Marked Theory

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 23 times

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...