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[Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration



Hi Annalisa,
I would also love to hear from the women. 

And you don’t ruin things for me at all. I am frankly very appreciative you would respond to my post and with such good data, if you will. My little summary of Tannen didn’t do justice to the diversity and complexity of the many kinds of discourse. The book I cited is focused on gender and a certain kind of discourse: conversation. Two other popular books of hers focus on gender: You Just Don’t Understand Me: Men and Women in  Conversation (1990) and Talking From 9 to 5: How Women’s and Men’s Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard, Who Gets Credit and What Gets Done at Work (1994). An even earlier book, That’s Not What I Meant: How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Your Relations with Others (1986), gets into more broadly “cultural” differences in styles of engaging in dialog. 

But even if Tannen sticks to day-to-day conversation among middle America, I think your own experiences and the narratives of women in public discourse that you cite are evidence that her analysis of conversational style in this country informs us about political, academic and legal discourse around the world. An irony from Tannen’s work is that men complain that women interrupt more often, but the reality is to the contrary: Men interrupt women much more often. Tannen found that women in talking with one another tend not to interpret simultaneous talk as interruptions, but as agreement, solidarity, she calls it. Men tend to interpret simultaneous talk as an affront. One can talk here about multi-tasking: Maybe men are just not as good as women at talking and listening at the same time and that hurts their pride. Chromosomal? I doubt it, but I am still constantly chagrined by my wife’s ability to talk and listen at the same time. Hell, I would settle for just being a better listener! That’s not easy for me!! On this chat some of it is simple ignorance on my part about what is being talked about, academic preparation if you will. But I am pretty sure some of it has to do with a tin ear and a less-than-open heart. Still, got to work with what I’ve got.

With respect,
Henry




   

> On Apr 20, 2016, at 4:02 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
> 
> Hi Henry,
> 
> Hate to ruin things for you, but I must not fit in the general gendered paradigm of interruptions. Or maybe I am not understanding you correctly?
> 
> Being a woman who is frequently not allowed to speak to the end of my sentences, which causes a situation where I must repeat myself –which subsequently makes me appear as long-winded compared to if I'd just been able to finish my sentence in the first place– I feel interruptions are most always about power dynamics, as I almost always feel unheard when my speech is interrupted. It is the exception that I feel interruptions make me feel I am heard by my interlocutor(s), where as you say the conversation is being moved along.
> 
> There is also the pattern where people might allow me to speak to the end of my sentence and then continue one as if I had said nothing, in that case it is the shape of an interruption whereby I am made out to be the unwelcome interrupter, and thus ignored. 
> 
> In both cases these are two sorts of speech censorship, which does not contribute to a sense of psychological safety.  
> 
> I was listening to NPR yesterday and learned that in Iran there is an expansion of the secret police monitoring whether or not women are wearing their public hijab properly, and (bless them) Iranian women are coming forward on Twitter having that network moment of not taking it anymore. One woman who is a parliamentary journalist, was not allowed to ask her questions because of criticisms of her hijab presentation. So here is a case of interruption based upon appearance, rather than allowing her speech to be spontaneously given and received. 
> 
> I remember thinking after I heard the news story, that women seem to frequently have to resort to a "forced" flexibility, a sort of temporal bricolage, to make their thoughts known, knowing there is constantly the threat of interruption hanging like hijab around their heads. 
> 
> If this is the reason women are (considered) multi-taskers so be it, but I don't think it's chromosomal, just a by-product of survival through an imposed steeplechase of (his)tory. 
> 
> Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, says what it does because Woolf claims a woman needs to find her true voice in a safe space in her control, a place she where she can be left alone, to speak without the drone of other people's voices being overlaid and imposed upon her.
> 
> If such a social dynamic is something that a man also experiences (and so I believe the dynamic need not be isolated to women only), then I would say he would have an equal requirement to a safe space to connect to his own inner speech. I'm sure though, this would occur differently, since the social pressures are likely not the same, though there would be family resemblances, as I imagine that censorship of speech has deep psychological consequences for human beings in general. 
> 
> One point Woolf makes in AROOO, is that when a woman speaks from this injury she is not considered legitimate, and this means she is not free to the spontaneous thought required to be imaginative or innovative, because her speech is in reference to constrained reaction rather than unfettered creation.
> 
> I would love to hear what women on this list think about that? To add or augment? (Though men are welcome to say what they like also, of course... without interruption).
> 
> Kind regards,
> 
> Annalisa
> 
>