Linguistic Battle of the Sexes

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  • Topic: Marriage, Husband, Wife
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  • Published : August 6, 2008
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Linguistic Battle of the Sexes
“American men tend to talk more than women in public situations, they often talk less at home” (Tannen). Even though it sounds unreal, this is a large problem when it comes to communication between men and women, whether it is their cultures, or society, but they have different impressions of communication, which have been created since their childhood. Deborah Tannen, in her article “Sex, Lies and Conversation” compares the styles of conversations on both men and women. She mentions communication as a continuous pattern which is wreaking havoc within marriages, finding that lack of communication as the reason for many divorces. Tannen argues how differently men and women perceive conversation in their relationships because of a cross-cultural communication which is prevalent in linguistics, conversation, and body language.

First, 50% of marriages have failed and the reasons behind this have been a poor communication between husband and wife, where women complain saying “he doesn’t listen to me,” or “he doesn’t talk to me” (Tannen). When women talk, most of the times they like to have all the attention by making sure that everybody’s eyes are looking at them, otherwise they interpret their reactions as a “not listening“. Also, according to Tannen, wives expect their husbands as been a “…conversational partners…” (Tannen), they only want a friend to talk to, but unfortunately husbands fail to meet this expectation by not showing signals of attention while the wife is trying to strike up a conversation.

Also, Tannen mentions that for women, “intimacy is the fabric of relationships, and talk is the thread from which is woven” (Tannen), In other words, friendship is based on talk, making conversation and secrets (intimacy) the most important key for a good relationship. Therefore women expect their husbands to be as a thread (talkative), where together they make a solid and strong relationship by sharing intimacy (secrets). Also,...
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