Oftentimes, the difference between men and women is classified as two different cultures that can never be connected with each other. The statement that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” had been the favorite phrase to define the difference between the two sexes.
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If women are known for their ability to talk about anything, men rarely talk about their problems and emotions. On the other hand, women are described based on all the exact opposites of the characteristics of men. Beauty, communication, love, and relationships are only few of the things that women value too much. If men are emotionally detached, the quality of relationships reflects the feelings and emotional side of women. Men’s great concern is the financial status; however women concern more on physical attractiveness and the quality of relationship that they would invest with their loved ones.
For men, money and career reflects their masculinity, women viewed these issues as rejection of men to them and their relationships with women. The greatest challenge for women’s lives is to maintain their sense of self while expanding out to serve the needs of other people. This role of women makes this gender good mothers, partners, and peers. The care for others is the strongest trait of female. Men, on the other hand, tend to act, think, and feel in a way that expresses themselves as the primary and the other people as secondary only. (Evatt 16)
In Deborah Tannen’s Genderlect Styles Theory, she states that “male and female conversation is a cross-cultural communication”. According to her, men are focused on status while women are focused on connection. This two different perceptions drive men and women apart and most of the time causes conflicts for both gender. Tannen suggests that men and women are from diverse cultures that cannot understand each other. In order to understand the theory better, Tannen gives five major areas to explain the difference between men and women. In her theory, she explains that men and women deal with things differently.
Men tend to defend their masculinity in public and always aim to win the conversation but appear to be uncomfortable in speaking in private. Disclosure of feelings would take a long time for men, and women oftentimes initiate the disclosure. In contrast, women are reserved in public but more comfortable in intimate settings. (“Communication Theory”, 2008) In telling a story, men would narrate a story wherein they are the hero, but women would rather tell a story about other people. In some instance, men would tell a joke but women would narrate a story wherein they act foolish and let them put themselves on the level of the listeners.
In other words, women always consider other people while men focus on themselves alone. Even in private conversation, the way men and women deal with the situation. Active listening and cooperative overlapping are women’s way to treat the speaker so as to encourage and agree with that person. Men oftentimes regard an interruption to have power over the speaker in the conversation. Men use silence as a weapon and power over the people that they are communicating with. Moreover, women ask questions to build a rapport or connection but men would refuse to ask for other people’s help because they consider asking as a form of verbal sparing.
Women consider conflicts as threat to relationships, however men consider them as normal scene in the world that is full of competition. Gender differences have become a discourse between men and women. The idea that men are fundamentally different from women has become an important thought for the society that recognizes the all the gender issues. These differences have brought the two genders to two different planets that can never be merged into one. The society has formed a vast gender gap because of the stereotype judgment that men often seek for power while women always seek for connection.
In most aspects, men and women are considered as fundamentally different from each other. Apparently, the stereotype judgment toward each gender has passed from generation to generation. However, this gender issues, according to genderlect styles theory can be resolved if the two different genders would try to understand each others language. The differences are human nature of both sexes and those can be understood if they are willing to learn each others’ characteristics. Oftentimes, social and political factors are neglected in analyzing why men often seek for power and women always care for others.
Caring for others has been a connotation for women, but the society sometimes overlooks the effort that men do for other people too. The gender distinctions have grown to be a societal conflict and apparently gave men and women names to be acted upon. The typecasting has been the society’s basis to address a gender and assess the personality only based on what the culture has formed toward both sexes. The other factors in the society provide an underlying explanation why men and women act and talk the way they do. The power that has been associated for men is sometimes the goal of women for competing in the male and female society.
The people often recognize the boundary between the two sexes but fail to search for the possible solutions to overcome the gender distinctions. Apparently, the society fails to recognize the other factors that cause men and women to act like what they have expected that makes the gender conflicts bigger. The stereotype that women are oppressed because their only function is to provide domestic services for other people may also open their minds and awaken the society that this role of women give them a total independence because they could work for other that make them whole as women.
Perhaps men have found the happiness through achievements in the world of competition and would learn respect for the neglected dimensions of caring for others and concern for their partners. Women may have found ways to celebrate their femininity by caring for others and building a rapport for a quality relationship while men have found ways to guard their masculinity by having constant achievements and providing economic well being for their families.
As a whole, men and women have differences that cannot be understood by the minds that have a strong belief about the incurable gender distinctions. However, these differences can also create a perfect connection instead of gap that provides a wall between the two sexes. Apparently, men and women have created with special tasks to perform and these fundamental differences are possessed in order to perfectly play their roles in this world
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