lacerated, and her sufferings intensified. With this cage upon her head and with the gag pressed and locked upon the tongue, the poor creature was paraded through the streets, led by the beadle or constable, or else she was chained to the pillory or market cross to be the object of scorn and derision, and to be subjected to all the insults and degradations that local loungers could invent, (p. 37) Ehrenreich and English (1978) described medical cures for "simple cussedness, "troublesomeness," "unruly behavior" and other female complaints that were used into the early twentieth century. These involved reproductive surgeries including placing leeches on reproductive organs, cauterizations with white-hot iron instruments and removal of ovaries. This is the historical and cultural legacy of every female in our culture. While norms for women have changed and continue to change, and the origins of silence remain invisible, the silence of women in psychological, medical and other scientific definitions of female experience has continued. Gilligan (1982) wrote of the silence of women in contemporary psychological theories of human development, noting that not only have the authors of major psychological theories been males, but women have not been the subjects of research at the formative stages of those theories. The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, by The Boston Women's Health Collective (1984) noted the disturbing similarity between surgical cures for female problems today, and those throughout 13 history. That publication described the increasing numbers of unnecessary surgeries performed on women and at a younger and younger age. Of the 649,000 hysterectomies done on women in 1980, half of those involved women under forty-five. The vast majority of those surgeries "are elective—that is, performed by choice and not as an emergency or lifesaving procedure." "Studies have shown that at least 30 to 50 percent of these operations are clearly unnecessary and another 10 percent or more can probably be avoided by using alternative therapy" (p. 511). The recent film Dead Ringers, a grotesque depiction of the horrors of this situation in the realm of gynecological 'expertise' and it's associated tools, was noteworthy for the silent desperation of women throughout decisions and surgeries which are performed upon them. The historical silence of women has continued to be reflected in social relations to the present day. "The suppression of women's movements in history isolates every women; there is nothing by which she can orient herself to bring her personal experience into continuity with the past. In other words, women have to an extent been alienated from experiences appropriate to their experience as women" (Janssen-Jurreit, 1988, p. 78). This lack of connection with the voices of other women is nothing new. The implications of that situation for women, however, remains to be addressed. As Gilligan (1990) also noted "Women's studies is old news by now, but it continues to raise the question: What are the experiences of girls coming of age in a culture that contains the need for Women's Studies" (p. 6). This historical silence, often regarded as an unfortunate accident of history~a grammatical error, another expression of discontent— is also, and most importantly, a significant part of the context of voice. It is a situation which has made it's way into the psychic structuring of females; to hold various consequences, fears and barriers to voice. Woolf (in Rossi, 1973) wrote in 1928 of an important consequence of this context of silence; of feeling trapped in silence, in the dilemma of sex-consciousness which arises out of that silence. Writing about women and fiction, Woolf noted: the very first sentence that I would write here, I said, crossing over to the writing- table and taking up the page headed Women and Fiction, is that it is fatal for anyone who writes to think of their sex. It is fatal to be a man or women pure and 14 simple....It is fatal for a woman to lay the least stress on any grievance; to plead even with justice any cause; in any way to speak consciously as a woman. And fatal is no figure of speech; for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death. It ceases to be fertilized. Brilliant and effective, powerful and masterly, as it may appear for a day or two, it must wither at nightfall; it cannot grow in the minds of others. Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the art of creation can be accomplished. Some marriage of opposites has to be consummated. The whole of the mind must lie wide open if we are to get the sense that the writer is communicating his experience with perfect fullness. There must be freedom and there must be peace, (pp. 651-652) The problems of voice have been shown to hold significant implications for the psychological deprivation of both males and females. As Miller (1976) noted, where women experience silence, males are inversely denied opportunity for knowledge and self-understanding through knowing the true impact of their actions and expressions. Silence also often covers hidden conflicts and differences. It represents a denial of experience and knowledge, which, in psychology, has significant consequences for theories of human development. The maintenance of this denial system, wherein the social reality of both males and females is suppressed, has depended on the cooperation of the sexes. As Belenky et al. (1986) also suggested "the tendency to allocate speaking to men and listening to women impairs the development of men as well.... because it is through speaking and listening that we develop our capacities to talk and to think things through" (p. 167). They argued that "the frequent failure of men to cultivate their capacity for listening has a profound impact on their capacity for parenting, for it is mothers more than fathers who are most likely to still their own voices so they may hear and draw out the voices of their children" (p. 167). It has a profound impact on the voices of women as well; a lack of encouragement for the female voice. As Belenky et al. also suggested about the female position in discourse, "the continued injunction against articulating needs, feelings and experiences must constrain the development of hearts and minds" (p. 167). 15 Even though the concept of voice and silence has emerged in research as a theme by which women continue to view and experience the world and their place in it, the nature of that experience—it's component parts, dynamics and implications-has not been documented in the literature. The psychological health of women is at risk in a situation where even as non-traditional realms and old psychic restrictions are broadened by new cultural norms for women, old norms for voice and silence remain paramount. These old norms which remain entrenched though largely invisible to women themselves, continue to undermine the confidence and authority of women in all spheres. It is a double bind for women which has remained consistently unacknowledged in current psychological theories of development which emphasize authority, autonomy and "access to knowledge and inner strengths which if utilized would stimulate progressive growth toward a competent directed existence" (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1984, p.284). The Concept of Voice As defined in The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary Of The English Language (1980), "voice is the sound uttered by the mouths of living creatures whether men or animals; especially, human utterance in speaking, singing, or otherwise; the sound made when a person speaks or sings; the faculty of speaking; language; the right of expressing an opinion ; a form of verb inflection (active voice, middle voice, passive voice)" (p.940). This conception of voice— apparently neutral and natural—defines several components of voice as it is usually understood. It refers to the concrete physical phenomenon, the capacity for sound and speech. It describes a social component of voice which involves the right to express a point of view. A connection is made, as well, between voice and language. From another perspective, Brownmiller (1984) stated, "there is nothing natural about voice." It "is an imitative process that begins early in life. Like the clothes we put on each morning, the rhythms of our speech, in a sense, have been chosen for us. Some styles seem appropriate and some do not. Speech is an assertive act, sometimes an aggressive one, and male and female are schooled in different ways....When men's and women's voice tones are compared 16 with the respective size of their vocal tracts, the tonal differences are greater than the physical differences warrant. In feminine speech the voice is pitched toward the upper end of the natural range, the decibel level is reduced and the vowel resonances are thinned" (pp. 115-116). Likewise, in pursuing this line of research, Sachs (in Brownmiller) wrote "men may try to talk as if they are bigger than they actually are, and women may talk as if they are smaller" (p. 116). Clearly, there are numerous dimensions of voice including physical, social and language components, each of which will be discussed to follow. In addition the psychological dimension of voice will be considered. Physical Context of Voice By definition, voice is a physical act. The physical nature of voice, similar to female physical development has been culturally inhibited throughout history. From footbinding and whale-bone corsetry in the past, cultural prohibitons against all forms of physical expression have remained powerful. From a young age, females have learned to curtail physical expression, to be cautious and quiet—to shut down natural curiosity, exploration, movement and strength. Orbach noted that "much of a girl's childhood consists of injunctions against physical expression and exploration" (p. 29). She stated that females have always been discouraged "from using their body strength to explore the world" (p. 28). Voice, as a physical entity and instrument of expression and exploration, is likewise directly and indirectly inhibited in these interactions. More specifically, the cultural ideal for girls and women has not been one of power, strength and voice, but of slimness, thoughtfullness and sensitivity. Within that ideal the image and voice are inextricably and smoothly aligned; "perfectly synchronized not only with each other," but with the ideal (Silverman, 1984, p. 145). Culturally defined limits on physical expression for women, have indeed, become so normalized—as naturally inherent smallness and weakness-that they are often difficult to detect. The following quote by Brownmiller (1975) from an article on rape from the March, 1974 issue of 17 The Reader's Digest is noteworthy for its image of weakness, complete quiet, passivity and lack of voice; for what is not said or done even under the threat of violence. Don't broadcast the fact that you live alone or with another women. List only your last name and initial on the mailbox and in the phone book. Before entering your car, check to see if anyone is hiding on the rear seat or on the rear floor. If you're alone in a car, keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up. If you think someone is following you do not go directly home if there is no adult male there. Possible weapons are a hatpin, corkscrew, pen, keys, umbrella. If no weapons are available, fight back physically only if you feel you can do so with telling effect, (p. 448) So strong is the internalization of prohibitions against voice and expression of physical strength, that even when invited to act otherwise, women find it impossible to do so. Brownmiller (1975) discussed her own inhibitions with respect to physical aggression, combat, and fighting. Writing of her beginning karate training, she explained: At the start of our lessons our Japanese instructor freely invited all the women in the class, one by one, to punch him in the chest. It was not a foolhardy invitation, for we discovered that the inhibition against hitting was so strong in each of us that on the first try none of us could make physical contact. Indeed, the inhibition against striking out proved to be a greater hindrance to our becoming fighting women than our pathetic underdeveloped muscles, (p. 453) Training in fear and discouragement with respect to body strength and expression has resulted in a lack of psychological and physical freedom, vitality, independence and self-assurance. The western obsession with slimness which has resulted in insecurity, inadequacy, inhibition and caution with regard to physical expression of all forms has also represented the mode of communication, most available to females growing up in this culture. Steiner-Adair (1990) made this link with reference to the problems of anorexia nervosa in adolescent girls. She stated that" in this context it seems possible that anorexia nervosa is a natural outgrowth of a culture that outcasts that which is most important to its female population and does so in a symbolic idealization of 18 thinness in women. And it is a form of protest adopted by the adolescent who finds, for whatever reasons, that her voice is silenced" (p. 175). In a strange twist of events, female bodies are powerful and important—but in a negative sense. As Orbach (1982) stated, "a woman's body is one of the few culturally accepted ways a woman has to express herself and yet the scope of this expression is limited by a contradiction: the pressure to look a certain way, to conform to today's slim image" (p. 24). Clearly, the image is one of limitations and restrictions as opposed to dominant values of authority and autonomy. Social Context of Voice The social component of voice, likewise viewed within the context of women's social development, extends beyond the original definition of the right to an opinion. Numerous psychological studies reported by Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) Brownmiller (1984), Belenky et al. (1986), Gilligan, (1990) have noted socially conditioned sex-differences in voice. The qualities which have characterized male voices have included assertiveness, strength, confidence and power. Female voices, by contrast have been found to be more tentative, emotional and subjective. Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) have described the qualities of women's voices to include silence, muteness, apology, self-blame, diffidence, hesitancy. As Brownmiller (1984) attests, however, "even when a woman is a forthright, assertive, highly confident and successful performer on the stage of life, she may temper her speech patterns to fit a less challenging mode. Commands and directives that come from her lips will be modified with little grace notes, qualified with an extraneous phrase to take the edge off the expression of power" (p. 118). The masculine strategy, by contrast, according to Brownmiller "avoids personal admissions, confessions of weakness and failure, and displays of emotion that reveal vulnerability and dependence" (p. 119). The qualities, of male and female voices, which reflect general trends and not definitive situations, do not represent natural phenomena, but have been differentially socialized in males and females in our culture. Daly (1978) referred to numerous expletives in our language which have served to shame and silence the strength of female voices, of which there are none which apply to 19 male voices. These include nags, bitches, cows, bats, squirrels, chicks, cats, crows, shrews, old wives tales (p. 423). The connotations of barking, squealing, chattering, chirping, growling, cackling, screeching and silliness to define women's voices are evident. "Yet simultaneously," according to Aisenberg and Harrington (1988), the opposite and equally destructive image is dangled before them: the fluffy, loquacious, irrelevant Blondie of cartoon and film" (p. 65) Aisenberg and Harrington (1988), who collected the stories of sixty-two women's lives in academe, found that even as women have entered positions of authority,those images which proscribe power and authority for women continued to restrain their voices, inhibit questioning, challenging and criticizing. They suggested that traditional stigmatizing admonitions of shrewish, shrill, whining and complaining voices " "inherited from history, mythology, religion, literature," do not completely silence women, but they do curb boldly assertive speech" (p. 65-71). For women, the negative images of voice introduce conflict at the sound of our own voices. In the words of Aisenberg and Harrington(1988): speechlessness and muteness does not seem to depend upon temperament, but is imparted by the position of being a defendant—inexpressiveness can befall a forceful woman facing professional misinterpretation. A historian relates how her intensity during a job interview was misconstrued, probably costing her the position: "I certainly came on very strong in that interview because I wanted the job very badly. And I guess I scared a few people....I didn't know how to respond when the interviewer called me 'a tiger in the classroom.' (pp. 72-73) Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) suggested that such difficulties encountered by women in terms of voice, stem not only from meeting incomprehension about the actual nature of their positions and perceptions—a lack of shared assumptions—but as well from a fear of "the retribution their speech might provoke" (p. 73). The general prohibition against women's voices found in prevailing discourses and records of knowledge and genius in our culture "threatens hazy, unnamed, consequences and women literally do not know how far they can go" (p. 73). Voice and Language The connection between voice and language has also remained unresolved in common conceptions of voice and is one which has remained fundamental to the study of voice with respect to women. While both women and men know themselves from the place of language, a woman's relationship to the symbolic order has always defined her as insufficient (Silverman, 1984). This has effected women's lives and voices. It has contributed to a position of inadequacy and self- loathing as opposed to self-love. This has been shown to be especially true of present discourses of female bodies, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, sexuality, menopause, mother-daughter and mother-son relationships, depression, postnatal depression, PMS and identity development (Gilligan, 1990: Page, 1990; Ussher, 1989). The relationships of women to their own experience, once within those discourses, have been designated trivial, pathological and deficient. Discourses or ideologies of reproduction, in particular, have continued to tie women to their biology "in the same way as the hysteric or the neurasthenic were in the past" (Ussher, 1989, p. 69). The labels attached to women's experiences within these discourses have defined women's bodies and reproductive cycles as debilitating, "weak , dangerous, and somehow a greater determinant of women's behavior than men's bodies are of theirs" (Ussher, 1989, p. 69). Ussher (1989) has discussed the widespread acceptance of the concept of PND as an example of this phenomenon. This syndrome, which identifies internal physical causes for unhappiness, completely lacks understanding of the experience of childbirth for women. It lacks sensitivity for the "loss of the old self or identity, the isolation, the "sheer slog and boredom" at times...exacerbated by the guilt attached to feelings of dissatisfaction in the role of motherhood in our culture" (Ussher, 1989, pp. 76-88). The concept of PND denys psycho-social components which contribute to the experience of women and ligitimates the ideology by which women experience their own bodies and voices as dysfunctional and pathological. Silence is further facilitated as women fear expressing their 'dysfunctional' experiences; their realities imbued with contradictory feelings or ambivalence. 21 This same suggestion of inferiority and view of the influence of reproductive functions on behavior has been a major part of the language of psychological models and discourses. Erikson (1968), for example, wrote: ...the affective life is more developed in proportion to the intellect in the female than in the male sex, and the influence of the reproductive organs upon the mind more powerful. (Erikson, 1968. p. 337) This line of thinking has also been shown to be embedded in discourses of religious and academic disciplines, government, law, and educational institutions (Aisenberg and Harrington, 1988; Aptheker, 1989; Belenky et al., 1986; Gilligan, 1990). Rich (1979) described the effect of these ideologies in a women's life. She wrote: Listen to a woman groping for language in which to express what is on her mind, sensing the terms of academic discourse are not her language, trying to cut down her thought to the dimensions of a discourse not intended for her or reading her paper aloud at breakneck speed, throwing her words away, deprecating her own work by a reflexive prejudgement: I do not deserve to take up time and space, (pp. 243-244) Truly, as Heilbrun (1988) has stated, "much, of a profound and perceptive nature, has been written about the problem of women coping with male language that will not say what they wish....[However], as Deborah Cameron has written, men do not control meaning at all. Rather women elect to use modes of expression men can understand because that is the best way of getting men to listen. The problem she asserts, is one not of language but of power" (p. 43). An interviewee of the Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) study related that experience. She noted, "the ways in which women express themselves are offputting to men....because they talk a different language even when they are talking about literature, and it seems frivolous or it seems off the point or it seems personalized.... And [men] don't feel congenial about hiring somebody who talks in such a different way" (p. 76). Clearly, it has been threatening for women to turn away from the only guaranteed relationship with the world of which they are assured (Brownmiller, 1984). Especially in the absence of power of the historical experience and voices of women in language 22 and other cultural contexts, there have been few places for women to recognize and find value for themselves, their voices and experiences. Rossi (1973), like other writers such as Daly (1978, 1984), Ehrenreich and English (1978), Rich (1976) and Spretnak (1982) have also pointed to the sense of loss experienced by women cut off from voices, language and experience of women throughout history. This loss has continued to be implicated in limiting access to the voices of women today (Aptheker, 1989: Becker, 1987; Brownmiller, 1984; Chesler, 1972; Daly, 1978, 1984; de Beauvoir, 1952; Dowling, 1981; Ehrenreich and English, 1978; French, 1978; Friday, 1977; Heilbrun, 1988; Rich, 1976). Greenspan (1983) has noted that "people who look around at the world and do not see themselves reflected in it, learn to feel marginal, unimportant" (p. 194). Carol Christ (in Aptheker, 1980) wrote: Without stories there is no articulation of experience. Without stories a woman is lost when she comes to make the important decisions in her life. She does not learn to value her struggles, to celebrate her strengths, to comprehend her pain. Without stories she cannot understand herself. Without stories she is alienated from the deeper experiences of self and world that have been called spiritual or religious. (P-42) Heilbrun (1988) argued, there has been no safety net for women's lives; "because there is no script to follow, no story portraying how one is to act, let alone any alternative stories" (p. 39). The silence of women, according to Heilbrun (1988), has resulted in an absence of the "banquet of possible quests, conceivable stories, available narrations" (p. 38). In writing of her own experience, Heilbrun (1988) stated "I was profoundly caught up in biography because it allowed me, as a young girl, to enter the world of daring and achievement. But I had to make myself a boy to enter that world; I could find no comparable biographies of women, indeed, almost no biographies of women at all" (p. 27). This situation has been changing since the 1970s, though as Heilbrun (1988) pointed out, the need has remained for "new narratives for women [to] enter texts and then other texts and eventually women's lives" (p. 38). Those limitations, for women, have been represented in fiction such as Kate Chopin's, The Awakening and Charlotte Perkins 23 Gilman's, The Yellow Wallpaper, where females in search for an alternate narrative to the one prescribed, found no way out but suicide or madness. "Enough despair for generations." (Heilbrun, 1988, p. 39). This situation has not been recognized or understood, according to Phylis Chesler (1972) who wrote in "Women and Madness" that "contemporary politics, science-- the rational mode itself~does not consult or is not in touch with the irrational, ie., with the events of the unconscious or with the meaning of collective history" (p. 26). The importance of a sense of recognition and historical continuity was clearly stated by Rossi (1973). In the introduction to her book of collected writings from the 18th to 20th centuries, Rossi stated: The more I read the greater was my sense that there was a whole host of like minded women who had preceded my generation in American history. I had never before experienced so keenly a sense of continuity with previous generations. The closest analogy was my mother's visit shortly after the birth of my first daughter, when there was a tangible awareness in the house of three generations of females whose lives were closely connected and which would span more than a century, (p. xi) The writing of Aptheker (1989), Becker (1987). Brownmiller (1975), Daly (1984), Heilbrun (1988), La Belle (1988), Lorde (1984), Martin (1987), Ussher (1989) has urged the need for a language which is valuing and validating of female voices and experience. These authors have continued to suggest the need for research in females' experience of such areas as marriage, motherhood, adolescence, relationships, parenthood Rich (1986) commented on the need for a women-centered language or discourse of motherhood without which women have been trapped in silent quilt, self-blame and self-loathing (further implicated in depression, anxiety, resignation, hostility, boredom (in Daly, 1984, p. 201)). Rich (1986) stated: Throughout pregnancy and nursing, women are urged to relax, to mime the serenity of madonnas. No one mentions the psychic crisis of bearing a first child, the excitation of long buried feelings about one's own mother, the sense of confused power and powerlessness, of being taken over on the one hand and of touching 24 new physical and psychic potentialities on the other, a heightened sensibility which can be exhilarating, bewildering and exhausting. No one mentions the strangeness of attraction—which can be as singleminded as the early days of a love affair, (p. 36) It is true, and recognized that the language and discourses of our culture do not determine the voices of women. In the words of Lorde (1984), "we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us" (p.44). The process of transformation of silence into language has become an important part of life, especially as roles for women change. An understanding of that process, its vulnerabilities and strengths, involves psychological perspective in addition to the physical, social and language components already discussed. Psychological Conflicts of Voice Current studies including those of Greenspan (1983) and Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) have observed that "although, at a physical level women may have refused old restrictive roles, at a psychic level they continue to accept them" (Becker, 1987, P. 36). This phenomenon has become the basis of a book by Becker (1987) entitled, "The Invisible Drama." That title was derived from the 1966 diary entry of Anais Nin, who referred (in Becker) to an "invisible drama" which leaves women anxious—"screaming without a voice, out of a nightmare" (p. 11). Becker (1987) has stated that "many women capable of pursuing their desired goals suffer in the same way: They are plagued by a deeper layer of inhibition that is aroused when their actions shake up the internal structures upon which their sense of themselves has been built" (p. 35). In particular these invisible structures have included internalized messages of relative cultural invisibility and anonymity. A visible voice alerts the potential for psychic conflict. As well, even as the norms for women have included speaking roles in public discourses, the old messages contained in cultural images have engaged women to fear and despise their own voices. In those images of slimness and of bats and hags, women lose physical and psychic strength. They learn caution. They learn 25 to confine physical expression. The internal psychic conflict between a strong urge to speak, and the 'virtue of silence' is maintained. That the internalization of these norms and fears have negative consequences for women's experience of voice is evident in the work and writing of women. Brownmiller (1984) has written, ""Hey, taaxiii" strikes momentary terror in my heart. As I hurl the ringing words aloft I simultaneously worry that my voice won't carry, the cab will speed by, and someone on the street will think, That certainly is a loud woman" (p. 122). Especially as new norms for women have included authoritative positions, conflicts of voice, have reflected the internalization of old norms which have dictated the "impropriety of an authoritative voice for women" (p. 69). Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) found that, struggling to resolve contradictory norms, and "knowing that you are flouting subliminal distrust, needing constandy to prove your worth, undermines self-confidence in even the strongest women" (pp. 66- 67). The diminution of women's voices especially through self-deprecating practices has been highlighted in the stories of women's lives in academe reported by Aisenberg and Harrington (1988). Those stories reflect a mode of discourse adopted by those professional women that is self-abnegating, self-censoring, self-doubting, insecure and apologetic—though unrelated to individual abilities. This has been evidenced in the words of the women interviewed by Aisenberg et al. (1988): All the way through graduate school I would have to say I was very, very insecure, and probably worked two or three times harder than I needed to. I was always running scared. I was terrified. They're not going to like it, I'm not doing good enough work, they think I'm not really serious because I have a family, and I have other obligations;. The standards I set for myself were ridiculously high and punitive; I discovered that I couldn't quite come to terms with the idea that whatever I did would be good enough, although I knew very well I did better work than {male colleagues}, knew I had a better mind, a better prose style; Unless I felt {my work} was wonderful, and the very, very best I could do, I wouldn't submit 26 anything that anyone else could read...I was afraid of not being good enough; I just didn't get it, and I should have worked harder, and I'm sorry, (pp. 64-74) Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) also reported several common self-censoring, apologetic and disclaiming refrains of the women, apparent in dozens of stories. These disclaimers, used by women speaking about their experiences of graduate school and inside professions of academe included: "I decided it wasn't good enough;" "I didn't submit it;" "I redrafted and redrafted it thirty-seven times;" "I just thought I'd mention;' "I know it's a minor point but." Heilbrun (1988), who studied female autobiographies into the twentieth century, has found a similar insecurity and lack of trust in the written voice of the women. Heilbrun (1988) noted "in all of them the pain of the lives is, like the successes, muted, as though the women were certain of nothing but the necessity of denying both accomplishment and suffering" (p. 23). Heilbrun (1988) has commented that those women, unable to write exemplary lives, have not dared "to offer themselves as models, but only as exceptions chosen by destiny or chance. The authors of a recent study by Belenky et al. (1986) have reported a similar fear among women in their study with 135 urban American women (of different ages, class and ethnic backgrounds and educational histories). They noted that "several women said that they and their friends left school as soon as they legally could, married, and got pregnant (not necessarily in that order) "so that we wouldn't have to put up with being put down every day""(pp. 227-228). Recent research has highlighted the contradiction which women experience in the face of conflicting norms. In particular, studies have shown that the power and authority of women's voices has been difficult to hear within the context of the valued norms for voices of authority, autonomy and power. Gilligan (1977)) has found that women speak "in a different voice" which most often goes unheard as a result of a very limited conception of authoritative voice. Gilligan (1990), Belenky et al. (1986) and Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) pointed out that the personal, subjective, relational, questioning, other-empowering and corroborative orientations or styles of women's voices have been dismissed with little regard for the authority and knowledge of those perspectives. Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) have found that, despite long training and 27 experience, knowledge and insights, the voices of professional and academic women are often rejected and "denigrated for sounding silly,"" digressive," "fanciful," "defensive" by their female colleagues (p. 78). The devaluation and shame attributed to the characteristics encouraged and trained in women's voices has made it difficult for female voices to be identified with or to find an empathic response among males and females. Chesler (1978) has noted that "most men experience any and all expressions of female emotion as overly intense and threatening, as a form of attack, as an attempt at female control (p. 212). According to Chesler, "men sense that female "emotion" is dangerous because they believe at bottom it must include rage (p. 212). The psychic denial, repression or splitting of self into more of less distinct masculine and feminine has not only been oppressive of females, but has, "at some less overt level failed" males (Rich, 1976, p. 63). The threat of psychic death, in maintaining this cultural denial system, may be at least a part of the relentless historical pursuit of immortality and transcendence in the 'spiritual' traditions of the world. That is another subject. The difficult pursuit of a voice and psychic survival within the context of female roles in our culture, has been recognized in the work of women writers such as Rich (1976). In writing of her experience during pregnancy, motherhood and marriage she recalled being vaguely in command of her situation, totally dependent on her obstetrician, and "tranquilized or sleep- walking" through her own life (p. 6). Rich, a poet and a writer, reflected on her experience of the loss of her voice in her journal at the time. Whether it's the extreme lassitude of early pregnancy or something more fundamental, I don't know; but of late I've felt, toward poetry,—both reading and writing it—nothing but boredom and indifference. Especially toward my own and that of my immediate contemporaries. When I receive a letter soliciting mss., or someone alludes to my "career," I have a strong sense of wanting to deny all responsibility for and interest in that person who writes—or who wrote, (p. 7). It is true that times are changing. Brownmiller (1975) has suggested that a "sudden upsurge of interest in female athletics"" is based on a new female recognition (something men 28 have always known) that there are important lessons to be learned from sports competition, among them that winning is the result of hard, sustained and serious training, cool, clever strategy that includes the use of tricks and bluffs, and a positive mind-set that puts all reflex systems on "go"" (p. 451). Women have been occupying public and academic spheres and writing and speaking more than at any other time in history. With these changes and movements, however, it appears that the conflicts over voice have intensified. As Aisenberg and Harrington (1988) have found "even tenured women manifest conflicts over voice to the point that, in various situations, they prefer avoiding public speech where possible" (p. 74). Those researchers have noted that professional women in various situations, prefer the written to the spoken voice. In the words of women interviewed, "publication isn't like interrupting somebody....You submit manuscripts there's a lag You don't have to present yourself in person." "I like submitting an article to a journal, getting it accepted or rejected that way" (Aisenberg et al., 1988, p.74). As Davis (1989) has written in her book entitled Women's Intuition, "the times may be changing, but progress is slow, and in the meantime women experience their knowingness largely in secret, or in the relative security of one another's company' (p. 17). Even those in positions of power often find they must keep their knowledge carefully veiled" (p. 17) Belenky et al. (1986) have noted that women who have felt a sense of voice in their lives have continued to experience the difficult balance between voice and silence. In the words of one interviewee, "I intimidate many men. It's hard. It means loneliness lots of times. It's necessary to learn to compromise to a certain extent—how much you have to shut up and how much you have to talk. And how to be effective by talking at the right moment" (p. 148). From their place in prevailing discourses, women have interiorized a host of "discursive demands which must be met at every moment of psychic existence, and which carry out the functions of over-seeing and over-hearing the ego even in the most solitary of situations" (Silverman, 1984, p. 147). As Silverman (1984) has stated, the rigors of that performance are severe. It is within that context, in particular, and the larger context of relations in society from which it extends, that the concept of voice has derived it's meaning. Psychological Theory and Silence Even though the subject of voice has remained largely unknown within the mainstream in counselling, psychology and psychotherapy theory and practice, the female voice has been the target of various programs which have grown out of those realms of study. These have been based on studies and anecdotal reports of sex-differences between male and female voices which have suggested that females have greater difficulty than males in asserting authority; in expressing themselves in public; in speaking clearly, fluently and articulately; in communicating strongly and substantively. Numerous programs directed toward the voices of women have included assertiveness training, positive communication, cognitive restructuring, self-effectiveness, self- awareness, thinking and communicating on your feet, freeing the natural voice and self- expression. This field of programming has continued to grow in the realm of university sponsored community education, in particular. The mass therapies and programs for psychological make-over of women and their voices has tended to assume a negative orientation toward women's voices. The suggestion has always been of a kind of disability, pathology or lack of appropriate qualities of voice which seem to require corrective strategies and techniques (Brownmiller, 1984). This has been in direct contrast to views of male voices. The male voice has rarely been the focus of concern, despite research such as that by Pamela Fishman (1978), which found in the analysis of taped conversations between men and women, that men did 98 percent of the interrupting. Similarly in models of traditional psychotherapy or the "talking cures", a host of conflicts over voice—including silence, muteness, apology, self-blame, diffidence, hesitancy, agitation- found to be inextricably linked to most women's speech (Aisenberg & Harrington, 1988), have been traditionally labelled symptomatic of pathology in women. Women's communication, characterized as passive, passive aggressive, hostile, bitter and defensive has been interpreted within the realm of psychiatry and clinical psychology as symptomatic of underlying neuroses or character disorders (Greenspan, 1983). .The medical approach to these 'psychological diseases' 30 has involved psychotherapy with or without drugs, electroshock therapy and mental hospitalization. The inherent contradiction and destruction in the specific medical use of the passive voice and passive adjectives to define the voices of women has been strongly addressed in literature in Women's Studies and the field of the psychology of women. In particular, studies in those areas have noted the acontextual or pseudocontextual nature of the passive voice—stripped of causes, persons or "objects" (Stanley in Daly, 1978). Daly (1984) has argued that these passive and "free- floating" "synthetic substitutes," found in psychiatry and psychology, "unlike real passions which are movements, verbs, and which are e-motions connecting one's psyche with others and with the external world," "result in more and more disconnection/ fragmentation" (p. 200). The passive voice, in concealing the context, has failed to connect experience with a cause or situation to be "dealt with." It has left women paralyzed, unable to move. Daly (1984), as others, has concluded that the inactive and incomplete definitions which parade as the whole, serve to fragment and distort the female psyche, to block action and twist the movements of women's appetites in upon themselves rather than expand and express outwardly (pp. 200-208). In other words, the medical language and institution has been viewed as a significant factor in the perpetuation of a problem it proposes to cure (Chesler, 1972; Greenspan, 1983). A certain recognition of the significance and implications of the historical absence of women's voices in western society has found acceptance in academic protocol. A recent publication of The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, entitled "On the treatment of the sexes in Research (Eichler & Lapointe, 1985) has suggested that "contemporary research needs to indicate how it intends to deal with [the] lack of information and the consequent potential distortion of reality [created by] the lack of the female viewpoint in particular" (p. 7). The authors of that same publication have argued that "an androcentric viewpoint results in false images of the world and of women, images that are often unconsciously biased by the interests of those voicing their concerns" (p. 19). Researchers such as Gilligan (1979, 1990), and Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule (1986) have continued to argue that a one-sided perspective of human development, has not only held little integrity, dignity or recognition for female strengths, 31 knowledge, and experience, but as such, has provided as distorted an understanding of men as it has of women. This interest in female views has also stemmed from a recognition that women live a "range of social experience different from that of men and therefore with perspectives on knowledge that diverge from the prevailing focus of the various disciplines" (Aisenberg et al., 1988, p. 80). As Shotter and Logan (1988) wrote, there is "a whole network of differences between men and women-differences in behavior distinctions in terms of times, places, tasks, tools, forms of speech and dress, gestures, perceptions, forms of life with their associated voices" (p. 77). This whole scheme of contexted differences has been ignored, repressed and rendered rationally invisible in the perspectives which have defined human experience, including that of women, throughout history. Female Culture Work in the realm of women's studies in particular, has pointed out that women produce specific and identifiably female cultures in their everyday lives. There are, for example, many such "work cultures: among clerical workers, telephone operators, waitresses, nurses, elementary school teachers, cannery, garment, and electronics workers" (Aptheker, 1989, p. 13). Likewise, Aptheker has stated, "there are places in our society that are predominantly and distinctly female spaces, such as kitchens, child-care centers, beauty salons, social welfare agencies, fabric, yam and variety stores, department stores and supermarkets" (p. 13). Within the psychology of women and other feminist frameworks, research has focussed on that vital source of information of women's experience, traditionally omitted in research: women's own discourse and language. Aptheker (1989) has stated that "language is a matter of culture, of the framing of ideas according to cultural experience and nuance" (p. 24). Language provides a context, within which women's actions and beliefs, may be intelligibly described. Looking at women's language and other components of that culture, according to Aptheker (1989) has been "to show connections, to form patterns," "to recognize women's strategies for coping, surviving, 32 shaping, and changing the parameters of their existence on their own terms" (p. 14). The language, discourse and cultures created by women have provided and avenue by which to understand the social construction of female psyches which in turn influence voice. Aptheker also pointed out that "each women's culture, of course, is significantly informed by its racial, ethnic, and religious context. There is not one women's culture; there are many. There are also connecting patterns among them (p. 12). " Researchers in female psychology and therapy have joined with the work of women's studies and feminist writers, in particular, to understand the dynamics of voice in women's lives. Belenky et al. (1986) pointed out that their work is "embedded in a larger context of feminist theory about voice and silence" (p. 19). Likewise, current studies in psychology have utilized historical literature as a reference point for understanding women voice's. Gilligan's (1990) reference to Shakespeare's sister—the poet who died young and never wrote a word-to make the link between voice and psychological survival for women, derived from the work of Virginia Woolfe in 1928. . The combination of the search for a coherent theory of female psychology with feminist theory and perspectives has helped to provide a view of the murky "sea of western culture" (Gilligan, 1990, p. 4) wherein the voices of girls and women have been found to be in "danger of drowning or disappearing" (p. 4). Studies have continued to grapple with the question of how and what social arrangements, practices, values, norms and institutions inform the psychic worlds which counsel the female voice. Women's studies has continued to expand the conceptual map of the social/historical/ economic contexts of female psychic development. This has involved a focus on women-identified culture such as that described in La Belle's (1988) study of the literature of the looking glass and Ussher's (1989) study of the psychology of the female body. Contemporary feminist writers, in particular have begun to compile a growing prehistory of women. For the most part, the earliest literature by and about women of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, has involved archaeological finds "saved from oblivion" and "reissued by the Feminist Press and others" (Becker, 1987, p. 15). Those writers have found, that while the times may be changing since the early writings (including personal letters, diaries, essays and fiction) of those 33 such as Abbigail Adams, 1771; Judith Sargent Murray, 1790; Mary Wollstonecraft, 1833; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1898; and Virginia Woolf, 1931; the works of those authors remain historically significant to the study of women and voice at the present time. Therein, has been the historical context and struggle of women-often through loneliness, madness, poverty, sickness, ostracism and death~to find a voice in relationships and in the making of society's rules. Therein he the roots of an historical struggle between voice and silence which has been found by contemporary research in psychology, to loom large at the core of women's experience of self, voice and mind to the present day (Belenky et al., 1986). The Quest for Voice Gilligan (1990) found that "the absence of women from the curriculum that poses a problem in education also creates a problem in girls' development, a problem that girls encounter in the course of their education" (p. 6). Silence. Gilligan (1990) found, in her quest for the voices of adolescent girls, as Virginia Woolf suggested in 1928, that the "crossroads between childhood and adolescence, the meeting place of girls and women" (p. 13) "is a critical time in girls' lives—a time when girls are in danger of losing their voices" (p. 25). Gilligan described her experience of "entering an underground city of female adolescence" where the gateway to that world and caverns of knowledge was marked by the statement, "I don't know" (p. 15). Gilligan observed, in her search for female adolescent voices, not only the profound knowledge and learning experiences of female adolescents gone underground. She also noted that this knowledge has not been "represented in descriptions of psychological development or in clinical case studies, and more disturbingly, it is disclaimed by adolescent girls themselves, who often seem divided from their own knowledge, regularly prefacing their observations by saying, "I don't know" (p. 14). Other researchers have found the female voice, often carefully disassociated from the words it utters; difficult to distinguish between the voice itself and the words it speaks (Silverman, 1984). As Gilligan (1990) has observed, this phenomenon marks the entrance to thinking and knowledge gone underground, hidden, silent and protected from potential threat of devaluation, 34 non-recognition or misinterpretation. As Miller (1986) has noted, as well, in her book entitled "toward a new psychology of women," women "won't tell" (p. 10). Another example, as noted earlier, is Heilbrun's (1988) observations in the study of female autobiographies into the twentieth century, of a narrative flatness and muted voice of women describing their often celebrated lives. As Gilligan and others (Belenky et al, 1986) have found, this field of research has been plagued by difficulty—difficulty in accessing the voices of women. The psychic mechanisms which operate it have continued to advise silence. The black feminist poet, Audre Lorde (1984), commented on her own secret discourse in an interview with Adrienne Rich: There were so many complex emotions for which poems did not exist. I had to find a secret way to express my feelings. I used to memorize my poems. I would say them out; I didn't use to write them down. I had this long fund of poetry in my head. And I remember trying when I was in high school not to think in poems. I saw the way other people thought, and it was an amazement to me—step by step, not in bubbles up from chaos that you had to anchor with words....I really do believe I learned this from my mother, (pp. 82-83) In the same interview, Lorde (1984) discussed conflicts she experienced in expressing her knowledge. Lorde (1984) stated about thinking: It was a very mysterious process for me. And it was one I had come to suspect because I had seen so many errors committed in its name, and I had come not to respect it. On the other hand, I was also afraid of it because there were inescapable conclusions or convictions I had come to about my own life, my own feelings, that defied thought. And I wasn't going to let them go. I wasn't going to give them up. They were too precious to me. They were life to me. But I couldn't analyze or understand them because they didn't make the kind of sense I had been taught to expect through understanding. There were things I knew and couldn't say. And I couldn't understand them. (pp. 87-88) 35 Other researchers, including Rich (1976) and Belenky et al. (1986) have commented on the difficulties experienced by women in terms of thinking. Belenky et al. reported that "many of the women we interviewed—mothers or not—remarked upon the discrepancy between the kind of thinking required in school and the kind required in dealing with people" (p. 201). In particular, they noted a difference experienced by women between "maternal" and "scientific" thinking. A mother learns, for example, that a response that may have worked with a particular child in a particular situation may not be replicated with the same or a different child in another situation. That is unlike scientific thinking, which weighs a fact upon it's replicability. Rich (1976) has likewise argued that "there are ways of thinking that we don't know about." "Women are even now thinking in ways which traditional intellection denies, decries, or is unable to grasp" (p. 288). Similar to Gilligan's (1990) finding that the knowledge of adolescent girls goes underground, Belenky et al. (1986) pointed out that much of the knowledge and thinking of women has "never been translated into words, only into actions" (p. 201). They pointed out, for example, the words of a single parent of nine children, "There are things I have up here {taps her temple} that I can't put down on paper. I know I use a lot of it in my daily life, like in trying to help my children" (p. 201). Attempts to exhume a female voice has continued to represent a challenge for contemporary research. The great sensitivity required in looking for evidence of women's voices has been reported by Martin (1987) in The Woman in the Body . Belenky et al. (1986) described "the very process of recopying the women's words, reading them with [their] eyes, typing them with [their] fingers, remembering the sounds of the voices when the words were first spoken [to help to] hear meanings in the words that had previously gone unattended" (p. 17). Belenky et al. (1986) have argued that difficulties in the quest for female voices have arisen out of a lack of recognition of the voices characteristic of women. They found that "the women [they] interviewed were not limited to a single voice' (p. 103); that the women had many voices in which they spoke at different times in different situations; most of them speaking sometimes in one voice, sometimes in another. Those voices were seen to stem from two basic orientations to the world, including one of separation or autonomy and one of connection or relationship to others. 36 Belenky et al. described other voices between those extremes and along a continuum where some women move toward a single, integrated and "more balanced voice" of connected knowing (p. 103). They have argued that "the voice of connected knowing [oriented toward relationship] was harder to hear, because [their] ears were not tuned to it and because [they] never before listened with such care to relatively unschooled women" (p. 102). Those authors found "the voice of separate knowing [the voice of impersonal reason] easy to hear" (p. 102). Belenky et al. acknowledged that "separate and connected knowing "may be gender related" but not exclusively gender specific (p. 102). That study, organized around the themes of voice and silence, defined five "epistemological perspectives from which the women interviewed, know and view the world and themselves as participants it it" (Belenky et al., 1986, p. 15): each based on a differing sense of voice. The five positions included: 1. Silence: [Voicelessness] 2. Received Knowledge: Listening to the Voices of Others 3. Subjective Knowledge: The Inner Voice 4. Procedural Knowledge: The Voice of Reason 5. Constructed Knowledge: Integrating the Voices (p. 15) The basic characteristics of each of these five major perspectives on knowing defined by Belenky et al. (1986) are as follows: silence, where women experience themselves and their voices as trapped and subject to the whims of external authority; received knowledge, women identify with external authorities but feel incapable of having their own voices; subjective knowledge, women connect with their inner voice as the only true source of knowledge; procedural knowledge, women struggle to find ways to express their own voices by finding objective reasons for their knowledge and actions; constructed knowledge, women value and integrate subjective and objective knowledge (p. 15). These voices and accompanying epistomological positions describe adaptive responses of women in the context of their intellectual and academic development. Belenky et al. (1986) reported no evidence of stage-like qualities in these perspectives but rather noted that "the question 37 of why and when women shift from one mode of knowing to another, as many of [their] women evidently did at points in their lives, is an important, though difficult, one~as is not well addressed by [their] data" (p. 15). The research of Belenky et al. (1986) also found in the voices of women, a difficult struggle for psychological survival involving a long journey or quest for voice from the place that has been projected upon them in their lives. They reported hearing women's search for " the power of their own minds and voices" (p. 19) especially from places of silence: feeling "deaf and dumb"(p. 24), "mindless"(p. 30), "lost in a sea of words and numbers"(p. 34)," battered with words and reasons" (p. 105) and "having no sense of [their] own ability to figure things out" (p. 29). The prevalence of voice, as a concept by which women understand themselves and their lives, has been made clear in the aforementioned studies and others (Aisenberg et al., 1988; Rossi, 1973; Ussher, 1989). Efforts to comprehend the significance, meaning and complexity of voice in the lives of women has resulted in numerous interpretations in recent psychological studies. Belenky et al. (1986) viewed the concept of voice as a metaphor for "many aspects of women's experience and development" including women's intellectual development and self-worth (Belenky et al., 1986, p. 18). In her most recent study reported in "Making Connections: the relationship worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School, Gilligan (1990) has pointed to voice as a metaphor for themes of connection as opposed to visual metaphors for separation, individuation, autonomy and freedom (p. 315). Gilligan (1982,1990) defined voice as a metaphor for women's relationship focus and orientation in the world. Belenky et al. (1986) argued to the contrary however, that "in actuality, these women do not speak in a different voice. They have no voice at all. Conventional feminine goodness means being voiceless as well as selfless" (p. 167). Becker (1987) has likewise referred to the traditional "tyranny of niceness"— the "detached voice" by which women have hidden their own voices (pp. 49-54). The contemporary feminist poet Adrienne Rich entitled her book of essays On Lies, Secrets and Silence, to reflect three options for women in terms of voice. A disguised and indirect voice 38 of women has been noted by Miller (1986). That voice, "designed to accommodate and please the dominant group," often "contains hidden defiance and "put-ons" (p. 10). That strategy was noted by Young (1989), who quoted the Tory MP, Edwina Currie as follows: I like being with men. I like working with men. I like pulling out all the stops and trying to figure out how to get my own way, how to get what I am after. And if that means being slightly underhand and teasing them, or flattering them or whatever, I don't give a damn. I'll just do it. It's often a very calculating and manipulative way of going about things, but I've always done that. (p. 180) Aisenberg et al. (1988) observed, in their study of sixty-two women in academic professions, that women's voices seek transformation, not transference of information. That study found a common voice among those women which was more conducive to a dialogic relationship than a lecture format. The authors have concluded that "this vision, using voice as a medium for transformation, is a potent incentive for developing a different discourse" (p. 80) in the academic disciplines. Likewise, Gilligan (1990) has argued that the different voice of women-which incorporates a set of values and concerns for connection, attachment and interdependence not often valued in contemporary discourse—has implications for psychological development and for education in the western tradition. Belenky et al. (1986) have also argued for replacing the separate model of education which only confirms "women's own sense of themselves as inadequate knowers" (p. 228) with a connected model which emphasizes "connection over separation, understanding and acceptance over assessment, and collaboration over debate" (p. 229). This may be, according to Belenky et al. (1986) more appropriate for male education as well. Clearly, research has shown that much of the story of women's adaptation to a world of relative voicelessness, remains under the surface of everyday language and interaction. Some of the story has been found in women's art, fiction, poetry and music. These have been some of the avenues to voice which women have pursued, throughout history. 39 Voice and Musicianship Dahl (1984) pointed out that "an immediate connection between womankind and music exists in language itself: the English word music, a feminine noun in the Romance languages, probably derives from the Greek muse, which designates any of the nine sister goddesses of ancient mythology who presided over learning and the creative arts" (p. 39). She has pointed out as well, that "perceptions of what is properly "male" and "female" in a given society tend to shape the gender associations of the various musical instruments and even color the way musicians are heard" (p. 38). "We need hardly be surprised", says Dahl, "that the "female way" of playing instruments has been judged less forceful, less convincing, less sublime" (p. 38). The participation of women in music has varied from culture to culture, and throughout history. As Frith (1981) argued, "there's nothing natural about the singing voice at all (compare the popular vocal sounds of Britain and Italy say, or the U.S.A and Iran)" (p. 164). Female musicianship has always reflected the cultural context in which it occurs, at least to some degree. It has remained subject to various cultural inhibitions, prohibitions, nuances and conflicts of voice which are experienced by women in other arenas. Dahyl (1984) stated that "even in the vocal arena, traditionally more acceptable as an outlet for female musicianship, there was the phenomenon of the castrati, men whose artificially preserved high voices substituted for the female soprano in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian liturgical music, women having been banned from participation (p. 41). The history of female musicianship in our culture has highlighted the conflicts of voice for females which have been experienced by women in other fields and contexts. Dahl (1984) pointed out, for example, that "even well into the nineteenth century, women who composed and played music were seldom accepted as the equals of men and often used male pseudonyms when publishing their compositions" (pp. 40-41). She referred as well, to "the general lack of encouragement from family and friends....; the absence of accessible female role models'; [and] male reluctance to take women seriously as musicians" (p. 43) that has also been the experience of females articulated in poetry, fiction and other writing. 40 Carmen McRae (in Dahl, 1984) described the experience of voice in relation to a female singer whom had made a deep impression upon her. Of Billie Holiday, McRae stated, "singing is the only place she can express herself the way she'd like to be all the time. The only way she's happy is through a song. I don't think she expressed herself as she would want to when you meet her in person. The only time she's at ease and at rest with herself is when she sings" (p. 139). The conflict of voice and sense of loss of voice in her daily life is clear. Dahl (1984), telling of the death of Billie Holiday~a black female musician whose life, ravaged by alcoholism, narcotics addictions and arrests died an early death-described her as "ill and wasted", her voice broken" and "tired" but never ceasing to flow in song—"almost unbearably so at times during those last ravaged years" (p. 139). Aside from the importance of voice for Holiday, Dahl found in her voice, a reflection of the "personal psychic and emotional costs in a society where racism and sexism exact enormous energies from the black woman artist" (p. 139). Similar stories of voice have been told by contemporary female musicians. Tina Turner (1986) wrote in her autobiography of her experience as a singer with her husband Dee. Of that situation, Turner wrote: "Tina Turner, that woman who went out onstage~she was somebody else. I was like a shadow. I almost didn't exist" (p. 130). Writing of her later experience, Turner stated: Now, when I say I can sing, I know that I don't have a "pretty" voice. My voice is not the voice of a woman, so to speak. That's why when I choose my music, I think of men. I can relate to their delivery, I'm attracted to it. When I first started working with Ike, it was all men and just me, and I had to sort of keep up. So I had to take a lot of my training and my patterns of singing from the guys. It wasn't about girls and beauty and femininity" (p. 204). Likewise, recently divorced solo musician Sylvia Tyson explained (in Schwartz, 1988) "I'd always sung harmony. I spent years adjusting my voice to Ian's. I wasn't quite sure what my voice was or what it could do. Yet I was a star with a reputation to live up to. I had a lot to learn in a hurry" (p. 90). 41 The quest for voice, for psychic survival, has continued to stress the limits of female potential. The search for a comprehensive understanding of this experience in women's lives, the specific problem areas, adaptive responses, and coping strategies has not, as yet been the direct focus of research. The voice in female musicianship represents a significant opportunity for research to understand the experience of voice in women's lives. 42 CHAPTER III - METHOD OF RESEARCH The purpose of this study is to obtain an understanding of voice in women's lives. It is in view of the all-encompassing scope of this concept, the relative invisibility and complexity of this experience in the lives of women, the link between voice and psychic survival with accompanying coping strategies, adaptive responses, and the unique problem areas for voice that the case study format is utilized in this research. This format "allows an investigation to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real life events" (Yin, 1989, p. 14) and also allows this research to serve as a revelatory case. As Stake (1979) noted, the examination of a single case incorporates respect for the complexity, idiosyncrasy and richness of detail of the subject area. This study has also incorporated principles of case-study research as set out by Yin (1989). This includes, firstly, multiple sources of evidence which converge on the same set of facts in order to improve the accuracy of results. For the purpose of this study both the co-researchers narrative account as well as the songs she has written have been used. Secondly, a case study data base, distinct from the final case study report was kept. The interview with the co-researcher was audio-taped and transcribed. The use of a narrative format in this research derives from the expressed need, of female writers and researchers, for women's stories in a society in short supply of that knowledge and experience for both males and females. The narrative approach seeks the context by which to recognize the actions, beliefs, and strategies of women's existence and render those intelligible on their own terms. As Aptheker (1989) wrote, women's stories locate women's cultures, women's ways of seeing; they designate meaning, make women's consciousness visible to us. Stories transform our experiences into ways of knowing—about ourselves as women and about ourselves as women looking at the world, (p. 43) This research recognizes the narrative approach as a first step in recognizing and rendering visible the patterns and connections of the concept of voice, which women have continued to utilize for centuries to define countless facets of existence. For experience is not merely an internal 43 state as "the person and his or her world co-constitute one another" (Valle & King, 1978, p. 14). Following that, as Aptheker (1989) noted: {jtii begin to designate the categories of analysis that mark women's knowledge of the world, women's interpretation of events, women's standpoint....a different kind of philosophical space, for an ordering of women's experience as knowledge...is the project. It is a very big one. (pp. 14-15) Thus the approach to this work is located within the current body of women's research which focuses on transforming women's experience into language, narrative and metaphor that have the power to heal; which attempts to describe, analyze, understand and re-feel the effects of traditional values on the psyches and lives of women; and which provides tools for women to understand our own lives (Heilbrun, 1987, p. 165). The method of the present study, which focuses on a narrative account of the concept of voice, is an attempt to empower a female-originated concept; a construct, unlike numerous traditional psychological concepts, which has been found to have its base in actual lives of many women throughout history. This approach respects the potential value of the co-researcher's ideas and is maximally sensitive to those perspectives and the intricacies of her experience. An effort to empower the co-researcher is also closely linked to the use of narrative in this case study. One of the significant ways though which individuals make sense of and give meaning to their experiences is to organize them in a narrative form (Mishler, 1986). This format, which at the same time as it recognizes the need for an enhanced voice of research participants, does not assume a value-free or independent stance on the part of the researcher. Mishler, (1986), commenting on "the essential nature of an interview as a form of discourse...[notes that] narrative analysts do not have the option of "distancing" themselves from the phenomenon of the talk itself in the way that survey analysts distance themselves through research strategies such as the statistical analysis of coded data" (p. 76). As Mishler also noted, confidence in narrative methods derive from "close attentiveness to what interviewers and respondents say to each other, and how they say it" (p. 76). 44 The focus on narrative as a form of discourse in this research, also finds reference in the work of Belenky et al. (1986) who described women's ways of creating knowledge. Belenky et al. reported," really talking" requires careful listening; it implies a mutually shared agreement that together you are creating the optimum setting so that half-baked or emergent ideas can grow" (p. 144). This finding, which suggests the importance of collaboration, of attentive and empathic listening, and of encouragement and facilitation of voice in making tacit knowledge explicit and expanding it, differs from traditional scientific methodologies in the importance given to connection between researcher and participants in the building of knowledge. From this perspective and experience, knowledge is not facilitated by attempts at objective distance, but by the closeness of the researcher to the topic and the research participant. The emphasis on narrative which allows the participant to find and relate her story in the interview situation and facilitates speaking in her own voice, is of utmost importance to this case study. Numerous others have pointed out the power of the narrative format to illuminate human reality (Cochran, 1985, 1986; Hardy, 1968; Polkinghorne, 1988). Selection of Co-Researcher The participant in this single case study is referred to as a co-researcher (Colaizzi, 1978; Mishler, 1986). This implies a co-operative approach between the researcher and the co- researcher, working together to understand the co-researcher's experience of voice. It implies a context, relationship and joint production of the teller and the listener, in which meaning is continually negotiated. The co-researcher for this study was selected according to two main criteria: 1) the person must have had the experience in question and 2) the person must be able to articulate the experience (Colaizzi, 1978). The names of a number of people were referred, through a network of personal contacts, for the purpose of this research. The one person, who had the target experience of being involved in music as a singer for a significant length of time and agreed through a third party to be accessible for research purposes was sent an initial letter of contact. This was followed by a telephone call in 45 which the co-researcher agreed that she had the target experience, was interested in articulating the experience, was willing to make herself available to the researcher, and would like to participate in the study. Following the initial contact by letter and telephone, a meeting was held at the co- researcher's home to explain the case study procedure, to obtain her consent to participate, and to begin the taped interviews in which she gave her account of her experience and understanding of voice throughout her life. Two additional meetings were facilitated, to total approximately five hours of interviewing. The co-researcher was also asked to consider what other sources might be useful to illuminate her experience; journals, poems, songs. The co-researcher composed numerous songs over the years, which she offered in the form of taped music and/or lyrics. A reprint of some of these has been included in Appendix A. The co-researcher also shared some of her recorded compositions during interview sessions and sang her latest song—in progress— with guitar accompaniment at the end of the interview sessions. A decision was made not to include an audio recording in the Appendix for the obvious difficulties which that would pose. The co-researcher, Maggi's (a pseudonym) story was facilitated, in the beginning, with an initial suggestion by the researcher to imagine or draw a life-line or 'road map' of her life-time experience of voice. This suggestion, which Maggi chose to imagine rather than draw, was designed to provide a general chronological framework, orientation or focus for Maggi to tell her story. Specific instructions given to the co-researcher were as follows: You might begin by trying to imagine or draw a life-line, a map-like a road map, to depict your experience of voice throughout your life. This might include high points, low points, curves and plateaus, roadblocks and straight-stretches, easy riding. Case Study Procedure 46 Maggi's story was elicited in the narrative method, in which the researcher, as much as possible allowed and facilitated Maggi's recounting of her own story. Empathic listening and paraphrasing were utilized in an effort to encourage Maggi's story in her own voice. Focal points which developed or seemed apparent to the researcher, over the course of the three interview sessions, were noted and fed back to Maggi for her elaboration, clarification, agreement or repudiation. Each of the second and third interviews also began with a re-presentation of the focal points elicited during the past interviews, by the researcher and for Maggi's re-consideration and elaboration. The final interview session ended with Maggi's final summary and integration of the major foci of all the interviews. Interview tapes were transcribed, deleting identifying information. Pseudonyms were selected for the names of people mentioned in the account. The transcribed accounts of the interviews and songs were also presented to Maggi for her comments, clarification and elaboration with regard to omissions and the accuracy of the transcripts both as a document of our interviews and as a reflection of her experience. Maggi's response, beyond her initial surprise at seeing many pages of her own words—her voice—in print, and the need for validation of that situation in our relationship, was to validate the accuracy of the transcripts. Transcripts were then analyzed closely by the researcher to identify and isolate the major elements of her experience and story as she outlined them. The focal points, derived within the context of interviews included problem areas/ losses of voice, self-empowering strategies and a quest for voice. These have been discussed in detail in Chapter V. Additional elements in Maggi's story of voice were illuminated in the researcher's analysis upon completion of the interviews. These elements related to adaptive strategies of voice and essential attributes of voice. The process of this analysis was similar to that of Belenky et al. (1986) who described: recopying the women's words, reading them with our eyes, typing them with our fingers, remembering the sounds of the voices when the words were first spoken helped us hear meanings in the words that had previously gone attended. 47 The researchers analysis involved close attention to the words the co-researcher used to represent her experience of both the loss of voice and her search for voice. This involved isolating and underlining words and phrases in the text which were repeated or given importance within the context of telling her story. These words and phrases were then clustered in organizational categories within two larger categories of adaptive voice strategies and elements of voice. The first of these categories derived from designations of female voices documented in women's research such as that of Gilligan (1990) and Heilbrun (1988). Both categories have been discussed in detail, in Chapter V, in an effort to clarify a woman's experience of voice. 48 CHAPTER IV - LIFE STORY OF VOICE Maggi is a thirty year old woman; Canadian born, Caucasian, presently residing in a large urban center in Canada. She is a singer/songwriter, having recently made her first recording for a national audience. She is the lead singer in a band which tours and performs at festivals and other shows. Maggi is previously married and divorced and is the mother of an eight year old girl. She grew up in a small town in southern British Columbia with her parents and an older brother and went through school with a small group of the same peers from grade one to twelve. During that time, her father worked as an electrician and her mother, as a homemaker~at home with their two children. Both of Maggi's parents came from musical families; her mother's family having recorded songs for radio during the 1930s. Singing was also an important part of her fathers day-to-day family life as he grew up, though not in a professional capacity. Looking back over the years and recounting her life-time experience of voice, Maggi defined six specific and distinct categories in her experience. These categories, which will be discussed within the context of her whole story to follow, coincide with the following ages and situations: 1. Childhood to age 11 extraverted 2. Early Adolescence 12-15 no voice 3. Late Adolescence 16-20 emerging voice 4. Marriage/Motherhood 20-23 no voice 5. Divorce/Mothers Death 24 releasement 6. What am I doing Here 24-30 quest for voice 7. Being Heard 30+ sense of voice Childhood As Maggi grew up as a child, singing was a large part of life for her. "Growing up, as a child, my parents both sang, and it was a comforting kind of thing, because it was a group thing. 49 They were never inhibited about singing, singing was part of their lives and their families were both very musical. And singing was how we expressed joy and security within our family. And so, it seemed very natural to sing from a very early age, because my parents sang all the time, I mean that's what we did. We'd get in the car and when we went anywhere and my dad would be singing, my mom would be singing, and as a kid that felt very comfortable. And I can remember being very extroverted as a child, being very open about performing as in singing. I know we would be in a restaurant, and my parents said when I was very little I would go running over to other tables and sing and dance in front of people and they encouraged that, that was okay. And, so, I never thought too much about it. And as I got older, I never went into voice lessons or you know, it was just a very natural thing at home, and it was never taken too seriously. Not on a professional level, ever. Back in my parents' families, other family members were professional performers and singers, and writers, players, but in my immediate family it wasn't—that wasn't the case, it was stricdy recreational...It was traditional, I think. It was just part of them expressing themselves. They grew up in family situations where that was your form of recreation, that's how you interacted with each other. And that's just sort of the way it was. I don't think they even thought about it too much, I think it was really just sort of natural." For Maggi, "it was almost like a family playing a game together. It was a way of interacting and feeling good about it. We wouldn't listen to the radio, we would sing. It was fun, it was really fun, like I really treasure all these moments, when I look back...I always associate voice and singing with feeling love and comfort and expressing that emotion." Maggi recalled, much encouragement for her singing voice throughout childhood. About her voice, at that time, she stated, "it was really relaxing for me. And it was never frowned upon, ever, it was always encouraged. And um, gee, it never felt like I was stealing the show or anything like that, it was never competitive. It was always real open and sort of expected, almost, you know, just to join in, to share." "They said that I used to memorize things really quickly, like I'd learn a song after singing it maybe twice, and know it. And as a young child I would recite poems and songs very quickly, and go off and perform them in front of people, and they were very supportive of that. Encouraging." 50 Maggi was particularly aware of the singing voices of her parents from a young age. She recalled her fathers voice as particularly appealing. "My father has a great voice...a big band, R & B blues voice, a very huge voice." She explained that it comprised a mixture of the time including the sounds of late thirties rhythm and blues and forties swing. Next to his voice, "my mother had more of a trebly country voice. It was a real nice blend." Maggi was also aware of her own voice, throughout childhood. She recalled that her voice, at least to age eleven, felt confident, comfortable and fun in many situations. Next to her parents voices, she noted as well, "I didn't know how to blend. I remember thinking as a kid that I had this squeaky little voice and my dad's voice was so huge, and I remember thinking that, 'Gee, I'd like to be able to sing huge.' Like I'd like to be able to really project my voice, and at that time I didn't know how. And I remember thinking that it was kind of quiet and squeaky, you know how kids' voices are. Not all kids, mind you, but mine in particular was. A little squeaky. But I still enjoyed singing, because we liked to sing. It was very comforting...it never mattered. It didn't matter." Early Adolescence By age twelve, nearing puberty, Maggi discussed experiencing "a complete reversal" in terms of her voice. "I got quiet. I got quite quiet in my teens, early teens. I was quite an extravert until I hit about twelve or thirteen and started going through puberty. And then I became very shy and insecure about myself, and not because of voice, but because of my physical changes that were happening to me, and I wasn't comfortable with that. So things sort of changed for me. Because I wasn't comfortable about what I was 'turning into', I wasn't comfortable about what was coming out either. So, things kind of got tense in those years. Thinking back on that, I wasn't very comfortable. I was comforted by listening to music, but not by expressing myself through voice. Maggi also described despising the sound of her own voice, especially in situations of anger, " of thinking how awful my voice was sounding...how shrill and neurotic and awful...I really thought oh I sound horrible~my inner self was hearing my outer self and the way I responded and the 51 sound and the tone of my voice was terrible; and no wonder the kids didn't like me." The pressure to deny her own voice was winning out during that time. She described finding little encouragement for her voice during early adolescence. From age twelve to fifteen, "I spent a lot of time alone, in those years. I had a horse, and I used to ride a lot...I was very interested in my horse, so I did a lot of riding, I did lots of riding...And what sort of probably made me feel okay was that I got out of the peer pressure of local groups in school and started hanging around with people that were older than I was, and were into music. They were musicians. And I felt very comfortable in that situation, and didn't feel the need to be-to participate with kids my own age, in school. That really sort of helped me come out of my shell...I remember thinking that it [music] was just a real neat way of expressing yourself, and I was always kind of an individual, and just didn't follow norms, and so was not accepted in a lot of circles." She stated, "I felt like it was a very narrow scope of what was acceptable within your peers. You know, what was acceptable and what wasn't. And I just didn't find it comfortable. I just found it really boring. I didn't dress like everybody else, and I was—you know how kids are, if you're at all different, you're not accepted, and so I was a bit of a loner, until I got older, and then I didn't care about that, but during that time I did care, because of course, you're a teenager, you care." Finding little encouragement for her own struggles, thoughts, ideas and feelings, Maggi lost all trust in her own voice in the world around her. In the isolation which she felt in peer and school relations, she pushed her voice underground. She engaged more and more in solitary activities. In addition to horseback riding, she also wrote short stories and poetry—activities which she enjoyed and felt proficient in. "I always did like to write. I always did really well in writing skills, and I never applied that to writing music before because I didn't know any instruments. But I wrote, and I was good at it. From a young age...Stories, mostly. Short stories and poems." Maggi explained also that "my mother was really cool. She was real cool and she was really easy to talk to. And I had a really good rapport with my mom. So when I was going through times of feeling very isolated within school, I had a real close family situation, so that was very comforting...Particularly my mother. She was very supportive. She didn't always agree with me 52 but she was supportive. My father and I tended to disagree quite a bit. I mean he was a little on the staunch side, but he also understood. My mother helped him to understand me as and individual. And that was good. I mean he still kind of, I think, wonders, who I am." About her difficulty with friends at that time, Maggi explained that "in a small town~I grew up in a small town and I went to school with a few of my friends from grade one to twelve, so you know, you go in and out of being good friends, and throughout that time, those people were in and out of my life. But, just saying on the whole I didn't participate very well within the system...I was such an extravert, and then I sort of went into a little shell, and then I emerged again... I sort of got out of that during the last year of high school, and felt good again about who I was and more confident and ready to express myself." Late Adolescence By the final year of high school, when Maggi was sixteen, and until the age of twenty, she began to experience a sense of confidence and emerging voice. She recalled, from that time, auditioning and being chosen for a lead role in a musical production. "I decided well, I would audition for this musical, and never having done anything like that, never having taken theatre or band, and was picked to sing. That was really thrilling for me, so I remember it was Fiddler on the Roof, and I remember going home and buying Fiddler on the Roof, the albums, and going home and learning the songs, and getting very excited about singing~and it fell through. They ended up not doing the play, which was a disappointment." For Maggi, this marked an initial resurgence of energy in reviving her singing voice once again and her interest in music, that she had lost in early adolescence. The energy of her own voice, however, did not remain strong over the following years. For Maggi, it remained a struggle to find a niche in which her own voice was recognized and validated. She explained, "I didn't have normal—hah—I shouldn't say normal, I should just say that I was adventuresome and curious." "When I left high school, when I graduated at seventeen, I left. My parents said, cool. Bought me luggage, a backpack and I hitch-hiked to Mexico." "And I was dating a musician and I 53 remember going through lots of travelling with them, like just doing the bar circuit around Alberta and B.C. and watching them as performers. I was in the background myself, and just sort of watching that lifestyle as a beginning performer. And it was interesting for me, and I was sort of intrigued by that." She explained about pushing her own voice in the the background that, "as I got older, I never went into voice lessons...I found other interests, besides my voice, so I never pursued my actual thing of voice. I always loved music, was comfortable singing, was attracted to people that were involved in music in some form, and sort of got away from it as a teenager...I never took band, and I never learned how to play guitar until I was twenty-four. I never—I was into horses and cars at the time and I wasn't interested in music other than, I hung around with some local musicians but wasn't performing." Feeling "just completely guilted out. With pressure and repression and feeling lonely and insecure and wondering if you are ever going to fit," Maggi quickly plunged into marriage and motherhood at the age of twenty. Marriage/Motherhood Maggi described her experience of voice upon marriage, like that of early adolescence, as "a complete reversal, you know, a reversed sort of a role, and being sort of, I wouldn't say neurotic, but insecure, for sure. Very insecure and a bit of a doormat, which is not like me." She explained that, "I got married at the age of twenty. And got pregnant and had a child to someone that was not compatible with who I was, and knew that and still said 'I do'. And it was a ridiculous situation. And I put myself in that situation...I didn't realize that I—what an alternative sort of spirit I was; and living in a small town trying to sort of coast along and still feel good about what I was doing. And realizing that, okay, I'm getting married now. I'm going to have a child, and o-oh, this is gonna be cool, and I'm gonna live in this small town, and maybe we'll own a house, and maybe I'll raise the kids. And finding out that I wasn't interested in that situation at all. I was completely bored out of my mind. And, just really frustrated. I found out that I wasn't the Kool-Aid mom type and had to accept my own sort of selfish ways. Not really selfish, but my 54 own needs. Just not everybody's cut out for raising a big family and living in a situation like that, and that just wasn't me. I wasn't interested. And as much as, I don't regret having my child, that's a great part of my life, I do regret wasting some time in there, you know, a few years, just kind of doing nothing. Other than, nothing real, like I wasn't really growing as a person." Of her experience of voicelessness in marriage and early motherhood, Maggi explained, "you become overshadowed with the situation that you're in. A domineering spouse, and a young infant as you know, and things, you know, and you just sort of take the back burner for awhile and your dreams and aspirations, they're not there anymore, because they don't fit in with what's going on in your life." During that time in which Maggi experienced the loss of her voice in the situation she was in, with a spouse with whom she did not feel heard, recognized or free to communicate, she also lost contact with friends. "In my marriage too, I was just so frustrated that I couldn't communicate, and it was like when I talked to my family about it I felt guilt-ridden-because it was like I wasn't trying, or I was whining. It was just oh yuck—this was horrible. She described spending time with her family and horseback riding, but feeling extremely miserable, out of control and powerless. The birth of her daughter, for Maggi, as confining as it was for her own voice, with all her energy directed toward the interests of her baby, also demanded perspective on her own life. For Maggi, the birth of her daughter also served to awaken the voice within herself. She explained "I got strong enough, actually it toughens you up in lot of ways; because you have this responsibility of this little human being, who is depending on you; and if you are miserable and cranky and you can't do your job well as far as your job as a mother goes and this little one is depending on you, you tend to put the crap out of your life very quickly." With the birth of her child, Maggi again experienced the strength of her voice to communicate her needs. She described explaining to her husband "I'm sorry, I have other things to do now and I'm not baby-sitting you and I'm not going to continue in this relationship." She ended her marriage when her daughter was eight months old. Maggi was twenty-three years old when she left with her daughter and her mother died shortly 55 after. It was then, between the ages of twenty-four and thirty that Maggi felt the space and encouragement for her own voice to emerge for the first time since early childhood. Divorce/Mother's Death After divorce, the death of Maggi's mother—which marked the end of a most important relationship in her life-also motivated the release of the voice within herself. The attachment, love, closeness, and support she had cherished and depended upon with her mother was a bond, which she only recognized later, was also very limiting. Maggi described not wanting to be too far from her mother—her best friend— and that her ties to that bond had kept her from contact with "who she really was." She explained, "when my mother died it released the voice within me." "If my mother would've lived, I probably would've lived in that small town, would've stuck within a relationship that I wasn't happy with, because I wanted to keep the family intact. Our bonds were very strong. And with her passing it released me in a lot of ways, released something within me." Maggi explained, further, that "because we were so attached as friends, I didn't want to leave that relationship and really be who I was supposed to be, or find out who I'm supposed to be." "And I wanted to be with her as much as I could, and I had a daughter and she loved my daughter, and I was really tied to that bond. And felt like I didn't want to break that....and so in one way without her ever meaning it to be, it was quite limiting, our relationship, because I didn't want to forfeit it." With the break of attachment to her mother, through death, Maggi no longer felt tied to the small town where she lived, the lifestyle, or the ideas and people that she knew. She explained that "when my mother died something just clicked, for me. It made me realize that life is far too short to waste any time and that if I had dreams and aspirations in doing things that I should get on with it; and that included taking care-doing things for my daughter as well." Her quest for voice began as she realized "when she died, that was gone, there was nothing left there for me. It was like, what am I doing here, it's time to go. 56 What am I doing Here Maggi described the role of music and songwriting in her quest for voice. She explained that "it took me a while. It took me splitting up with my husband, and my mother dying, and the friend who was my initial boyfriend that was a musician that I went on the road with. He bought me my first guitar and said, here. Because he knew what sort of person I was. It took that for me to really find a niche again, find a place where I could release....I would just make up things as I went along. And that's how I got into writing songs. Because I like to write, I found it very natural to just sort of write words to what I could play. And that's how it evolved." She described her first sense of voice as it began to emerge in writing songs and learning to play the guitar. She stated, "I started to write. I got my first guitar, and I got into voice, and that really changed my life, really changed it. It got me into different situations. It got me away from my small town ideals. It got me just at a different place, a different place within myself. And finding out who I really was. And it helped me do that."....It just made me realize, it made me think about things, it made me write down things, think about things that showed me that I wasn't content there. That I needed to stretch out, to grow, and was finding it just too confining, just not enough opportunity. And uh, having a hard time connecting with people who were thinking like I was thinking." Not only did Maggi "just lose hours by playing and singing"—lose herself in the music— but felt herself, for the first time "creating [her] own situation." Her music and songwriting provided an avenue for her voice to develop. It allowed her "to get rid of things," "to be someone else," "to capture feelings and experience,"" to say something," and "to feel like [she] was contributing." Maggi explained that process: "You write it down, and when you write things down, you can take a look at it, or you can become someone else, or capture something that you've seen, or feelings that you've gotten from a situation, and capture that and say something about it. Because it's really touched something within you, and you can express that whether you're a painter or a singer or whatever. You have to do it to feel like you're contributing, and mine is writing songs." 57 For six years Maggi has continued to struggle to re-connect with her voice, to accept and enjoy it's uniqueness and allow it to emerge in a musical context as well as her life. She described the confining influences on her singing voice, in particular. Most difficult for her voice have been the "shaping of radio formats and records" and what she described as "perfect, real white sounds." She stated that "when I started to sing professionally...I was very careful, I wouldn't walk to the edge. I was really caught up in that, and now, I'm beginning to really let go of that, and just go with what feels okay. And so, I'm still working on, like I still want my pitches to be correct, but I'm being more experimental with my voice that I was to begin with. And that just takes time. To me, that just comes with doing it. It just comes with getting bored because you're singing this certain style all the time, and then you finally realize, well, this is really boring! This is like I'm trying to emulate someone else's sound, and it's kind of dull. So you start sort of playing around with your phrasing techniques, or different notes that you can hit, and you find it's way more fun. It's challenging, and it's way more fun. And it's more natural." Maggi also discussed her fears and inhibitions with regard to trusting her voice in singing. She stated, "you're afraid to make sounds that aren't correct. And it's letting go of that, and letting go of all the blockades that you set up mentally for yourself, and opening up your mouth and letting sounds come out that are individual sounds, they're not what someone else sounds like. It's just purely your sound." Although "the technical aspect of singing is very important people have so many hang-ups and I guess I'm just too neurotic in some ways. I can't let go of things— whether its an audience or the musicians that I'm playing with...if you know someone really well or they know you, and you see them in the audience, sometimes friends or loved ones can really affect your performance too; either feel inspired or make you feel inhibited, either way depending...if you feel inhibited in any way by any of those things around you, then it's really hard to be that relaxed. If there's an audience and you don't feel that they are really supporting you or are with you; or if you feel like you are fighting or trying to convince them, or that they're not really relating to the music that you are singing then there you go—you are feeling very defensive, so it's really hard to be, you know, relaxed and go and just let it happen; you tend to be more uptight and want to overwork; work too hard." 58 She found, for live performances, a synchronicity with the musicians as well as the audience important. She noted that" in the studio, I find it really easy to sing...usually because you are under ideal conditions...it tends to be easier to give a better performance, a more natural performance in the studio." For Maggi, performing on a musical stage has provided a platform for the expression of creativity, drama, excitement and risk; important aspects of herself which she struggled since childhood to find expression for. She noted that "the only sort of rush I found like that was working with horses—working with untamed horses; and breaking them. I found that kind of adrenaline rush, because it's unexpected—you just never know what they are going to do. And then driving really fast in a car, or on a bike or something, or on a motorbike—I found that kind of adrenaline rush there too, very exciting—because it's very dangerous...I've always been like that, even as a kid I was pretty—I put myself out in situations that were somewhat dangerous." For the same reasons, Maggi finds performing addicting. "It's addicting and I think that people who are performers are addicting personalities—I really believe that—and it's my own theory; but it's an addicting thing because you get a rush from a great performance; it's so satisfying in a lot of ways; um-it's exciting, it's different all the time, because of circumstances—so it's never boring." She explains that "the lucky thing for me is that I found it in terms of things like machines or animals~I mean I never had to take substances—like I don't do drugs...and alcohol, I'm a social drinker but I don't keep alcohol in my home and I couldn't care less cigarettes are a problem for me." Being Heard Now, feeling on the brink of a recording career, Maggi explained that "I feel like I have a voice. I feel like though my singing voice, it's given me a stronger voice for other things, that it's given me confidence, through a voice in being able to communicate what I want, what's important to me, and what I need to do, what I need to say, who I need to talk to, and be real honest about it. And that's come with my singing, for me personally, my singing voice has helped me to develop my voice as a individual and expressing what I need, what I want, and what I'd like to do." 59 She explains about her voice, "I feel very strongly about what I want, and uh, I'm not afraid to go after that, and I'm not afraid to phone someone up and say I have this, and I have that, I would like to present this you you and I'd like to know what you think of this. You know, at one time in my life I could never sell myself like that. But I feel real strongly about who I am and that I do have something to offer. And I'm real comfortable with talking to strangers, and it's fine. I feel like I can, I have something to offer." Part of that process for Maggi has meant, I'm always asking questions, and I'm always striving to do better, and I work really hard at it, and I get frustrated, and I get pissed off, and all those things happen, but you know you go with the flow, have a good network of friends, I can talk about it, and it's okay." A sense of voice for Maggi has entailed, "just being taken seriously, which is really a good feeling. You know, it's like really the first time, as far as something I've really done, that I've developed, and that I've been taken really seriously..That feels good to me. And all the hassles that go with it that I've chosen an alternative lifestyle, and it hasn't been hassle-free but believe me that it's worth it. It's worth being broke, and it's worth being this or that or having to travel, and sort of disband your family at times, and alienate yourself from, your know, situations, with institutions like schools and banks, because I mean they don't recognize a musician as such, as a legitimate type job. So you know, you've chosen a road that's very competitive, it's very hard to work within the systems, but I'm really feeling like I'm coming to the other end of the tunnel. And that I am getting recognition now...I love the festivals, and meeting other players, and the people at the festivals, and just really wonderful situations now, where you're not in a bar situation and they're really appreciative, they're there to hear you, and hear what you have to say, and they're interested in music, not just drinking and having a good time. So I'm enjoying playing on that level a lot." Maggi described the power of voice in her life and hopes to continue to write songs for others to sing. "When it comes to my voice and singing, I still really enjoy it, and I still get insecure about it. I consider myself more a songwriter than I consider myself a vocalist. I don't consider myself a great singer, and I never really have, like even when I think about it, like talking 60 about this, even as a squeaky little kid, I never considered myself a great singer, I enjoyed singing, and I wasn't shy to sing but I knew what my limitations were, and I still do. And I work within that, and that's okay....the main thing is I get to write, and if someone else performs my songs, great...I feel like I have something to offer." She feels strongly about contributing her thoughts, feelings and experiences in a way that will be heard, taken seriously and appreciated. For Maggi, a sense of voice in her life has been self-empowering though no more self- oriented than ever. Her songs especially, convey the intimate connections, nurturance and empathy which sustains human relationships. "I wrote a song recently that I just finished recording, and it's called Pieces of a Broken Dream and it's about a child being caught between a divorce, which is really normal, and just sort of people's dreams shattered and this person being affected-caught in the middle of the situation, and just sort of, it's very sad, but it happens, and there is a glint of hope in the song. It's a broken dream but there are other dreams. And I write things, like Noke River Ridge is the story of an Indian woman form the Blood Reserve who leaves the reserve for the love of a white man, but finds that the culture shock is just too great and really feels her need to get back to her land and her people and her traditions....I write about issues, like when the Montreal murders happened—I wrote a song called Cry of Love which was about women's voices of hope that things can change and will change. That's probably the most political song I've written. And it's very subtle." In summarizing her own story of voice, Maggi stated: When you are little, you are comfortable with your voice—I mean you don't even think about it—because you are little, you are a little person, that is not a priority. Having a good time is a priority, and then when you are older or going through adolescence it's just learning how to communicate with people and trying to feel happy and adjust to not being a kid any more...the adolescence part of it I didn't understand, really....And then the whole thing about marriage, I mean I was busy having a baby, and then focussing on a baby. So it took me until I started getting into performance and realizing about voice and understanding when my voice felt important to me, and when I was comfortable with it and when I wasn't. And it was only when I was free of a lot of other things and older-old enough 61 to understand the importance of my voice, that I even gave it any thought; because at the time those things were happening." "I think it's neat that things come around, because now I can communicate to such an extent that I reach a lot of people and that's wonderful, and so that makes up for those times that were terrible...I can write about it; I can write about stuff and let go of it...Because you can be really scarred otherwise, and not have a release—And I'm really glad that now I have a voice. That I can now use not only for myself, but maybe can help other people; can make them feel comfort from a song....or warmth or love or angry...that's important. 62 CHAPTER V - ANALYZING THE STORY In the context of Maggi's story her experience of her singing voice, as it unfolded in personal interviews, clearly coincided with her experience of voice in her everyday life. Growing up in a musical family and being aware of her own voice and of others' around her, provided a signal for her experience of voice at another level. This chapter will focus on the intricacies of voice as illuminated in Maggi's personal story of her experience of voice throughout her life. First, the danger areas relating to voice will be addressed. This includes an examination of—adolescence, marriage, motherhood, mother-daughter relationship, and father-daughter relationship-with respect to the problems and loss of voice Maggi experienced in those situations. Second, the adaptive strategies which Maggi utilized in response to her loss of voice will be examined. This section will conclude with a summary of the essential characteristics of voice which Maggi identified in her search for voice during the past 6 years. Danger Areas for Voice Adolescence Maggi's story of voice during adolescence revealed a collision with narrow ideals for females in our culture. Her account highlights the beginning of a trend which lasted to the age of 24, of forcing her voice underground in that collision, in an effort "to fit", to "find a niche" in which to feel "comfortable" and remain an autonomous individual. I'm trying to think of something that I could compare it with, because I was such an extravert, and then I sort of went into a little shell, and then I emerged again. And I did that twice, actually. Once at the beginning of adolescence, and once again when I got married and had a child....Um, I got quiet. I got quite quiet in my teens, early 63 teens....Yeah, that just taking a complete reversal, you know, a reversed sort of a role, and being sort of, I wouldn't say neurotic, but insecure, for sure. Very insecure and a bit of a doormat, which is not like me....into a little shell...not expressing myself through voice....I spent a lot of time alone, in those years...wasn't fitting in and wasn't comfortable, and had other interests, and didn't really know where I fit, where I could fit, what niche I could be comfortable in....on the whole I didn't participate very well within the system....I was going through times of feeling very isolated within school.... Well, I felt like it was a very narrow scope of what was acceptable within your peers. You know, what was acceptable and what wasn't. And I just didn't find it comfortable, I just found it really boring....I was just so frustrated, that I couldn't communicate....My mother was sort of like my best friend, even through the really crummy times, when you're really thinking your parents are stupid....But, just saying on the whole I didn't participate very well within the system. For Maggi, early adolescence—a transition stage to adulthood—was a time of narrowing, of limitations. She described the limitation of herself and voice in that context. The submersion of her voice in a clash which she experienced with the "boring" and "narrow scope of what was acceptable," was clear. Maggi described going "into a little shell...not expressing [her]self through voice." She described becoming quiet, and "a bit of a doormat," "unlike" herself; a response to powerful adolescent norms at the time. Maggi reported searching for avenues to express "other interests" outside "the narrow scope." Her efforts toward a sense of voice and autonomy within the system, included an audition for a musical performance at her school. Maggi explained: I decided, well, I would audition for this musical, and never having done anything like that, never having taken theater or band, and was picked to sing. That was really thrilling for me, so I remember it was, "Fiddler on the Roof and I remember going home and buying Fiddler on the Roof, the albums, and going home and 64 learning the songs, and getting very excited about singing—and it fell through. They ended up not doing the play, which was a disappointment, but that was okay. "It was a disappointment, but that was okay." Maggi's last statement reflects the same narrow scope and limitation, of disappointment, which she was experiencing throughout her life at the time. This strength of acceptance, responsibility and harmony which Maggi expressed throughout her story also, perhaps, makes it difficult to hear her voice. These qualities of acceptance and harmony, however, are a large component of her story. She was, for example, always ready to point out her own role in her experience. Maggi explained that it was all "very frustrating. Very limiting because of situations. But then I put myself in those situations." She likewise described her experience during adolescence, as important in terms of "really help[ing] to shape your personality, of who you do become." Efforts to balance the sound of her voice with those values, however, was tumultuous. Maggi explained, "I was young. And I was sort of going through these cycles" of "complete reversal" in terms of voice. From silent retreat into a shell, quiet, as a doormat, not expressing herself through voice and not participating well within the system, Maggi described a similar "background" experience in later adolescent relationships. She explained: I was dating a musician and I remember going through lots of travelling with them, like just doing the bar circuit around Alberta and B.C. and watching them as performers. I was in the background myself, and just sort of watching that lifestyle as a beginning performer. And it was interesting for me, and I was sort of intrigued by that. Still, for Maggi, the experience of being "unlike" herself was difficult to understand. Of the separation from her voice during adolescence, Maggi explained: The adolescence part of it, I didn't understand, really....As I got older, I found other interests, besides my voice, so I never pursued my actual thing of voice. I always loved music, was comfortable singing, was attracted to people that were involved in music in some form, and sort of got away from it as a teenager....! 65 never~I was into horses and cars at the time and I wasn't interested in music other than, I hung around with some local musicians but wasn't performing. In terms of her voice, Maggi "wasn't performing," though she had tried, "was in the background," "a bit of a doormat," and "quiet." The "background" position which she described as unlike herself, but had difficulty understanding, also fits with Gilligan's (1990) finding at the edge of adolescence—at the meeting place of girls and women-that the female voice goes underground in silence and solitude, in a struggle for psychic survival. While it has not been recognized in current literature on adolescent development, as Gilligan (1990) pointed out, the psychic burial of females "at the meeting place of girls and women" has continued to be a theme of the writing of adult women. "Poems written by adult women, carry the suggestion that Shakespeare's sister~the poet who died young and never wrote a word—died at the age of twelve. And was buried at the crossroads between childhood and adolescence" (p. 13). The connection here is to Woolf, who wrote in 1928 (in Rossi), of a sister which Shakespeare may have had—a poet—that "she died young-alas, she never wrote a word killed herself one winter's night and lies buried at some cross-roads where the omnibuses now stop outside the Elephant and Castle" (pp. 640-652). Gilligan went on to note Michelle Cliff, a Jamaican-born poet who wrote of her quest for voice, back to the age of twelve. Cliff wrote, "Airplane shadows move across the mountains, leaving me to clear rivers, dancing birds, sweet fruits. Sitting on a river rock, my legs dangle in the water. I am twelve—and solitary" (p. 12). Maggi's own psychic struggle, perhaps difficult to hear as a result of normalized conceptions of adolescent experience, is most audible in the new relationship toward her voice and body which she experienced and internalized during adolescence. I got quiet. I got quite quiet in my teens, early teens. I was quite an extravert until I hit about 12 or 13 and started going through puberty. And then I became very shy and insecure about myself, and not because of voice, but because of my physical changes that were happening to me, and I wasn't comfortable with that. So things sort of changed for me. Because I wasn't comfortable about what I was 'turning into' I wasn't comfortable about what was coming out either. So, things kind of 66 got tense in those years. Thinking back on that, I wasn't very comfortable. I was comforted by listening to music, but not by expressing myself through voice. Maggi's discomfort with 'turning into' a woman is evident. She especially emphasized her discomfort with the physical changes of womanhood. Maggi's equal discomfort with respect to her voice~"about what was coming out" reveals the close relationship which she experienced between exteriority and interiority. She explained the outside influences in that scenario. I didn't dress like everybody else, and I was—you know how kids are, if you're at all different, you're not accepted, and so I was a bit of a loner, until I got older, and then I didn't care about that, but during that time I dM care, because of course, you're a teenager, you care. Maggi explained her insecurity in relation to "how kids are,"—to the larger cultural context in which she lived. The difficult physical barriers to her voice clearly entailed a threat to relationship with her world. She felt unaccepted and "a bit of a loner." The experience of not being accepted extended to a lack of acceptance of her own physical body and her voice, within herself. Maggi's discomfort with her physical changes during adolescence also extended to concerns for her future. As Maggi stated, "I wasn't comfortable about what I was 'turning into'." The discomfort and worry which she experienced in terms of her appearance, for her future, revealed the significance of cultural norms of female physicality for her life. In line with Maggi's experience of the outside world, La Belle pointed out, "in European culture for at least the last two centuries a female self as a social, psychological, and literary phenomenon is defined, to a considerable degree, as a visual image and structured, in part, by continued acts of mirroring" (p. 9). It is in early adolescence—an already vulnerable time—that the self-identities of girls come in contact with the images of beauty by which females are defined to a large degree in our culture. From these images in which every girl "will invariably find herself lacking or inferior," (Becker, 1988, p. 56) the adolescent learns "looking glass shame" (Woolf in LaBelle), self-scrutiny and the "obsessive concentration on the minutiae of her physical being that will occupy some portion of her waking hours quite possibly for the rest of her life" (Brownmiller, 67 1984, p. 25). These have been the developmental tasks of adolescence for females; toward a sense of recognition, self-worth, and connection with the world in those areas in which she feels forced to contend. Maggi expressed this priority of body in her relationship to the world. Her experience also showed this to be a negative and inferior relationship with herself and the world. She clearly articulated the role of physical appearance in her own sense of voice and self-worth; an alignment or sychronicity between voice and body image. The avenues for voice, for Maggi, clearly felt limiting as a result of the emphasis on body which she internalized from the world around her. The words which Maggi used to express that experience revealed a powerful shift from internal to external control which she experienced during adolescence. These words which suggested a feeling of 'being out of control' of this situation included, "changes that were happening to me"; "what I was turning into", "what was coming out." Clearly, the norms which Maggi encountered in adolescence were experienced as a powerful force, in terms of her voice. The priority of focus given to body and physical changes, as Maggi's story elucidated, had little to do with narcissism or vanity, and more to do with vulnerability, exactment of female energy and restriction on freedom of mind. As Maggi explained, "if you're different, you're not accepted...during that time I did care, because of course, you're a teenager, you care." The double bind which Maggi experienced, found to be inherent in the social conditions of "Woman as Body" is further described by Greenspan (1983). She explained: "to be seen as a body is woman's power: the source of her attraction as a person. It is therefore a psychic necessity for a woman's sense of self. At the same time, it is just this way of being seen that puts a woman most in jeopardy as a person" (p. 169). Visibility as a body requires a certain "indulgence in the art of feminine illusion," as noted by Brownmiller (1984), in which the authentic person is rendered invisible. "To be invisible, not to be seen, appears to be the only way to be safe as a person. Yet for a woman to be invisible is to be lost, to lose her power and sense of self" (p. 169). 68 Maggi indicated a further double bind in her continued efforts to retain a sense of autonomy and individuality as a person within the context of powerful cultural norms. Maggi stated: I was always kind of an individual, and just didn't follow norms, and so was not accepted in a lot of circles....Yeah, I accepted it. And my parents were very accepting too, they knew that I was not, I didn't have normal-hah-I shouldn't say normal, I should just say that I was adventuresome and curious. Within the context of her adolescent experience, Maggi had accepted her autonomy, individuality, adventuresomeness and curiosity as abnormal. In that context, her natural autonomy and individuality had been internalized as a pathology. Efforts to remain self-directed, next to internalized norms which pathologized her own movement clearly represented a difficult double- bind. This phenomenon of cultural restriction of female exploration, curiosity and physical expression which Maggi experienced has also been discussed by Davidson (1988). Davidson noted that instead of encouraging "patterns of living that increase our self-esteem, enhance our sense of adventure, reinforce our personal power, and enrich our relationships.... "our culture has penalized women's direct expression of natural aggression [and] daring (p.4). Still, Maggi's autonomy and individual acceptance of her situation-of her lack of acceptance "in a lot of circles,"—was clear. She noted, "it's funny how things are like that." The threat which she experienced in her relationship to the world, in that instance, was also clear. As Maggi stated, "during that time I did care, because of course, you're a teenager, you care. Continued desires "to find a niche," and "to fit" demonstrated both the difficulties and paramount importance of securing a valued and autonomous relationship with the world. The silence, quiet, submersion of voice and lack of participation within the system which characterized Maggi's struggle has also been the subject of Women's Studies. Women's studies suggest that the silence of women throughout the culture—the absence of female voices of authority, autonomy and intelligence begins to constitute a crisis in girls' lives at adolescence. In a context of cultural silence, a voice of autonomy comes to represent a major threat to female relationships with the world; "a crisis in connection" (Gilligan, 1990). Girls learn to keep the 69 largest parts of themselves out of their lives and relationships (Miller, 1988). To be acceptable and remain connected, girls know to keep their voices, ideas, ambitions, and experiences of being female out of sight. An invisible, yet sizeable threat to autonomy. Maggi's struggle to fit, to find a niche by which to feel connected with the world in which she also experienced the invisibility and power of narrow female norms had resulted in an unlikely separation from her own voice to live in the background, as "a bit of a doormat" in her own life. This experience was described as a "complete reversal" from her childhood sense of self and voice, in which her typically extraverted voice became quiet. This disjunction between childhood and adolescence which Maggi experienced, has also been noted by Gilligan(1990). Gilligan pointed out in the work of novels of education by women that "the astute and outspoken and clear-eyed resister, often gets lost in a sudden disjunction or chasm as she approaches adolescence, as if the world that she knows from experience in childhood suddenly comes to an end and divides from the world she is to enter as a young woman, a world that is governed by different rules. How to bridge this chasm or cross this disjunction becomes the question" (p. 3). The disjunction which Maggi experienced upon nearing adolescence, was illuminated in the contrasting description of her childhood experience of voice. She explained: I was very open about performing as in singing, and dancing in front of people. As a young child I would recite poems and songs very quickly and go off and perform them in front of people. And they [her parents] were very supportive of that. Encouraging....And it was never frowned upon, ever, it was always encouraged. And um, gee, it never felt like I was stealing the show or anything like that, it was never competitive. It was always real open and sort of expected, almost, you know, just to join in, to share....Singing and performing was a nice release, relaxing, a way of interacting and feeling good about it. It was a form of recreation, of interaction—just sort of natural, a part of expressing myself. The norms of autonomy and individuation, most often articulated as the developmental tasks of adolescence (Csikzentmihalyi and Larson, 1984) clearly constituted a double bind for 70 Maggi. The natural autonomy and individuality which she experienced and felt encouragement for, during childhood, were experienced as a pathology by early adolescence. Her autonomous relationship with the world had come to an end. Individual interests, appearance and voice were experienced as a threat to connection with the world. She no longer felt acceptance or encouragement from outside or from within, for her individuality, adventuresomeness or curiosity but isolated in silence for those characteristics. Maggi related her continuing struggle for balance, restraint and harmony in her voice, in a description of an abusive incident which occurred at the age of twelve. I was in grade seven and I had got a new record. I loved music, I was always buying new records, so it was a big deal to get a new album. And I got a new album and it was a Led Zeppelin album. And I loved it. And I forget which one it was, it's not important. Anyway I brought my album to school to play at noon hour. We used to play records and this kid—I was coming out of the doorway and anyway he just grabbed my album and the album record just physically fell out of the jacket sleeve and it fell on the ground and he put his foot on it and dragged it across the ground and wrecked it. And at that time, I mean this was a real awkward time for me and I was trying to be accepted by my peers—this group of kids who at lunch hour played records and it was—I thought it was really neat that I was bringing this Led Zeppelin record and because no one else had it yet. And he wrecked it and I freaked out. And I remember thinking at the time that I was yelling and screaming and freaking out, how awful my voice sounded in my head; having these thoughts of how shrill and, and neurotic and awful, and that I was crazy and I was a crazy person. And I remember thinking how awful that felt. You know...Just to hear myself in that context. And that no wonder the kids didn't like me. Maggi's 'loud' voice was experienced as defective and threatening next to cultural standards she had learned. The sound of her voice in this situation resulted in harsh self-criticism. Her struggles to find a voice in connection with the world clearly felt isolating, alone and 71 surrounded by the silence of an entire culture. As Maggi stated, "I spent a lot of time alone, in those years. During her later adolescence and final year of high school, Maggi again felt more confident in her voice and life and self-directed in her life. She stated: I felt good again about who I was and more confident and ready to express myself....And so, when I left high school, when I graduated at 17,1 left. My parents said, cool. Bought me luggage, a backpack and I hitch-hiked to Mexico. And they were very cool about that, where other parents would go—"WHAT?— What are you talking about?' But they knew that I would do what I was gonna do anyway, and so with their support the communication was still open, and we could talk. And then they knew that I was going to go out on the road with this band, and—you know, it was just—I mean it wasn't things that their friends' kids were doing, but they were accepting.. From there, Maggi explained, "I sort of went into a little shell, and then I emerged again." That retreat coincided with Marriage. As Maggi explained, "I did that twice, actually. Once at the beginning of adolescence, and once again when I got married and had a child. And then that ended again." The following section is a discussion of Maggi's experience of voice during her marriage. Marriage Similar to Maggi's experience, in a collision with the ideal and choosing to resist norms, Heilbrun (1988) pointed out," there is no script to follow, no story portraying how one is to act, let alone any alternative stories....Romances, which end when the woman is married at a very young age, are the only stories for women that end with the sense of peace, all passion spent, that we find in the lives of men" (p. 39). As Maggi stated about her decision to get married: You are guilt-ridden; you are just completely guilted out. With pressure and repression and feeling lonely and insecure and wondering if you are ever going to fit.... I got married at the age of twenty. And got pregnant and had a child to 72 someone that was not compatible with who I was, and knew that and still said, "I do." And it was a ridiculous situation . . . . I mean I was 20 years old, I mean what do you know at 20 years old? Maggi's continued struggle for psychic survival is clear. Her story also highlighted a decided division from her self, her voice and her own knowledge in that struggle at the age of 20. Maggi's question, "what do you know at 20 years old," appears in contrast to her statement that she "knew that and still said, "I do." However, as Maggi recognized, she did possess knowledge at the age of 20, of incompatibility. More difficult to comprehend at the time, perhaps was the need to disclaim her own voice and knowledge. This experience of marriage has been explained by women interviewed by Hancock (1989). One women noted, "my marriage was a chance to make indelible an adult identity" (p. 71. Another woman explained, "being female makes it harder to become oneself. The culture offers escapes; patterns of womanhood" (p. 108). Maggi described her own escape into marriage, out of guilt, pressure and loneliness. She described the continuing distance from her own voice and self within her marriage; the backburner she assumed in her life. She explained: You become overshadowed with the situation that you're in. A domineering spouse, and a young infant as you know, and things, you know, and you just sort of take the back burner for awhile and your dreams and aspirations, they're not there any-more, because they don't fit in with what's going on in your life....Very frustrating. Very limiting, because of situations. But then I put myself in those situations too....Yeah, I was just kind of a doormat. For a few years. Which was very weird for me, very strange. Rich (1976) expressed a similar experience of voice in her marriage; of forcing her autonomous voice underground in a conflict with cultural norms for women. She explained, "there were two different compartments, already, to my life. But writing poetry, and my fantasies of travel and self-sufficiency, seemed more real to me; I felt that as an incipient "real woman" I was a fake" (p. 5). She further described her marriage as a "sense of acting a part [which] created a curious sense of guilt, even though it was a part demanded for survival" (p. 6). Maggi likewise 73 explained her efforts to play the part, to fit, to find a niche, to ascertain a valued relationship with the world: I didn't realize that I~what an alternative sort of spirit I was; and living in a small town trying to sort of coast along and still feel good about what I was doing. And realizing that, okay, I'm getting married now, I'm going to have a child, and o-oh, this is gonna be cool, and I'm gonna live in this small town, and maybe we'll own a house, and maybe I'll raise the kids. And finding out that I wasn't interested in that situation at all. I was completely bored out of my mind. And, just really frustrated. I found out that I wasn't the Kool-Aid type and had to accept my own sort of selfish ways. Not really selfish, but my own needs....I do regret wasting some time in there, you know, a few years, just kind of doing nothing. Other than, nothing real, like I wasn't really growing as a person Maggi's story reflects a submersion of both self and voice in the primacy of relatedness; common to females in our culture, trained from a young age, in the labor of relatedness. As Greenspan (1983) pointed out: "girls are schooled in an omnipresent relatedness to others. They are immersed in a world in which the verbal and nonverbal skills of communication and service to others attain an overriding importance" (p. 224). This form of training in relatedness and connection, however, as Miller (1976) pointed out, centers on the formation of female egos around a principle of relatedness as a kind of other directed self-hood: that is secondary to others. As Greenspan suggested, "we leam, not to work and compete overtly for our own ends" (p.220). The loss of voice engendered by this selfless ideal and subordinate position, is clearly reflected in Maggi's story of voice throughout her marriage in particular. The conflict which Maggi described with respect to selfishness and selflessness has also been recognized as a central dilemma for women. As Becker (1987) pointed out "women have ingeniously found ways to make the time, space, and energy they have needed for themselves, but they have often done so with duplicity, unable to actually admit to their desire to be alone, apart, or separate—whether from a family, husband, lover, or friend. The mode of psychic structuring which attributes responsibility for human relatedness to women can be restrictive of voice. The 74 pursuit of self-enhancement and expression of ambition and separateness is often experienced as a severe threat to identity. As Becker (1987) noted, "even when they [women] are ostensibly alone, their thoughts are pulled away from them to a concern for others, often to guilt they feel for something they have not done well enough" (p. 41). Maggi's story of voice in marriage, also included violence. In a description of communication with her husband, she explained: It would never be about the issue we were having a problem with~we never settled anything like that ever, it would be like me talking to the wood frame here~the wood frame-because our communication, the reason that I was even trying to argue with him was because I was a stupid lazy Canadian....And so a lot of things happened at that time that were, you know, why talk—why bother talking—why use your voice when it was pointless. And so you would act out things instead. I mean, there was no sense of—there was no communication between him and I. So feeling free enough to say, I mean, come on—I didn't feel free enough to talk. Maggi clearly feared having a voice with her husband. She also felt a lack of support of her voice from her family, which continued to maintain her responsibility for her relationship. Maggi explained: I think I wanted to accept the fact, to begin with, that maybe we—maybe I could change or he could change or those illusions that you can change people; it doesn't happen. And it just progressively gets worse....I was just so frustrated that I couldn't communicate; and it was like when I talked to me family about it I felt like guilt-ridden-because it was like I wasn't trying. Or I was whining. It was just, Oh yuck—this was horrible. Greenspan (1983) discussed "the insidious kind of oppression" in cultivating only the female capacity and responsibility for nurture, empathy and relationship which Maggi experienced. Greenspan stated: Our labor is to love-to love others, often at the expense of ourselves; to love ourselves only in and through our capacity as the primary caretakers of others; to 75 see ourselves as belonging to others....One of the most painful results of this labor of love for women is the widespread and frequent ways in which women experience a sense of self-loss, whether in connection to others or alone....Women by the thousands are consulting therapists everyday to help them with the conflicts engendered by seeking to become independent in the way that has been a routine perogative of men. There is no doubt that the problems in female identity that center around issues of autonomy and dependence are foremost among those that women today are bringing to therapy (pp. 226-227). Maggi, was 23, and a young mother when she decided to leave her husband, having struggled approximately 11 years with voicelessness within the roles and ideals of adolescence and marriage. About leaving her marriage, Maggi explained: It was a mistake. But I was young. And I was sort of going through these cycles. When I look at it, it was sort of the same pattern I took when I entered adolescence. You know. And that lasted only 3 years, and then ended...About a year later. So right at that same time that the relationship ended, I had a newborn baby and my mother died of cancer. Like adolescence and marriage for Maggi, her experience of voice in motherhood, in the beginning, included conflicts with the ideal. It was also a role, however, in which Maggi quickly experienced her potential for voice. This paper will continue on to discuss those experiences in the context of motherhood. Motherhood Maggi experienced her motherhood, in the beginning, in a similar "out of control" fashion as her marriage. She explained, a set of circumstances just happened that were really uncontrollable...how she was conceived and how she was bom. She was premature....Just not everybody's cut out for raising a big family and living in a situation like that, and that just wasn't 76 me. I wasn't interested. And as much as I don't regret having a child—that's a great part of my life—I do regret wasting some time in there. About her voice, in her role as mother, Maggi discussed the room she found for her voice through the needs of her daughter. She stated: I got strong enough. Actually, it toughens you up in a lot of ways. Because you have this responsibility of this little human being, who is depending on you, and if you are miserable and cranky and you can't do your job-Well as far as your job as mother goes—and this little one is depending on you, you know, you tend to put that crap out of your life very quickly. Like I know my daughter wasn't even—she was maybe 8 months old when I ended my marriage....Because it was like I'm sorry I have other things to do now, and I'm not baby-sitting you and I'm not going to continue in this relationship. So, in some ways it was a good thing. Maggi also explained, how in some ways her divorce from her husband was not a good thing. Her decision remained in conflict with the relationship orientation which is evident in her voice. And I — I have a hard time with that. I feel guilt about that—Like this situation is like geez, you know, there is nothing left, there is nothing between him and I, and yet she is still paying emotionally for our not being able to get along, and that's a drag; you know, That's a real drag. So yeah, I still feel guilt about that, about not having, and I feel guilt about her not having, um, like I lived with someone for 3 years, and then that ended. And this person and R (Maggi's daughter) became very close, and then that was really hard, to put her through that. I mean you feel real guilt about that. Maggi further described the lack of attention paid to the importance of her own voice during early motherhood. In Maggi's experience the role of mother left little room by which to integrate her own needs, thoughts, ideas with those of others. She stated: I mean I was busy having a baby, and then focussing on a baby...and it was only when I was free of a lot of other things and older, old enough to understand the 77 importance of my voice, that I even gave it any thought; because at the time those things were happening....At first like all new mothers—and yeah, at first it didn't happen, for quite a while—like I said, she was a couple of years old—2 1/2 years old. That's about when-that's sort of when any person really gets back to it; when your baby's about 2-2 1/2; they are toddlers, they are not babies anymore. Maggi's experience clearly coincided with that of many mothers. Rich (1976) wrote of her own motherhood: I knew I was fighting for my life through, against, and with the lives of my children, though very little else was clear to me. I remember thinking I would never dream again (the unconscious of the young mother—where does it entrust its messages, when dream-sleep is denied her for years?)....For me, poetry was where I lived as no-one's mother, where I existed as myself...I had been trying to give birth to myself; and in some grim, dim way I was determined to use even pregnancy and parturition in that process....I feel grief at the waste of myself in those years, anger at the mutilation and manipulation of the relationship between mother and child, which is the great original source and experience of love....It is not enough to let our children go; we need selves of our own to return to (pp. 10- 18). Beyond her own motherhood Maggi described problems of voice and self which occurred in the context of her relationship with her own mother. The next section is a discussion of that situation, within the realm of a relationship with her mother which she also experienced as loving and supportive. Mother/Daughter Relationship She was my best friend. She supported me being individualistic as a person. And yet, because we were so attached as friends, I didn't want to leave that relationship, and really be who I was supposed to be, or find out who I'm supposed to be. 78 Because she was in—and we couldn't just take off. And I wanted to be with her as much as I could, and I had a daughter and she loved my daughter, and I was really tied to that bond. And felt like I didn't want to break that; I didn't want to move away, and not just be able to go and see her, and so in one way without her ever meaning it to be, it was quite limiting—our relationship—because I didn't want to be too far away from her, because, um, she was my best buddy. My emotional support and always had been through all of this stuff. And so when she died, that was gone. There was nothing left there for me. It was like, what am I doing here, it's time to go. The unintentional limitations, which Maggi explained as part of her relationship with her mother, has been much discussed in psychological literature by women. Greenspan (1983) noted, for example: The centrality of relating to others in the development of a distinctly female sense of self starts, of course, with a girl's relationship to her mother....It means that mothers transfer to their female children, from the very earliest day of infancy, their own feelings about what it means to be female....In demanding, consciously otherwise, that her daughter not stray too far from her side, a mother is already educating her girl in how to narrow her range of experience. This conditioning process is one that will continue throughout the girl's educational and social life, and one that the mother herself has already undergone (pp. 221-224). The strength of affiliation between mother and daughter, and the easier separation between mother and son has been the subject of work by Greenspan (1983) and Miller (1976). As Miller noted, the female capacity for affiliation, often diagnosed in psychiatric circles, as hostile dependence or failure to separate, may be viewed as a strength. "For everyone—men as well as women—individual development proceeds only by means of affiliation" (p. 83). It is, what Miller refers to as, "subservient affiliations" and social oppression which mothers live out and necessarily pass on to daughters which leads to loss of voice and self. 79 This phenomenon helps to explain Maggi's sense of releasement of voice when her mother died of cancer. She explained: When my mother died, it-something just clicked, for me; it made me realize that life is far too short to waste any time and that if I had dreams and aspirations in doing things that I should get on with it; and that included taking care—doing things for my daughter, as well....We were very close. So it was a very hard period for me. But it was a character building period. It was something that was fate, needed to happen I suppose...I had a friend explain it to me as such once—that, when my mother died it released the voice within me. Which made sense to me, because if my mother would've lived, I probably would've lived in , lived in that small town, would've stuck within a relationship that I wasn't happy with, because I wanted to keep the family intact. Our bonds were very strong. And with her passing it released me in a lot of ways, released something within me. Maggi's relationship with her mother was one of great importance; a relationship of intimacy, equality, and collegiality. Her mother's death was painful for Maggi. It also resulted in a sense of release of voice from inhibiting cultural ideals which her mother represented. Maggi's relationship with her father was less pronounced in our discussion. Following, is a brief discussion of that relationship in regard to Maggi's experience of voice. Father/Daughter Relationship Maggi spoke of being very attracted to the sound of her father's singing voice, in particular, as she was growing up. She held his voice in high esteem, as she did her mother's voice. There were differences which she respected. My father had a great voice, and he should have been a professional singer, and he was just too dam shy...And my mom too, my mom was more based on the country side of things, and my dad had more of a big band, R & B blues voice, a very huge voice. And my mother had more of a trebly country voice. It was a real nice blend. 80 Real neat....I remember thinking as a kid that I had this squeaky little voice and my dad's voice was so huge, and I remember thinking that,' Gee, I'd like to be able to sing huge.' Like I'd like to be able to really project my voice, and at that time I didn't know how. In the one other reference to her relationship with her father, Maggi described a distance between the two of them which has been difficult to bridge. In the past, that relationship depended on Maggi's mother. My father and I tended to disagree quite a bit. I mean, he was a little on the staunch side, but he also understood. My mother helped him to understand me as an individual. And that was good. I mean he still kind of, I think, wonders who I am. But on the other hand, he's very proud of me, so it's okay, it's working out okay. Like Maggi's experience, women's research and stories have continued to reflect a significant distance of fathers in relationships with children. As with Maggi's relationship with her father, Belenky et al. (1986) found, "a smooth relationship between such fathers and their daughters was often dependent on the mediation services provided by sensitive, feeling mothers" (p. 180). According to Belenky etal.(1986): Fathers and daughters more often stand at a great distance, literally, because many, many of these fathers are absent, and figuratively, because fathers and daughters seldom try to understand each other or to stand in each other's shoes (p. 167). The limitations to voice which Maggi experienced in the context of her most significant relationships and cultural roles and ideals also involved numerous strategies which she adapted from a young age. The final section of this chapter focuses on the strategies which Maggi utilized in negotiating her experience. 81 Adaptive Strategies The strategies which Maggi learned and adapted for protection in a collision with roles and cultural ideals exerted both positive and negative consequences for her voice and self. These strategies, involving voice, are generally aligned with status quo values for women in our culture; including the primacy of relatedness, selflessness and harmony. The wisdom of these voice strategies in a psychically stressful situation is evident. They were, however, also destructive of her own voice; often self-censoring and self-blaming. These voices, which coincide with those described in previous research with women, include the following three categories to be further discussed to follow: 1. The voice of agreement to silence 2. The voice of harmony and responsibility for relationship 3. The voice of acceptance of blame Voice of Agreement to Silence Maggi expressed the same characteristics of a voice gone underground, as Gilligan (1990) reported in a study of adolescent girls. This voice was found to relate to an underground cavern of knowledge and experience of the female world, signalled, yet guarded by such phrases as "you know"~an agreement to silence and a submersion of voice in conflict with the status quo. Such references in Maggi's story are noteworthy for the experience to which they allude but omit. ...I never went into voice lessons or, you know, it was just a natural thing at home, and it was never taken too seriously. ...I felt that it was a very narrow scope of what was acceptable within your peers, you know, what was acceptable and what wasn't. ...just taking a complete reversal, you know, a reversed sort of a role ...a domineering spouse and a young infant, as you know, and things, you know. 82 ...I do regret wasting some time in there, you know, a few years, just kind of doing nothing. ...the music does make me feel real complete, and it helps me to get rid of things, too, you know. Voice of harmony and responsibility for relationship The self-censoring characteristics of this voice includes a flattening out of ambition, authority and accomplishment. This voice, noted by Heilbrun (1988), as a voice of charm and nostalgia, involves continued reference to good fortune or luck, and mediation of direct explanations of success; which might otherwise conflict with dominant values of selflessness. Maggi stated: ...It's been very good, I've been very good. I've been very fortunate. But I've also worked hard, I've spent a lot of years being kind of broke, and trying to learn my craft, you know. ...I've been lucky, I've been very lucky. It's happened. This voice also entails a certain flattening out of suffering in accepting responsibility for difficult relationships with the world. ...So when I was going through times of feeling very isolated within school, I had a real close family situation, so that was very comforting. And I was very interested in my horse, so I did a lot of riding. I did lots of riding. And so it was okay. I was doing okay. ...But, just saying on the whole, I didn't participate very well within the system. So it was okay though. ...I was always kind of an individual, and just didn't follow norms, and so was not accepted in a lot of circles. It's funny how things are like that. 83 ...I was a bit of a loner, until I got older, and then I didn't care about that....But um, it worked out fine. I think all those things really help to shape your personality, of who you do become. The desire which Maggi felt to harmonize a sharp voice is evident in her most recent song. She noted her decision to write a harmonious accompaniment for a song she wrote entitled Kicked.; with lyrics such as "they'll kick you while you are down, kick you all around, get up, get up. Maggi explained, "as music it's something you can really click along but it hasn't got a real hard edge to it you know. But yet the words are tough enough that they say something." Voice of acceptance of blame This voice of self-doubt and self-blame for psychic conflict arising out of cultural double binds involves the culturally sanctioned expression of, what Greenspan (1983) refers to as "woman as patient." In this voice, Maggi stated ...I guess I'm just too neurotic in some ways. I can't let go of things—whether its an audience or the musicians that I'm playing with. If there's any kind of—if you feel inhibited in any way by any of those things around you, then it's really hard to be that relaxed. ...Just taking a complete reversal, you know, a reversed sort of a role, and being sort of, I wouldn't say neurotic, but insecure for sure. Very insecure and a bit of a doormat, which is not like me. ...I didn't have normal—hah—I shouldn't say normal, I should just say that I was adventuresome and curious. ...And I remember thinking at the time that I was yelling and screaming and freaking out how awful my voice sounded in my head; having these thoughts of how shrill and, and neurotic and awful and that I was crazy, and I was a crazy person; and I remember thinking how awful that felt, you know. 84 The aforementioned voices which Maggi employed represent her efforts to fit within existing structures for women~"to find a niche [she] could be comfortable in." She also found other routes for psychic survival which entailed less contact with the narrow values which she encountered. These, more self-empowering strategies, are highlighted in the following section. Self-Empowering Strategies The strategies which Maggi adopted in her life, in an effort to circumvent conflicted norms for voice which left her feeling powerless, 'crazy' and out of control of her life included numerous solitary, yet empowering activities; horseback riding; writing-journal, short stories, poetry; fast cars, motorbikes; writing music and singing. ...I always did like to write. I always did really well in writing skills and I never applied that to writing music before because I didn't know any instruments. But I wrote, and I was good at it. From a young age....stories, mostly. Short stories and poems. ...And I was very interested in my horse, so I did a lot of riding, I did lots of riding....I continued riding and stuff like that. I'd go horseback riding, and I hung out with my family quite a bit; I lost touch —quite a bit of contact with my friends until towards the end, after my daughter was born, then we got close again. But the beginning states were pretty miserable; I would~my salvation was I could go horseback riding...a sense of contentment, power, control, that I was in control of the situation....The only sort of rush I found like that [performing] was working with horses, working with untamed horses; and breaking them; I found that kind of adrenaline rush; because it's unexpected—you just never know what they are going to do. And then driving really fast in a car, or on a bike or something, or on a motorbike—I found that kind of adrenaline rush too. Very exciting, because it's very dangerous. A similar story of a woman was reported in the study by Belenky et al. (1986). 85 "I just wanted my pony. I wanted to ride. I wanted to ride all day. And I'd do it." Like a good teacher, her horse gave her confidence in herself and in her ability to learn. "I have a feeling that I'm good with horses, that I know horses pretty well." The excitement which Maggi also clearly experienced in relation to her horse, next to norms of caution, safety and restriction seems clearly aligned with a "healthy drive for novelty, passion, and a sense of aliveness" (Davidson, 1986, p. 3). This drive, or drama-seeking, which Davidson notes "extends from restrictive, sex-biased conditioning imposed by both society and family....[is] often channeled into negative drama-making" (pp. 3-4). Maggi highlighted her battle with that awareness, especially in the musical performing career which she has chosen. She explained: Rebelliousness doesn't work well within systems, and a lot of artists are like that; and they are abusive towards themselves, in a lot of ways because of that, you know. They are lonely people usually and they are insecure, and yet they are extremely talented and usually very bright, really intelligent. And it's hard for them to live with themselves. So they tend to use substances to help them live day to day. And I consider that a physically dark side of life....And it's really a tough lifestyle. I mean in some ways I think every performer wonders at some time what the hell am I doing this for, but on the other hand, it's addicting—it's addicting and I think that people who are performers are addicting personalities. I really believe that—it's my own theory; but it's an addicting thing because you get a rush from a great performance, it's so satisfying in a lot of ways; um—it's exciting, it's different all the time, because of circumstances-so it's never boring....But the lucky thing for me is I found that in terms of things like machines or animals. I mean, I never had to take substances....Cigarettes—cigarettes are a problem for me....and they are a drag, they really are a drag—and they are really detrimental to a singer you know. Maggi's singing, songwriting and performing which she resumed after an abrupt break at age 12 until she was 24, was clearly experienced as a gradual reconnection with her own voice. As she said, "I feel like through my singing voice it's given me a stronger voice for other things, that it's given me confidence....for me personally, my singing voice has helped me to develop my 86 voice as an individual." It is perhaps through Maggi's voice, in music, that her experience of the silence of women and desire for voice and for connection is most vividly expressed. A song Maggi wrote entided, Cry of Love, about the violent massacre of 14 female engineering students in Montreal, 1989, which she described as her only political song, tells the story. The following lines from that song, also included in Appendix A, are noteworthy for the image of a common desperate, and loud desire to be heard. Oh I hope it don't take too long To wash away the fears And listen to the clear Cry Cry Cry of Love And oh they cry, can't you hear it The sound screams your name.... The final section of this chapter highlights essential characteristics of voice as identified by Maggi in her story of her six year quest, to date. Essential Characteristics of Voice The attributes of voice which Maggi identified in her experience in the past six years, since splitting up with her husband and her mothers death, and from the age of 24 - 30 include basic qualities of self-worth and dignity that are recognized as important in most psychological theories. These characteristics-generally agreed to be essential to psychological health-are represented by voice; as components of the metaphor of voice. The essential characteristics of voice illuminated in Maggi's story include interaction/release, support, recognition, being experimental/ stretching beyond confining ideals, being taken seriously, something to offer, appreciation/being heard. Following is the discussion of each of these qualities, in Maggi's voice, as she told her story. Interaction/release I can write about stuff and let go of it. And it's okay, it's fine....Because you can be really scarred otherwise, and not have a release—and I'm really glad that now I have a voice. That I can now use not only for myself, but maybe can help other people, you know; can make them feel comfort from a song or, from the tones in my voice or feel warmth or love or angry, or I don't care; as long as they feel something—that's important. Support And the friend that was the initial boyfriend that was a musician that I went on the road with, was still my friend. He bought me my first guitar, and said, here. Because he knew what sort of person I was. It took that for me to really find a niche again, find a place where I could release and because I was learning to play guitar on my own, wasn't taking lessons, couldn't even play along to a record, I was being shown some chords. I would just make up things as I went along. And that's how I got into writing songs. Because I like to write, so I found it very natural to just sort of write words to what I could play. And that's how that evolved....I've just turned 30 this year, and I feel that in the last, it took 6 years, is really when it started, when I was 24, for me, and in the last 6 years it's been very quick, 6 years is nothing. That's very quick. And, I'm growing all the time, and I'm always asking questions, and I'm always striving to do better, and I work really hard at it, and I get frustrated, and I get pissed off, and all those things happen, but you know you go with the flow, have a good network of friends, I can talk about it, and it's okay....And there's some real neat people, you know, supportive. And I feel real good about that. A real good network of friends and relationships. Recognition And to be recognized for a talent that you have, that you've developed over the years, and by other writers....It's okay whether I sing on stage or I don't sing on stage, the main thing is I get to write, and if someone else performs my songs, great. That's like the biggest honor I can have, as a songwriter....At first I used to flinch a bit, but I'm getting so that I'm real comfortable with hearing it now, and it's a great feeling, to turn on the radio, and there you are. Holy God! There I am! On the airwaves. Being experimental/ stretching beyond confining ideals Well, I started to write, I started, I got my first guitar, and I got into voice, and that really changed my life, really changed it. It got me into different situations, it got me away from my small town ideals, it got me just at a different place, a different place within myself. And finding out who I really was. And it helped me do that....It just made me realize, it made me think about things, it made me write down things, think about things that showed me that I wasn't content there. Then I needed to stretch out, to grow, and was finding it just too confining, just not enough opportunity. And uh, was having a hard time connecting with people who were thinking like I was thinking....But I'm being more experimental with my voice than I was to begin with. And that just takes time. To me, that just comes with doing it. It just comes with getting bored because you're singing this certain style all the time, and then you finally realize, well, this is really boring! This is like I'm trying to emulate someone else's sound, and it's kind of dull....And it's letting go of that, and letting go of all the blockades that you set up mentally for yourself, and opening up your mouth and letting sounds come out that are individual sounds. They're not what someone else sounds like, it's just purely your sound. Being taken seriously Just being taken seriously, which is really a good feeling. You know, it's like really the first time, as far as something I've really done~that I've developed, and that I've been taken really seriously. That feels good to me. And all the hassles that go with it that I've chosen and alternative lifestyle, and it hasn't been hassle- free, but believe me, that it's worth it. Something to offer Whether you're a painter or a singer or whatever, you have to do it to feel like you're contributing, and mine is writing songs....Yeah, I feel like I have something to offer and it may not be real terrific, like I may not change anything, but maybe, because I know for myself, songs that I grew up with listening to and stuff, they weren't political songs, and that was okay, that was they gave me comfort in others ways....I feel very strongly about what I want, and uh, I'm not afraid to go after that. I'm not afraid to phone someone up and say I have this, and I have that, and I would like to present this to you and I'd like to know what you think of this. You know, at one time in my life, I could never sell myself like that. But I feel real strongly about who I am and that I do have something to offer. And I'm real comfortable with talking to strangers, and it's fine. I feel like I can, I have something to say. Appreciation/ Being heard I love the festivals, and meeting other players, and the people at the festivals, and just really wonderful situations now where you're not in a bar situation and they're really appreciative. They're there to hear you, and hear what you have to say, and they're interested in music, not just drinking and having a good time. 91 CHAPTER VI - DISCUSSION The present study has undertaken to explore, in the context of a life-time experience of voice, the constituent components of the metaphor of voice which has been described in previous research as central to female intellectual, ethical and identity development and self-worth. The findings of this study coincide with research that has defined voice as a journey for psychic survival—a quest for a valued position in relation to a world of relative silence of women in dominant spheres (Aisenberg & Harrington, 1988; Belenky et al., 1986; Gilligan et al., 1990). The present study has expanded upon research in the field to define components of the metaphor of voice which had been defined generally as a metaphor for many aspects of women's experience and development and for values of connection and relationship. The constituent components of voice highlighted by this research included interaction/release, support, recognition, being experimental/stretching beyond confining ideals, being taken seriously, having something to offer and being appreciated/being heard. Within the association of these elements of voice, the link between voice and self-worth, noted in previous research, is also underlined; voice having become a measure of recognition, interaction, value, contribution and support within the culture. The present research has likewise pointed to specific roles, relationships, ideas and cultural institutions experienced as limiting in terms of voice, throughout a life-time. The potential danger areas for the female voice illuminated by this study included adolescence, marriage, motherhood, mother/daughter relationship, and father/daughter relationship. These involve a majority of female roles and relationships in our culture. The consequences for voice, within these contexts, found in the present study, included silence or submersion of voice during early adolescence, to represent a complete reversal from childhood. The consequences, from that point, involved several modes of speech to signal separation from knowledge, experience and conflict engendered by the sound of the female voice in a context of historical silence. These modes of speech involved a voice of agreement to silence, a voice of harmony and responsibility for relationship, and a voice of acceptance of blame for cultural double binds. These findings represent an extension of studies by Aisenberg & 92 Harrington (1988), Belenky et al. (1986), Gilligan et al. (1990), Greenspan, (1983), Heilbrun (1988) which also found women to speak in a different voice(s). Scope of the Study As a single case, this study has represented one story of voice. It has identified, in combination with the experience of other studies, a number of pertinent issues which may be revealing for other women as well. The findings are not unequivocal for all. The components and experience of voice illuminated by this study, may vary in intensity, significance and priority between individuals. Further, with respect to limitations of this study, are the potential limitations of the researcher and co-researcher in articulating and illuminating the co-researchers experience, given the nature of the female voice. As previous researchers (as Belenky et al, 1986) have also noted, really hearing the heart of a voice which has learned to diffuse, dissipate and disacknowledge a life-time of experience requires great time, sensitivity and thought. For the researcher to move beyond those devices in herself, to recognize and know where and in what forms that is occurring with the co-researcher is a difficult process. It is the initial part of that process that this study has accomplished. Implications for Theory This study has further confirmed the significance of voice as a central struggle for psychic survival; a struggle for recognition, contribution, interaction, support and for being taken seriously. These associations with voice, documented in the present study also reconfirm the connection between voice, self and mind recently documented by Belenky et al. (1986); as a basic struggle for self-worth, value, authority and intelligence. The present study has also re-confirmed the fundamental centrality of the metaphor of voice as an expression and indication of self-worth. It has confirmed and extended the metaphor of 93 voice, as defined in previous studies as a metaphor for female experience, development and relationship orientation in the world. This research helps to further understand voice as an interdependent relationship and perhaps not entirely as a relationship orientation of women in particular. Males and females, alike, are dependent on relationship and know themselves-their worth and value—through relationship. From a female perspective, in this study, a struggle to feel worth and value, recognition, contribution, interaction and appreciation in relationship to the world has become synonymous with a struggle for voice. A sense of voice, as self and self-worth, derives from relationship and occurs in relationship. It depends upon relationship for the values of voice found in this study which included support, recognition, appreciation and value. Clearly, Greenspan's (1983) statement that "people who look around at the world and do not see themselves reflected in it learn to feel marginal and unimportant," (p. 194) extends to voice. The present study, as others, has shown the lengthy historical tradition of silence and voicelessness of women to be alive, active and a formidable cultural obstacle in the experience of women. Shown to be particularly significant in the co-researcher's experience in this study were adolescence, marriage, motherhood, mother/daughter and father/daughter relationships. The lengthy duration of the co-researchers submersion of voice, from age 12-24, illuminates the potentially critical nature of this issue in female development. Traditional developmental frameworks have not discriminated female experience to recognize the importance and centrality of voice in female experience and development. This study has shown voice to be of particular significance during adolescence, to be included in developmental frameworks. Models of adolescence, such as that defined by a recent study by Csikszentmihalyi & Larson (1984) suggest that "all teenagers have opportunity, power and access to knowledge and inner strengths, which if utilized would stimulate....progressive growth toward a competent, directed existence" (pp. 283-284). Such universal tasks of adolescent development including power, competence and autonomy, reflect a strict alliance and support of the status quo for males and do not take factors of female experience into account. The present study and other research (Gilligan, 1990) has shown adolescence, in the experience of females, to be suddenly and particularly limiting and crushing of opportunity, power, knowledge, and self-direction~to effect a 94 complete reversal in previously competent, self-directed individuals. This study has shown, in the experience of females, a sense of abandonment of an entire culture with respect to opportunities outside narrow norms for women. Female experience has articulated powerful barriers to power and self-direction including norms of silence, retreat, and submersion of voice and self in cultural norms for women, for the first time in a huge way during adolescence. This situation, at the meeting place of girls and women, was found to be particularly crucial in female lives and development. As Gilligan (1990) also found, "adolescence seems a watershed in female development, a time when girls are in danger of drowning or disappearing....a time when girls are in danger of losing their voices" (pp. 10-25). The loss of voice which was also the experience of Maggi in this study, represented a complete reversal in terms of voice, which clearly coincided with a sense of loss of support, recognition, contribution, appreciation and a valued position in the world; a crisis of connection, to which Gilligan (1990) also referred. The findings of the present study suggest the importance of including the concept of voice in theories of female adolescent development in particular and life development in general as well as theories of motherhood, child-rearing, marriage, divorce, family, relationships. This study re- illuminates the need for women's voices to be recognized in all medical, psychiatric and psychological theories of mental health and development which have proposed to speak for women and define female experience in the past. Those theories cannot speak for women. Female authority, intelligence and autonomy depends on the support, validation and authority of the female voice in those models. Only in this way, will such theories confront cultural ideals of 'selflessness' and 'voicelessness' rather than perpetuate those values. Counselling or psychotherapy based on models in which women's voices have remained silent must contribute to loss of voice and loss of recognition, contribution, appreciation and self- worth. This is similar to Belenky et al. (1986) and Gilligan's (1990) suggestions in terms of educational models. Recognition of the need for female voices in the education and lives of girls and women is not new. For the purpose of counselling theory, however, this study has highlighted the importance of voice for the psychological health of women in this culture. It's link to self-worth is profound. 95 Implications for Practice Expanding outward from this study, a counsellor or therapist's role, given the centrality of voice in women's lives, would include introducing women to the concept of voice. The centrality of this issue also implies it's applicability to all therapeutic issues involving women, including such problems as eating disorders. An introduction to the concept, in therapy, might include exploration of a client's life history of voice and the role of voice in her life. This could include a visual format, asking the client to draw a voice line, or map by which to begin and focus discussion. A counsellor could make available to client's, the voices and experience of women, through stories, writing, art, music. This is an important first step in recognizing the female voice. Encouragement, support and challenge of the clients own voice by recognizing, appreciating and taking seriously what it has to offer is extremely important. This will necessarily involve an effort to respect and help women respect their own language, words and interpretations without applying traditional concepts to their experience. It will involve helping women become accustomed to the sound of our own voices. This has caused psychic conflict within the context of internalized silence. The initial comments of the co-researcher in this study, upon reading the first transcript of our interviews, revealed this discomfort. Maggi's prime concern was, "I did all the talking, most of the talking." Encouraging clients to find other places of support for their voices and self- empowering strategies is also important. The present study illuminated numerous self- empowering strategies with regard to voice including writing—journal, short story, poetry, music; horseback riding, motorcycle riding; playing a musical instrument, singing. A psycho-educational group format designed to explain the underground or buried nature of female voices, may also be a possibility for introducing clients to their own voices and for recognizing their voices in connection with the experience of others. It is not enough, however, to insist females be assertive and autonomous. This only creates additional double binds; similarly to the situation with intelligence. As Belenky et al. (1986) suggested, "every woman...needs to know that she is capable of intelligent thought, and she needs to know it right away" (p. 193). However, as those researchers also noted, "achievement does not guarantee self-esteem. Indeed, 96 highly competent girls and women are especially likely to underestimate their abilities" (p. 196). As Aisenberg & Harrington (1988) found, females tended to work double time to try to prove themselves worthy and still felt like a fluke. It is recognition for the female voice, for what it has to offer, for what it has to say, for it's intelligence which will inform women of self-worth. The importance of voice extends to the education of therapists and counsellors as well. It is important to educate therapists with respect to the issue. It is especially crucial that women's voices be represented in academic programs and curricula, in reading materials, discussion and study. Implications for Future Research Clearly, much of the story of women's adaptation in terms of voice remains under the surface of everyday language and interaction and hidden in voices adapted for psychic survival. Suggestions for further research include studies to further identify the voices characteristic of women. It includes studies focussed to distinguish between voice and the words it speaks; of taking information from this and other studies—not about what the voice says but how it appears to be operating—to the co-researcher for consideration, expansion, and self-reflection and exploration. This would entail addressing numerous voices which have been found to signal a separation from knowledge of our own experience; including the voice of agreement to silence/"you know's," the voice of harmony and responsibility for relationship, the voice of acceptance of blame. It would entail addressing the psychic conflict engendered by the sound of the female voice. Such research is required to provide an avenue to experience which has been effectively dissipated or buried underground; important for both the purposes of research and counselling practice. It is important for future research to continue to remain sensitive to methodology and designation of categories of analysis for ordering women's experience as knowledge. With respect to methodology, the issue of voice in women's lives calls attention to the need for room to transform female experience into language, narrative and metaphor in order to access knowledge and experience that has been dissipated and disacknowledged throughout history. This requires a 97 methodology which is facilitative of language and considerate and knowledgeable of fears and conditioning. Likewise, the designation of categories of analysis, in future research, will require receptive methodologies and sensitivity in order to make sense and define women's lives and experiences from women's perspectives. Further research also has an important contribution to make in documenting the voices of women in all areas; including self, relationship, friendship, nurturance, intimacy, marriage, pregnancy, child-birth, child-rearing, family, illness, health, addictions, youth, age, money, beauty, spirituality, separation, divorce, remarriage, education, career, religion, justice, law, violence, war, environment, love, hate, laughter, tears, life and death. 98 R E F E R E N C E S Aisenberg, N., & Harrington, M. (1988). Women of academe: Outsiders in the sacred grove. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. Aptheker, B. (1989). Tapestries of life: Women's work, women's consciousness, and the meaning of daily experience. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. Becker, C. (1987). The invisible drama: Women and the anxiety of change. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Becker, C.S. (1986). Interviewing in human science research. Methods, 1, 101-124. Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. 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Pure lust: Elemental feminist philosophy. Boston: Beacon Press. Davidson, J. (1988). The agony of it all: The drive for drama and excitement in women's lives. Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc. Davis, E. (1989). Women's intuition. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts. Ehrenreich, B. & English, D. (1978). For her own good: 150 years of the expert's advice to women. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press. Eichler, M. & Lapointe, J. (1985). On the treatment of the sexes in research. Ottawa: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Frith, S. (1981). Sound effects: Youth, leisure, and the politics of rock V roll. New York: Pantheon. 99 Frith, S. (1988). Music for pleasure. New York: Routledge. Gergen, M. (1988). Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: New York University Press. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Gilligan, C. (1990). Teaching Shakespeare's sister: Notes from the underground of female adolescence. In C. Gilligan, N. Lyons & T. Hanmer (Eds.), Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. MA: Harvard University Press. Gilligan, C , Lyons, N. & Hanmer, T. (1990). Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. MA: Harvard University Press. Greenspan, M. (1983). A new approach to women & therapy. New York: McGraw-Hill Company. Hancock, E. (1989). The girl within: A groundbreaking new approach to female identity. New York: Fawcett Columbine. Heilbrun, C. (1988). Writing a woman's life. New York: Ballantine Books. Josselson, R. (1987). Finding herself: Pathways to identity development in women. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. La Belle, J. (1988). Herself beheld: The literature of the looking glass. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Lorde, A. (1984). Sister outsider: essays & speeches. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing Press. Martin, E. (1987). The woman in the body: A cultural analysis of reproduction. Boston: Beacon Press. Meyer, J. (1988). Feminist thought and social psychology. In M. Gergen (Ed.), Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: New York University Press. Miller, J. B. (1986). Toward a new psychology of women. Boston: Beacon Press. Miller, J. B. (1988). Connections, disconnections and violations. Work in Progress. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series. Mishler, E. (1986). Research interviewing : Context and narrative. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Orbach, S. (1982). Fat is a feminist issue II: A program to conquer compulsive eating. New York: Berkley Books. Penfold, P. S. & Walker, G. A. (1983). Women and the psychiatric paradox. Montreal: Eden Press. Polkinghorne, D. (1988). Narrative knowing and the human sciences. Albany: State University of New York Press. 100 Rich, A. (1976). Of woman born: motherhood as experience and institution. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Rossi, A. (1973). The feminist papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir. New York: Columbia University Press. Saliers, E. & Ray, A. (1989). Indigo Girls. Ontario: CBS Records Inc. Schwartz, E. (1988). Born a woman. Winlaw, B.C.: Polestar Press Ltd. Shorter, J. & Logan, J. (1988). The pervasiveness of patriarchy: On finding a different voice. In M. Gergen (Ed.), Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: New York University Press. Silverman, K. (1984). Dis-embodying the female voice. In M. Doane, P. Mellencamp & L. Williams (Eds.), Re-Vision: Essays in Feminist Film Criticism. Los Angeles, CA: University Publications of America, Inc. Stake, R. (1978). The case study method in social inquiry. Educational Researcher, 7 (2), 5-8. Steiner-Adair, C. (1990). The body politic: Normal female adolescent development and the development of eating disorders. In C. Gilligan, N. Lyons & T. Hanmer (Eds.), Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. MA: Harvard University Press. The Boston Women's Health Collective. (1984). The new our bodies, ourselves: A book by and for women. New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc. Turner, T. (1986). I, Tina: My life story. K. Loder (Ed.). New York: Avon Books. Unger, R. (1988). Psychological, feminist, and personal epistemology: Transcending contradiction. In M. Gergen (Ed.), Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: New York University Press. Ussher, J. (1989). The psychology of the female body. New York: Routledge. Valle, R., & King, M. (1978). Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Wilden, A. (1976). Ideology and the icon. Tubingen: Strafferberg Verlag. Woolf, V. (1973). A room of one's own. In A. Rossi (Ed.), The feminist papers: from Adams to de Beauvoir. New York: Columbia University Press. Young-Eisendrath, P. (1988). The female person and how we talk about her. In M. Gergen (Ed.), Feminist thought and the structure of knowledge. New York: New York University Press. Yin, R. (1989). Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. APPENDIX A CRY OF LOVE (1990) Out of the shadows we crawl Got to find a love Through it all And I hope it don't take too long We've been missing the truth Buried by the abuse Oh I hope it don't take too long To wash away the fears And listen to the clear Cry Cry CRY of love And oh they cry can't you hear it The sound screams your name There's my sister, torn From hatred and scorn Oh I hope it don't take too long And our children they can learn To find love in this world And I hope it don't take too long To wash away the fears And listen to the clear Cry Cry Cry of love CRY CRY CRY CRY CRY CRY, CRY CRY CRY of love Pieces Of A Broken Dream (1989) The rain is back and you're packed I hope that rain can wash me clean Our little girl cries, you can't lie God what a hopeless scene We've tried to find piece of mind Through tangled web of tears and lies Judgement day has made us say It's time to leave—Goodbye Chorus: Our cozy nest is such a mess A child caught between —Pieces, Pieces, Pieces of a broken dream The rain's made mud of our stable ground It's hard to hold on when it's all been torn down, down down The final day our girl cries stay We both know it's too late for that The truck's weighed down, you look around And then you turn you back Chorus 103 On The Run (1987) Your black leather coat Shadows on your face Beckon my soul to that special place The dark side of you Knows I want to go To a no-man's land That only you can show Your price is high can't you see You're askin' a lot from a girl like me My heart beats fast Knowing what you bring Darlin' I can't make it Past your lovin' sting solo Your price is high can't you see It takes too much from a girl like me I don't know if a time for you will come But your haunting song Keeps me on the run Yeah your haunting song Keeps me on the run On the run Gringo Gulch (1985) Looking down, down, down at their hungry mouths I'm looking down, down, down at their cryin' eyes Not seein* or believin', just ignoring the real With those oily tanned faces, beer bellied walks And those pearly toothed smiles that have organized the talk Not seein' or believin', just ignoring the real Well life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch Yeah life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch Children on the island while their mama's washin' clothes And the sweeper's cleaning tiles, taco stands all in a row While the ice cubes are rattlin' at the bars along the beach And the suntan oil is dripping down the backs that can't be reached Well life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch Yeah life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch Roaring buses blowing blue at the lincoln in the rear But the air conditioner and tapes make it impossible to hear Not seein' or believin', just ignoring the real Well life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch Yeah life's not worth that much when you're in Gringo Gulch 106 The participant of the study will be presented with a completed copy of the initial written account by the investigator in order to provide an opportunity for comments, recommended amendments, and validation of the accuracy of her experiences. The investigator will answer any inquiries concerning the above mentioned procedures to ensure that they are fully understood by the participant and the participant has the right to refuse to participate or withdraw at any time without prejudice. I, , consent to participate in the above-described study under the conditions outlined and acknowledge receipt of this consent form. Date Participant's Signature 107 LETTER OF INITIAL CONTACT University of British Columbia Department of Counselling Psychology 2780 Toronto Road Vancouver, B.C V6T 1LR TITLE OF PROJECT: A WOMAN'S EXPERIENCE OF VOICE: A MUSICAL CONTEXT Dear I am an M.A. student in the Department of Counselling Psychology at U.B.C. The final requirement for my degree is a master's thesis, to be supervised by Dr. Du Fay Der. I am writing to request your participation in this research project. The focus of the study is on tracing and understanding the life-time experience of voice for a woman, such as yourself, who is active in a musical context-where voice is an important medium of expression. The study would ask for, and help to facilitate an exploration and description of your experience of voice throughout your life. You would be asked, as well, to share thoughts, feelings, insights and actions associated with that experience. Your participation in this research provides an opportunity for a richer and fuller understanding of voice and its meaning in your own life. As well, you will be providing information helpful to counsellors and others for whom the experience of voice is of interest personally or professionally. Personal interviews will involve a total time requirement of 4-6 hours. There will be no monetary compensation. Interviews will be audio-taped and transcribed. Your identity will be kept confidential. Interview tapes will be erased upon completion of the research and the published transcriptions of taped materials will delete or alter identifying data to protect confidentiality. Any inquiries concerning procedures will be answered to ensure that they are understood. You have the right to refuse to participate and to withdraw at any time, without prejudice. 109 SAMPLE OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1. Looking back over the years, what is your earliest experience of voice (or perhaps "speaking personality")? Please describe that experience including positive and negative aspects; physical, social, emotional components of voice; insights, thoughts, feelings 2. What effect did that experience have on you personally or on your life at the time? Can you think of a metaphor for your early experience of voice? 3. In what ways, or in what areas of your life, if any, did you find that experience limiting or expansive? 4. What did you learn or come to know about voice from that experience? 5. What goals, if any, did you set for yourself as a result of that early experience of voice? 6. Were there any particular areas of your life where the experience of voice seemed more important that others? 7. How did your experience affect your relationships with others and yourself? What did that experience mean to you? 8. Do you recall experiences of voice in your dreams from that time? 9. Did you have other experiences of voice at the time? 10. Can you describe your continuing experience of voice in your life, from that time. In what ways, were those experiences the same or different from earlier experiences? Metaphor for those experiences? 11. What was your experience of voice in relation to music, in the beginning? Has that relationship changed over time? 12. What is your experience of voice at the present time in your life?

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