Linguistic Disadvantaged???

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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby gmattson » Mon Jan 31, 2000 4:37 pm

On another list, there is a thread going where women are claimed to suffer a 'linguistic disadvantage'! Any comments on this?? GEM


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>All those slating (....) for her posts are forgetting that she is writing from a linguistic disadvantage. As Helene Cixous states, language, and in particular the english language is a man-made, hallocentric device which gives men presence and women absence. As such, women are only able to express their feelings using men's terms, which often leaves them falling short of what they mean, as they have inadequate terms to do so.

You may not agree with (....), but she does bring up topics for discussion. The fact that they are mostly about discrimination to women.... doesn't that imply that there is a lot of it going on?.....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited January 31, 2000).]
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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby student » Mon Jan 31, 2000 7:26 pm

However, it becomes more significant in how large a group women are: over 50% of our population.

It is so significant that Dr. Elgin wrote a book dealing with this subject alone. The book is not in front of me, so I am reciting from (fallible) memory....

Briefly, men and women, as an overgeneralized rule, are acculturated differently. Men are acculturated competitively; even the least sports' bound of us testoterone bearers can, and do, communicate with sports analogies: rules of the game, teamwork, team player, below the belt, win one for the Gipper.

Women are acculturated co-operatively; everyone has a chance to participate, everyone should be made comfortable, etc.

This is not to say that men cannot co-operate, nor women compete. But these are frameworks of thinking that make it easier to communicate within one's gender and harder to the other if you do not know that they exist. And the difficulty comes from both genders to the other.

student

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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby ozarque » Tue Feb 01, 2000 5:16 am

The reference in the letter you quoted is to something called the "muted group" theory. For women (for the moment, let's say that that means women who are fluent speakers of English), it has been proposed that the need to express their thoughts/perceptions in English makes them a muted group because English is inadequate for that purpose.

I agree that women often have trouble finding a voice and making themselves heard in English. I agree that English presents special problems. But it's true for any subordinate group of English speakers, not just for women.

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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby ozarque » Tue Feb 01, 2000 2:18 pm

I don't want to belabor this topic, since the forum is about verbal self-defense rather than about feminism. I'll try to be brief, and then we can move on.

I am convinced that all this alleged male/female dichotomy is a red herring, and that the differences we think we perceive are tied not to biological gender but to power. I've been working in this field for more than a quarter century; I don't see the differences that are reported elsewhere. In my experience, people of both genders behave in exactly the same fashion toward those they perceive as weak, regardless of gender; for example, men are as likely to torment verbally a man they consider weak as they are a woman.

I'm aware that many scholars -- Prof. Deborah Tannen, for example -- disagree with me. That's all right....

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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby gmattson » Wed Jul 24, 2002 1:16 pm

I reactivated Suzette's first posting.
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Linguistic Disadvantaged???

Postby LeeDarrow » Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:31 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ozarque:
I don't want to belabor this topic, since the forum is about verbal self-defense rather than about feminism. I'll try to be brief, and then we can move on.

I am convinced that all this alleged male/female dichotomy is a red herring, and that the differences we think we perceive are tied not to biological gender but to power. I've been working in this field for more than a quarter century; I don't see the differences that are reported elsewhere. In my experience, people of both genders behave in exactly the same fashion toward those they perceive as weak, regardless of gender; for example, men are as likely to torment verbally a man they consider weak as they are a woman.

I'm aware that many scholars -- Prof. Deborah Tannen, for example -- disagree with me. That's all right....

Suzette
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Brava! An issue becomes an issue when people MAKE it an issue. Otherwise, it is an accepted social norm.

However, on the tormenting point Dr. Elgin made, one should note that the MANNER in which the tormenting occurs is often radically different, gender-wise. But that's possibly a matter of cultural norms as work, again, perhaps?

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
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