Jacob Siegel's Reviews > Gender and Discourse

Gender and Discourse by Deborah Tannen
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Mar 16, 2012

really liked it

This was a good book. It helped me put a lot of things into perspective. I understand the differences between men and women more closely and I also understand the dangers of assigning everyone a gender role just because of the way that they talk. Just because people are expected to talk this way to other people does not mean that's not the only way that they should talk to that way. Things are definitely not as simple as Deborah Tannen make it out to be. I'll have to agree with Senta Prommel-Trottz on a number of issues.

It's not that more men don't get how to converse with women. A lot of them know how to do it but they just want it to sleep with women. What we should be appalled at is the amount of objectification of women going on by Hollywood placing women in more and more uncomfortable roles making them act in strange ways. That's not saying we don't want attractive women in Hollywood pictures but that's not so much the problem. the problem is that Hollywood shapes what is attractive and what isn't and there have been studies that have showed that women who sees these images in the media feel like they have to live up to them.

Women are also barred from other services such as getting bank loans, they are not allowed to serve in the infantry in the military, and they are not allowed to do a number of other things. The new media, the internet age, and social media have allowed women to only recently get back into the public sphere where before they were barred or silenced.

It is more than just a gender gap or cultural gap. While there are many things that are different between men and women not it is clear that there are other non-theoretical constructs that deal more with the issue of hierarchy than just simple language.

Guys could really learn a thing or two from women and try to stop being so dominating all the time. But, I don't know if even that would help. It would be hard for many of the people in the status-quo to lose their authoritarian personality and let women do what they want to do.

So, that being said, I've learned a lot about how women interact, how I can learn to interact better with women, and what I can do to understand my own role as a guy and what society thinks of me. Lots of things need to change before we can make any progress with communication between the sexes before it can get better. And those are not just things on an interpersonal level. But on an institutional and societal one as well.
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