Genderlect Styles

Topics: Gender, Female, Male Pages: 5 (1770 words) Published: April 13, 2011
Critique on Genderlect Styles.

Deborah Tannen once quote “saying that men talk about baseball in order to avoid talking about their feelings is the same way women talk about their feelings in order to avoid talking about baseball”. From here, it shows that men and women have their own culture of communication and its different from each other. She mentioned it as 'cross-cultural communication' between this two gender. Its not about words which comes out from their mouth, its about their manners presented in their conversations, although their speaking in the same language but it also can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation between both sexes. This is because both gender have their own criteria in presenting or having conversations, in other words each gender have their own style in having conversation to each other. Basically, Genderlect styles theory which are developed by Deborah Tannen in the book of 'You just don't understand' distinguishing between how women and men speak in different language and styles(genderlect styles).

From my point of view, this theory seems to be relevance to communication study where by we can study more emphasize how male and female have their conversations, what topic would male and female more interested and what they mean to when a contradicting actions, words or hint that they made? This will allow us to understand the speciality of different gender of homo sapiens and will help us in avoiding such arguments created from misinterpretation and misunderstanding to happen. On the other hand, we will produced a satisfaction either to male or female when we understand the way they communicate and finally we will be aware in creating topics to communicate in order to produce a nice and better conversation.

According to Tannen, as i mentioned earlier usually we are not aware of this differences between this two gender. Where women are more into serious conversation which will deeply affected human relationship. They tend not to use harsh language and this is because they have feminine sex roles such as soft spoken and eager to soothe feelings. While men style of talking, they couldn't stick to one serious topic of conversations. Men usually have ego in them whereby they tend to defense their own beliefs and willing to take a stand for it. They also prioritize their status in term of power and influences. From this differences, the word cross-cultural communication happen between them. I would agree in this, but in the point where we view it in public conversation. Men tend to hide personal things while women mostly share their personal view and thoughts as a conversation topic. This premises rarely apply when we view in a more personal and privacy conversations, men will start to change their style and this is because less exposure to other people but women are less in controlling the label of feminine sex in this situation.

Tannen also mentioned that “for most women; the language of conversation is primarily a language of rapport, it is a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships.” On the other hand, Tannen refers to conversation for most men as a “primary means to preserve independence, and negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical social order”. This statement can be related back to Tannen's reference to status and connection as the primary goal driving men and women’s conversation styles. My second critique is that men tend to talk about logical and rational topic to have in conversation while women prefer talking related to feelings and their heart. When this kind of talk overlap each other, it will provide a heat argument where both sexes will maintain their interest.

In the case of telling story referring to Tennan's theory, men tell more stories than women. This is because to grab attention such as jokes or playing as a 'hero' or main character in the conversation contrast to women where they likely to downplay their self. This also...
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