Cross-Cultural Differences In Sex, Lies And Conversation By John Tannen

1561 Words 7 Pages
In “Sex, Lies and Conversation”, Tannen explains three cross-cultural differences men and women encounter when trying to communicate with each other. The first main reason is basically how men and women have different ways of listening and communicating. Men have one form that women usually interpret as not listening, and women have another form that men interpret as interruption during a conversation. The second reason, discuses the different responses the opposite gender give to one another during conversations. Women come off as sympathetic and try to solve or, at least, relate to the problems; while men tend to give more rational explanations and shrug it off. The third reason, states that men and women have different ways of communicating …show more content…
Write’s murder investigation at the farmhouse. The men disparage the women for worrying about trifles instead of the case, but Mr. Henderson allows the women to collect some items for Mrs. Wright, who is in custody for suspicion of murdering her husband. The women then find a quilt that brings suspicion about Mrs. Wright, although the men tease them for pondering about the quilt as they enter the room on their way to inspect the barn. Meanwhile, the women discover an empty birdcage with a dead bird in Mrs. Wright 's sewing basket. The bird has been strangled in the same manner as John Wright was found in bed. Although Mrs. Peters is hesitant to disobey the men, who are following the law, she and Mrs. Hale decide to hide the evidence that can be used against Mrs. Wright. In Tannen’s “Sex, Lies and Conversations” and in Glaspell’s Trifles, two cross-cultural gender-related differences are style of conversation and expectations.
In “Sex, Lies and Conversations” Tannen explains “Boys and girls tend to play with children of their own gender, and their sex-separate groups have different organizational structures and interactive norms”
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Since men tend to stay away from the subordinate position in a conversation, Tannen clarifies “Some men really don’t like to listen, because being the listener makes them feel one-down, like a child listening to adults or an employee to a boss”(Tannen 238). This type of hierarchical male behavior can be observed by the county attorney, George Henderson, and the sheriff, Henry Peters, in Trifles. For example, the men tease the women for pondering about Mrs. Writes quilt, “Mrs. Peters: She was piecing a quilt. Mrs. Hale: It’s log cabin pattern. Pretty isn’t it? I wonder if she was going to quilt or just knot it? Sheriff: They wonder if she was going to quilt it or just knot it! (The men laugh; the women look abashed.)”(Glaspell 599). Then after the men return from their investigative work, they come back to the kitchen to mock the women, “(As one turning from serious things to little pleasantries), County Attorney: Well, ladies, have you decided whether she was going to quilt it or knot it?”(Glaspell 602). Just as described by the male’s style of communication as hierarchical and inclusive, the men simply ridicule the women over trifles. Indeed, men’s style of conversation can also be seen at social gatherings, where the men converse with each other about profits and careers. For example, at my cousin’s birthday party, a

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