The Fad Phrase "The Conversation" Reflects The Feminization Of Discourse
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Words go in and out of fashion all the time. For example, the phrase “the debate over” is fading out in favor of “the conversation around.”

My guess is that the change in prepositions is merely a fad. After all, prepositions in English are somewhat arbitrary, which is why it’s hard for people learning English to remember which preposition to use.

On the other, the shift from “the debate” to the “the conversation” seems related to the ongoing feminization of discourse (with “the discussion” in the middle in terms of masculinity vs. feminine).

Here are the first 15 examples that come up in Google when I search for “the debate over.” Notice the masculine flavor:

Chapter 7: The Debate over Ratification [of the Constitution]

The Debate Over Critical Race Theory

The Debate Over a Bill of Rights

The Politics of Culture and the Debate over Representation

The Debate over Ratification

The Debate Over Debates: Trump Campaign Pushes For In-Person Debate Next Week

The Debate Over Slavery: Antislavery and Proslavery

The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility

The Debate over the Origin of Genius during the Italian Renaissance

Why the debate over what counts as ‘infrastructure’ probably suits the Biden team just fine

The Debate over Women’s Roles in Public

The American Constitution and the Debate over Originalism

The debate over rational decision making in evidence-based medicine

A guide for conceptualizing the debate over Section 230

The debate over Covid-19 vaccine boosters and what to call them and whether they’re needed

In contrast, here are the first 15 Google offerings for “the conversation around”:

Shifting the Conversation around Sexual Harassment

The conversation around sexual assault

We’re changing the conversation around fertility

How You Can Open the Conversation around Mental Wellness at Work

Changing the conversation around disability

Change the conversation around support as a cost center

It’s Time to Shift the Conversation Around Ambition

Webinar: Normalizing the conversation around mental health

Reframing the Conversation Around Family Engagement

The Conversation Around Critical Race Theory is a Manufactured Danger

Changing the Conversation around Mental Health

Changing the Conversation around Mental Health Starts with You

How Does Twitter Shape the Conversation around Covid-19?

Raising the Conversation around Social Emotional Learning Skills

Op-Ed: Normalising the conversation around menopause in the workplace

Clearly, the latter are much more feminine and manipulative.

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