Marked Women, Unmarked Men

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Marked Women, Unmarked Men

I find Tannen's article, "Marked Women, Unmarked Men", to be dead-on. I agree with almost everything she says throughout the article, and she brings up many ideas and facts that I did not previously even consider we, as a culture, do on a day to day basis. One thing I did somewhat disagree with, was the idea that men are completely unmarked. I feel that both males and females look at each other everyday and make their own discretions about one another. I admit that I look at guys, and their clothing tastes quite often. I know for a fact that both my friends and I do take notice and do care about the clothes men choose to wear. For example, someone that wears wrinkled shirts, and dirty, ripped pants is someone that I would say does not know how to or bother to take care of themselves. I would probably consider this person lazy based just upon their appearance. On the other hand, those men that look like they take more time getting ready then I do, I would deem as too feminine. I have had many guy friends openly make fun of guys walking in the mall, who are either wearing pink shirts or tight jeans, calling them "gay" or "queer." Both male and females I believe judge one another based on their clothing choices, haircuts, or body language. Although I do believe women bear the brunt of the criticism and the judging, I feel men can also be "marked."

When reading Tannen's viewpoints on women being "marked" and men being "unmarked," I found that a lot of what she was saying was, in fact, true. At first, I interpreted her idea of being "marked" as being the way a word may carry certain meanings that go without saying. Something that we all know is true, but we do not always have to voice. However, as I continued to read, I came to realize that the author used the term "marked" because it represents the way language modifies the base meaning of a word. Tannen goes on to prove her idea that women do not have the freedom to be unmarked the...
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