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Men and Women Talking (Singles Classic)

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Once upon a time (just a few years ago), psychologists believed that the way we chose to communicate was largely a function of personality. If certain conversational styles were more common to one sex than the other (more abstract and aggressive talk for men, for instance, more personal and equivocal talk for women), then this was just another tribute to the influence of Once upon a time (just a few years ago), psychologists believed that the way we chose to communicate was largely a function of personality. If certain conversational styles were more common to one sex than the other (more abstract and aggressive talk for men, for instance, more personal and equivocal talk for women), then this was just another tribute to the influence of biology on personality. In her landmark essay, Men and Women Talking, Gloria Steinem confronts long-held misconceptions about the supposedly scientific differences in the way men and women communicate, debunking—among other things—the myth of the “talkative woman.” Men and Women Talking was originally published in Ms., May 1981. Cover design by Adil Dara.


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Once upon a time (just a few years ago), psychologists believed that the way we chose to communicate was largely a function of personality. If certain conversational styles were more common to one sex than the other (more abstract and aggressive talk for men, for instance, more personal and equivocal talk for women), then this was just another tribute to the influence of Once upon a time (just a few years ago), psychologists believed that the way we chose to communicate was largely a function of personality. If certain conversational styles were more common to one sex than the other (more abstract and aggressive talk for men, for instance, more personal and equivocal talk for women), then this was just another tribute to the influence of biology on personality. In her landmark essay, Men and Women Talking, Gloria Steinem confronts long-held misconceptions about the supposedly scientific differences in the way men and women communicate, debunking—among other things—the myth of the “talkative woman.” Men and Women Talking was originally published in Ms., May 1981. Cover design by Adil Dara.

30 review for Men and Women Talking (Singles Classic)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Georgia (thefictionfolio)

    "Clearly, male silence (or silence from a member of any dominant group) is not necessarily the same as listening. It might mean a rejection of the speaker, a refusal to become vulnerable through self-revelation, or a decision that this conversation is not worthwhile. Similarly, talking by the subordinate group is not necessary evidence of power. Its motives may be a Schehera-zade-like need to intrigue and thus survive, or simply to explain and justify one's actions." I mean-- she just GETS it! "Clearly, male silence (or silence from a member of any dominant group) is not necessarily the same as listening. It might mean a rejection of the speaker, a refusal to become vulnerable through self-revelation, or a decision that this conversation is not worthwhile. Similarly, talking by the subordinate group is not necessary evidence of power. Its motives may be a Schehera-zade-like need to intrigue and thus survive, or simply to explain and justify one's actions." I mean-- she just GETS it! This article was such an interesting take on this topic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Bentley

    Men and Women Talking was originally featured in Ms Magazine in May 1981. In this article Steinem discusses women’s positions in social dynamics and how it differs drastically to men. It argues how women will be apologetic just for being and for having opinions and how it is expected that a man will show no such social subservience and is therefore often seen as more powerful. It is shocking that 37 years later this still seems to be the case. Women are still paid less, hold fewer powerful positi Men and Women Talking was originally featured in Ms Magazine in May 1981. In this article Steinem discusses women’s positions in social dynamics and how it differs drastically to men. It argues how women will be apologetic just for being and for having opinions and how it is expected that a man will show no such social subservience and is therefore often seen as more powerful. It is shocking that 37 years later this still seems to be the case. Women are still paid less, hold fewer powerful positions in businesses or government, and how women are generally seen as the lesser sex. Men and Women Talking is as insightful now as it as when it was originally published. Men and Women Talking by Gloria Steinem is available now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tanzil

    Dominance of masculine vocabulary (‘mankind’, ‘statesman’, etc.) is reflective of the dominance of men in positions of power in the most of human history. But this dominance not due to male conspiracy to suppress women but instead the reality of human nature: male physical prowess allowed to do tasks women could not as effectively whether it be defending his possessions or his offspring against animals and other men in early human societies or fighting wars in more advanced societies. Men domina Dominance of masculine vocabulary (‘mankind’, ‘statesman’, etc.) is reflective of the dominance of men in positions of power in the most of human history. But this dominance not due to male conspiracy to suppress women but instead the reality of human nature: male physical prowess allowed to do tasks women could not as effectively whether it be defending his possessions or his offspring against animals and other men in early human societies or fighting wars in more advanced societies. Men dominated public speech because men dominated public life and they dominated public life because they possessed power and this power derived from their ability to fight and kill others. Moreover, the more assertive, aggressive tone of men may be a reflection of another biological factor which differentiates men and women: men have considerably higher levels of the hormone testosterone than women (while women have more oestrogen). Testosterone has proven to not only contribute to the physical differences between men and women (greater muscle mass and strength, deeper voice, etc.) but also has been tied to higher levels of aggression. This biological aggression is possibly reflected in male speech in the form of more assertiveness. I do not disagree with Steinem that dominant forces have created artificial social norms which perpetuate male assertiveness in speech over women. However, Steinem’s solution to counter this by suppressing male speech (only asking women for questions after lectures, interrupting men if they’re talking too much, calling out men for dominating conversations) does little to promote female speech. Rather than marginalising one sex, we should seek to foster discussion between the two. Overall, in seeking to find a cultural explanation for the differences in male and female speech, Steinem is overtly dismissive of biological and natural factors. It is instead necessary to understand the effects of both nature and nurture on human interaction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebeca Núñez

    Me hace acordar a la temática que Rebecca Solnit aborda en ”Men explains things to me”. Otra obra de Steinem que es relevante y que puede abrir un necesario debate. Tira por tierra varias concepciones erradas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    LeeTravelGoddess

    I love Auntie Gloria! This short on men and women talking as well as voices is quite interesting... especially the part about a Japanese women changing their voices to appeal to me but speaking in their actual register when in the company of women. Fascinating!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Terfa

    A fresh perspective from an experienced voice I enjoyed the clarity of her writing and the direct way she addressed issues. Succinct and relevant read. A recommend read for both women and men who aim to be effective communicators.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Luke Crawford

    seems topical even today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    Great read Really interesting essay on the differences between now men and women speak (or don't speak) in social settings. Written in 1981 and still as true today, unfortunately. Great read Really interesting essay on the differences between now men and women speak (or don't speak) in social settings. Written in 1981 and still as true today, unfortunately.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amara

    The later parts of this that is about scientifically based voice changes is more interesting than the beginning sociological determinants.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

    This was a very interesting essay, some of the points made are very prevalent and made me very conscious about how I do communicate with men and women.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maliha

    Feminist discourse for the layperson Other than one typographical error in which a few words were repeated mid-sentence, as well as some formatting things that could've been done considerably cleaner, I really enjoyed this reading. She discusses various studies on women, and gives some very concrete tips on how to alter gender imbalance in friendly company (that is to say, her tips would not work so cleanly in instances where women are not in equal positions authoritatively as the men they're int Feminist discourse for the layperson Other than one typographical error in which a few words were repeated mid-sentence, as well as some formatting things that could've been done considerably cleaner, I really enjoyed this reading. She discusses various studies on women, and gives some very concrete tips on how to alter gender imbalance in friendly company (that is to say, her tips would not work so cleanly in instances where women are not in equal positions authoritatively as the men they're intending to educate). The essence of this paper is that women speak less than men in mixed company and also listen /better/ than men do, despite having plenty to say. Men in male spaces will tend to speak about themselves, and a few men will tend to dominate the conversation. Comparatively in female spaces, women will tend to "take turns" and give each other opportunities to speak if they have not participated yet or in a while. Anyway, read the paper!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Sturdy

    Written nearly 40 years ago but still highly relevant. This balanced essay is thought provoking. Men and women who work and live together will relate to the way we can all misunderstand each other. How this spirals quickly into conflict or stand-off and how difficult it is to listen properly when we have a lot to say!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew G. Moran

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  15. 4 out of 5

    winston

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  17. 5 out of 5

    D H all

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dallyce Potess

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mini Mathew

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paula

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darcy French

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ally

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rosalie McCabe

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily Rose

  29. 4 out of 5

    Irene

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clawdia Chauchat

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