Source essay on “But What Do You Mean?” by Deborah Tannen Deborah Tannens essay But What Do You Mean deals with a problem of misunderstanding that often occurs when men and women communicate. She gives us a numerous examples of misinterpretation of what is being said, on the part of men just as on the part of women and she rightfully suggests that this happens, because women and mens modes of thinking are different in its essence. Tannen argues that what defines mens logistics, is their strive for independence and dominance, while women subconsciously look for support, security and intimacy, in how they express their thoughts. She divides the reasons why misunderstandings occur into few separate categories: Status vs. Support, Independence vs. Intimacy, Advice vs. Understanding, Information vs.
Feelings, Orders vs. Proposals and Conflict vs. Compromise. She also provides us with classical examples of what causes alienation between two genders. Men grow up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest, either to achieve the upper hand or to prevent other people from pushing them around. For women, however, talking is often a way to exchange confirmation and support.
this is the main point of Tannens essay and it has to be noticed that her method, in persuading us to stick to her point of view, is very effective one. She argues her point in form of everyday stories, so we can associate our own experiences with them and come to the same conclusion. For example she tells us a story of Josh and Linda. Johns old friend calls him and lets him know that hell be in town that day, so Josh asks him to stay overnight at their place. This instantly upsets Linda: Why don’t you tell your friend you have to check with your wife? she asks. But there is a hidden threat to mans sense of independence in this question, so instead of coming up with something sensible, like: because it never occurred to me, Josh gets irritated and replies: I can’t tell my friend, I have to ask my wife for permission! If Linda was confronted with the same situation, she wouldve probably been happy to say: I have to check with JoshThis illustrates the core of the problem of misunderstanding between men and women. Yet, while admitting that there is a fundamental psychological differences between two genders, Tannen thinks that misunderstanding can be resolved exclusively in the field of linguistics: Learning the other’s ways of talking is a leap across the communication gap between men and women, and a giant step towards genuine understanding.
Since the traditional conceptions of masculinity and femininity define man as instrumental and woman as expressive, then it follows that men and women can function in their traditional roles only in conjunction with each other. Each requires the other in order to perform at their peak in the world. A man is incomplete without nurturing and tenderness and when he cannot find these qualities within ...
But it appears doubtful to me that such understanding can ever be accomplished. We can only talk of minimizing the harmful effects of such misunderstanding. In my opinion, just as smoking has a positive effect of stress relieving, although being overall very dangerous, communication difficulties between both sexes might also have some positive quality because of it, there is always an intrigue about men/women relationships. One of contemporary prominent psychologists Michael Conner thinks that: The vision of equality between the sexes has narrowed the possibilities for discovery of what truly exists within a man and within a woman. The world is less interesting when everything is same. When Tannen gives an example of misunderstanding, which she placed into Information vs.
Feelings category, she recognizes the fact that it is a funny situation husband before starting to read newspaper, asks his wife: Is there anything you’d like to say to me before I start reading the paper? – meaning that there might be nothing to say on her part at the time, but questions will surely arise when man is in the process of reading and doesnt want to be bothered There is a potential ground for misunderstanding, yet its also might be the source of good laugh, when both parties realize the comical value of this situation. It appears that Tannens essay is a great work, given its descriptive values, but when it comes to dealing with problem on practical level, she only gives advices of general nature men and women need to be more tolerant to each other, they have to pay more attention to what is being said and to how they reply back. Yet, these are only cosmetical measures the total understanding between sexes is impossible. The psychology, in this case, if defined by physiology. From this prospective, psychologist Conners understanding of the nature of misunderstanding between sexes is much deeper than Tannens: Women are prone to become overwhelmed with complexities that “exist”, or may exist, and may have difficulty separating their personal experience from problems (man) have an enhanced ability to separate themselves from problems and minimize the complexity that may exist. Womans mind exists largely in the realm of emotions, while mans mind most important feature, is that it defined by logic and this enables it to operate with abstract categories something that only very few women are capable of.
The Essay on "His Talk, Her Talk" By Joyce Maynard And "Man To Man, Woman To Woman" By Mark A. Sherman
When I look at the topic male-female communication, the first thing that comes up to my mind is that man and woman must have a very good communication, because there are only men and women in the world. But as I think a little bit deeper, there is something different between a man and a woman, different types of talking styles, different ways of thinking, and different point of views. For ...
Another factor that adds to the problem of misunderstanding is the fact that in modern society, the roles of men and women have shifted to a large degree. We can no longer talk of specific problems that representatives of both sexes face throughout their lives, these problems are now universal: making career, raising children, making the best use of free time men and women address these very same issues in different ways. In this respect, I totally agree with Deborah Tannen when she says: once we grasp the two characteristic approaches, we stand a better chance of preventing disagreements from spiraling out of control. Still, shes being more man while saying that, because she wants both genders to apply logic while dealing with problem of misunderstanding, although she admitted many times throughout her essay that this is quite impossible. Id say a bit differently once men learn about women more and once they are willing to adapt to the mode of their thinking, itll prevent any disagreements from spiraling out of control. Nevertheless, Tannen makes many important points in her essay and there in no doubt that it has to be read by anyone, who is interested in topic of relation between sexes.
Analysis on the conflict men v. women found in Antigone Many conflicts can be found within various plays. In Sophocles' Antigone one of the many conflicts found is men versus women. The king of Thebes, Creon, has a problem with women. But not only the king, Ismene, Antigone's sister as well refers to herself and her sister as being inferior to men. Women generally do not have the courage to stand ...
Bibliography: Conner, Michael. Understanding The Difference Between Men And Women 2002. http://www.oregoncounseling.org/ArticlesPapers/Doc uments/DifferencesMenWomen.htm 26.10.2004. Tannen, Deborah. Cant We Talk? (Condensed from: But What Do You Mean?).