babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » walking the talk   » feminism   » Male/Female Discussion Styles

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Male/Female Discussion Styles
fern hill
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3582

posted 19 November 2004 12:58 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've been thinking about male/female styles and yesterday I read the thread Audra started on her reaction to men and feminism. There, it seemed there was as much comment about the way in which Audra lost it as about why she did.

It certainly seems that there are accepted male and female styles of discourse. (See for example, Deborah Tannen's "Talking 9 to 5" and others.)

Here, where volume doesn't count and typing speed does, one might expect a more equitable place. But is it? Don't we still have expectations about how male and female people should discuss things? And don't we get irritated when they don't?

Me, I get irritated when they do conform to stereotypes. On the Audra-reaction thread, Skdadl mentioned passive aggression as a style. This one drives me insane. And most male-type people don't see it. They are so used to being manipulated by it, they are quite blind/deaf/insensate to it and identify it as "niceness". (Without getting into details that might identify anyone, I once worked with a woman who dressed and behaved in a very feminine manner, including the extensive use of passive aggression. After months of frustration, she was once again smirkingly snarling me up. I thought "OK, that's it, I'm going to pop her" when I remembered that another employee had told me in confidence that this woman had been the victim of wife abuse. I started to laugh, thinking "Right, of course", then went in to the boss's office and told him that either I was leaving for the day or somebody would be calling the police in couple of minutes. A few days later, two male employees heard me talking about this woman on the phone [she wasn't even there that day] and physically threatened me for "bad-mouthing" this frail vessel. Ayiee!)

So, what male or female "styles" drive you insane? Are there male and females styles?


From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 19 November 2004 01:29 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wrote this out in sarcastic manner yesterday on another thread, but I'll repeat myself anyway.

It is often a problem to women, I think, that some men get upset when women get upset.

They don't necessarily get upset about the things that are upsetting the women; instead, they are upset by the fact that the women are upset, if you see what I mean. They get meta-upset.

They often get so meta-upset that the women who were upset in the first place about something more concrete feel they should abandon their focus on the concrete problem and instead focus on soothing the meta-upset men.

I've watched that dynamic all my adult life; I still see it; I've seen it on this board in the last few days; and it drives me bananas.

In my experience, the same men would never question or analyze their own outbursts of strong feeling, although they would not characterize those as being "upset," of course. They probably aren't usually genuinely upset when, eg, they toss easy profanities at one another, or just confront another man aggressively or dismissively.

But let a woman suddenly blow off a little steam, and many men become worried and concerned and can't let go of the phenomenon itself. She swore! She is ... crying! Look -- two women over there are ... fighting! The horror, the horror.

And suddenly, that reaction itself becomes the subject. The irritant that drove the woman to react is forgotten; all that is remembered is her reaction.

I have seen that dynamic used against women in their careers ("Can she take the pressure?"), where a tendency to aggression would never have threatened a man in the same position. I've seen it ruin relationships. I've seen it used to undermine political arguments and advocacy.

If you believed the men who get meta-upset when they are in meta-upset mode, they would never want to see anyone disagreeing with anyone else ever. They would oppose all heated debate. And yet that is obviously, notably, not true of them.

So I have to think that the differentiator is sex.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1873

posted 19 November 2004 01:42 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Much has been made about differing communication styles between men and women. I don't personally give a whole lot of credence to it. There is probably as much variance in discussion styles among the genders as there is within. Sure, there may be gender-specific differences, but they are primarily social constructs. In real terms, it's largely personality-driven.
From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
andrean
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 361

posted 19 November 2004 01:54 PM      Profile for andrean     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And suddenly, that reaction itself becomes the subject. The irritant that drove the woman to react is forgotten; all that is remembered is her reaction.

Especially if that reaction is crying! If a woman cries, even if she's crying from rage, it's game over and she has been defeated. It's then all about her tears, and her upset and how she can't take it...I've begun raising my voice and swearing through my tears, to convince people that I'm angry and not injured.

I think the conversational style that's most common between genders is the (more) feminine tendency to offer support to the speaker as opposed to the (more) masculine tendency to offer advice on how to fix the problem. (I qualify because I know people of both genders that employ these tactics - my mother is a great fixer! - but they do tend to break down along gender lines.)

We've talked about this before, and it's what gets women's backs up in the feminism forum. Guys that think they're being perfectly helpful by providing a solution wind up being attacked for telling grils how to do feminism and slink away, vowing never to return. They can't seem to understand that it's only helpful if someone asks for it. Thrusting help upon someone, whether they request it or not, isn't helpful, it's intrusive.

And, women get tired of it, and we scorch the guys that are on "our side" and they get injured and frustrated ("but I was only trying to help!") and then we get injured and frustrated by their hurt so we act like the comforting women that we're trained to be. And once we make our guys feel better, once we assure them that we really do appreciate their help, that we love them for being on "our side", that their contributions to the struggle as men is invaluable...it bloody starts all over again!

I don't have a concrete solution to this phenomenon, except the obvious: fellas, let the grils know that you'll help but wait for them to ask you for it. And grils, ask. We do have a tendency to want to do it all ourselves - partly to prove ourselves, partly because we've always had to. We want men beside us, we need to tell them what do, not just get mad when they try to tell us.


From: etobicoke-lakeshore | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
fern hill
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3582

posted 19 November 2004 01:55 PM      Profile for fern hill        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Meta-upset! Excellent concept! Let's use the phrase as we do "troll" for those situations when some of us see what's happening and are too smart (or weary) to respond to it.
From: away | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 19 November 2004 02:21 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Much has been made about differing communication styles between men and women. I don't personally give a whole lot of credence to it. There is probably as much variance in discussion styles among the genders as there is within. Sure, there may be gender-specific differences, but they are primarily social constructs. In real terms, it's largely personality-driven.

Yes.

I'd bet if we all changed our handles and came back leaving the gender handle blank we would have to wait for slips to tell one from the other.

Be a neat experiment, wouldn't it?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Publically Displayed Name
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5642

posted 19 November 2004 02:31 PM      Profile for Publically Displayed Name        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by andrean:

Especially if that reaction is crying! If a woman cries, even if she's crying from rage, it's game over and she has been defeated.


From the point of view of an "average" guy (within the context of this discussion) its not necessarily about the other person (woman) being defeated, its about (me) not having any clue how to, or whether, to continue a discussion in this circumstance. The feeling isn't one of triumph, but of confusion about what to do next.

Now, I'm not sure that that situation has a parallel on the internet, but it may be the male "meta-upset" that skdaddl mentioned.

quote:


They can't seem to understand that [advice is] only helpful if someone asks for it. Thrusting help upon someone, whether they request it or not, isn't helpful, it's intrusive.

Just wanted to add that (generally, more-or-less) within "average" male circles, bringing up a topic _implies a specific request_ to bat around different ideas for how to deal with it. _Especially_ in public internet-like forums. Were a ... male-type communicator to seek support in those terms, they would be more likely to do so in a smaller, more private, more intimate forum.

In other words, when we wrong foot, its not necessarily because we're arrogant or bossy, its because we're used to different rules and habits.

(Occasionally, I think the "female-type" supportive style can come across as condescending and invasively personal, when a male-type communicator is on the receiving end, just to give the flip side. I think thats much more rare, though.)

Now, in an area like the Feminism forum, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect outsiders to wait to learn the guidelines before posting, but those guidelines are not always explicit until after someone gets pissed off.


From: Canada | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4668

posted 19 November 2004 02:32 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The original formulation of the Turing Test starts from the idea of determining which person communicating with you is male and which is female. Of course Turing then proposed substituting a computer for one of the people, which is the familiar version of the test.
From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 19 November 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't get meta-upset. I get pseudo-quasi-para-meta-upset!
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 19 November 2004 05:06 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

Yes.

I'd bet if we all changed our handles and came back leaving the gender handle blank we would have to wait for slips to tell one from the other.

Be a neat experiment, wouldn't it?


No.

Wingy: I'd know you anywhere.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4574

posted 19 November 2004 05:14 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Skdadl, loved your post. Loved loved loved it. "meta-upset". That's it exactly.
From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1448

posted 19 November 2004 05:29 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
I wrote this out in sarcastic manner yesterday on another thread, but I'll repeat myself anyway.

It is often a problem to women, I think, that some men get upset when women get upset.

They don't necessarily get upset about the things that are upsetting the women; instead, they are upset by the fact that the women are upset, if you see what I mean. They get meta-upset.

They often get so meta-upset that the women who were upset in the first place about something more concrete feel they should abandon their focus on the concrete problem and instead focus on soothing the meta-upset men.

I've watched that dynamic all my adult life; I still see it; I've seen it on this board in the last few days; and it drives me bananas.

In my experience, the same men would never question or analyze their own outbursts of strong feeling, although they would not characterize those as being "upset," of course. They probably aren't usually genuinely upset when, eg, they toss easy profanities at one another, or just confront another man aggressively or dismissively.

But let a woman suddenly blow off a little steam, and many men become worried and concerned and can't let go of the phenomenon itself. She swore! She is ... crying! Look -- two women over there are ... fighting! The horror, the horror.

And suddenly, that reaction itself becomes the subject. The irritant that drove the woman to react is forgotten; all that is remembered is her reaction.

I have seen that dynamic used against women in their careers ("Can she take the pressure?"), where a tendency to aggression would never have threatened a man in the same position. I've seen it ruin relationships. I've seen it used to undermine political arguments and advocacy.

If you believed the men who get meta-upset when they are in meta-upset mode, they would never want to see anyone disagreeing with anyone else ever. They would oppose all heated debate. And yet that is obviously, notably, not true of them.

So I have to think that the differentiator is sex.


I don't think it is, specifically.

This is going to be disjointed and rambly. Consider yourself warned in advance.

You make it sound as if a woman, confronted by another woman who is "upset", would automatically assume the upsetness toward the same ("concrete") thing -- I don't think that's necessarily so.
If my colleague is upset, that affects me, even if I think the cause is trivial and not upsetting at all, regardless the sex of the colleague.

Frankly, if men get meta-upset, so do women.

I mean, really, when confronted with someone weeping at work, I question their ability to handle pressure. I also question the same thing when someone throws furniture at work. What's the difference? They're both temper tantrums. I don't have much patience for them, whatever the manifestation. I find it manipulative.

Tantrums do become the subject rather than the trigger. Always. Whether thrown by men or women. This is completely natural. I remember the chair-throwing for a whole lot longer than I remember the purported cause of it. Same with tears.

I also think that the idea that it's used against women and not against men is nonsense. I've seen men fired for over-aggression, and women given into because of tears.

On many occasions, I've been told I communicate more like a man than a woman. I like to find solutions, I'm direct -- sometimes even confrontational -- and yes, I even engage in easy profanity. Maybe because of this, I just don't get it. But it seems to me that this is not the way to convince the males who would keep women in the back wings that Freud wasn't absolutely right and that we are all hysterical.

Which I don't buy for a minute, and never will.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
remind
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6289

posted 19 November 2004 07:51 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Communications styles of both sexes have been broken down into 4 styles, but with overlap between the styles. For example one could be a driver expressive,. This type of communication breakdown in style is used to better communicate or understand communication and people in public situations.

EXPRESSER - They get excited (perceptions based upon emotions and personality). They are the "who" oriented people


DRIVER - They like their own way; decisive & strong viewpoints. They are the "what" results oriented people


RELATER - They like positive attention, to be helpful & to be regarded warmly. The "why" people


ANALYTICAL - They seek a lot of data, ask many questions, behave methodically & systematically. the "how" people.


http://www.cedanet.com/meta/communication_styles.htm


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 19 November 2004 08:44 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
We've talked about this before, and it's what gets women's backs up in the feminism forum. Guys that think they're being perfectly helpful by providing a solution wind up being attacked for telling grils how to do feminism and slink away, vowing never to return. They can't seem to understand that it's only helpful if someone asks for it. Thrusting help upon someone, whether they request it or not, isn't helpful, it's intrusive.
This is the premise I specifically don't accept. If you don't like advice, then don't take it. Don't shoot the messenger. Obviously, if you feel intruded upon by mere advice, it's your problem.

From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Debra
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 117

posted 19 November 2004 08:59 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh Mandos do you need a clue bat(tm)?

NO one wants unsolicited advice. NO ONE

Male or female.

Can you imagine the outcome if a man posted a problem dealing with his "man parts" and all the women rushed to offer him advice on how to deal with it?

Now that being said, I'm an advice offerer.\

Simply because I don't know what else to say and I'm bad at "making supportive conversation"

BUT,if someone tells me to fuck off I know where they are coming from.


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 19 November 2004 09:09 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*hidden so she doesnt know where its coming from*


F**K off Debra

Just kidding just kidding.

Im a advice offerer too but always say its worth what you paid for it


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Debra
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 117

posted 19 November 2004 09:12 PM      Profile for Debra   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
hahahahaa

Bacchus keep it up and I may offer you some advice you won't like!

Hmmm of course keep it up and .... oops BWAGA where are you?......


From: The only difference between graffiti & philosophy is the word fuck... | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 19 November 2004 09:19 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
BWAGA is no protection against the mighty powers of Bacchus


*smug look* just ask Skdadl


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 19 November 2004 09:22 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Can you imagine the outcome if a man posted a problem dealing with his "man parts" and all the women rushed to offer him advice on how to deal with it?
First of all, if a woman had Useful Advice, then I certainly wouldn't object. After, if I were the one to post such a problem, I would be soliciting advice, no? Secondly, I simply can't imagine anyone else objecting to this just because a woman posted it. Maybe there are. I don't understand them.

From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 22 November 2004 11:19 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My friend Heather had the following experience when contemplating making part of her site "women only":

quote:
I had one very close male friend (who shall remain nameless: I feel funny enough discussing this publically, and if it hadn't had big, overarching effects on me, I likely would not have; I had intended to stay mum) who, in essence, did NOT like the idea. At all. Who called it everything from destructive to dangerous, who said I was hurtful and sexist, who said I was "banning people just because they had a penis," who was angry, who said he was worried about my well-being, who felt it was unethical of me to even suggest, and with whom there seemed to be no productive, objective way to discuss the idea and the question, let alone come up with other answers, different suggestions, what have you.

Full entry here.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 23 November 2004 01:56 AM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
See, I for one ultimately can't complain if someone decides to make something Women Only. I mean, people should ideally be free to create the spaces they like.

What I don't like is the "well-you-can-participate-too-but-we'll-set-invisible-minefields" thing that I see particularly on the feminism forum, and I think is also appearing on the anti-racism forum to some extent. Call me a binary thinker, but I'd rather it be that either I can talk freely or I can't at all. I don't come to babble to play weird mind games.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 23 November 2004 08:09 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bacchus:
BWAGA is no protection against the mighty powers of Bacchus

*smug look* just ask Skdadl


Um...is this something the BWAGA Confessor should know about...?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 23 November 2004 08:59 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sure I can't imagine what you mean, Michelle. And I'm sure all that Bacchus means is that I have met him and know him to be a cross between Cary Grant, Albert Einstein, and Mother Teresa. I've also met Mrs Bacchus.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3674

posted 23 November 2004 09:02 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
between Cary Grant, Albert Einstein, and Mother Teresa

bacchus, do you have cary grant's voice? swoon.

[ 23 November 2004: Message edited by: Willowdale Wizard ]


From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 24 November 2004 10:29 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is a perspective to consider:
You're building a table. You have a plan, a rough sketch, of what you hope to end up with. You have set out the tools and materials. You have considered various approaches and discarded some because of perceived problems. You haven't quite figured out how to use the available wood most efficiently, so you're picking up a piece, matching it to the next piece, turning it this way and that.

Now, somebody comes along, looks over your shoulder for a minute, picks up the pencil and starts re-drawing your sketch. Helpfully.
How do you react?
You blow a gasket, right?

Or, someone comes along, looks over your shoulder for a minute, then picks up a piece of wood and fits it to the one in your hand. Helpfully.
How do you react?
You may be annoyed, but if the suggestion works, you probably follow it.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4574

posted 26 November 2004 01:59 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nonesuch, that's not a bad analogy.

Now let's add another scenario:

You're building that table. People begin to trickle in and look over your shoulder and add "constructive criticism." "Why do you need that table anyway?" "I think it should be made out of oak." "Aren't we all past the need for tables?" "I think tables are wrong. Of course, I don't have a kitchen, but if I did, I'd eat on the floor." "Why don't you try five legs instead of four?" "I think you should have three." "You haven't used thick enough wood! Your table is going to collapse!" "TAbles kill trees!" "You should make your table out of formica." "Aren't we past the need for tables in this day and age?" "If you aren't going to eat on the floor, you shouldn't buy food!"

Soon this group of "helpful" individuals is involved in a fist fight, and you are left building that damned table on your own. While all this is going on, and you are steaming, a friend comes over. "Nice table, but you missed a spot over here," he says.

And you say: "Thank you for your help!"

yes? no? maybe?

Or do you whack him over the head with a 2x4?

I've been thinking about this topic on and off and I remember reading a study that compared male and female discussion styles in various kinds of groups. They found that "female" discussion styles were used by both men and women when they were not in leadership positions, and "male" communications styles were used by both men and women when they were the leader in group situations. Thus the researchers hypothesized that the so-called gender differences in communications were simply power differences writ large.

Of course, I can't find this study now that I'm looking for it, but I found a few others that looked interesting. Here are some abstracts and quotes. Enjoy!

Bit of light reading for a Friday afternoon....

Gender and Social Influence
Author: Carli L.L. 1

Source: Journal of Social Issues, Winter 2001, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 725-741(17)

quote:
This review article reveals that men are generally more influential than women, although the gender difference depends on several moderators. Relative to men, women are particularly less influential when using dominant forms of communication, whereas the male advantage in influence is reduced in domains that are traditionally associated with the female role and in group settings in which more than one woman or girl is present. Males in particular resist influence by women and girls more than females do, especially when influence agents employ highly competent styles of communication. Resistance to competent women can be reduced, however, when women temper their competence with displays of communality and warmth.

Gendered conversational rituals on the Internet: An effective voice is based on more than simply what one is saying

Cushing, Pamela J

Anthropologica. Vol 38(1), 1996, pp. 47-80

http://www.uottawa.ca/associations/anthropologica/

quote:
Uses ethnographic evidence to highlight the dearth of female voices and actors in the emerging information technology (IT) field. A model of archetypal linguistic patterns is used to illustrate how male rituals prevail. The historical power relations and medium-specific traits that help to explain why the male linguistic bias persists even as females enter the field are outlined. The Conversational Rituals Model employed here is grounded in established gender theory, and in particular in D. Tannen's sociolinguistic research (1990, 1994). The communications of both Users and Innovators are analyzed in terms of Purpose, Environment, Style, and Content. It is demonstrated that when the male linguistic style is privileged to the exclusion of others, it is problematic because (1) the reduction in diversity diminishes the overall quality of the medium and (2) it creates systemic barriers to effective participation by sub-dominant groups by indirectly forcing them to adapt to the dominant male conversational norms in order to communicate effectively. By framing IT communications with theories of the contingency of language and the cultural-biases inherent in public spaces, it is argued that intervention is justified and vital. Potential solutions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

From http://www.slis.indiana.edu/CSI/WP/WP01-05B.html :

quote:
Gender differences in online communication tend to disfavor women. In mixed-sex public discussion groups, females post fewer messages, and are less likely to persist in posting when their messages receive no response (Broadhurst, 1993; Herring, forthcoming a). Even when they persist, they receive fewer responses from others (both females and males), and do not control the topic or the terms of the discussion except in groups where women make up a clear majority of participants (Herring, 1993, forthcoming a; Herring, Johnson & DiBenedetto, 1992, 1995; Hert, 1997). The lesser influence exercised by women in mixed-sex groups accounts in part for why women-centered and women-only online groups are common (Balka, 1993; Camp, 1996), whereas explicitly designated men-only groups are rare.

Moreover, an inherent tension exists between the conventionally masculine value on agonism and the conventionally feminine value on social harmony. The contentiousness of male messages tends to discourage women from participating, while women's concern with politeness tends to be perceived as a "waste of bandwidth" by men (Herring, 1996a), or worse yet, as censorship (Grossman, 1997; cf. Herring, 1999). This tension does not inherently favor one gender over the other each value system potentially constrains the other. In Internet discussion groups, however, where civil libertarian values have traditionally constituted the dominant ideological context, and where few structures are in place to sanction anti-social behavior, aggression tends to prevail over less aggressive behaviors. In a number of documented cases, repeated aggression from disruptive males has forced women-centered online forums to disband, move elsewhere, and/or reconfigure themselves with strict rules and regulations regarding acceptable participant conduct (Collins-Jarvis, 1997; Ebben, 1994; Reid, 1994).

Some evidence suggests that women participate more actively and enjoy greater influence in environments where the norms of interaction are controlled by an individual or individuals entrusted with maintaining order and focus in the group. Thus women-centered groups whose moderators place restrictions on the number or nature of messages that can be posted, particularly when contentious (challenging, insulting, etc.) messages are discouraged, tend to flourish, with large, active memberships and widespread participation (Camp, 1996; Korenman & Wyatt, 1996). Female students also participate more sometimes more then male students in online classrooms in which the teacher controls the interaction, even when the teacher is male (Herring & Nix, 1997; Herring, 1999). While this result may appear initially puzzling how can women be "freer" to participate when they are "controlled" by a group leader? it makes sense if the leader's role is seen as one of ensuring a civil environment, free from threats of disruption and harassment. The need for such insurance points to the fundamental failure of "self-regulating" democracy on the Internet to produce equitable participation: when left to its own devices, libertarianism favors the most aggressive individuals, who tend to be male. Consistent with this imbalance, male respondents to an Internet-wide survey cited "censorship" as the greatest threat to the Internet, whereas females cited "privacy" as their greatest concern (GVU, 1997).



From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4574

posted 26 November 2004 02:03 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm. Now, re-reading that, I wonder if I should have used "displays of communality and warmth" in order to make my post more palatable to the men of babble. Yes? No?
From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4722

posted 26 November 2004 02:13 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm I used to have a fair imitation of his voice but now seem to only be able to do Shrek

Skdadl is fair fair too kind (though essentially accurate *insert ego look here*) but I expect nothing less of someone with her grace, charm, beauty and wit.

Though Im told my voice is a strong point of mine


From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ravenscript
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6803

posted 26 November 2004 02:46 PM      Profile for Ravenscript     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Andrean writes: "We've talked about this before, and it's what gets women's backs up in the feminism forum. Guys that think they're being perfectly helpful by providing a solution wind up being attacked for telling grils how to do feminism and slink away, vowing never to return. They can't seem to understand that it's only helpful if someone asks for it. Thrusting help upon someone, whether they request it or not, isn't helpful, it's intrusive."

I have to admit that I have a problem with this because it makes it seem like women do not give unsolicted and, yes, intrusive advice. That stikes me as absurd, because women frequently do this... I've been out with pregnant friends and had women neither of us knew offer comment on my friend's pregancy and then bombard her with advice that she had not even asked for.

Voice a concern, even in passing, at a table of women and a whole range of responses will be generated from direct, unsolicited advice to less intrusive invitations to talk about it, to no response at all.

On the other hand, I do feel a sympathy for men when navigating the "unwritten" rules of feminism where direct response is tolerated in certain topic areas and frowned upon in others. It can be very difficult from the periphery (since that seems to be where some strands of feminism -- not all -- relegate men's investment in certain issues) to figure out where the minefields lie, since they are often visible only to insiders.

[ 26 November 2004: Message edited by: Ravenscript ]


From: Regina | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 26 November 2004 08:22 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
On the other hand, I do feel a sympathy for men when navigating the "unwritten" rules of feminism where direct response is tolerated in certain topic areas and frowned upon in others. It can be very difficult from the periphery (since that seems to be where some strands of feminism -- not all -- relegate men's investment in certain issues) to figure out where the minefields lie, since they are often visible only to insiders.

It doesn't have to be so difficult. Just imagine how you would feel on the other side.

On second thought, that doesn't work. We all imagine that we would graciously accept good advice; we all (males and females both) think of ourselves as reasonable and open-minded. In real life, we hardly ever react the way we do in theory.

Well, then, we might ask ourselves:
Does the other person know more about the subject than i do? A lot more?
In this case, questions might be more appropriate than answers.

Has the other person invested a significant amount of effort in the subject? More than i have?
In this case, they may already have considered my point of view and found it wanting; it might be appropriate to defer.

Has the discussion been going on for a long time before i joined it?
In this case, the point i'm about to make may have been covered already; it would be appropriate to read (not merely glance at) the previous posts before replying.

Is the subject important and serious?
In this case, no off-hand, sarcastic, smart-ass or cute remark is appropriate.
(This last one is what makes me angriest. A lot of men seem to jump in, for no reason except to jump in.
Some women, too. Myself included. But i'm trying to break the habit.)


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 26 November 2004 08:33 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by athena_dreaming:
Hmm. Now, re-reading that, I wonder if I should have used "displays of communality and warmth" in order to make my post more palatable to the men of babble. Yes? No?

a_d, that is simply fascinating, the studies of online communities. I had no idea such studies were being done. Thanks for the links.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1873

posted 26 November 2004 11:57 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's a context to women's annoyance with being offered advice on how they should do things. It's called Living In A World Still Run By Men. It's about a history of having to fight so damned hard just to be "allowed" to vote, own property, decide how our bodies are to be used. So if we get pissed from time to time when we're told, by even the most well-meaning of men, how we should run things that are specific to us and our experience, it's because every day of our lives we experience what it's like to Live In A World Still Run By Men.

When we get pissed about, oh, women being excluded from even runner-up in the Greatest Canadian Pageant, or one of a gazillion other similarly irksome things, it's not the individual item that oppresses us, it's the sum of all of the items of experience In A World Still Run By Men. Think Big Picture.

Cut us some slack. If we need a small space that just for us, it's because there's so damned little that's for us, equitably, in the big spaces. And think of how much nicer it'll be when we don't need those small women-only or feminist-friendly places where we, and only we, get to call the shots.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3807

posted 27 November 2004 12:10 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And think of how much nicer it'll be when we don't need those small women-only or feminist-friendly places where we, and only we, get to call the shots.

This sounds like the guys in the dressing room at our hockey games. The rink is our one refuge from bosses, both domestic and occupational - and it's a place where NOBODY is calling the shots.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gryphon
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 7672

posted 10 December 2004 06:36 AM      Profile for Gryphon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
When we get pissed about, oh, women being excluded from even runner-up in the Greatest Canadian Pageant, or one of a gazillion other similarly irksome things, it's not the individual item that oppresses us, it's the sum of all of the items of experience In A World Still Run By Men. Think Big Picture.

y'know, that's interesting. Because there were (if I remember correctly) 4 advocates who were female, and none of them chose a woman. So it wasn't some institutional sexism that precluded women from being in the top ten. If you were an advocate who would you have chosen? Except for Don Cherry (who REALLY shouldn't have been there), I think good arguments could be made for everyone who was in the top ten. not because they're men, but because they are great people who epitomize Canada.


From: Guelph | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca