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Marked Women - Essay Example

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Women are described by Deborah Tannen as marked not only because of the social perception men hold upon them, but also because of that held by fellow women. The unmarked forms of English words automatically represent the male gender even if the term does not directly indicate…
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Module Marked Women Women are described by Deborah Tannen as marked not only because of the social perception men hold upon them,but also because of that held by fellow women. The unmarked forms of English words automatically represent the male gender even if the term does not directly indicate whether it is male or female. The motive behind marking one segment of a society is to justify the attitudes and views associated with the group. What the society views as marked or unmarked is largely dictated by the cultural beliefs and social practices. Tannen asserts that those who try to discourage these practices are treated with a lot of contempt and are branded feminists. Marking of women discriminates them and discourage them from airing their views.
My opinion is that Tannen’s work is an exploration of a largely ignored topic on gender discrimination. Her work is derived from a close observation of men and women at a working conference. The formal setting of the conference is perfect for exhibiting gender stereotypes, which are dominant in the male-dominated business settings. Marking is also inherent in women as most of them struggle to portray a certain image for them to feel acceptable in some settings. More fascinating was the mention of Ralph Fascold’s book and his opinion on the issue. Marked means possession of a unique feature that distinguishes an individual from the rest. Biological orientation makes men marked owing to the possession of a Y chromosome that is deficient in women. Unmarking of women can only be successful if the society changes the attitude towards gender discrimination. Read More
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