Monday, September 2, 2019

Effects of Gender on Communication Essay

Gender communication gap has long been a problem and source of misunderstanding between men and women. Common situations showed that the more talking of women greatly affect their communication with the opposite sex and expressing themselves create miscommunication and other problems rather than understanding among themselves. In Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand: Woman and Men in Conversation however it was made to contrast the typical stereotype that women talk to much than men. It also that does not follow that talking more means saying more with sense. Women may be expressing themselves more but their talking is regarded as speaking in private nature and oftentimes downplayed in terms of significance when compared to men talking publicly. Factors such as the place and the nature of communication also contribute to the turn-out of the whole process between men and women. Tannen reconciled the difference between gender in private and public communication and supported this with the terms â€Å"Rapport-Talk and Report-Talk. † The gender difference in private speaking was showed in a way that a woman is talkative compared to a man who is of few words. This is where the language of rapport takes place wherein women regard every conversation with a personal touch and connection. Although this situation is very evident in the home set-up, the utilization of private communication by women can be extended to other venues where they feel comfortable and at home at all times. Private speaking by a woman may be characterized by discussion of any topic under the sun and it could be either under her official or personal function or could be both. Private communication focuses on the ability of women to express themselves more specially with men whom they are intimate with because talking with the opposite sex is so relaxing that women tend to continue with their flow of thoughts thinking that their men-partners willingly and interestingly understand and accept whatever they are saying. In private communication, women talk to men not only for information, exchange of ideas and opinion but also to establish a closer interaction and have a stronger relationship with their men. This is where consequences start because the more women talk in a private speaking set-up, the more men feel that the communication must end. In turn, women are offended when men start to become indifferent, inattentive and openly disagree. Complaints start to come in when women, with all their heart out and mind speaking sees nothing in exchange of their expression. Communication differences are indicated in cartoons where women openly and again, do much of the talking and complaining. Women in private communication feel that when they speak, men must reciprocate or share with them the same level of expression. For women, to have a rapport is to have a two-way communication where both gender exercise their parts and not just the other one doing much of the talking while the other just listen or worse, not bother at all and just want the talkative women to shut up. However, men caught in private communication oftentimes tend to just leave the flow of communication with the speaking of the women whom they see as the ones with a lot to say specially when the nature of the communication becomes personal. And when women start not only to talk much but to complain more, men resent the pressure and incline to insist that women are just demanding to much from them by wanting to be the center of communication and by presenting herself to be the more affected party. With this scenario, consequences grow because as the women are incline to personalize the conversation, men prefer to detach themselves from the process and unconsciously hurt the feelings and downplay the thoughts of the other gender. And even in the complaining part, women express more of their dissatisfaction than men and this result into misunderstanding. Enter now the blaming of each party because men and women will have to stress their own points and in doing so create more unsettled differences. Tannen’s perspective is true in the sense that gender dictates the flow and communication process in private speaking and when differences set in, the process and the people involved are greatly affected. I also agree with her idea that each gender has its own way of talking and if these different manners met and clash in a private communication set-up where the women do much of the talking, not only the women suffer the consequences but both. Although men and women have the same purpose of expressing themselves in a way acceptable to both of them, consequences and differences are inevitable and can only get worse if the different style of talking is foremost to be considered. While the private communication is the conventional way of speaking between men and women, this scenario is different in a public communication set-up. In this scenario, the gender switch roles as the men do more of the talking while the women fell silent. While men are mute in home scenarios and women tend to dominate the conversations in a private communication, men now start and want to be at the center of the conversation. The change in the setting of the conversation plays a big part in the turn-around of gender roles. Since women dominate the home-style private communication, men now overshadow them when they start to speak more publicly such as in meetings, conferences, official gatherings – all done outside the boundaries of home. Men now speak more freely and with authority and women take a back seat by merely listening and there may even come a time that they will just have to agree with men and be content with their reverse roles. Having a particular subject matter to discuss and not just the personalize topics that men and women talk inside their homes is one factor that affect the communication process in a public speaking set-up. In a public engagement, men as resource persons speak more of what they know with authority and they are now the ones dominating the floor. And just like in the private communication, communication differences occur in a public speaking set-up. A significant consequence is that women are perceive to be uninterested and less knowledgeable when men do much of the talking on a particular topic and they are just at the back seat. Tannen’s term of â€Å"Report-Talk† is very evident in a public communication wherein men play the big role to get attention. Unlike in private communication where women talk much to build stronger connection and relationship with men, public communication reverses this process. However, it may not be agreeable and acceptable that men do the talking in public because they know more and women cannot perform the role. This communication difference result in mislabeling of men as the more knowledgeable in public speaking and that women will just have to be silent. For all we know, women may just have to establish their own credibility and authority to be able to speak and talk more publicly. Establishing their thoughts and making sure of the things that they may say could be what women take first into consideration before engaging in public communication. A contradiction to Tannen’s gender hypothesis in public communication where men were perceived to be better in talking more publicly is evident in a Newsweek news story on US Presidential candidate, former First Lady and now Senator Hillary Clinton. The news story showed how Clinton is getting strength and taking advantage of the presidential race not because of her being the wife of former President Clinton but because of how she can speak well and more of her thoughts publicly. It is evident that Clinton did not limit her speaking ability within the boundaries of her home and with authority, she was able to stress her points and advancement by utilizing on a particular topic such as health care for the Americans. †¦ The New York senator has amassed strong support among crucial groups including female, older, less-educated and lower-income Democrats significant because women and older voters in particular have dominated these primaries and caucuses in the past. (Fram and Tompson, Newsweek) The same news story also showed how a woman can earn support and respect from men not just because of speaking her personal thoughts in a private speaking set-up but because of her willingness to express publicly her causes. Clinton was perceived as a woman who cannot just address domestic concerns but also issues such as Iraq and heath care thus gaining her the much needed support. A journal also claimed that men and women are so different that they comprise strikingly different â€Å"speech communities. † This is because of the fact that they are typically socialized in discrete speech communities. †¦ Numerous studies and reviews of research demonstrate that distinct gender cultures exist and that they differ systematically in some important respects. (Wood, 2000, p. 207) With the issues presented, it may now be clear that gender differences on private and public speakings have great effects on communication in such a way that men and women on the onset have their own and contradicting ways of talking making understanding and complementation of each other thoughts difficult. Notwithstanding the willingness and ability of both gender to comprehend each other, there will still be conflicting issues, concerns, expressions and thoughts to be settled. Efforts to settle gender differences on communication may be a long way to go but it is not impossible to achieve.

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