Prattle of the Sexes
A fellow student and I presented the „Prattle of the sexes“ or why men and women don’t speak the same language.
First of all we introduced what the basic differences between the men and the women are. In the article was written that men never listen to the women in a conversation. They use the language to assert independence and are more concerned with the status. The men also prefer discussing with facts in contrast to the women who normally use conversations to share feelings and reinforce their relationship. In most cases women never get to the point, because they want to know everything and anything is taken serious. Women use language to enhance intimacy because they want to build a bond to the conversation partner.
There are some examples to present the different attitudes of men and women. In the text the Lost-in-the-car scenario was mentioned. I will give you a short description of this situation: A man and a woman are invited to a friend’s birthday; they drive with the car and search for the friend’s house. The man is sure that he is able to find the address but the woman proposes to ask someone walking down the street for help. Now they are angry with each other for the simple reason that the men don’t want to ask somebody, because after Deborah Tannen men rather give information than receiving it. For the women asking for the direction is no problem, because this will reinforce the bond between people.
Another example is Boasting. Boasting is when you talk with too much pride about something that you have or can do. Men do it for gaining higher status and due to the fact that they want to dominate. In opposite to the women who want to be accepted by anyone that is why they try to avoid boasting
Then the meta-message was defined as “the unspoken attitudes, thoughts and intentions behind the main message” (Annegret Schrick, Viewfinder,2007, Langenscheidt KG, Berlin and Munich, p.57)
At the end we concluded that according to Deborah Tannen men and women don‘t speak the same language. The main differences lie in the way how men and women communicate. I agree with her, because in the society there are so many situations where it’s presented. The unspoken thoughts behind a message are a part of the message and this is often misunderstood by the conversation partner.