Sociologistsand linguists have tried to link a person’s attitude, behaviours,and their sex to how they communicate. A particular gender is made upby the people carry out their daily activities combined with theirgenetic composition and how they were brought up by their parents.Mothers would want to raise their daughters as soft, feminine and beable tohandlethe small tasks while fathers would want to bring up their sonshard-core and toughened up. The parents’ decisions on their sonsand daughters have their implications and consequences, and theydetermine how they will relate to their peers. Gender significantlyaffects language and how people communicate as men are supposed tocommunicate in a manner that is devoid of emotion while ladies talkin ways that are attractive and appealing (Crawfordpp42).
YouAre Wearing That
InDeborah Tannen’s book You Are Wearing That, she analyses one of themost controversial conversations, the mother to daughterrelationship. Ballantine Books published this book on 26th December2006. Deborah is a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, aprolific writer of many books and a linguist. She holds a Ph.D. andan M.A in Linguistics from the University of Berkley, an M.A fromWayne State University in English Literature and a B.A in Englishliterature from Harpur College. She argues that mothers anddaughters can speak the same language, yet they are so different inlife. In this book, she cautions mothers and daughters fromdiscussing topics that revolve around fashion, hairstyles and weightrelated issues. Tannen seeks to make adult daughters understand theirmothers, bond well so as to minimize physical hurt and pain. Thissignificantly reduces angry and impulsive reactions and helps one ofthe affiliated parties to give a calmer perspective.
Thisbook highlights how mothers and daughters are so similar yet sodifferent in life and how their opinions vary. It gives solutions onhow one of the two, either mother or daughters should mature up andbehave like adults. The book is therapeutic as it highlights theproblems of mothers and daughters as universal and why the sameproblems tend to recur. The most common pattern occurs when a mothersays something, the daughter finds her comments offensive and themother thinking that she said it without any ill intention feelshurt.
Themother to daughter relationship is very complex in nature as theirconversation is intimate and close in nature. Women converse aboutanything close to them, what they feel they can relate to, but theyget offended when they feel that the other party is intruding intotheir personal lives. In this book, she seeks to make mothersunderstand their daughters by listening to how mothers and daughtersdialog and how they can improve how they talk to one another. Amother out of love and protection is concerned about how the daughteris perceived in society while the daughter sees this as thecontrolling and obtrusive nature of her mother.
Tannenthen highlights the difference between men and women and thesignificant difference that stood out was that whereas women havemore problems to talk through, men don’t talk about their problems. The communication between mothers and daughters can be highlightedby discerning and interpreting the real intention of certain words.Most women overestimate their fellow female counterparts at the sametime underestimate themselves. Daughters mostly claim that theirmothers don’t find them good enough while their mothers argue thattheir mothers shut them out as they look for reflections ofthemselves.
Someremarks made by mothers and daughters may seem harmless, yet they areprovocative. Deborah Tannen uses her personal experiences with hermother, pinpoints the challenges mothers and daughters face andcreates guidance on how to avoid responses that could be insulting.For mothers and daughters to achieve proper communication andtolerance to one another, they should both change their behavioursand communication skills. In most occasions it is mothers who areconsidered intrusive as their opinions are undervalued by theirdaughters or are either misinterpreted. These issues can be avoidedby finding out each other’s tastes and preferences and respectingone another’s norms and how they carry out their activities tominimize animosity and crude remarks or altogether avoid crucialtopics that can lead to explosive outbursts.
“Brosbefore Hos”: The Guy Code
Brosbefore Hos is a book that was written by Michael Kimmel, a professorat the Stony Brook University in New York. He mostly writes andresearches on men and masculinity. He is a sociologist and an authorwhose primary focus is in gender studies. He studied at theUniversity of California, Berkeley, Brown University and VassarCollege. This book comprises of all traits that are perceived to bemasculine and composes the codes that every man must subscribe to andthe values, norms and characteristics of what it is to be male. If aperson does not conform to these codes, he is harassed and givennames that humiliate his manhood. These codes are meant to toughen upthe male population. This book comprises of the male attitudes andwhat the society expects them to be. According to the book, Men arenot supposed to show emotion or cry in public as it makes them weak.Men are not allowed to show compassion or kindness they would ratherbe mad than be sad. A man should talk like a man, eat like a man andmove like a man. A man is considered gay if they are familiar andinterested in what women talk about and what they engage in. Thegreatest fear of the male fraternity is to be labelled gay, failures,sissies and unmanly. The male fraternity is always out to provetheir masculinity.
Boysmostly resort to violence because they are not allowed to turn toother forms of emotional expression unlike girls or women who areallowed to cry. The male codes vary like covering up for a friend’sgirlfriend and avoid revealing their whereabouts even if it meanslying about their whereabouts. Friend’s sisters are totally offlimits, and anything else apart from women can be borrowed. No man isallowed to purchase a birthday present for a friend or evencompliment the friend. The basic rules of masculinity are that no mancan at any time be weak, a sissy or feminine as masculinity is thetotal opposite of being feminine. Masculinity is not weighed by anybody part but is measured by their levels of success, power, andstatus in the society. In a crisis, a man should be dependable, andhe should be the epitome of strength. A man should be a risk taker,be daring and aggressive at the same time. He should not focus onwhat others think of him because his goal in life is to besuccessful. The media also reinforces the masculine stereotypes likemen are supposed to be tough and not to show any emotion they shouldwatch violence related movies and documentaries, and their sexualdesire should be ravenous.
Asyoung boys reach puberty, they are pressured to behave in aparticular manner. The pressure is put so as to minimize publicridicule and humiliation from their fellow age mates.If they donot conform to the said standards, they are called names thathumiliate and bring down their manhood. The boy or guy code teachesmen that for them to be considered masculine they have to distancethemselves from their mothers. This makes the boy child to bedisrupted from a lot of emotions making them have a social challengein their lives. This repression of emotions makes the male populationhave out-of- control behaviours that are ethically not right andlowered self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Men areconstantly up for approval, and they are always on trial, and anyslight indication of failure makes them labelled as lesser of men.The society is always waiting for men to cross the boundaries ofmanhood so they can applaud them negatively and term the male culprita lesser man. Their connections to mothers are cut off early in life,and any link that is maternal makes them be labelled wimps andsissies. The guy code should not be extreme, and the punishments thatfollow the breaking of the guy law should not be harsh. Men should beallowed to be men without resorting to means that make the men feelinferior because they do not conform to the male guy code.
Heand She: What’s the Real Difference?
Thebook He and She: What’s the Real Difference was written by CliveThompson. He holds a B.A in Political Science and English from theUniversity of Toronto. For a lot of years, scientists have debatedwhether males and females can pass information differently. Anexperiment that analysed the writing styles of individuals to predicttheir gender was carried out. This experiment, however, did not focuson lesbians, gays, and the transgendered people. Society does notclassify them as either male or female. They found out that menmostly converse using determiners while their female counterpartstalk using personal pronouns. Most female dialogs revolve aroundpeople while male dialogs revolve around items. When women write,they tend to write things that are intimate and create an emotionalconnection with the target audience you like men. The words womenuse include ‘I’, ‘myself’, ‘herself’, ‘he’ and otherrelated terms. Men use words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and words thatexpress quantity like ‘some’, ‘more’. Women are most likelyto end their sentences with colourful expressions that make theirreaders involved. Men are always problem fixers and leaders, so theirconversations take on the path of establishing issues, solvingproblems and finding ways to climb the hierarchical ladder. Women, onthe other hand, are always maintaining social intimacy and amendingcloseness.
Mostlinguists have argued about what gender really is, and they have comeup with the underlying assumption that gender comprises of one’sbehaviour and not the genetic composition of an individual. Thedifference in communication styles between men and women is motivatedby different habits and attitudes. The communication styles forevery person should come to a compromise on how to communicate to geta proper communication mode.
Inthe book you are wearing that mothers and daughters are supposed tocome to a conclusion and draw boundaries on what they should talkabout. A mother would want to be termed a good mother because shebrought up her daughters well. This is why they question theirdaughter`s dressing mode. Daughters on the other hand want to be seenas grown up women in their right who can make informed decisionswithout their mothers’ supervision and dominance. Though manydaughters dislike their mothers’ comments, they crave the affectionand attention of their mothers. Mothers and daughters should talkwithout any accusatory language, learn to listen to one another andlet each other make their own decisions.
CliveThompson in his book gives a guide on how men are supposed to behave.Men are under pressure to be men, be sturdy and strong to make it inlife. In their quest to prove that they are masculine, they end upbeing loners, sullen in life and expose themselves to hazardousactivities. In the real difference between men and women, theexperiment is intended to mean that women tend to write andcommunicate in an appealing manner in comparison to men. This theoryhas it’s limitation as there are circumstances whereby men aremandated to write like women because their target audience is female.An example is when male authors are writing for magazines whoseintended audience is feminine. There are many limitations as the gay,lesbians, and the transgendered people opinions are not voiced.
Incommunication, it doesn’t matter what is wrong or what is rightthe best results have to be achieved regardless of the situation athand. Gender should not be a barrier in how we communicate andneither should it be a hindrance to effective communication. Communication should be at all times encouraged without focusing onthe gender of an individual(Hall pp15).
Crawford,Mary. Talkingdifference: On gender and language.Vol. 7. Sage, 1995.
Hall,Kira, and Mary Bucholtz, eds. Genderarticulated: Language and the socially constructed self.Routledge, 2012.
Thisessay seeks to analyse the types of communication between mother anddaughter, the way men ought to behave and the difference between theway men and women communicate. Communication is relevant as itaffects our daily occurrences.
Genderand Communication is vital as it is the essence of how wecommunicate. The way we are brought varies and affects the waycommunicate. Our relationships with our parents affect how wecommunicate and relate with people of the same and different genders.This essay highlights most controversial conversations betweenmothers and their daughters and the reasons for these outbursts. Itfurther analyses why men behave how they behave. They behave sobecause of a set of laws that govern their daily activities. Itfurther differentiates how men and women communicate. It seems normalto most people that such differences exist but this is not the case.The differences can be solved through mutual understanding andrespect of one another’s opinion. Every individual should be givenauthority to make their own decisions as long they favour theirpreferred outcome.