Dealing With Intolerance In Sex, Lies, And Conversation

1266 Words 6 Pages
Dealing with Intolerance The United States is a diverse and multicultural society. It is a society in which people of different ethnicities, genders, religions, and sexualities coexist and are expected to, at the very least, be tolerant of others. However, in reality, people are less accepting of others who appear different or have different views and beliefs than their own. In such less accepting and fearful society it is necessary to overcome and deal with intolerance in order to coexist peacefully. In the articles “Learning True Tolerance”, “Just Walk on By”, and “Sex, Lies, and Conversations”, authors Engardio, Staples, and Tannen respectively propose different ways of dealing with intolerance. In “Sex, Lies, and Conversation”, Deborah …show more content…
However, Tannen proposes the most realistic solution of dealing with intolerance. In “Sex, Lies, and Conversation”, Tannen proposes that instead of assigning blame to one sex or another, individuals should understand the sociolinguistic communication differences of the two sexes, and utilize that understanding to adapt other communication styles in relationships. Through this technique, Tannen displays that communication needs to be realistic and must involve collaboration from both parties in order for it to be effective in overcoming intolerance. Tannen also provides limitations of the solution when she states, “The communication problems that endanger marriage can’t be fixed by mechanical engineering. They require a new conceptual framework about the role of talk in human relationships” (Tannen 410). This shows the readers that solutions or the problems proposed by the article are not a “quick fix using a magic wand”. The solutions require much work on part of both individuals in order for it to be …show more content…
Tannen gives example of a young woman in college who is frustrated because when she wants to talk her boyfriend lies down on the floor and closes his eyes, which makes her believe that he is not listening to her. However, Tannen explains, “Normally, he looks around the room, so he is easily distracted. Lying down and covering his eyes helped him concentrate on what she was saying” (Tannen 409). This demonstrates to the readers that differences exist in ways of communicating and that understanding each others’ perspectives is needed to prevent miscommunication. Tannen then proceeds to propose a solution which appears simple. In general terms she is saying that one needs to understand that communication differences between males and females exist, and once this understanding is established, partners should communicate behaviours that can be changed to yield more effective communication. Later in the article, she follows through with the situation of the frustrated young woman and says that after she understood how her boyfriend communicates she was reassured that her boyfriend is, indeed, listening to her. Her boyfriend also changed his behavior after he understood how she prefers to communicate (Tannen 411). By following up with the previously presented situation, Tannen shows the

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