Essay On Marked Theory

615 words - 3 pages

Marked Theory Deborah Tannen's essay, There Is No Unmarked Woman, reflects the lop-sided nature of our culture towards women and the different styles in which make them "marked." The different appearances that create these "marked" women can be anything from the way they dress to whether they wear makeup or not. While a man can enjoy the recreational benefits of playing football, a woman would be inevitably "marked" as masculine in doing so. As their actions and appearances leave them unmarked, men are not subject to character interpretation, as women are.In her essay, Tannen analyzes how the different styles of three women illustrate the decisions women must make, according to how they want to be "marked" or viewed upon.She reported the first woman as being a fairly conservative, professional type with little glamour. The second as more the mother type. And the third as the type all the guys rave over. The appearances of these women, due to the aforementioned character identities, have presumably made them "marked" as being serious, married, or available, depending on their particular style. I agree with Tannen when she says, "each decision carried meaning." My girlfriend is in the fire profession and many find that to be a masculine career. In her case, being a firefighter makes her a "marked" woman, due to the male dominance in the field.Further on in Dr. Tannen's essay, she mentions the fact that even a woman's title, "Mrs.," "Miss," or "Ms.," can make her marked. She states that these three titles communicate whether a woman has been married, or whether she has conservative tastes, and even if she is no longer married. Tannen believes "Ms." marks women "as either liberated or rebellious, depending on the observer's attitudes or assumptions." I disagree because a woman that checks "Ms." as her title, is a woman stating the truth; she has been through a separation. I now know my second grade teacher, Ms. Boyle must have been through a divorce. As a second grader, I had no knowledge of what a "marked" woman was, but now that I'm further educated I know she is marked.As one reads along, Tannen says she wrote a book about the gender differences in speech. Tannen sent the manuscript to five male colleagues for evaluation, asking them to look for wording sensitive toward men. Just for saying things about men, she was probably "marked' as a feminist. Tannen states, "To say anything about women and men without marking oneself as... without inviting interpretations of her character(Tannen,495). I agree with her statement because when females say anything about a man, the man will, almost always try to prove feminism was the root of evil. When I watch Opera and they are having a show on male-bashing, I get defensive and find things to say about females.In our culture, women do not have the freedom to be unmarked as men are. Women tend to be viewed upon through the looking glass of their actions and styles. There are days where women want to be able to throw on some clothes, not caring what type of person they portray, and do what they please. Women are without this luxury because there are no unmarked women.Works Cited 1. Tannen, Deborah. There Is No Unmarked Woman.Signs of Life, 2000.


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