Courtney Ralston, Charlotte
Stein, and Brittani Everett
Boys vs. Girls…
In our presentation of
Communication we will
explain to you what
and Muted Group
The theorist behind Genderlect is Deborah Tannen, a
University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at
Georgetown University (Tannen, 2009)
She has concluded that men and women often talk past each
“Genderlect” means gender dialect.
The term was not coined by Tannen but it “nicely captures
her belief that masculine and feminine styles of discourse
are best viewed as two distinct cultural dialects rather than
an inferior or superior ways of speaking.” (Griffin, 2009)
Cross cultural encounter without crossing a geographical
Two different cultural dialects rather than inferior or superior
Men are not comfortable in
Men tend toward
Men are concerned with
status and power
Where do they stand on
the hierarchy of
Women are comfortable in
Women tend toward
Women want to have a
communion with others
Want to be respected by
Want to be liked by their
style of women which
seeks to establish a
connection with others
Typical monologue style of
men which tends to
demand attention, convey
information, and even
While in serious conversations
men often talk of themselves as
“heroes”, acting alone to
overcome great obstacles.
When in light hearted
conversations they often tell
jokes in a “top that one” fashion.
Women often tell stories of
others in an effort to bring
If a woman tells a story of
herself, it is usually one of her
doing something foolish. This
down plays her to her audience
and puts them on the same
Women maintain eye contact and
verbalize their attentiveness, “uh huh” and
Men see this as agreeing which
threatens his “status” thus he doesn’t do
it often appearing as if he isn’t listening.
Cooperative overlap- interruption is an
Men see this as a power move to
central the conversation’ think then tend
to change to a different topic
Tending to irritate women because it
is unfinished or unresolved.
Theorists & Arguments
Men-moral maturity>justice>what is right; the law
Women-more judgment>sensitivity to others;
loyalty; self-sacrifice; peace making.
Men tend to offer selections while women just want
Arguments against theory
Even though women tend to do it better both
sexes place equal importance in comforting
Men understand quite well what women want
but will only give in if it suits them and will not
allow women to make them give in.
“Understanding the styles is a
better way to overcome
Cooperative overlap- interruption in an agreeing nature
Men see this as a power move to control the
conversation; men then tend to change to a different
topic. This tends to irritate women because it is
unfinished or unresolved.
Tag question: short question at the end of a declarative
statement often used by women to lessen the sting of
potential disagreement or invite friend by dialogue.
Men are more comfortable with conflict; women see it as
a threat to being connected.
Sensitivity training for men/assertiveness training for
“Understanding the styles is a better way to overcome
standpoint is a place from which we view the world around us
“The social groups within which we are located powerfully shape what we
experience and know as well as how we understand and communicate with
ourselves, others, and the world.” (Griffin, 2009)
Standpoint Theory rose among several feminists including Dorothy Smith,
Nancy Hartstock, Donna Haraway, Sandra Harding, Alison Wylie, and
Patricia Hill Collins.
Standpoint theorists suggest…
We can use the inequalities of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation
to observe how different locations within the social hierarchy tend to
generate distinctive accounts of nature and social
When people speak from the opposite sides of power relations, the
perspective for the lives of the less powerful can provide more
objective view of the more powerful.
When people speak from the opposite sides of power
relations, the perspective for the lives of the less
powerful can provide more objective view of the more
Equate “less powerful” to women who can create a
feminist standpoint in they feel oppressed thus they
claim that a feminist standpoint is more objective.
impoverished poor who provide sweat equity are
societies ideal knowers, as long as they understand
the class struggle in which they are involved. In
English, the people doing the job know more about
what is going on then the bosses with a capacity to
grasp the underlying structures of the social order.
Gender is a cultural construction rather than
a system of meanings that sculptures
individuals standpoints by most males and
females in desperate material, social, and
Muted Group Theory
"women perceive the world differently from men
because of women’s and men’s different experience
and activities rooted in the division of labor” (Kramarae,
Muted Group Theorists
The basis for muted group theory comes
from the work of Edwin Ardener and his wife
Shirley, who realized that language was
male dominated and the language hierarchy
was crippling for women. However, the
most noted theorist is Cheris Kramarae.
Kramarae, a sociolinguistic professor at the
University of Illinois, in the Department of
Speech Communication. (Kramarae, 1988)
Muted Group Theory
Muted Group Theory- people with little
power who have trouble giving voice to their
perceptions because they must re-encode
their thoughts to make them understood in
the public sphere—women. (Griffin, 2008)
Kramarae discovered that in children’s
cartoons, women where rarely present and if
they were a limited amount had a speaking
role. Take Charlie Brown for example, I
believe we all remember what his ADULT
FEMALE teacher said, “Wah wah woh wah
MEN, MEN, MEN, women,
Everything is male dominated, including :
“even playing field” is directed towards
males because they play more field sports
There are more than 200 derogatory
terms for a loose female and only 22 for a
man. (Griffin, 2008.)
If you where to look up “Men of the
internet” you’d more than likely get people
like Bill Gates but if you looked up
“women of the internet” you’d get
3 points of Kramarae’s Muted Group Theory
First, men and women look at the world
differently, and because they look at the
world differently, they do different jobs in
Second, men are politically dominate and
suppress women’s ideas and meaning
though public support.
Finally, women must translate their
meanings, thoughts, and their feelings into
man’s terms in order to communicate.
Muted Group Theory
Women (and other minority groups) deal
with the consequences of MGT daily,
especially at work.
We’ve all heard of the phrase “glass
ceiling” but to clarify how it affects this
theory, a glass ceiling is barrier that
prevents a competent, deserving person
from advancing in their work place due to
discrimination, especially sexism and
Black hole of society
A concern of the feminists and theorists
involved with MG is that if the minority is
continued to be ignored it will eventually
Kramarae feels that men mean to be
demeaning and hush women.
Paula Treichler and Cheris
Appearance- a woman’s appearance is her work uniform…a woman’s
concern with her appearance is not a result of brainwashing; it is a reaction
Guilt- the emotion that stops women from doing what they may need to do to
take care of themselves as opposed to everyone else.
Ms.-a form of address being adopted by women who want to be recognized
as individuals rather than by being identified by their relationship with a man.
Pornography-pornography is the theory and rape is the action.
Parenthood- a condition which often brings dramatic changes to new
mothers—”loss of job, income, and status; Severing of networks and social
contacts; and adjustments to being a ‘housewife.’ Most new fathers do not
report similar social dislocations. (Griffin, 2008)
MORE ON PAGE 462 of our textbook.
-Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler
A sketch about how men portray
•Refers to the language of men
and women and how different we
speak, listen, and interpret things.
•Refers to how we view the world
around us. How social groups see
things differently, especially
women and minorities.
•Women are kept nearly silent by
men by the language we speak,
our work place, and the internet.
The world is male dominated