READING:  "There Is No Unmarked Woman" by Deborah Tannen(click on link or find article in the course Dropbox "Article" folder)
PictureFrom a "What to wear for an interview" website. Presumably, the "don't" doesn't include having dark hair?




1.  Briefly describe what Tannen means by "marked" and "unmarked" in terms of gender identity. 

2.  Two women. One woman is wearing flat-soled shoes.  The other is wearing pumps with a fairly substantial heel. What are disadvantages AND possible advantages of both types of shoes for the women involved? 


3.  Why would Tannen’s “merely mentioning women and men” in her work mark her as a feminist? 


5.  Speculate: What would have happen if a man took his wife’s surname?  Who would be marked/remain unmarked? Also, without using the word “tradition,” consider why women (for the most part) continue to take the husband’s surname, while only a handful of men adopt the wife’s surname. 

6.  In what ways do men in society have the “option” (in Tannen’s words) of remaining unmarked? 


POST CUT OFF:  5:00 PM NOVEMBER 19th

 


Gladys Pereira
11/17/2013 8:42am

Marked in terms genders means that if a women get married she needs to take her husband last name which will make her marked as a married women and she has traditional values. To some it indicates that she is less herself and more identified by her husband's identity. For a male is never said that kept his own name because it never occurs that to anyone. For the male using his own name is unmarked.

Women also choose between comfortable and attractive shoes. The woman in flat shoes has the advantage to be comfortable and arrive to her work area fast and does not make her attractive but the other woman in high heels is very attractive but it takes her more time to arrive to her work place and feel comfortable walking on them.

When she was interview the vast majority of journaliss wanted to talk about the diefference between women and men and she meanwhile she was simply decribing what she observed something she learned to do a resercher to merely mentioning women and men marked her as a feminist for some.

If a man took his wife's surname he will still be marked because surname are marked. Women continue to take the husband's surname because they think that by taking it it will make them be another person a married person.

The unmarked forms of most English words also convey with "male." Being male is the unmarked case. So a male can be unmarked no martter what because of they are male and that makes them unmarked.

11/17/2013 4:37pm

Tannen explains that being “marked” “…the way language alters the base meaning of a word by adding a linguistic particle that has no meaning on its own.” (Tannen, 410) For example: When you use a singular word plate, it means just one plate but when you add an s at the end, its plates meaning more than one. “Unmarked” “…of a word carries the meaning that goes without saying…” (Tannen, 410) Unmarked is kept singular and without adding a prefix at the end.

The advantages of wearing flat-soled shoes are that you’re comfortable and won’t get tired. “…the woman who wore flat, laced shoes arrived first.” (Tannen, 412) The woman arrived first because she walks fast without worrying if she would was to break a heel. The disadvantages are that men won’t be attractive to her. The advantages of wearing pumps with fairly substantial heel are seen attractive and a sense of style. “Last to arrive was the woman in spike heels, shoes in hand and a handful of men around her.” (Tannen, 412) Of course the last to arrive because either got tired of walking with high heels or can’t walk with heels. But, she had men with her because she was even attractive with no heels on. They’re no disadvantage.

They would “mark” her as feminist because that’s how the journalist saw her. They didn’t see her as a researcher, or a writer because she’s a women and a women would write about a women’s view and not a men view. But I somewhat agree with the journalist because that’s what she was doing, she was viewing the marked woman in the conference room. But also disagree because she tried to all the mark men when she adds Fasold. Fasold, the author of The Sociolinguistics of Language, also believed the men are marked instead of the women.

If a man took his wife’s surname, then he is marked because he adds his wife’s last name. The wife would stay unmark and the husband would be marked. It’s the same when the wife adds her husband’s last name. The husband would stay unmark and the wife would be marked. I think the women add their husbands surname because it’s an identifier that they’re happily married or have responsibilities. It’s not a tradition if the women make it tradition. For example: my oldest sister got married and took her husband surname Hernandez. In her mind it’s a tradition because all women add the surname named of their husbands. But men can also take the wife’s surname but when you think of it, it’s based of feminine and masculine. The men would appear less masculine if they took the surname of their wives.

In the men have the option to either be marked by the style of today or the option to not take it, for example their hair styles. “There was no marine crew cut or oily longish hair falling into eyes, no asymmetrical, two-tiered construction to swirl over a bald top…Their hair obstructed no views, left little to toss or push back or run fingers through…” (Tannen, 411) These are the types of hair women are bond too. They love their James Dean, Justin Timberlake, Brad Pitt hair to be on the men to get attractive towards them. But the men in the conference had the option to not follow and be themselves.

aaron yim
11/17/2013 9:37pm

Tannen suggests that marked is staple of linguistic theory it relates to language can change the original meaning by adding, but it has no meaning. Unmarked is a carries meaning that goes without saying. The disadvantage for flat shoes is not formal but the advantages for the flat shoes can show that they are not dress sexy. The disadvantage for heel can be bad for some region areas that is not a hot area because people think it is not appropriate. The advantage for wearing heels can show the some attraction. Tannen thinks her co workers are feminist because they constantly care about what they dress and what kind of outfit. The man would declare that he is married just like women declare that they are married to the world. I think women would be marked and men would be unmarked. Most of the women take their husband’s last name because it is a tradition and it shows that the women are under the men’s control. If a man takes his wife’s last name, perhaps he has given up on his last name.Some of the women keep their last name because maybe the spouse likes their last name or was forced by their daughter’s parents to keep the last name as a pride for their family name. Man has a option of being unmarked by wearing same outfit and same hairstyle.

11/18/2013 4:13pm

1. In terms of gender identity, “marked” is associated with style and attitude – marked means a clear message in terms of whether someone identifies as feminine or masculine, is being conveyed. For example, a marked man would be one who had visible piercings, wore their hair long or dyed it, or wore makeup. On the other hand, every woman is marked, as Deborah Tannen argues in this essay.
“Unmarked”, in terms of gender identity, means that the person is not associated with either masculinity or femininity, and thus is not associated with any negative or positive connotations the viewer interprets by that. It is a “clean slate”, so to speak. An unmarked men would be a man who has a short haircut, does not have piercings, and does not wear makeup.
2. A woman who wears flat-soled shoes would be taken seriously, and might have more credibility in the long run. Her promotions and demotions would probably be valid and come directly from judgment of her work. However, she might also unfairly be kept at her current position, rather than moved up, if her male employer or co-workers believe that she is not pleasing to the eye, and hold it against her – even if they do so on a subconscious level.
A woman in pumps would probably be taken less seriously, but would garner more attention. If her employer was a male, he might initially consider her eye candy, but –because of the amount of attention he gives her – he might pay further attention after a while. Also, she might get a promotion simply based off of her appearance – if her employer thinks he might get something out of it, or simply wants to stare at her more.
3. Tannen’s mere mention of men and women in her article might make her a feminist, in most people’s eyes, because she is marking herself, in a way that might be unapproachable or unappetizing to men. As Tannen describes, a man who read her work, said she seemed like she was male-bashing “because she’s a woman and she’s saying things about men” (414). Though women are always marked to some degree, a woman who does not challenge her gender role, goes relatively less noticed than if she speaks about it. Being unable to fit Tannen into the good, submissive woman category, so to speak, others might consider her into wild or male-bashing feminist, for she is marking herself beyond what is considered appropriate for a woman.
4. A man’s place is commonly accepted as domineering, the patriarch of the family, owner of his wife. If he decides to take his wife’s last name, people around him might believe that the woman runs the family, as she is taking a traditional male role. Since a man is unmarked when he keeps his last name, taking his wife’s name is a “mark” of sorts. Then, that might mark him as submissive or weak-willed or a feminist. As touched upon in the question above, a women has a relatively ‘unmarked’ status when she assumes her traditional gender role, though she can never be completely unmarked. So when she is married, if she takes her husband’s surname, she is not nearly as marked. She is not imposing on her husband’s on her husband’s ‘unmarkedness’. She is allowing his marital status to not be brought into question, and hers to be known.
5. Men can remain unmarked unless they are, for example, heavily tattooed, pierced in visible places, dressed in feminine clothing, or have long hair, dyed hair, etc. In fact, their options in remaining unmarked are more numerous and readily visible in society; men can be bald, have short hair, un-pierced ears, be lightly tattooed, wear no makeup, wear jeans or suits, have beards even – and still the viewer will probably not make any assumptions about them.

Stefanie Jadidi
11/19/2013 12:46pm

The “marked” refers to women, while “unmarked” refers to men. Women have to make choices of how they dress and how they present themselves, and each decision has a meaning and every style is marked. There is no unmarked woman. Men also have the option to choose a marked style but they don’t choose to and have the option to go unmarked. Women tend to identify themselves with other “females” while a male simply identifies with a male without the plural. A woman has to be identified as a “Miss” or “Mrs”, while a male simply is a “Mr”. Women are marked in various ways and can’t avoid being marked and having to tell her story. A woman can’t just get dressed and go out into the world without being marked in some way.
The clear disadvantages of heels are how uncomfortable they can become after wearing them, which is described in Tannen’s essay. The woman in spiked heels was carrying shoes with her anticipating having to change into them later. Heels are worn to look sexy and powerful but they physically take a toll on a woman’s body. She was also late, probably from being haggled by the men hitting on her. She might not want the attention because she isn’t available. The advantages of heels are that they do indeed give a woman confidence, they make her want to stand a bit taller and walk more confidently. Men are attracted to women in heels, and the attention could give women an ego boost and potentially get hit on by their future mate.
The disadvantages of comfortable shoes: a woman wearing them could give off a vibe that she doesn’t try very hard to look attractive. Some men simply view that as a woman not wanting to look good for the male gender. The advantages are a little more obvious to women. They are simply comfortable and give women more time to focus on other important things, like get to work on time without having to be slowed down by the pain of heels.
When a male was asked about Tannen’s book on gender differences, he agreed with many of her ideas and related to them. When asked why people think she’s “male bashing” he said that it is because she’s a woman talking openly about men. The fact that Tannen’s topic is on men and women would cause people to speculate that she’s automatically a feminist. “Writing this article may mark me not as a writer, not as a linguist, not as an observer of human behavior, but as a feminist” (414).
A man taking a woman’s last name in marriage could mean he could be marked and losing a part of his identity. He is now associated with the woman and is no longer unmarked. When a woman takes her male partners name, it may be that she wants to actually tell the world that she is taken and is no longer marked as the single woman. Or she could do it not only out of tradition, but to not upset her mate.
Men seemingly can wear whatever they want without having their character judged. From their hairstyles to their shoes, men have easier options as to how they want to be perceived. In Tannen’s essay, everything the business men wore was unmarked, while she had so many details on how the women dressed from head to toe. Men in society just have it a little bit easier to go unmarked.

Fatima Fuentes
11/19/2013 1:44pm

According to Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, there is no “unmarked” woman. Tannen states that men are unmarked while women aren’t, since women do not have any default or uniformity of style and how they express themselves as women. I have understood that to address to a woman, one must mark a woman’s name with Ms. Or Mrs., whereas for men, there is the default Mr.
Also, Tannen discussed how nouns are to be addressed to men without any ‘mark’, but should be marked when addressed to women. Example of which is the word actor. The word actor, when addressed to a female, transforms into actress.
The flat-soled shoes makes no impression when being worn by a woman, but it makes the woman feel comfortable. The high heels makes a woman feel better, good looking and impressive, but it is uncomfortable and painful to wear.
Tannen is marked as a feminist, I think because she is a woman, and therefore, she is to be marked as someone or something (according to her, there is no unmarked woman). But most of all, I think she is marked as a feminist for speculating differences between men and women, and talks more about women’s behaviors. She considers men as defaulted and unmarked, and women as having no freedom to choose to be unmarked.
If a man took his wife’s surname, it will definitely be a big twist for the world to witness. It will give women power over men, and somehow it will indicate superiority for women. When this happens, most likely, men would be the marked ones and women would be the unmarked ones.
Women taking the husband’s surname is practiced for a long time, because, in my opinion, society depicts men as the pillar of the family and has the overall power to control his family, the kids and his wife. This gives men the feeling of being important, having the obligation and responsibility to take care of his family too.
Men have the option of remaining unmarked by not inviting interpretations of their character and by having uniformity among all other men. I think men do not need to put on much effort, since they are seen as superior in the society.

Fatima Fuentes
11/19/2013 1:44pm

According to Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, there is no “unmarked” woman. Tannen states that men are unmarked while women aren’t, since women do not have any default or uniformity of style and how they express themselves as women. I have understood that to address to a woman, one must mark a woman’s name with Ms. Or Mrs., whereas for men, there is the default Mr.
Also, Tannen discussed how nouns are to be addressed to men without any ‘mark’, but should be marked when addressed to women. Example of which is the word actor. The word actor, when addressed to a female, transforms into actress.
The flat-soled shoes makes no impression when being worn by a woman, but it makes the woman feel comfortable. The high heels makes a woman feel better, good looking and impressive, but it is uncomfortable and painful to wear.
Tannen is marked as a feminist, I think because she is a woman, and therefore, she is to be marked as someone or something (according to her, there is no unmarked woman). But most of all, I think she is marked as a feminist for speculating differences between men and women, and talks more about women’s behaviors. She considers men as defaulted and unmarked, and women as having no freedom to choose to be unmarked.
If a man took his wife’s surname, it will definitely be a big twist for the world to witness. It will give women power over men, and somehow it will indicate superiority for women. When this happens, most likely, men would be the marked ones and women would be the unmarked ones.
Women taking the husband’s surname is practiced for a long time, because, in my opinion, society depicts men as the pillar of the family and has the overall power to control his family, the kids and his wife. This gives men the feeling of being important, having the obligation and responsibility to take care of his family too.
Men have the option of remaining unmarked by not inviting interpretations of their character and by having uniformity among all other men. I think men do not need to put on much effort, since they are seen as superior in the society.

Kelly Hidalgo
11/19/2013 3:55pm

Marks are methods of non-verbal communication. A person uses these marks as signs. Marks convey messages through a person’s wardrobe and hairstyles. Tannen describes men as “unmarked,” in that they have the option of using a “mark” to distinguish themselves from other men, or not. There are “standard” male styles of dressing and grooming that can make a man indistinguishable.

This is untrue for a woman according to Tannen. She claims that a woman is always marked. A woman makes decisions about her hair, clothing, make-up and accessories everyday and these decisions each have meaning. Therefore, each meaning carries a message about the woman and about the woman she is.

The practical advantages for the woman with the flat-soled shoes are that she can walk comfortably, get around quickly and have the ability to stand for long periods of time. The people she is in contact with may think of her as being serious, practical, modest and capable. On the other hand, she may find this at her disadvantage. Woman who wear high-heeled shoes tend to stand with authority and be seen as strong female figures who command attention. A woman who wears flat-soled shoes may struggle to find that authority.

The practical advantages of wearing high-heeled shoes are non-existent. The reason a woman wears high-heeled shoes is to enhance her physical attributes, compliment her outfit and look fashionable. When she walks into a room she wants to turn heads and be noticed. The woman wearing high-heeled shoes is usually seen as feminine, sexy, professional, powerful, independent and in control. The disadvantages for this woman is that she may not be seen as strong and intelligent; she may been seen only as sexy. When a woman is noticed only for her looks then, her voice is rarely heard.

Society reads into the connotations of everything a woman does. Tannen cannot be viewed solely as an informative writer for writing this article. Society must conceive that there is a deeper meaning and so she could be marked as a feminist for bringing up these issues of gender equality.

If a man took the surname of his wife he may be marked as a man who has lost his identity and masculinity. It may be said that his wife is the one who wears the pants in their relationship.

For a woman, I believe there is a sense of pride to have her husbands name. Similar to wearing a wedding band. These publically and symbolically make it known to the world that she is his. She hasn’t lost her identity but she now shares his.

A man can choose to remain “unmarked” by choosing to wear his clothing in a very plain or standard style. For example, a man can wear a plain grey suit and it says nothing of who he is, where he came from or where he is going. A plain grey suit can be worn by any man, anytime, anywhere and it carries no significance.

In contrast, for example, if a man is wearing a navy blue uniform with a gold badge on the chest pocket, it is clear that he is a police officer on duty. It also says that this man is a good citizen who likes to help people and he upholds the law. Now he is marked.

11/19/2013 4:04pm

In Deborah Tannen’s article, There Is No Unmarked Women, the terms if gender identity is described with two very interesting words. Marked and unmarked is a different and interesting way at viewing the differences of the male and female. According to Tannen, “The term “marked” is a staple of linguistic theory.” The author explains this by saying “it refers to the what language alters the bas meaning of a word by adding a linguistic particle that has no meaning on its own.” On the other hand an “unmarked” is aimed more for men. When something is not special or unique can be labeled as an unmarked item or term. Tannen is very specific about the cloths and the styles. The colors and the way that women are spotted out are very unique. This would make her a feminist in my opinion. I do not know any men that took their wife’s surnames. This was the first time I ever heard of such a thing. Other then tradition I believe that masculinity has taken over their surnames. Take the root of the word, (Sur) and you already feel as though it is meant to be that way. Yes a handful of men might adopt their wife’s surnames but it is a very unheard of thing in many cultures as well. In Tannen’s words “ Men can choose styles that are marked, but they don’t have to, and in this group non did. Unlike the women, they had the option of being unmarked.”

Ben
11/19/2013 4:42pm

1. According to Deborah Tannen, when one is “marked” it means something about their appearance is noted by the observer. Women usually wear clothes or accessories for a reason. Even if there might not be a particular reason, a message is perceived by the observer. When someone is “unmarked” there appearance goes by unnoticed or there is nothing about them that an observer focuses on.
2. Disadvantages for wearing flat-soled shoes can be based on where you work. For example, the boss of a company or office might emphasize a formal, professional look for its employees and might encourage the woman to wear high heels. An advantage for flat-soled shoes can be comfort and a sign of conservativeness. Wearing pumps with heels can be a disadvantage if a woman is choosing style over comfort, while an advantage can be the professional look it gives with business attire.
3. Merely mentioning women and men in her work can mark her as a feminist because she is questioning why females are not looked at the same, unmarked way as males are looked at.
4. If a man took his wife’s surname, they would both be marked. For him he is marked because most men don’t take their wife’s surname. For her she is marked because, again, most husbands do not take their wife’s surname. She is noticed for her decision to no take her husband’s surname.
I think most women continue to take the man’s surname instead of the other way around because men are usually the providers of the home so she feels a sense of being “taken in”. She might make more money than her husband but it is solely the man’s pride and responsibility to take care of his wife and the home.
5. Men have the option of remaining unmarked compared to women because men’s hairstyles usually aren’t designed for any reason, shoes aren’t worn for any another reason than comfort, men don’t wear makeup, and for the most part men's clothes and the way it is worn is less symbolic than women's clothes.

11/19/2013 4:59pm

What Tannen is explaining on being marked and unmarked, is the she is categorizing genders with specific names. For intense, being marked as a female, would mean, names such as: Actor, Artist, Doctor, Professor etcetera will apply to females. The Bible uses " Man" when speaking of both genders and also will use "He" for both genders. The female is the one marked and the male unmarked.

The woman wearing the flat-soled shoes, will be marked because she is not wearing heels, however, a sense of professionalism is still appearing. The other woman wearing the heels will have the advantage of looking very attractive, stylish and professional, nevertheless, wearing heels can really damage their feet and cause back pain.

Tannen solely mentioning women and men can mark her as a femenist because she is obviously countering the fact that females are marked and males have a higher chance of being unmarked. Tannen is annoyed with the fact that she is categorized with such names. And it far too late to have a fix.

If a man took his wife's surname, the man would be made fun of because it is not normal is todays society and also because it shows no authority to man. Many will use the Bible as a reference, because is mention that the man is the head of the house and not the woman. So for the man to carry his wife's last name it would make him look weak. So many women would rather take their husbands last names, to make the man feel superior.

Men have the option of being unmarked when using surnames or other names in different languages. Men can call themselves Anything and still remain unmarked.

Jose Gomez
11/19/2013 5:17pm

Tannen when she says "marked" is talking about women and their gender role, she is saying that if a woman does not dress appropriate she will be perceived as not carrying and not playing her role. When Tannen talks about "unmarked", she is talking about men and the fact that for men it does not make a difference if they all dress the same since they are never judged like women are.
The woman wearing the flat-sole shoes, is more comfortable with herself. It is not that she does not care about her appearance, but she is more interested in being comfortable than looking sexy for me. The woman wearing the pumps with a substantial heel, on the other hand is still somewhat comfortable. She does care about being prepare and she is also keeping men happy by filling her gender role. The disadvantage of the flat over the heel shoes, is that men will feel a little more intimidated by her. The advantage of the heel over the flat shoes, is that she has a little more room to work with. What I mean is that men will think she is filling her part in the gender role, but she gains more acceptance from men, making it easier to talk to them.
Tannen is marked as a feminist, because it is hard for men to accept women can be equal to men. Also at the time when she wrote this, our culture was not prepared to hear what she says. Though the culture especially the male population in America, will always find it hard to accept that more women are and can be independent of men.
A male taking the wife's surname would mark him, because it does not meet the gender role and he would be looked down upon by other men. To an extent I believe he would even be marked by females, because it is unconventional. I think that most women accept taking the surname of men, because they are raised knowing that their first last is their dads, so when getting married they are following the roles. I think that the reason why some women are not using the surname, has to do with independence and them wanting to still be themselves even though they are married.
Men have the option of being "unmarked", because they always go by Mr. when filling any kind of paper. Using Mr. does not say or specify if the men is married or not. But women on the other hand have to specify, because that is the way they say if they are married or not.

Edith P
11/19/2013 6:13pm

-Both terms play a different role in each gender. The term “marked” can alter the actual meaning in other words it implies something else without having a true meaning just alone. Such as in females certain things give another meaning to them that may describe them in how they are seen. What she means with the term “unmarked” is something that has gone or is not interpret in a manner that may not imply another meaning. Such as men are unmarked in various ways they can wear and appear as they want and it is ok whereas woman are always criticize in the way they appear and dress.
-The advantages for the woman wearing flats are that she is comfortable in her shoes and it is easier to walk from place to place. In her wearing flats she is much safe because they have grip. The woman wearing heels gives different appearance such as she look attractive is to most likely to be appealing. The woman in heels legs would appear longer. The disadvantage for the woman in flats is that she isn’t as appealing and wouldn’t catch a male’s attention. In other words not sexy. The woman in heels has a tad bit of difficulty getting around after a while since she would take more time getting from one place to another. Wearing heels aren’t comfortable.
-The reason I would say she has been marked as feminist in he work is because in way she goes about defending or standing up to make a difference for women. To have some kind of justification be made for women that should be applied to both men and women and not have certain exception for only men. -If a male had taken his wife’s surname nothing would happen it is as if it makes no difference. The male would still remain unmarked no comments would be made about it. The woman is the one who gets marked whether she takes he husbands last name or not. All comments both positive or negative fall and go on to the wife. It’s as the wife is the one who gets judged by everyone that may know her. The reason why women continue to take the husbands last name when married it is because that has been around and everyone is familiar with. Marriage after marriage it continues to repeat itself. Perhaps the one that do take the wife’s surname is out if respect and to be fair about it since it has been going on for years.
-The way men in society have the “option” to remain unmarked is by the way they dress and their appearance. Men do not have to worry about what to wear they are not criticize for that. They aren’t expected to look a certain way.

11/20/2013 11:01am

Deborah Tannen is a Georgetown University linguistic professor who is trying to describe how often and normal it is for society to judge woman by appearance. There are many advantages of wearing flat solid shoes. For example, they are very comfortable and they go with anything you wear. Also you can easily run with it without thinking you are going to trip and fall. Solid flat shoes are for everyday life. Although some guys point out saying that when girls constantly wear solid flat shoes they start looking like guys. Women are often judged that way because of the shoe issue. On the other hand, hills are very nice but they both have advantages and disadvantages for the woman involved. The advantage is that it looks very noce very attractive and elegant. The disadvantage is that it can be very painful to wear and not all woman can last a whole day with it. Deborah was marked as a feminist because she would do her hair in style and dress in style most importantly she took a good care of herself a woman. Therefore, Deborah was being judged as a woman. To me getting the husbands surname is a religious reason. But for the most part I did not know that there are men who take the wife’s surname. In that situation the guy might be marked because in other people’s eyes he is playing the woman’s role therefore, he would be judged. In societies words, the only way a man would stay unmarked is if the dint take their wife’s surname or if they did not come out to be gay.

Jeobana Gutierrez
11/20/2013 7:35pm

The “marked” In terms of gender identity, is associated with style and attitude. "Marked" is a clear message on whether someone identifies oneself as feminine or masculine. For example, a marked man would be one who have piercings, long hair long and even one who wears makeup. On the other hand, according to Deborah Tannen, every woman is marked. “Unmarked”, in terms of gender identity, is a person who is not associated with either masculinity or femininity, nr one who is associated with any negative or positive connotations that society might interpret. An unmarked men would be a regular man who does not interfere with his masculinity appearance. Woman are marked on a daily basis compared to men.


A woman who wears pumps would probably be taken less seriously, but would get more attention from both other women or men. A woman on pumps can basically get what ever she wants. If she is trying to get the attention of male, she will absolutely. She will also be criticize by men and women and be considered not descent at all. But, woman who decides to wear pumps can also have no intentions on being marked even when she knows she will get others talk bad about her.
On the other side a woman who wears flat-soled shoes would be taken a bit more seriously. Or can be judged as well. She can be seen as a nerd or out of style (depending on the combination of what she is wearing). The way I see it I think that no matter what a woman decides to wear, either showing skin or being uptight she will be marked by someone no matter her intentions.


Tannen’s mentioning more men over women in her article might make her a feminist, in most people’s eyes, because she is openly talking about men. A man who read her work, said she seemed like she was male-bashing just for the fact that she was talking about men. It seems like men can talk openly about woman without being marked, but it is very wrong for a woman to talk about a men. Though women are always marked to some degree, a woman who does not challenge her gender role, goes relatively less noticed and is most likely she wont be marked in that aspect.


When a couple get married he immediately passes his last name to his wife showing some type of ownership or leadership in a relationship. If he were to decide to take his wife’s last name, people around him might believe that the woman runs the family and that he is not making his role of a man.Men are not criticized if he keeps his last name, but if he were to take his wife’s last name it would be a reason for him to be highly marked by society. Then, that might mark him as submissive or weak-willed or a strong women. Women is ‘unmarked’ if she assumes her traditional gender role, but that does not necessarily make her unmarked.


Men can remain unmarked unless the interfere with their masculinity tough role. In fact, their options in remaining unmarked are more numerous and readily visible in society; men can wear different hair style, dress a bit less fashionable, wear different types of shoes and they still would probably be unmarked by society.

Erika Cayabyab
11/26/2013 9:32am

1. According to Tannen, the term “marked” is something that has meaning that goes without saying. She states that all women are marked because they don’t abide by a certain set of rules or guidelines when they dress. There isn’t any clothing type or hairstyle that is considered standard for women because their choice of appearance is wide compared to men. Women have to put in work in order to look they way they look. This case isn’t the same for men. Tannen includes that men are unmarked because they follow a certain standard that doesn’t require choosing the type of makeup, nail polish, shoe, or even hairstyle to an extent.


2. Women that choose to wear flat-soled shoes give men the hint that they are not intending on being available but rather want to be taken seriously. These women choose to be dressed comfortably and don’t focus on looking too attractive because they are about business. Women that wear pumps with a fairly substantial heel on the other hand want to be noticed by males and even females. They search for acceptance in both audiences through their choice of shoe, indicating that their main focus is to impress.


3. Readers would mark Tannen as a feminist simply because her essay is about an idea supporting womens’ views. This essay kind of attacks the male audience because she points out what they lack, variety in their choice of appearance, and categorizes them in a “standard” that says men don’t possess character in their appearance because they all pretty much look and dress the same.


4. If a man were to take his wife’s surname, he would then be considered marked because he possesses something that isn’t his own. When a woman takes her husband's surname, she is expressing that fact that she is under her husband’s control and is inferior to her mate. For the most part, women continue to take the surname of their husband because they think it’s a requirement, for it expresses the fact that they are not superior and live to cater to their husbands. When a man carries his wife’s surname, he is destroying the idea that he is in control.


5. In society, men that are unmarked don’t choose to really try to add character to their appearance. If a man chooses to grow out his hair, wear masculine jewelry, and have numerous tattoos, people will begin to speculate and question his identity. This, however, wouldn’t likely happen to women because there isn’t a certain way for them to dress. If a woman chooses to wear loose-fitted jeans and laced shoes, society would only assume she is lazy, but won’t go to the extreme and question her sexual orientation.

Steven Diermissen
12/12/2013 2:21pm

Deborah Tannen states that the different genders tend to be either marked or unmarked in society. Males tend to be unmarked in different aspects of society, while females are marked. Usually men are “unmarked” because the majority of men appear the same in many aspects of society such as his state of marriage, the way he dresses, and being able to keep his surname in marriage. The English language also identifies men as unmarked because the majority of words do not need to be modified to describe a male. Women, however, are marked in society. A woman’s style of dress is different. Women also have to give indication to whether she is married with “Mrs.,” she is not married with “Miss,” or whether she decides that she does not want to give the identity with “Ms.” The words used in the English language also has to be modified to accommodate women by adding the suffixes –ess or –ette.
The woman who wears the pumps with the substantial heel appears taller. The heels on the shoes also show that the woman has beauty and power. Drawbacks to the high-heeled pumps are that it becomes difficult to walk as easily as flat-soled shoes. The woman who wears the flat-soled shoes, by contrast would appear shorter, but she is more comfortable and can walk around easier than the woman wearing the high-heeled pumps. Drawbacks to the comfortable shoes are that she appears to have less power and beauty.
Tannen has been marked as a feminist since she is pointing out the ways the women can be marked in society, while the men can be unmarked. She points out the ways women can be judged according to the way she dresses or identifies herself in forms.
Some men have already taken the woman’s surname in marriage. It is still not seen as normal in society, and the process to take the woman’s surname is much more expensive than the cost for a woman to change her surname to the man’s. It would also mark the man in society since he decided to challenge the views society has in marriage name change.


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    Prof. David Fulton

    I received my MA in English from CSU, Northridge and his .MFA in Creative Writing from CSU, Long Beach. I have  been teaching College English since 2004.. I am a published poet and was recently a Pushcart Prize finalist for my poem "Hubris" In addition to teaching,, I enjoy cooking, figuring out how to garden, going to the gym, researching Shakespeare, and watching MMA. 

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