Tannen and Githens

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Tannen: the male as norm

  • One of Tannen's most influential ideas is that of the male norm
  • Terms such as 'mankind' may imply this: the term for the species or people in general is the same as that for one sex only
  • The further implication for this is that male is correct/standard and female is incorrect/substandard...
  • ...with resulting pressure on the female to change to become more like the male
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Githens on Tannen

  • "If we believe that women and men have different styles and that the male is the standard, we are hurting both women and men"
  • "The women are treated based on the norms for men, and men with good intentions speak to women as they would other men...
  • ...and are perplexed when their words spark anger and resentment."
  • "Finally, apart fromher objection to women having to do all the changing, Tannen states that women changing will not work either."
  • "As Dale Spender theorised, women who talk like men are judged differently - and harshly. A woman invading the man's realm of speech is often considered unfeminine, rude or bitchy."
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