There Is No Unmarked Woman

Topics: Woman, 2007 singles, Gender Pages: 3 (1257 words) Published: November 17, 2010
Danielle Pearson
English 151
Can We Be ‘Unmarked’?
“There Is No Unmarked Woman”
Deborah Tannen

In Deborah Tannen’s essay “There Is No Unmarked Woman” she describes how every woman is “marked” in some way. She tells about how everyone judges or “marks” a woman by what kind of clothes she is wearing, whether they are tight or hang limply from her body. What kind of make-up she is wearing to how she styles her hair. She says that just by writing her essay and pointing out the fact that women are marked makes her marked. Getting married and changing you name makes you marked. The fact that you want to wear high heels instead of flats or flip flops instead of tennis shoes makes you marked. The world we live in marks us the day we decide to be different with everyone else, and for a girl, that’s at an early age. Well I am here to tell you that whatever she says isn’t always true. We can be unmarked if we want to.

I have to agree with Tannen that everything she is saying is true, about how women are judged about everything that they do, but I’m not going to sit back and pretend that I like it. In fact, this essay made me so angry that I didn’t want to finish reading it at first. There are points in this essay that I had to agree with, like the fact that no matter what a woman does, when she looks at another woman, the first thing we do is judge them by what they look like.

Then there are things that I don’t agree with at all in this essay: “Although no man wore make-up, you couldn’t say the men didn’t wear make-up in the sense that you would say a women didn’t wear make-up. For men, no make-up is unmarked.” (page 142, paragraph 15) This means that if a woman wears make-up, she is marked, but then again, if she doesn’t wear make-up, she is still marked. I would have to disagree with this only for the fact that I don’t wear make-up. I have never had to wear make-up. I have only worn it when I was in our school’s musicals and plays, and when I was on...
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