" I do not give you the right to raise your voice to me because you are woman and I am man " (Tannen p 23) This statement is offensive to both men and women alike. Yet it is a true, telling statement as well. This one sentence shows us that in many countries, including the U.S., a patriarchal society creates a hierarchal push and pull between the genders, creating a very large gap in communication. This assertion also brings up some important questions: Are males and females merely people with different sexual organs? Or is it how we are raised which makes us communicate differently? Does mass media attribute to societal inequalities? Or is our culture to blame for how men view women and vice-versa? As working people, does sexism and institutional discrimination shape how we converse with each other? Or can you sum up all of the issues simply in the difference between the masculine' or feminine'? These are questions that many people, including sociologists have had, and studied in-depth. Many books and articles have been written on the topic, to help the masses understand the one thing they could not possibly comprehend, the other sex.
From conception, humans are biologically designed to be one sex or the other. Therefore, we are simply people with different sexual organs. But there is much more to the story than that. Children are often treated and handled in different ways based solely on their gender. As an infant, or young child one cannot communicate properly with the adults in their lives. Therefore, as adults we treat a baby in the only way we can relate to them, as either a boy or girl. While a female baby is often coddled lovingly and dressed traditionally in pink, a male child is more often bounced on a knee or thrown in the air by a playful adult. This raises another question, does this social conditioning by adults unconsciously stay with the child... [continues]
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