Men Speak, Women Stay Silent?

The common stereotype is that women like to talk more than men. One neuropsychiatrist even reported in The Female Brain that women use 20,000 words per day compared to only 7,000 for men. A recent article, The Last Word: Men Talk As Much As Women, along with a study reported in Science, refuted these findings. Turns out women and men both speak about 16,000 words a day, or 15 words per waking minute. (Individuals vary, naturally.)

But in educational and professional settings, I've always been troubled by a verbal inequality between men and women. Starting in high school (1980s), then college (late 1980s), then business school (1990s), and in meetings in various business and volunteer roles since then, I've taken informal note of how often women speak in public and how often teachers or people running meetings call on women.

What I found is that 1) in a free-speak forum, women speak publicly about 25 percent of the time, vs. 75 percent for men and 2) when the forum is caller-led, women are called upon about one-third as often as men are (even when the caller is a woman). I've found that when there is even one man present, we women defer to him and expect him to speak first. (As everyone knows, I'm no scientist and I have no reputable data to back up these percentages; these are just my observations.)

The one exception to this were my years at Seventeen Magazine in the late 1980s. Of the 50 people in the editorial department, 50 were female. Problem solved -- at least within those pink walls. Which is why so many women advocate for the value of single sex education. And why those against all girls schools argue, great -- but what about the bias you inevitably confront in the "real world?"

Men don't seem to consciously dominate public discussions; they don't blatantly cut women off or ridicule their views. And it's not that women don't have opinions. We certainly do. Talk to women before and after the male-dominated meetings, and it is easy to solicit opinions. We just don't share them in public. Why? The problem is stubborn and pernicious. Women hesitate to speak up. Men don't hesitate. So, by default more men speak, and more women stay silent.

This behavior is problematic for schools, for businesses, for men and women everywhere, because it means women's opinions don't get heard as often as they should given women's educations, intelligence, and experience.

What is your observation? Are you more hesitant to speak in public when men are present? And men -- do you think women hold back in public vs. private? What are the costs -- and cures -- to this behavior? Do your own research today and tell us what you find.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  July 25, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Conflicts
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And this has what to do with balance?

Posted by: nO Balance | July 25, 2007 7:08 AM

In my field of profession (engineering) the women are not much different from the men in meetings. If they've got a viewpoint or opinion they'll voice it, and everyone listens.

However, when I was giving a tour for an engineering seminar a few weeks ago, I did notice that many of the tour-goers tended to want to listen to the men more than the women tourguides.

Could that be because typically men are considered to be more authoritative, and so they are given more attention because of it? In my case, since I was the lead engineer for the project the tour was presenting, I did have more information on it than anyone else, but even the other male tourguides got more attention.

Posted by: John L | July 25, 2007 7:20 AM

I think this is very situational.

If it's a topic I care about and have a firm opinion on then I speak out.

If it's a group I'm familiar and comfortable with I speak out -- LOL whether I know anything about the topic at all!

As I think about it, it's whether you feel equal and that your opinion will be accepted without ridicule. Many women, myself included, are more sensitive to perceived "ridicule", so they hesitate. I think the "balance" issue is that the writers cited argue that men speak out with fewer situational constraints. Many men would do well to be more like women in that regard!

Posted by: RoseG | July 25, 2007 7:21 AM

How many men have stayed silent about something only to go home and hear their wives say "Be a man! Speak up!"

Women expect men to lead, this is hardwired and will take zillions of years of evolution to undo. I've said this before, but when women start desiring shorter, poorer men, then all these "balance" issues will disappear.

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows | July 25, 2007 7:21 AM

Bunk. Next topic please.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 7:25 AM

I have to disagree. In high school (late 80s) the girls definitely out talked the guys. They were the first ones to speak in most classes and usually had the right answer. In my professional setting now (attorney) I find women just as free to speak as men and that it is easily equal. Women speak as much as men and I don't notice any pattern as to who speaks first.

Posted by: HappyDad | July 25, 2007 7:34 AM

Not bunk. Some women will defer to men; I've had the experience of being the only man in a group and sensing that they were expecting me to want to talk first, to lead, to express my opinion. It was a weird vibe, but it was as though the women kind of wanted me to go first. I have dubbed it the There's A Noise Outside syndrome, when, in the middle of the night, there's a loud BANG outside. Can you guess which gender grabs the flashlight and walks out in the dark to see what happened? Maybe this has something to do with the anticipation of conflict, and women's (generally speaking) aversion to conflict. I don't think men seek conflict, we're just not so spooked by it.

Posted by: robert | July 25, 2007 7:36 AM

HappyDad - Glad to hear it. Can you tell us more (since this is different from what I see). Where did you go to high school? Was there anything unusual (small class size, etc) about your school? Also, do you think that law school is an equalizer or gender/eraser of sorts? For longer than other professional schools, law schools have accepted 50% female classes.

Posted by: Leslie | July 25, 2007 7:39 AM

Like John L, I'm an engineer, and have noticed no difference between women and men speaking up in a technical meeting where the "right answers" are needed. However, in most other circumstances the higher ranking person tends to dictate the flow of the conversation, and that's more often men. When the senior technical people are women, they tend to dominate the informal chatter. But given the relative number of senior male and female engineers, that doesn't happen too often.

My experience is that the situation is far worse in other countries, though, particularly in Asia. I used to work with an absolutely brilliant female engineer from a Japanese company. When we met in North America, she was outgoing and a leader in the discussion (she spoke fluent English). When we met in Japan, she was supposed to be only a minor player in the discussions - it was almost a dishonor to her company if she had to answer a tough technical question. A couple of times I had to refrain from laughing during meetings in Tokyo, when I knew that the male engineers I was talking to had no clue what the solution was but the woman at the end of the table had already figured it out. They asked permission to speak to one another in Japanese, and would ask her quietly. She'd tell them what to say, and they'd continue the conversation. I certainly wasn't fluent in Japanese, but I knew enough to know what was going on.

Posted by: Army Brat | July 25, 2007 7:42 AM

My two cents worth: my daughter was educated co-ed through pre-k. She has been all-girls since. She commented after the first week of kindergarten how nice it was to not have boys in the class, for a variety of reasons. We've noticed that the girls can speak more freely when they're not concerned what the boys will think. Our daughter is now used to her opinions being valued by her peers so when she does co-ed activities she is more likely to speak up and stand strong behind her opinions. Obviously we are supporters of single-sex education for our daughter. But, to each their own, yes?

Posted by: 21117 | July 25, 2007 7:45 AM

your daughter notices boys in kindergarten?
at that age, mine thought they were yucky and gross.

Posted by: 19101 | July 25, 2007 7:48 AM

"educated co-ed through pre-k"?

What exactly does that entail? My kid didn't start "education" until after pre-K. And yes, she went to day care/pre-school, but it wasn't "education" in my book.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 7:57 AM

I have never had a problem speaking in front of a group of any size. My husband is the same. We've both spoken in front of groups of up to 1,000. He would probably say that I talk more than he does, and he's probably right. I tend to do my thinking out loud in informal situations.

At work, I have learned to be much more reticent. It has nothing to do with the men I work with -- frankly, I don't work with many in my profession and those I do work with are usually surrounded by women and are quieter anyway. It's just that from a very early age, I have adored the sound of my own voice and I think highly of my opinions, but I haven learned that not everyone feels the same!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 25, 2007 8:05 AM

"My kid didn't start "education" until after pre-K. And yes, she went to day care/pre-school, but it wasn't "education" in my book."

And that is why your kid will be serving burgers to my kid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:09 AM

Why do people on these fora attack each other?

My experience is that women often can't get a word in edgewise in discussions involving men. Men like to dominate for various reasons, and also, I think they are taught to feel free to express their opinions. All you have to do is read the book You Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen. She did scientifically find that men talk more, and women apologize more (in expressing opinion).

Posted by: Tolerate! | July 25, 2007 8:11 AM

Why do people on these fora attack each other?

My experience is that women often can't get a word in edgewise in discussions involving men. Men like to dominate for various reasons, and also, I think they are taught to feel free to express their opinions. All you have to do is read the book You Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen. She did scientifically find that men talk more, and women apologize more (in expressing opinion).

Posted by: Tolerate! | July 25, 2007 8:11 AM

Why do people on these fora attack each other?

My experience is that women often can't get a word in edgewise in discussions involving men. Men like to dominate for various reasons, and also, I think they are taught to feel free to express their opinions. All you have to do is read the book You Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen. She did scientifically find that men talk more, and women apologize more (in expressing opinion).

Posted by: Tolerate! | July 25, 2007 8:11 AM

Geez, we heard you the first time.

Posted by: To Tolerate. | July 25, 2007 8:13 AM

"My kid didn't start "education" until after pre-K. And yes, she went to day care/pre-school, but it wasn't "education" in my book."

And that is why your kid will be serving burgers to my kid.

______________________

The kid who didn't start "education" until after pre-K is now in her second year at one of the best engineering colleges in the country, on a full academic scholarship.

Your kid will be working for her one day. Heck, I may be working for her one day.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:15 AM

I was a paleontologist once upon a time (before ruined joints). That made me a girl in a mostly-boys club.

I HAD to speak up - loud and often. Wasn't shy about it at all, and the same went for my other female colleagues, both in paleo and in geology in general. So perhaps my experiences were a little skewed until I left geology...but not too much because I went into IT (another predominantly boys club at the time).

However, nothing prepared me for leaving the East Coast, land of the kick-@ss woman. ;)

I currently sit on the steering committee of a business fair that's aimed at helping women get started in small/micro business in the rural/agricultural part of the Midwest. While men are not barred, it is marketed towards women.

Recently, it was discussed that maybe we should open it up and make it more inclusive, gender-wise. I thought that was a fine idea, as did one other woman and sole male representative - we three thought it was a really helpful event, no matter your gender.

However, all the other people on the committee - all professional women - disagreed strongly. They said that many women told them during the day how much they loved the event because they didn't feel afraid to speak up in front of the men. And that men didn't get a chance to lead the conversations that went on in our networking sessions.

That shocked the hell out of me - it never occurred to me that some women wouldn't speak up if a man was in the room. I suggested that perhaps next year we feature some ways to get over fears of public speaking and/or some mild assertiveness training to boost their confidence. Because how on earth were they going to succeed in business if they didn't want to talk around men?

Makes me bless my parents even more for instilling in me the self confidence and independence to be the person I am.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | July 25, 2007 8:16 AM

When I first practicing law, I didn't tend to speak in public situations and meetings. It had nothing at all to do with gender, and everything to do with my automatic assumption that everybody else present was smarter/quicker/more senior than I was. As I gained more experience and became comfortable with my co-workers and my abilities, I became much more outspoken.

For me, at least, my level of outspokenness is directly related to how confident I am in my own knowledge of the topic. In undergrad, you couldn't shut me up, no matter who was in the classroom. In law school, I was nearly silent.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 25, 2007 8:19 AM

I think the evidence is pretty clear that this happens. And it's not just a question of who has job seniority -- I've read about a variety of observational studies in schools that have found the same thing at young ages. Interestingly, even teachers who thought they were calling on boys and girls equally in fact significantly favored the boys.

I was pretty lucky in a way; being socially clueless, I never picked up on those signals, so I always talked and had my say and was recognized and encouraged as a good student. But I can absolutely understand how single-sex education could work for girls who are more attuned to social cues. Yes, they'll have to face the "real world" one day -- but I suspect they're a lot better equipped to do so at 18 or 22, after years of building confidence in their own competence and abilities.

What is interesting to me is that I see this much more in my career than I did during school. Not during everyday life (hallelujah). But if I get caught up in big litigation or big negotiations (I suspect that kind of work attends to attract the egos). Whenever you have a big, multi-party litigation, there are always several guys who immediately start jockeying for position. It never actually has anything to do with the issues -- it's all a power play, all about whose is bigger. I tend to keep out of that -- not because I am intimidated or deferential, but because I have no patience for that kind of bullsh*t. So I watch with amusement as they posture. Then, once Mr. Alpha Dog feels he has sufficiently asserted his dominance over the group, I'll step in and focus on the actual issues we're supposed to be discussing.

BTW, virtual "hi" to my NC friends -- was down in your neck of the woods for a long weekend, and it was really lovely.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 8:23 AM

I agree the situation is "situational." I am curious whether individuals behave differently depending on the group. For instance, a female lawyer who is outspoken in legal settings...will she be as outspoken in a social setting or nonprofit board meeting? Does the confidence earned in one venue carry over?

Posted by: Leslie | July 25, 2007 8:25 AM

Laura

"Then, once Mr. Alpha Dog feels he has sufficiently asserted his dominance over the group, I'll step in and focus on the actual issues we're supposed to be discussing."

Ha, ha! The most fun is watching the dogs sniff each other out! A real riot!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:29 AM

"For instance, a female lawyer who is outspoken in legal settings...will she be as outspoken in a social setting or nonprofit board meeting? Does the confidence earned in one venue carry over?"

You betcha! The confidence is on this blog 8 days a week.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:32 AM

As an educator for 15 years, I continually become frustrated that it is primarily the men in my classes who offer observations and input - even when the class is disproportionally female! This input is not always high quality, but men seem to feel that whatever their opinion, it is good enough to air in public. Over and over again. Women, on the other hand, hesitate, sit back, listen, and only the boldest jump in and discuss. Drives me crazy and nothing I ever do seems to change it.

Posted by: Becks | July 25, 2007 8:39 AM

Can you tell that this sentence is a question? Of course you can tell by reading it: it ends with a question mark.

What if you hear the sentence spoken? There's no question mark, but you can tell by the intonation at the end of the sentence that it is a question.

Very often, even if a statement is declarative, as in, "I'm going to tell you how we did this project," a woman will end the spoken statement with the intonation of a question, as if she were saying, "I'm going to tell you how we did this project, if it's OK with you?" Not all women, but enough to notice the difference, because I have never heard a man end a statement this way.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 8:47 AM

"For instance, a female lawyer who is outspoken in legal settings...will she be as outspoken in a social setting or nonprofit board meeting? Does the confidence earned in one venue carry over?"

Two years ago, I'd have said no. Even as I was getting stronger and more assertive at work, I remained a total geek in social situations. Again, for me, it was a confidence thing. I'd go back to the "everyone's cooler than you" assumption and try to fade into the wallpaper.

Now, however, I find myself to be very confident and easygoing in most situations. What changed? I had my daughter. Turns out, I've felt confident as a mother from day 1, and have had an easy time connecting with other parents. That confidence has carried me into other situations, too. I recently started a neighborhood watch group and have been running meetings in front of total strangers; something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing before. And I'm becoming a leader in another community organization.

I just hope all of this confidence stays with me when I go back to work.

Posted by: NewSAHM | July 25, 2007 8:48 AM

I went to an all girls high school and found that I did speak up more in college and professionally that other women. I believe that a single sex environment during the teen years truly makes a difference in confidence. It took me a long time and a number of comments from men to realize that I was supposed to be less opinionated or perhaps I was permitted to have opinions, but keep them to myself.

I struggle with the idea of what to do with my daughter when she gets to high school. I feel that I wouldn't be the person I am today without that single sex educational setting, so should I encourage my daughter to go into the same type of setting? Oh, well, I have plenty of time, she's only in pre-school. Interestingly, I don't think I would be thinking of this if I had a boy.

To the person with the college age kid - Preschool and Pre-k have changed quiet a bit since your daughter was there. It is still very play-based, but, man, those kids learn a lot. The Pre-k kids in my daughter's preschool were practically reading by the end of the year.

Posted by: SAHM | July 25, 2007 8:48 AM

I have found that, starting in college, men do indeed speak out more than women. However, I have noticed that the quality of the men's statements is not addressed. For the most part, I say that it is very poor. Many the lecture and meeting I have doodled away while the men droned on.

Posted by: jannesolo | July 25, 2007 8:48 AM

Um...What?

Posted by: KraziJoe | July 25, 2007 8:51 AM

Given the number of female Lawyers on this blog, I tend to think that you'll find that this particular crew is pretty good at expressing themselves. This might not be the right audience for this topic...

Posted by: Proud Papa | July 25, 2007 8:52 AM

SAHM

"The Pre-k kids in my daughter's preschool were practically reading by the end of the year. "

Yes, my kids were reading by age 4 in
Pre-k. It was standard at their school.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:54 AM

I want more Religion fightin!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 8:59 AM

My wife is the only woman designer in a private engineering firm. Heaven help the man who tries to shut her up or marginalize her participation in a meeting or discussion! She has no qualms in expressing her opinion or viewpoint, no matter who is present.

It doesn't hurt that she is by far their best designer and highly respected by all the men in the office, but this self confidence on her part came only after many years of wondering if she was "good enough" to actually have an opinion/viewpoint worth expressing.

Posted by: John L | July 25, 2007 9:00 AM

Leslie----

To answer your question, I did got to a small private high school. My graduating class was about 55 people and the average class size was about 15 for indivdual calsses. Maybe that had an effect on the willingness to speak for each gender, but it certainly was at a minimum equal if not leaning to the girls speaking more frequently.

As for law school, I think it definitely has an effect. Not only are you expected to speak, but required to because of the use of the Socratic method. You never know when you might be called on, but when you are you better be ready to express your thoughts and opinions. Maybe that is why in my profrssional experience women tend to speak as much and as often as men.

Posted by: HappyDad | July 25, 2007 9:08 AM

NewSAHM

"I just hope all of this confidence stays with me when I go back to work."

When you go come to work, please don't bore us to death with your volunteer stuff, hon.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:10 AM

There's an old adage about keeping quiet and having people think you're smart rather than opening your mouth and proving them wrong. Women may be more concious of this and want greater surety before speaking up, rather than thinking out loud and bumbling into the topic.

And I agree with Matt in Aberdeen about women's speech patterns -- they are much more prone to use qualifiers such as "I think we should..." or "perhaps" or my favorite "I feel...". Men just say "We should..." and use straightforward declaratives, which sound far more confident and authoritative. I have had to edit the qualifiers out of many drafts written by women over the years. Oh, and BTW, I am a woman and so not hesitant to speak out! (One of those assertive East Coasters)

Posted by: quality over quantity | July 25, 2007 9:14 AM

I speak up when I want too. You can only be shut out and marginalized if you let people do that to you. I have seen some very loud, control hungry women in my day who you have to actually talk over to get a word in edgewise and I have seen some very quite men who are intimidated by them. I think it can go both ways depending on the person and the situation.

Posted by: scarry | July 25, 2007 9:15 AM

I'm not particularly reticent in groups, but I don't seek out the podium. And yes, I was a "Hermione Granger"-type throughout school.

The older I've gotten the less public speaking winds me up though. I noticed that in particular when I was in my late-20's. It just didn't make me as anxious as it had when I was younger.

Here at work I haven't noticed that men dominate the conversations. There is one individual man who does, but he is equal-opportunity. We've all learned how to escape him when necessary. The youngest employees still have the "deer in the headlights" look though. They haven't figured out how to escape Chief Cheese, yet.


Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 25, 2007 9:15 AM

i agree that becoming a mother has made me speak up more. It's because now it isn't just about me-- when I'm treated poorly, it impacts my family too. Not just my immediate family, I speak up for everyone-- I just feel more connected to all of humanity now that I've had a child. Like we are all family and should look out for each other.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 9:18 AM

A blog is very, very different from a face-to-face group setting. I think we are free from many social pressures here -- fortunately.

I also find that a lot of what men say in meetings or group situations is hogwash. Some (particularly DC lawyers!) seem so awash in confidence that they have to say something even when they are completely and totally uninformed. I was at a meeting recently (the second in a series). A guy showed up who had missed the first meeting and had not read any of the background materials. Yet he was the first to speak and he tried to railroad the entire meeting. It was painfully obvious he knew nothing of substance -- except to him.

It's like the men need to give half of their overconfidence to women, and we women need to transfer half of our reluctance to speak to men. Then we can have productive meetings.

Posted by: Leslie | July 25, 2007 9:18 AM

"And I agree with Matt in Aberdeen about women's speech patterns -- they are much more prone to use qualifiers such as "I think we should..." or "perhaps" or my favorite "I feel"

And women tend to open with some kind of softener "Sorry...", "I don't mean to offend", "I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings", "Not sure if this means anything", "Back to the topic", "It's great that, but..."

A lot of blah, blah, blah self-putdown before getting to the point.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:20 AM

"Men don't seem to consciously dominate public discussions"

Leslie, did you never learn not to split infinitives? Remember, I didn't write, "To be, or to not be"!

Posted by: Will S | July 25, 2007 9:21 AM

"There's an old adage about keeping quiet and having people think you're smart rather than opening your mouth and proving them wrong."

No, it's "Better to be quiet and thought a fool then open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Get it right!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:21 AM

I am a man who is a low-level manager in a department dominated by higher managers who are women. In staff meetings, I am often the only man present, and I can say that I have to be pretty assertive to gain the floor. Nobody's deferring to me, and nobody is soliciting my opinion. I have to interject and 'break up the party' a little bit in order to get heard.

I'm doubtful this whole issue has a lot to do with gender. I think it has much more to do with personalities and confidence levels, not to mention group and clique dynamics.

Posted by: vajent | July 25, 2007 9:22 AM

scarry

sigh

Another spelling error...

"I have seen some very quite men who are intimidated by them."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:23 AM

Learn the difference between typing errors and spelling errors. Sheesh, Scarry merely made a typing error.

Posted by: To 9:23 | July 25, 2007 9:26 AM

"Scarry merely made a typing error"

No, it's a spelling error.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:28 AM

"Scarry merely made a typing error"

"No, it's a spelling error."

One of many, many spelling errors on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:29 AM

"Scarry merely made a typing error"

No, it's a spelling error.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:28 AM

And you can tell the difference how?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:30 AM

"Which is why so many women advocate for the value of single sex education. "

Posted by Leslie Morgan Steiner '87| July 25, 2007; 7:00 AM ET

It's not just women advocating for the value of single-sex education. In elementary school, girls develop differently from boys, so it makes sense for girls and boys to learn in separate classes. In junion high school and high school, boys raise their hands more often and get called on more often, which short-changes girls. Meanwhile, teen-aged boys are a distraction to girls, and teen-aged girls are a distraction for girls.

Single-sex education is a good option even at the college level. Two of our children attended or are attending single-sex colleges. One of them attended Maryland state schools, which are coeducational. Both single-sex and coeducational schools should be available at all levels of education, with parents and students free to choose what is best for them in their own judgment.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 9:30 AM

". . . men seem to feel that whatever their opinion, it is good enough to air in public. Over and over again."

Posted by: Becks | July 25, 2007 08:39 AM

And at length.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 9:32 AM

"Meanwhile, teen-aged boys are a distraction to girls, and teen-aged girls are a distraction for girls."

And teen-aged boys are a distraction to boys.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:33 AM

"No, it's a spelling error."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:28 AM

"And you can tell the difference how?"


Look it up, hon.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:35 AM

Look it up, hon.

Hey hon, you have made errors on this blog too.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:39 AM

I'm not your "hon" and don't ever want to be, so don't demean my perfectly valid views by calling me that.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:40 AM

It's patronizing to call a stranger "hon."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:41 AM

I'm not your "hon" and don't ever want to be, so don't demean my perfectly valid views by calling me that.

Who said you have valid views?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:43 AM

"I'm not your "hon" and don't ever want to be, so don't demean my perfectly valid views by calling me that."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:40 AM

"It's patronizing to call a stranger 'hon.'"

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:41 AM

Sounds like a clash between Bawlamore and DC cultures.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 9:47 AM

We've noticed that the girls can speak more freely when they're not concerned what the boys will think.

The big fly in this ointment is that the world is half men and this type of situation is temporary, better to get in the game early and learn how to compete with boys. The main problem is that most women are conflict averse. Life is full of conflicts, every time you open your mouth you should be prepared for it. I plan on teaching my daughter as early as possible these lessons.

Posted by: speak up women | July 25, 2007 9:49 AM

"It's patronizing to call a stranger 'hon.'"

Duh, that's the point...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:49 AM

"In junion high school and high school, boys raise their hands more often and get called on more often, which short-changes girls."

This is not true any longer. It certainly wasn't my experience. Have you not seen the studies lately on boys being left behind in school and the favor tilting toward girls now?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:51 AM

SAHMbacktowork is exactly right. In my high school, the speaking in class was pretty even, there were a couple of girls or guys who dominated everything. Most of the top students in the class were girls and student government was dominated by girls, this was a very large public high school in the midwest (yes chasmosaur there are women who speak up for themselves away from your beloved east coast). I really think that this is a bit of a generational thing.

Posted by: Chris | July 25, 2007 9:52 AM

>>Yet he was the first to speak and he tried to railroad the entire meeting.<<


Care to share how you handled this, or how it worked itself out?

Posted by: To Leslie: | July 25, 2007 9:54 AM

"This is not true any longer. It certainly wasn't my experience. Have you not seen the studies lately on boys being left behind in school and the favor tilting toward girls now?"

This is certainly valid, schools are taught primarily by women who favor girls. Why? girls are quiet, easily managed, not rambunctious and aggressive. It makes the teachers life easier to have girls and skew the classroom towards those traits. Then they complain to the principal and parents that doping up the boys is a great option. Schools ARE shortchanging boys.

Posted by: not so fast | July 25, 2007 9:54 AM

Care to share how you handled this, or how it worked itself out?

Why, are you out of sleeping pills?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:56 AM

Married Women For Affairs
Find married women who are seeking guys for affairs, meetings & dates
MarriedWomen.AffairGuide.com-------as seen on the bottom of this page.

This is a wonderful ad to have on "ON BALANCE' LESLIE. Real classy.

Posted by: look at this | July 25, 2007 9:56 AM

Posted by: look at this | July 25, 2007 09:56 AM

So, rather than focusing on the postings up above, you went straight for the bottom of the page.

What are you, a carp?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 9:58 AM

"This is not true any longer. It certainly wasn't my experience. Have you not seen the studies lately on boys being left behind in school and the favor tilting toward girls now?"

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:51 AM

"This is certainly valid, schools are taught primarily by women who favor girls. Why? girls are quiet, easily managed, not rambunctious and aggressive. It makes the teachers life easier to have girls and skew the classroom towards those traits. Then they complain to the principal and parents that doping up the boys is a great option. Schools ARE shortchanging boys."

Posted by: not so fast | July 25, 2007 09:54 AM

Whether its boys or girls who are being short-changed, it is good argument for single-sex education as an option. All of our children enjoyed a single-sex education from kindergarten through high school.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 9:59 AM

Why would anyone listen to anyone who starts up with- SORRY, I DON'T MEAN TO OFFEND, I FEEL ETC. If they don't have the courage of their own convictions why waste time with what they have to say?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:00 AM

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 09:58 AM

No, but you are hammerhead.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:01 AM

"This is not true any longer. It certainly wasn't my experience. Have you not seen the studies lately on boys being left behind in school and the favor tilting toward girls now?"

This is wrong. There are studies which show boys are still being favored in terms of being called upon in class.

Also if you look at real analysis of the problem, boys aren't being left behind in school. There is a gap but it is a gap between poor, black boys and poor black girls with the girls being much more likely to stay in school and achieve. At other levels of income/race there isn't a gap.

Posted by: dai | July 25, 2007 10:04 AM

Calling a woman who speaks up "hon" is just another patriarchal way of dismissing her views and trying to silence her.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:05 AM

"Why would anyone listen to anyone who starts up with- SORRY, I DON'T MEAN TO OFFEND, I FEEL ETC. If they don't have the courage of their own convictions why waste time with what they have to say?"

Dunno. There are a lot of postings on this blog (and elsewhere on the Net) that begin "Sorry,..."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:06 AM

Leslie:

This seems like a good time to renew the point that other comment areas on WaPo like this Post A Comment area (bottom of an article):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/24/AR2007072401962_Comments.html

...require that participants log-in, so that they can be tracked and blocked if necessary. Transitioning "On Balance" over to this structure might prevent the nasty, nameless cowards on this blog from doing nothing but disrupting all day. At least if you can identify them you can choose to block them from OnBalance if you want.

If you can't identify them consistently by a single name they will continue to ruin your blog. OnBalance comments have been rendered pretty much worthless since the Summer started. It is a shadow of the community that it was originally.

Posted by: Random Guy | July 25, 2007 10:08 AM

This is wrong. There are studies which show boys are still being favored in terms of being called upon in class.

Wrongo, studies are showing that boys are being left behind and that women now make up the majorities of colleges.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:08 AM

Scarry

"I speak up when I want too."

What kind of error is this?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:10 AM

So, rather than focusing on the postings up above, you went straight for the bottom of the page.

What are you, a carp?

Strangest insult ever.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:10 AM

If you can't identify them consistently by a single name they will continue to ruin your blog. OnBalance comments have been rendered pretty much worthless since the Summer started. It is a shadow of the community that it was originally.

Posted by: Random Guy | July 25, 2007 10:08 AM

This is the same guy who gets offended at almost anything. Perhaps, you should go play with your webkinz and leave the postings to those without such a tender constitution.

Posted by: bye bye random guy | July 25, 2007 10:11 AM

Calling a woman who speaks up "hon" is just another patriarchal way of dismissing her views and trying to silence her.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:05 AM

So is calling her a b*tch!

Posted by: attn: SAHMbacktowork | July 25, 2007 10:11 AM

"What are you, a carp?

Strangest insult ever."

No kidding, poo poo head was the second choice.

Carp is a common name for various freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fishes that dominates the fish faunas of Eurasia and North America. Carp are bottom feeders. Some consider all cyprinid fishes carp and the family Cyprinidae itself is often known as the carp family. In colloquial use, however, carp usually refers only to several larger cyprinid species such as Cyprinus carpio (common carp), Carassius carassius (Crucian carp), Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp), Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (silver carp), and Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (bighead carp). Carp have long been an important food fish to humans as well as popular ornamental fishes (see koi and goldfish). As a result, carp have been introduced to various locations.

Posted by: ha | July 25, 2007 10:13 AM

I'm not your "hon" and don't ever want to be, so don't demean my perfectly valid views by calling me that.

This is so funny considering your whole point for being on this blog is to demean other people over their typos, hon.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM

Random Guy

Duh! Leslie knows exactly what is going on in her own blog. She can decide if or when to clamp down with censorship and decrease the number of posts without any help from you or me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM

Dai said:

"Also if you look at real analysis of the problem, boys aren't being left behind in school. There is a gap but it is a gap between poor, black boys and poor black girls with the girls being much more likely to stay in school and achieve. At other levels of income/race there isn't a gap."

Dai, please provide a link from a credible source (e.g., OMB, D.O.Education, Census) that backs up your assertion. I find it hard to believe that there are no other correlations to race/income.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM

wow...lotsa discussion here

Posted by: andy | July 25, 2007 10:16 AM

wow...lotsa discussion here

Posted by: andy | July 25, 2007 10:16 AM

wow...lotsa discussion here

Posted by: andy | July 25, 2007 10:16 AM

This is so funny considering your whole point for being on this blog is to demean other people over their typos, hon.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM

Meanwhile, you have no point for being here.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:16 AM

Scarry

"I speak up when I want too."

What kind of error is this?

I think this is an A-hole error, hon.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:17 AM

Duh! Leslie knows exactly what is going on in her own blog. She can decide if or when to clamp down with censorship and decrease the number of posts without any help from you or me.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM


Leslie gets 300-400 posts a day and you want her to clamp down? You are naive. She's laughing all the way to the bank so to speak.

Posted by: to random brain guy | July 25, 2007 10:18 AM

Random Guy

"Transitioning "On Balance" over to this structure might prevent the nasty, nameless cowards on this blog from doing nothing but disrupting all day."

What is your full name & address, nameless coward?

What's wrong with disruption?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:19 AM

Well, since apparently anything goes on this blog, 10:11 and 10:15 can both bite me.

There, I've sunk to the level of the anonymous posters. I hope they all feel better.

Posted by: Random Guy | July 25, 2007 10:19 AM

Okay, I regret that last post. I apologize. I am taking the rest of the week off this blog....

Posted by: Random Guy | July 25, 2007 10:22 AM

Is that you, Emily?

Posted by: To Random Guy | July 25, 2007 10:23 AM

There is research done on this topic within the field of linguistics (one researcher is the already mentioned Deborah Tannen). If anyone is really interested, it's out there and accessible.

Posted by: Linguist | July 25, 2007 10:24 AM

Random Guy

"Okay, I regret that last post. I apologize. I am taking the rest of the week off this blog...."

What EVER!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:26 AM

Random Guy

IS ..................................................................................... DC'er

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:28 AM

This is so funny considering your whole point for being on this blog is to demean other people over their typos, hon.
Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:15 AM
Meanwhile, you have no point for being here.

I think my point is pretty clear.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:28 AM

The unfortunate problem is that Leslie favors anecdotal accounts over scientific evidence, when it suits her agenda.

Posted by: To Linguist | July 25, 2007 10:28 AM

What is interesting to me is that I see this much more in my career than I did during school. Not during everyday life (hallelujah). But if I get caught up in big litigation or big negotiations (I suspect that kind of work attends to attract the egos). Whenever you have a big, multi-party litigation, there are always several guys who immediately start jockeying for position. It never actually has anything to do with the issues -- it's all a power play, all about whose is bigger. I tend to keep out of that -- not because I am intimidated or deferential, but because I have no patience for that kind of bullsh*t. So I watch with amusement as they posture. Then, once Mr. Alpha Dog feels he has sufficiently asserted his dominance over the group, I'll step in and focus on the actual issues we're supposed to be discussing.

BTW, virtual "hi" to my NC friends -- was down in your neck of the woods for a long weekend, and it was really lovely.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 08:23 AM

Laura - a virtual "hi" to you as well. I'm glad you enjoyed your weekend!

The dynamic you describe is one of the reasons I had/have no interest in litigation. The comparison of appendage sizes and jockeying for the title of, Alpha Dog, is a highly unappealing waste of time.

The sorts of gender-based communication styles Deborah Tannen describes don't reflect the women I've met and known, professional or non-professional, including in the restaurant business, retail, IT, furniture manufacturing, etc. Your connecting this topic to awareness of social cues is the best explanation I've heard for why certain, but not most, women might behave this way - but Tannen's observations don't apply to more than a small subset of women.

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 10:31 AM

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/CDA00-06.cfm

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:32 AM

At my law school the women's association put on a panel with women attorneys and professors to discuss this issue. It was helpful to get advice about how to speak up in classroom discussions that are often dominated by males. They talked about setting small goals for yourself, like speaking once a week for instance.
As for phrasing everything with "I probably don't understand but I think..." or "I feel" or "Sorry but..." etc., they said it's better to speak like that than not to speak up at all and to take small steps with this as well.
I found law school interesting; I had never felt insecure about speaking up before but there is something about the environment.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:34 AM

The number one fear among humans is public speaking, before even death. Maybe women are just hard-wired to be more cautious (i.e. afraid) than men, so a fear of public speaking seems more profound in the presence of men, who naturally have less fear? Or is it a holdover from the days when women were seen and not heard?

I think you'd really have to be paying attention to notice this. When I think back to all my college courses, it seemed that women spoke up more than men. Of course, my field has a very slight female majority, but there were still plenty of men. And with current studies showing that women are surpassing men in academic courses (in my field especially), higher class participation by women would make sense.

Now, how does this translate to the "real" world? I can't really say. In my small lab, our meetings were dominated by one or two individuals, who happened to know the most on the subject, and who happened to be male. I have no problem speaking up in public when I have something useful to offer, but many of those meetings were over my head academically. I don't see this being a problem in settings where I know what I'm talking about. But I'd like to hear from women who do keep quiet in meetings: is there a specific reason?

Posted by: Mona | July 25, 2007 10:37 AM

I suspect lead poisoning has a lot to do with test scores. Many homes in older neighborhoods still have lead-based paint. More often than not, people with low incomes tend to live in the older neighborhoods.

It's not cheap or easy to get rid of it. Landlords favor profits, naturally. Homeowners may not have known the cost of clean up. It's a big problem. Lead causes brain damage and it shows up in many ways. Not all of them are easily pin-pointed to lead if you are not looking for lead. Aggression, even rage, are more common in children/adults who have high lead levels.

Something to think about when discussing test scores and income, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:38 AM

Mona

"But I'd like to hear from women who do keep quiet in meetings: is there a specific reason? "

Yes. They are scared to speak in public.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:40 AM

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:38 AM
Whew, that's a relief. I thought it was caused by broken families, drugs, disdain for education,violence and poverty. Who knew they just needed a new paint job?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:41 AM

Mona

"But I'd like to hear from women who do keep quiet in meetings: is there a specific reason? "

Yes. They are scared to speak in public.


Hate to tell you but the majority of people are timid. That is why some men and women dominate things. Most people are followers.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:42 AM

As for phrasing everything with "I probably don't understand but I think..." or "I feel" or "Sorry but..." etc., they said it's better to speak like that than not to speak up at all and to take small steps with this as well.

No, I disagree. First impressions are important.Positioning yourself as a timid mouse is not good

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:45 AM

"in a free-speak forum, women speak publicly about 25 percent of the time, vs. 75 percent for men"

This may simply be an expression of the male of the species' need to mark territory. Women tend to listen, think, and then speak if they have something to contribute. Men, conversely, need to weigh in just so their voice is heard -- whether they have an opinion or not. The have to establish their presence -- and, hence, their importance.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 10:47 AM

In a circle of my equals, three men, three women, I found it incredibly difficult to get a word in edgewise -- even though I would regard all three of those men as sensitive enlightened people -- it just wouldn't occur to them to monitor how everyone is feeling and to offer a chance to speak to the ladies, which I think is sort of how women operate.

If you want to read more about the study, and about how these gender roles play out in academics, you should check out She's Such a Geek's Post on the matter (http://www.shessuchageek.com/2007/07/05/speaking-the-truth-evening-the-score), or Thus Spake Zuska (http://scienceblogs.com/thusspakezuska/2007/06/the_playing_field_will_never_b.php).

Posted by: Rita | July 25, 2007 10:47 AM

What a load of BS. Women talking give me a headache, and most of the time they talk about nothing. They are not worth it.

Posted by: John Paul | July 25, 2007 10:48 AM

A discussion of linguistics could be enjoyed primarily by linguists. There aren't that many linguists posting here. Ergo, not many people would enjoy such a discussion. I don't really think that has to do with Leslie Morgan Steiner's so-called agenda.

Anyhow, here's my anecdotal two cents. As a GTA and adjunct faculty, I taught first-year composition for a number of years. Consistently most boys speak, and a small number of the girls in the class speak.

Interestingly, when we had online discussions (students participated from their dorms), many more women spoke up. Not more women than men, but more women than spoke up in person. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it definitely indicates that these quiet women did indeed have interesting things to say.

This concerns only academic speaking of course. Concerning personal talk, I can only say that social outings are much easier for me when my wife's about. I hate filling up awkward social silences, but she's quite the whiz. When I go out with my male friends, on the other hand, it takes a good two or three beers before conversation veers away from sports and politics into something personal and interesting.

Posted by: Josh | July 25, 2007 10:48 AM

even though I would regard all three of those men as sensitive enlightened people -- it just wouldn't occur to them to monitor how everyone is feeling and to offer a chance to speak to the ladies, which I think is sort of how women operate.


UGG, one of those, who wants to think about how everyone is feeling and make sure everyone is happy people.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:50 AM

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002473.htm

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:52 AM

My wife can't answer a simple question without 10 minutes of background. It's excruciating, "Did you ask Sue if we are coming over? Her- well, you know she's had this big project and her boss just had surgery and yada yada yada. who gives a damn? YES or NO?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:54 AM

Josh, are you applying for Matt's role for long post writer?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 10:55 AM

no.

(better?)

Posted by: Josh | July 25, 2007 10:59 AM

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:38 AM
Whew, that's a relief. I thought it was caused by broken families, drugs, disdain for education,violence and poverty. Who knew they just needed a new paint job?

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 10:41 AM

Try reading some of the research that has been done rather than trivializing medical problems. There is a reason why lead-based fuels are no longer available in the U.S. It's a health hazard and you can't reverse the damage once done.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:00 AM

much

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:00 AM

"My wife can't answer a simple question without 10 minutes of background. It's excruciating, "Did you ask Sue if we are coming over? Her- well, you know she's had this big project and her boss just had surgery and yada yada yada. who gives a damn? YES or NO? "

If you spent more time in the bedroom with your wife, she might just SHUT UP! Please. Do it for the world, if not yourself!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:00 AM

The discussions on this blog clearly demonstrate the veracity of each point Leslie made. It is apparent that until women and men allow each other to speak politely very few issues, large or small, will ever be solved.
Lao Tzu: If you keep your mouth shut and stay inside - Then you'll live a long time. If you blurt out what you think to everyone, then you won't last long. Value littleness. This is wisdom. To bend like a reed in the wind - that is real strength.

Posted by: thw2001 | July 25, 2007 11:01 AM

Posted by: thw2001 | July 25, 2007 11:01 AM

thank you grasshopper

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:02 AM

"Women tend to listen, think, and then speak if they have something to contribute. Men, conversely, need to weigh in just so their voice is heard -- whether they have an opinion or not. The have to establish their presence -- and, hence, their importance."

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 10:47 AM

Pittypat is on to something here -- something I have never noticed. What I have noticed is that meetings drag on 'way too long. When it seems that the people at the meeting have "said all the words that needed to be said" (apologies to Phil Ochs's ghost), and I'm anxious to get out of the meeting and back to work to "do all the jobs that need to be done," the leader of the meeting will ask, "¿does anyone have any questions?" And sure enough, one attendee after another will ask something, or say something, on and on until I am ready to go Star-K Raven mad. Often, people will get their last licks in even if the leader has not called for questions. I have always felt that these meeting-prolongers are just talking for the sake of being heard.

What I have not noted is whether these folks who talk for the sake of talking are mostly or entirely men. Now, thanks to Pittypat's insight, I will start paying attention to just who it is who is dragging out these meetings.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 11:07 AM

Not to be chauvinistic, but women should just stay in the kitchen and cook for the real men out there working to make this world a better place. Stay out of our business and let the men run things. The last thing I need is for some woman to tell me what the hell she's thinking. Besides, she'll end up over explaining it and ultimately bore me anyway.

Posted by: Man | July 25, 2007 11:07 AM

"Lao Tzu: If you keep your mouth shut and stay inside - Then you'll live a long time. If you blurt out what you think to everyone, then you won't last long. Value littleness. This is wisdom. To bend like a reed in the wind - that is real strength."

This is America! You got it ass-backwards! Silence was the Nazis' biggest ally, dork!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:07 AM

Is there a neon lit beacon somewhere that says" HEY LOONIES, COME POST AT ON BALANCE"?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:09 AM

Man

"Not to be chauvinistic, but women should just stay in the kitchen and cook for the real men out there working to make this world a better place. "

Right. Men have done such a good job of running the world thus far!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:09 AM

Random Guy has a point. I've spent a lot less time on this blog over the last few months. Every time I check in (maybe twice a week these days)I see less and less interesting discussion.

Deborah Tannen's work is interesting, although some of it is dated and the twenty somethings entering the workforce have had a different experience. In the early nineties I found her books very useful in improving how I communicated with men at work (and at home!).

As for women speaking in meetings: Back in the early nineties I worked for a very male dominated company. It was considered unseemly to make your boss look bad by appearing to be smarter and better informed than he. We were all expected to find ways to get him the correct info during a meeting so that he could make the point himself. It was humiliating. I got out of there as fast as I could.

Posted by: HappyMom | July 25, 2007 11:11 AM

Try reading some of the medical literature on the effects of lead before trivializing them. Here a few, courtesy of the medline article:

There are many possible symptoms of lead poisoning. Lead can affect many different parts of the body. Over time, even low levels of lead exposure can harm a child's mental development. The possible health problems get worse as the level of lead in the blood gets higher. Possible complications include:

Reduced IQ
Slowed body growth
Hearing problems
Behavior or attention problems
Failure at school
Kidney damage

The symptoms of lead poisoning may include:

Irritability
Aggressive behavior
Low appetite and energy
Difficulty sleeping
Headaches
Reduced sensations
Loss of previous developmental skills (in young children)
Anemia
Constipation
Abdominal pain and cramping (usually the first sign of a high, toxic dose of lead poison)
Very high levels may cause vomiting, staggering gait, muscle weakness, seizures, or coma

Adults who have had mildly elevated lead levels often recover without problems. In children, even mild lead poisoning can have a permanent impact on attention and IQ.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:12 AM

Please... women out there, please learn to answer a question with a simple "yes or no" answer. You will save us all a lot of time! It is utterly painful when my wife has to explain in length an answer that simply requires a yes or no response. I even sometimes preface my question with "Ok, Honey, I'd like to ask you a question with a simple "yes" or "no" ok?" and SHE SAYS "OK", however STILL proceeds to do the opposite!!! OMG, I think the woman out there are really trying to test our patience or something. I see no reason why they all do this. (and yes, every girlfriend I've ever had did this)

The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians. They truly are very easy to talk to, hang out with etc, yet while still being able to hang out with a woman! Sweet.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:13 AM

Matt in Aberdeen

"I have always felt that these meeting-prolongers are just talking for the sake of being heard."

They have a lot in common with you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:14 AM

You hit the nail on the head Mike!!! Amen brother.

Posted by: Ralf | July 25, 2007 11:15 AM

In one of those "career building seminars" everyone ends up attending, our class of 12 had everyone privately assigned one candidate to advocate for a promotion. There were only 4 candidates, so there would be some overlap but no clear majority of who to prefer.

We were told that our superviser wanted to have -one- name in five minutes, and the moderators began timing us at that point. The class was made up of both men and women, but no one would speak up with their reasons for their candidate. Everyone was looking at each other waiting for someone to take the reins and get things moving.

Finally I stood up and announced that since we only had five minutes, we'd better get started coming up with one candidate, presented my reasons (given to me for the exercise) for my selection, and sat down figuring everyone else would do the same thing. Not at all; only one other person (a woman, BTW) advocated her preference. Even those with a different candidate did not speak up, and eventually it came down to a vote between mine and her selection, with hers winning narrowly.

On my performance review for the seminar, I got high marks for being assertive, getting the decision making process rolling, and eventually compromising on which candidate to go with (her choice was #2 on my list according to my instructions). I wonder what those who sat there and said nothing got for a review?

Posted by: John L | July 25, 2007 11:16 AM

Is there a pill out there to make wome STFU?

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:16 AM

Mike

"The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians. They truly are very easy to talk to, hang out with etc, yet while still being able to hang out with a woman! Sweet."

Uh, oh..............

Posted by: Elaine | July 25, 2007 11:16 AM

The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians

Not true.

My husband is incapable of using one word if he can squeeze out 50, usually whining about his lot in life. I've stopped suggesting he DO something as I don't like getting called foul names and locked out of the bedroom. I don't talk much at home, he isn't listening anyway.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:17 AM

Women also tend to make "would you like, would it be ok if, if it's not too much trouble etc. statements. Those are weak and do not engender respect for the speaker

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:17 AM

I don't believe that I speak to establish my presence or importance, but I do figure out what I think about something by addressing it verbally. I've been told before that this practice can tend to edge out less assertive speakers and dominate conversational space.

So, perhaps even though my intent is not to establish my importance, that's the still effect?

This, by the way, is why I'm glad I have a daughter and not a son. How much easier (and more palatable) it is to try to teach a child to take up more space rather than less!

Posted by: Josh | July 25, 2007 11:18 AM

Not to be chauvinistic, but women should just stay in the kitchen and cook for the real men out there working to make this world a better place. Stay out of our business and let the men run things. The last thing I need is for some woman to tell me what the hell she's thinking. Besides, she'll end up over explaining it and ultimately bore me anyway.

Posted by: Man | July 25, 2007 11:07 AM

Cool. You'll be the last client I call today, since everyone else is eagerly waiting for me to tell him what I am thinking. The rest appreciate that my advice tends to keep them out of jail and out of the newspapers, and they make a lot more money for their companies when they listen to me first. You go right on ahead, though, and do whatever you think is best. Make sure to let me know how that strategy works for you.

Posted by: Lawyer-ess | July 25, 2007 11:19 AM

Mike

"The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians. They truly are very easy to talk to, hang out with etc, yet while still being able to hang out with a woman! Sweet. "

Sweet? Like Rosie O'Donnell?

The butch ones can be pretty scary.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:19 AM

Alas, my statemnt is true. Your husband is a gay man. From my personal experience, only straight women and gay men over-talk.

Also, with him locking you out of the bedroom and getting called names... once again, women only pull that crap, he's gay. sorry.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:20 AM

Please let our national hero Bill Kristol take over this blog. He is such a student of the human condition. He might have been oh so slightly wrong about Iraq, but I just know he is the king of daycare issues. GOD BLESS YOU BILL KRISTOL!!!! Please leave the WaPo Leslie. Turn this over to a true national here, Bill Kristol. He has served this country in the military and therefore KNOWS what is best to do in Iraq. Oh, wait, he did not serve this country. But surely, DICK CHENEY did. GOD BLESS YOU DICK CHENEY!!!! Oh wait, Dick Cheney did not serve in the military either?!?!!? Crap, now I don't know what to say. :(

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:21 AM

Mike

"The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians. They truly are very easy to talk to, hang out with etc, yet while still being able to hang out with a woman! Sweet."

Uh, oh..............


Posted by: Elaine | July 25, 2007 11:16 AM

Elaine, it's not a gay porn thing

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:21 AM

God Bless you Mike at 11:20. At least you are a thinking person's American.

Posted by: Bab Booey | July 25, 2007 11:23 AM

This, by the way, is why I'm glad I have a daughter and not a son. How much easier (and more palatable) it is to try to teach a child to take up more space rather than less!


You really are an ON BALANCE a$$ kisser aren't you? grow a pair

Posted by: To Josh | July 25, 2007 11:23 AM

"Women also tend to make "would you like, would it be ok if, if it's not too much trouble etc. statements. Those are weak and do not engender respect for the speaker"

Correct. Woman offer their kids "choices" and wait 'till the kids are "ready", which gives the kids the power. They ask, plead, bribe, and beg their kids; men order their kids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:24 AM

Hi Lawyer-ess, my strategy works wonders! It's human nature that women are the gatherers and men the hunters. Men are stronger and smarter, so just let us do the hard work and you ladies stay at home and take care of the things there like the kids, cleaning, etc. Trust me, I don't like having to go out and run things everyday, but I do it because that's what I'm supposed to do. Just because you cannot accept your role in the this society, don't discount me because I do.

Oh and call me please, only if you're cute though. 202-555-6969.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:26 AM

Please... women out there, please learn to answer a question with a simple "yes or no" answer. You will save us all a lot of time! It is utterly painful when my wife has to explain in length an answer that simply requires a yes or no response. I even sometimes preface my question with "Ok, Honey, I'd like to ask you a question with a simple "yes" or "no" ok?" and SHE SAYS "OK", however STILL proceeds to do the opposite!!! OMG, I think the woman out there are really trying to test our patience or something. I see no reason why they all do this. (and yes, every girlfriend I've ever had did this)

The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians. They truly are very easy to talk to, hang out with etc, yet while still being able to hang out with a woman! Sweet.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:13 AM

Mike is a gifted contortionist. Rather than admit that his taste in women sucks and he was so distracted by his wife's tatas that it didn't cross his mind to notice her poor communications skills, he continues to delude himself that her weaknesses are shared by her entire gender, BUT NO!!! only straight women have this glaring problem with inefficiency. If he'd take his cranium out of his anus, he might learn to own his lousy taste in women and his dependence on delusional thinking.

Meanwhile, look around, the ones who can't answer a question in three words or less are Matt in Aberdeen, Army Brat and male trolls.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:30 AM

Right you are 11:24!

You my friend, are a real man and/are/will be an excellent father.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:33 AM

"The only ones that get the idea of yes and no answers are lesbians."

Once again, God Bless you Mike. You are a true American. Please just tell me. Are you from Kansas or Nebraska? Which one. Which one. Oh God, you big hunk of American meat, just tell me!!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:34 AM

Are these hysterical blogs the Post's way of combating falling print sales or something? Clearly this has nothing to do with balance. It just seems inflammatory. I for one have just decided not to be a dupe of the Post anymore. Ta ta, On Balance.

Posted by: meg | July 25, 2007 11:34 AM

men order their kids.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 11:24 AM

And we wonder why children hate their fathers?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:34 AM

Mike

Was your a wife a big yakker before the wedding?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:35 AM

«Men are stronger and smarter, so just let us do the hard work and you ladies stay at home and take care of the things there like the kids, cleaning, etc.»

«Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:26 AM»

A troll, that is what this is. The ladies, they too make the world a better place. If no women, What a desert the world would be.

Posted by: Abu Ibrahim | July 25, 2007 11:35 AM

BUT NO!!! only straight women have this glaring problem with inefficiency. If he'd take his cranium out of his anus, he might learn to own his lousy taste in women and his dependence on delusional thinking.


Sorry charlie, he may be squirrely but he's right. Women jabber and jabber, it's a national pasttime.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:36 AM

Ever notice how the people who talk the most actually have very little to say? Verbiage and content are two entirely different things, just like education and intelligence.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:37 AM

Way to over-speak there, Miss 11:30.

And yes, she has GREAT TATAS, very perceptive of you.

I stand by my statement. All women talk way too much.

This reminds me of my favorite Homer Simpson quote:

"The problem with marriage is communication ... too much communication."

So true!

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:37 AM

"Ever notice how the people who talk the most actually have very little to say? "

Yes, hon.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:38 AM

Abu Ibrahim:

"A troll, that is what this is. The ladies, they too make the world a better place. If no women, What a desert the world would be."

Please don't be offended. But my government, led by our national hero Dick Cheney (who fought in many, many wars I am sure) has taught me to be suspicious. But are you Al-Qaeda?!? My hero Bill Kristol (who has also surely fought in several wars) would surely agree with me, you belong at Gitmo. No offense, of course. But clearly you are an enemy combatant.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:39 AM

This conversation has not touched on something. the dichotomy between talking at work and socially among men. Men feel they must talk at work and do. On their free time, men speak very little, mainly because it is not enoyable or acceptable to go on and on about ones' feelings,secrets, background etc. I can be out with male friends and there is alot of silence, with women, it's like they never shut up.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:39 AM

I stand by my statement. All women talk way too much.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:37 AM

Since your statement was that all women, excluding lesbians, talk too much, you are not merely an idiot, but also confused.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:41 AM

To 11:35, yes, my wife was a big yakker before the wedding. But before the wedding it was cute and sweet. I was so into her, she's all hot and stuff ya know, so it didn't bother me too much. But now, a few years later, it's like she's gotten worse. It really grates on me. She's definelty still hot, but the inability to STFU is really really wearing me down. What do you suggest I do?

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:42 AM

Joh L

"I wonder what those who sat there and said nothing got for a review?"

I wonder when you will learn how to tell an interesting story....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:42 AM

Mike:

Have you become silent?!?! You big hunk of militia meat. You are a true American!!!! Stand up like one. Don't be afraid of admitting your sexual tendencies. We are so accepting on this blog. We will all still love you.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:42 AM

I think a lot of it is socialization by the family (upbringing) ... I have had to stop myself on many occasions from cutting off or talking over others (I am female) during discussions, and I have seen my sister and brother do the same thing. But I also believe that it shocks people more when a woman takes charge of a conversation or discussion than when a man does.

Posted by: Anon anon | July 25, 2007 11:44 AM

On their free time, men speak very little, mainly because it is not enoyable or acceptable to go on and on about ones' feelings,secrets, background etc. I can be out with male friends and there is alot of silence, with women, it's like they never shut up.

Spot on, 11:39! Spot on.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:44 AM

Hey Baba Booey, stop flirting with me dude, you're creeping me out.

Try the dude at 11:41, I think he goes that way. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:47 AM

Mike

"But now, a few years later, it's like she's gotten worse. It really grates on me"

Wait 'till she's a big, fat, slob SAHM, pissing away your money! No wonder men cheat.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:47 AM

Oh Mike:

To paraphrase from the classic movie Heathers: I love you, my dead gay son!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:47 AM

Is the individual posting as Mike, Baba Booey, and the anons patting Mike on the back: (1) a bored 13 year old, (2) a 55 year old government hack, (3) an developer or network server engineer who works from home and forgot to take his med, or (4) Elaine? Vote now.

Posted by: The On Balance Poll of the Day | July 25, 2007 11:47 AM

"Hey Baba Booey, stop flirting with me dude, you're creeping me out.

Try the dude at 11:41, I think he goes that way. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)"

But the dude at 11:41 is not as hot and knowledgeable as you Mike. God Bless You!!!! You can turn water into wine. I just KNOW you can!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:50 AM

Has anyone else noticed that the signed posts are overwhelmingly male today?

And vapid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:50 AM

You are touching on something very important here, very important. I also agree it is an upbringing issue. I think it begins in how the mother socializes the girls. It's a horrible cycle that must be broken!

I'm sure when the husband tries to challenge the mothers yammering, so that his young daughter doesn't pick up the same bad habit, the wife probably wears him down by... you guessed it... talking too much!

This cycle is unfortunately here to stay. damn.

Posted by: Anon anon | July 25, 2007 11:51 AM

(3) an developer or network server engineer who works from home and forgot to take his med

(3) a developer or network server engineer who works from home and forgot to take his med

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:51 AM

To "The On Balance Poll of the Day":

I AM bored, but I'm not 13. And I did take my meds today (I have a horrible case of Restless Leg Syndrome. Thank God those advertisements educated me as to my problem!)

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:53 AM

I am neither of those things. I'm just a normal 30 year old guy that is married, works everyday (not in the computer field), well spoken, well traveled and has friends and family of whom I love and adore. I'm just sharing what I've encountered in my 30 years.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:56 AM

«Please don't be offended.»

«Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 11:39 AM»

Discussion today, has been noted, «please don't be offended» is how women begin, many of them, their speaking.

«But my government, led by our national hero Dick Cheney (who fought in many, many wars I am sure) has taught me to be suspicious.»

O lady, listen. The Pentagon, I visited it when Mr. Cheney was Secretary of Defense. A question I asked him in public, he gave me a straight answer, no wiggling or twisting. Baba, you are making mock of Mr. Cheney. Have you ever met him, talked to him, that you should mock him so? Or maybe, all you know about Mr. Cheney, it is what you see on TV and internet.

«But are you Al-Qaeda?!? you belong at Gitmo. No offense, of course. But clearly you are an enemy combatant.»

An American citizen, with son named Ibrahim. «no offense» is how women talk, but Why insult fellow American citizen? Cannot we all get along?

Posted by: Abu Ibrahim | July 25, 2007 11:57 AM

Poll of the Day

It's a straight woman posing as a straight man or a REALLY gay man posing as a straight man or a REALLY butch woman posing as a straight man.


Or, it's Leslie.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 11:58 AM

How intereting that many men posting today are trying to shut down debate rather than engender it. Reminds me why I don't post on this blog.

Posted by: Suck my Left One | July 25, 2007 11:58 AM

"Reminds me why I don't post on this blog"

Uhh, think you just posted on it genius.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:01 PM

"I'm sure when the husband tries to challenge the mothers yammering, so that his young daughter doesn't pick up the same bad habit, the wife probably wears him down by... you guessed it... talking too much!"

Then the wife gets on the cell phone and it starts up again. What the heck are they talking about all the time on the phone when they are driving?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:02 PM

Oh and call me please, only if you're cute though. 202-555-6969.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 11:26 AM

With your attitude, there is no business you could manage or develop that would generate sufficient revenue to pay my fees.

Posted by: Lawyer-ess | July 25, 2007 12:04 PM

Oh Abu:

I think someone is on here, posing as you!

But if that's truly you, my dear Abu, it's called English, learn it, will you!

(With apologies to Dr. Suess.)

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:05 PM

Yes husband - you do have to listen (and talk) to me when you come home. You have had an interesting day talking to interesting people. I have been talking to a 2 1/2 year old about pee and poop and telling a 5 year old (for the 400th time) that kindergarten is going to be great ALL DAY LONG.

And yes, some women talk too much and so do some men. However I think men tend to not be clued in to their listener's interest levels some times. I found that new QB or pitcher mildly interesting the first time you told me about it hon, not so much anymore.

Posted by: Speaking for the SAHM | July 25, 2007 12:06 PM

Spelling Police!

(With apologies to Dr. Suess.)

Posted by: Baba Booey

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:08 PM

I commented on this in my blog:

http://schmitzblitz.blogspot.com/

I too have noticed this trend. I think the best anecdote I can offer comes from my experiences as a member of my high school's academic quiz team. I attended an all girls school and as such our quiz team was the only all girls team in the regional circuit. The typical team from others schools were dominated by boys and usually consisted of one girl.

It became something of a weekly anthropological observation for myself and my team, as we would watch how that one girl from the other teams was treated. The majority of the time she sat out for most of the match, only substituting in for about one of the four rounds. She did not buzz in to answer questions as frequently as the boys, but when she did she was nearly always correct. The boys, who dominated in buzzing in, had a much lower percentage in the accuracy of their answers.

During the round where the whole team was allowed to consult with one another before the captain (a boy) submitted the team answer, the girl frequently would mutter the correct answer, but would be drowned out by the frantic brainstorming by the boys on the team.

My experience on the all girls team was markedly different. There was no hesitation, no deferring to a more forceful boy.

These days the only exposure I have to trivia competition comes from the weekly trivia night hosted by one of the local bars in Charlottesville, VA where I attend college. Trivia night in college is vaguely reminiscent of my high school quiz team days--only now I find that I have become the more reserved girl that my all girls quiz team always observed with regret.

Posted by: Elizabeth Schmitz | July 25, 2007 12:09 PM

Elizabeth Schmitz

You talk too much.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:11 PM

"Spelling Police!

(With apologies to Dr. Suess.)"

Come on!!! The best you can do is tell me I spelled Dr. Seuss incorrectly?!?!? Be creative! Join the debate. Make someone laugh. Take off the hall monitor ribbon and become a productive member of society.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:12 PM

Having grown up in the Baltimore area, being called 'Hon' is not patronizing or insulting to us. Everybody is called 'Hon' from infant to senior citizen. It's a regional term of endearment. There are lots worse things we can be called. 'Sir' and 'Madam' sound too supercilious. 'Dear' a little too familiar. 'Miss' sounds like a Victorian drama on BBC. I'm sticking with 'Hon.'

Posted by: Hon | July 25, 2007 12:12 PM

As for law school, I think it definitely has an effect. Not only are you expected to speak, but required to because of the use of the Socratic method. You never know when you might be called on, but when you are you better be ready to express your thoughts and opinions. Maybe that is why in my profrssional experience women tend to speak as much and as often as men.

Posted by: HappyDad | July 25, 2007 09:08 AM

Some professors in some law schools use the Socratic method. Others do not. In those that do, most law school students catch on quickly that what occurs in class has zero impact on their grade. If they are not prepared when called upon, and ace the final exam, they have an "A". If they are prepared when called upon, and don't ace the final exam, they will earn a B, C, or no credit. The only nervous people in class are those who, despite all evidence, fail to appreciate this key fact. In my professional experience, smart lawyers are aware that there are no points earned in life by speaking for the sake of speaking.

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 12:14 PM

"Having grown up in the Baltimore area, being called 'Hon' is not patronizing or insulting to us. Everybody is called 'Hon' from infant to senior citizen. It's a regional term of endearment. There are lots worse things we can be called. 'Sir' and 'Madam' sound too supercilious. 'Dear' a little too familiar. 'Miss' sounds like a Victorian drama on BBC. I'm sticking with 'Hon.'"

Well, where I'm from, "Jackass" is how we address persons like you. You won't mind, will you? It's just how things are done in my part of the world.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:15 PM

Someone doesn't have any real people to talk to today and is exercising his right to clog up the blog with dreck.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:18 PM

"Having grown up in the Baltimore area, being called 'Hon' is not patronizing or insulting to us. Everybody is called 'Hon' from infant to senior citizen. It's a regional term of endearment."

Posted by: Hon | July 25, 2007 12:12 PM

I agree with you, Hon. This is just what I wrote at 9:47 AM today: "Sounds like a clash between Bawlamore and DC cultures." The DC crowd may not have known this, but they do now.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 12:18 PM

Back atcha, Baba Booey.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:20 PM

Ignore Babba Booey, Mike, Ralf and the rest of the offensive posts today and consider the following article posted by Yahoo, and proposing that the following eight careers are interesting, challenging, and can lead to more balance. Recommending accounting and PR surprised me the most, given the demands made on friends in those fields. Identifying being a teaching assistant as challenging is laughable. Do these careers really offer challenge plus balance?

http://education.yahoo.net/degrees/articles/featured_want_it_all.html


Here are eight interesting, challenging, and manageable options that can lead to a balanced life for working parents:

Executive Recruiters
If you had Human Resources experience prior to your leave, or plan to take courses leading an HR or management degree, executive recruiting offers exceptional schedule flexibility, telecommuting options, and great pay that often includes performance incentives and bonuses--all free from cubicle dependence. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that human resource and labor relations specialists will enjoy job growth exceeding the national average for all other occupations through 2014.

Accountants
No surprise: free-lance and on-staff accountants are in exceptional demand in virtually every sector of the American economy. Whether you're looking for seasonal work as a tax specialist, full-time employment as a corporate auditor, or flex-time consulting work from a home office, the accounting field is booming.
If you have bookkeeping experience, a bachelor's degree in accounting, or have completed training in another field, you can foreshorten the schooling necessary before re-entering the workforce. Ten percent of the 1.2 million accountants who held jobs in 2004 were self employed.

Home Health Aides
Want to join what is predicted to be the fastest-growing occupation through 2014? The BLS says that home health aides will secure the greatest number of job openings. Once you've completed basic medical assisting training, you'll set your own hours working in health-care facilities or at the homes of disabled, convalescing, or elderly people. With a flexible schedule, you can even attend nursing school without disrupting your parenting.

Public Relations Specialist
Put the personal and professional contacts that you garnered before your parenting hiatus to immediate advantage by working in the public relations field. PR specialist jobs will also grow faster than the national average through 2014, the BLS says, but the best opportunities will go to college graduates with PR and communications training.

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Everyone who visits a physician, dentist, clinic, and hospital has a computerized record to comply with insurance and legal reporting requirements. Many professionals who maintain those records earn a living without leaving home. You'll have to take medical technology courses, where you will learn medical diagnosis, procedure codes and how to use the computer software for billing and records. The BLS predicts "excellent prospects" for records technicians affiliated with healthcare serviced or temporary help agencies.

Massage Therapists
Rub someone the right way, and you'll have career freedom. Certified massage therapists enjoy exceptionally flexible work schedules, working at home, in concert with health care practitioners and spas, or through a combination of serene work environments. Following your classroom training, you may need to seek licensing--depending on your state. About two-thirds of the 97,000 massage therapists who held jobs in 2004 were self employed. Many are working parents.

Marketing Analysts
If you once had marketing savvy, it stayed with you through the diaper changes. Analysts coordinate the work of marketing teams, branding experts, and product developers to create an over-arching sales strategy. Many analysts work at home as consultants; others arrange flex-time office assignments to balance career and family. If you already hold a marketing degree or are willing to take advanced training at a business school, this can be one peach of a career that matures financially.

Teacher Assistants
Since you've already put your kids in school, you know how vital teacher aides are to the entire classroom experience. Almost half of all employed teacher assistants in the country work part-time schedules and have completed some formal training. Many community colleges and trade schools offer short-course teacher and teacher assisting training programs that will land you where you're really needed. Full-time assistants typically receive health care, vacation, and other benefits. Many enroll in accelerated credentialing programs that turn them into bona-fide teachers.

Posted by: Top Careers for Working Parents | July 25, 2007 12:23 PM

Posted by: Elizabeth Schmitz | July 25, 2007 12:09 PM

Thanks Elizabeth for proving the men's position with your long drawn out post.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:25 PM

"Someone doesn't have any real people to talk to today and is exercising his right to clog up the blog with dreck."

Oh, it's more than just today that this bozo doesn't have any real people to talk to, toots.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:25 PM

May God Bless you, my anonymous friend at 12:20pm. Please remember those oh-so-important words that are in the Bible somewhere. Judge not, lest ye be judged. I will see you in hell, my beautiful child.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:25 PM

I will see you in hell, my beautiful child.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:25 PM

What is the purpose of this crap? Go away and haunt Achenblog.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:28 PM

Top Careers for Working Parents

Huh?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:29 PM

""Someone doesn't have any real people to talk to today and is exercising his right to clog up the blog with dreck."

Oh, it's more than just today that this bozo doesn't have any real people to talk to, toots."

Toots?!?!!? Are you my great aunt with the painted on make-up???? Regardless, you need the WaPo to add that feature to this blog where you can click on "Ignore this person." Then you can click on my name and never have to see another of my posts. Your life will be boring and meaningless from then on, of course, but that's a choice you can make. God Bless the Free Market!!! God Bless Adam Smith!!!! Curse you, John Maynard Keynes!!!!

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:29 PM

"Someone doesn't have any real people to talk to today and is exercising his right to clog up the blog with dreck."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:18 PM

Oh, so it's "dreck," is it? And yesterday HN enlightened us with "shiksa," and Bob said a lazy husband should get off his "tuchas."

Suppose the only Italian words that ever appeared on this blog were "stiletto" and "Mafia." What kind of impression would that give of the language of Dante, Verdi and Gramsci? That's the kind of impression that "dreck," "shiksa" and "tuchas" are giving of the beautiful Yiddish language.

Here, I found this verse from a song:

"Vos is azoy lichtig vi der Shabbosdiker tish?
Un vos is besser fun dem cholent un di fish?
Un vos is shener vi a hartzig Yiddish lied?
Un vos is besser vi zu zayn a frumer Yid?"
-- by Yossi Toiv

[What is as bright as the Sabbath table?
And what is better than the beans and the fish?
And what is prettier than a hearty Yiddish song?
And what is better than to be an observant Jew?]

Isn't that nicer than "dreck," "shiksa" and "tuchas"?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 12:29 PM

"Do these careers really offer challenge plus balance?"

I don't read crap from Yahoo.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:30 PM

I think the aarp.org web site has a higher level of vitriol and more rigid people.

But I wonder how much longer. There is something to be said for mandatory unique sign-ins before posting. At least you know which troll or bottom-feeding carp is posting.

It's starting to remind me of "A Confederacy of Dunces".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:32 PM

Regardless, you need the WaPo to add that feature to this blog where you can click on "Ignore this person." Then you can click on my name and never have to see another of my posts

One can only dream. Your posts are the biggest pile of crap to hit here and believe me that says a lot.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:32 PM

Matt in Aberdeen REALLY needs to get laid.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:33 PM

Matt,

You are focused on narrishkeit. Your posts are bubkes, and you hok a chainik. Gay avek.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:35 PM

"One can only dream. Your posts are the biggest pile of crap to hit here and believe me that says a lot."

Oh thank you brave anonymous poster at 12:32pm. God loves you my child. Is that what annoys you? Are you an atheist that hates people of faith. Please develop some sort of tolerance. Tolerance is what this great country was built on. Without it, we could never have had Dick Cheney as the greatest Vice President in history. God Bless you Dick Cheney. You are serving this country as well now as when you were in the military. Oh wait, were you in the military?!?!? Ummm, maybe not. Oh well, scratch that.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:36 PM

Pretty soon, someone will decide that "schmuck" is unacceptable because of its Yiddish derivation. The blog has no standards for tone, content, or quality, but the list of "bad" words grows by the minute.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:36 PM

"Do these careers really offer challenge plus balance?"

No. At least one offers "challenge", but incredibly abysmal pay (Home Health Aide). So you can work until you drop in order to pay for your rent, food and transportation; or you can work those "flexible" hours to go to school and live on the street, or as a free-loader until you graduate. If you graduate. Nursing school (R.N.) isn't easy.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:37 PM

"Accountants
"No surprise: free-lance and on-staff accountants are in exceptional demand in virtually every sector of the American economy. Whether you're looking for seasonal work as a tax specialist, full-time employment as a corporate auditor, or flex-time consulting work from a home office, the accounting field is booming.
"If you have bookkeeping experience, a bachelor's degree in accounting, or have completed training in another field, you can foreshorten the schooling necessary before re-entering the workforce. Ten percent of the 1.2 million accountants who held jobs in 2004 were self employed."

Posted by: Top Careers for Working Parents | July 25, 2007 12:23 PM

Thank you, "Top Careers," for your 75-line posting. I have a son who has just begun studying accounting. I am going to print the above lines out and show them to him, to encourage him.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 12:37 PM

I wish I could beat with a stick anyone who posts about dreck etc. You know who you are..

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:38 PM

"Pretty soon, someone will decide that "schmuck" is unacceptable because of its Yiddish derivation"

You can't describe something as "ghetto" on this blog.....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:39 PM

Here, I found this verse from a song:

"Vos is azoy lichtig vi der Shabbosdiker tish?
Un vos is besser fun dem cholent un di fish?
Un vos is shener vi a hartzig Yiddish lied?
Un vos is besser vi zu zayn a frumer Yid?"
-- by Yossi Toiv

[What is as bright as the Sabbath table?
And what is better than the beans and the fish?
And what is prettier than a hearty Yiddish song?
And what is better than to be an observant Jew?]

We're the Chosen People and you aren't!

We're better than you are, we're better than you are!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:39 PM

"Thank you, "Top Careers," for your 75-line posting."

Dear God, he counted the lines. This person cannot be for real.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:40 PM

I agree with both Matt in Aberdeen's and Quality over Quanity's points on speech patterns because it's a habit I've noticed in my peers and has driven me crazy since college.

However, do you think that women do this more for the benefit of other women? Having grown up in a family of all girls who aren't afraid to tell you as they see it, we were pretty direct and assertive in our speech.

As an adult, however, I see other women use qualitators mostly in the presence of other women. Not having this habit, I've actually gotten into "trouble" with other women for being perceived as being too forceful.

In professional settings I don't see this phenomenon. Women have earned their place at the table, and behave accordingly.

Social settings seem to be the biggest scene for this type of behavior.

Posted by: Seattle | July 25, 2007 12:41 PM

I wish I could beat with a stick anyone who posts about dreck etc. You know who you are..

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:38 PM

If that's your biggest annoyance on this blog, your priorities are mightily skewed in favor of minutiae.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:44 PM

"Thank you, "Top Careers," for your 75-line posting."

Dear God, he counted the lines. This person cannot be for real.

MATT talks to himself at length in the mirror. His wife wishes she a had a strong silent type for obvious reasons.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:44 PM

I can't believe how bad the blog is today. Leslie, where are all your regulars? I think many of them have jumped ship because of all the attacks.

Posted by: regular anon | July 25, 2007 12:45 PM

«We're the Chosen People and you aren't!»
«We're better than you are, we're better than you are!»

«Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:39 PM»

Religious wars from yesterday, you want to bring them back today? Infidels, yes, they may be. But also they are people of the book, like Christians. Cannot we all get along?

Posted by: Abu Ibrahim | July 25, 2007 12:45 PM

What is wrong with you people??? Will no one here defend Bill Kristol??? He was so right about the war in Iraq, it's scary. Oh wait, I think I might have that mixed up. He's the guy that had nothing right about the war, isn't he?!?! But that can't be true though because the WaPo keeps posting his columns, and without any disclaimers about how wrong he has been in the past. Oh, gosh darn it, I am so confused. Please help me Leslie. Get me On Balance, if you will.

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:45 PM

As an adult, however, I see other women use qualitators mostly in the presence of other women. Not having this habit, I've actually gotten into "trouble" with other women for being perceived as being too forceful.

In professional settings I don't see this phenomenon. Women have earned their place at the table, and behave accordingly.

Social settings seem to be the biggest scene for this type of behavior.

Posted by: Seattle | July 25, 2007 12:41 PM

I don't see this behavior in either professional or social settings, but then I socialize with other professionals and none of us interact in this manner. If the communication styles of the women with whom you socialize are infantile and unsophisticated, the common denominator is you - the selector of friends and acquaintances. I'd have no interest in socializing with insecure chatterboxes, whether male or female.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:47 PM

Has anybody else ever seen "Defending the Caveman"? It was pretty funny. He touched on this generality.

My father's take-home message was to be the first person to compliment my mother's attire when going out with others. I think I was first, then my husband and my father brought up the rear. Oops.

Posted by: Maryland Mother | July 25, 2007 12:49 PM

I can't believe how bad the blog is today. Leslie, where are all your regulars? I think many of them have jumped ship because of all the attacks.

No kidding, no Megan's Neighbor, Emily, Megan, Scarry,Workingmomx, Catlady and even pATRICK left a while back. This blog needs real posts not these silly bababoey posts.

Posted by: where are the regulars? | July 25, 2007 12:50 PM

Anon 12:47 - No need to attack me or my social circle.

I was refering to behavior I've seen since college. That would be 10 yrs of observing other women. If you have had the same acquainces, or interacted with the exact same people, for 10 yrs...well, I'm not the one with the problem.

Posted by: Seattle | July 25, 2007 12:51 PM

"Do these careers really offer challenge plus balance?"

Yeah. I'm looking forward to the mazel of the challenges of being a Home Health Aide and cleaning schmootz off floors and wiping seniors' butts for bupkis. Thanks for the fancy-schmancy career advice! I don't want to live in shmatas. Where can I make some big gelt so my mother can kvell?

Posted by: Sarah | July 25, 2007 12:53 PM

"This blog needs real posts not these silly bababoey posts."

By "silly" I assume you mean "hilarious". When's the last time this snoozy blog had this many posts??? (Watch the internet geeks run and count them. You make me laugh.)

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:54 PM

"What is wrong with you people??? Will no one here defend Bill Kristol???"

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 12:45 PM

I will defend Bill Kristol '73, '79 Ph.D. There, I've just done it, by listing his Harvard degrees.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 12:56 PM

"I can't believe how bad the blog is today. Leslie, where are all your regulars? I think many of them have jumped ship because of all the attacks."

Darwinism takes its course....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:56 PM

"Not during everyday life (hallelujah). But if I get caught up in big litigation or big negotiations (I suspect that kind of work attends to attract the egos)."

Laura, I have noticed the same thing with the Alpha Dogs not only in this context, but in the work I did before going to law school. I actually think it might have been even worse in the non-profits settings where the politics always seemed more intense to me. Every "bid deal meeting" had to have the almost ritualistic measuring session before the real work could begin. Not all men participate, but most participants are men, in my experience.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 12:57 PM

This post takes me back to high school, when I was always one of the same three people to raise my hand, and was always the third called on, after the two boys. For me, it was nothing that was "hard wired" -- I've continued to speak up when given the opportunity. And when it was not given, I've made opportunity for myself.

That said, I think men are somewhat more likely to speak just to get face time in a meeting. Personally, I speak when I have something of value to say, or I choose not to needlessly prolong the meeting.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 12:58 PM

To the Anonymous Individual(s) Who Referred to my Post:

Do you talk like this to people you meet in person, or just in random online forums where you don't have to show your name or face?

Elizabeth Schmitz

Posted by: Elizabeth Schmitz | July 25, 2007 12:58 PM

"There is something to be said for mandatory unique sign-ins before posting. At least you know which troll or bottom-feeding carp is posting."

Censorship sucks, babe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:58 PM

I have a vague recollection of a saying (Zulu?) that went, "We don't kill our enemies, we marry them."

I think that covers the whole religious/culture wars rather nicely.

So does Dorothy Parker's observation, or maybe it was one of her contemporaries, "Scratch a lover, find an enemy."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 12:59 PM

"But I'd like to hear from women who do keep quiet in meetings: is there a specific reason?"

When I have something to contribute, I do. When I don't, I keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I have something to contribute, sometimes I don't. Depends on what the meeting is and why it's being held.

(However it also tends to mean that when I do speak up, I am listened to more closely than some of my colleagues who prattle on at length the majority of the time.)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:00 PM

"'I can't believe how bad the blog is today. Leslie, where are all your regulars? I think many of them have jumped ship because of all the attacks.'

"Darwinism takes its course...."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:56 PM

Darwinism -- or Gresham's Law?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 1:01 PM

To the Anonymous Individual(s) Who Referred to my Post:

"Do you talk like this to people you meet in person, or just in random online forums where you don't have to show your name or face?"

Elizabeth Schmitz

Do you know anything about the Net?


Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:02 PM

"There is something to be said for mandatory unique sign-ins before posting. At least you know which troll or bottom-feeding carp is posting."

Censorship sucks, babe.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:58 PM

Think of it as a guestbook, rather than the graffitied bathroom stall wall.

Posted by: Bedrock | July 25, 2007 1:03 PM

Elizabeth Schmitz: Rule 1 is, don't engage with a troll. Rule 2 is, if the comment is "you talk too much" and that offends you, your skin is wafer-thin and not well suited to hosting a blog or commenting on others' blogs.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:04 PM

"There is something to be said for mandatory unique sign-ins before posting. At least you know which troll or bottom-feeding carp is posting."

Censorship sucks, babe.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 12:58 PM

Censorship would be preventing you from saying something. It's not censorship to require you to identify yourself with a log-on in order to provide others with the option to ignore your useless and offensive comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:09 PM

Mike -- try marriage counseling. It could do you and your wife a world of good.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:10 PM

Bedrock

"Think of it as a guestbook, rather than the graffitied bathroom stall wall."

Sez who?


Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:11 PM

"I will defend Bill Kristol '73, '79 Ph.D. There, I've just done it, by listing his Harvard degrees."

But I also have a Harvard degree. Well, Kennedy School of Government. Does that count????

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 1:11 PM

"Censorship would be preventing you from saying something. It's not censorship to require you to identify yourself with a log-on in order to provide others with the option to ignore your useless and offensive comments."

The net result is a "chilling effect" on speech. And, oh the sweet, sweet irony this the blog is sponsored by the WaPo!

All the President's Men , indeed!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:14 PM

I'm one of those men who tends to speak a lot if he thinks he has something to say, which is most of the time. In any class I take, I'm usually the second most vocal person in the room, after the professor.

One day, in the last day of a class, I suggested that those of us who'd been doing most of the talking be quiet until the people who hadn't had much to say--including one (the stereotype seems relevant) Asian-American undergraduate woman who hadn't opened her mouth during class time all semester--had said something. It didn't work.

Likewise, more subtle attempts to get less vocal people to talk haven't worked for me. When I've taught classes, I've been only a bit more successful at getting the naturally quiet people to talk. And I've noticed that the naturally quiet people and the naturally talkative people both come in both sexes.

I've also observed, as both student and instructor, that a policy of calling on people who do not want to speak when there are people who do want to speak annoys both sorts. The quiet ones, who think they don't have anything to say (and often, when you try to force them, turn out to be right), are embarrassed; the vocal ones are frustrated and feel that their contributions are not respected.

Maybe the "equal time" feminists ought to try just accepting that people are different.

Posted by: Alexander | July 25, 2007 1:14 PM

But I also have a Harvard degree. Well, Kennedy School of Government. Does that count????

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 01:11 PM

proof positive of the dumbing down of higher education.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:15 PM

Alexander

What subjects do you teach?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:19 PM

A "chilling effect" is a situation where speech or conduct is suppressed or limited by fear of penalization at the hands of an individual or group. For example, the threat of a costly and lengthy lawsuit might prompt self-censorship and have a chilling effect on free speech.

There is no chilling effect from forcing people to log in in order to participate in a blog. It's a fairly common filter designed to make the blog a more interesting place for those not fascinated by anon trolls. What a country!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:20 PM

Sheesh - as if logging in to a blog before submitting a comment could constitute an "undue burden" consistent with First Amendment jurisprudence. Stop tossing around terms you've only heard on ACLU blogs as if you know what they mean.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:21 PM

"But I also have a Harvard degree. Well, Kennedy School of Government. Does that count????"

Posted by: Baba Booey | July 25, 2007 01:11 PM

As a graduate degree, it counts just as much as George W. Bush's MBA '75. Tell the admiring bog -- uh, make that blog -- the degree and the year, and I'll put a number after your name, too.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 1:21 PM

"I've always been troubled by a verbal inequality between men and women."

I see you have met my girlfriend.

Posted by: qwerty | July 25, 2007 1:22 PM

"There is no chilling effect from forcing people to log in in order to participate in a blog."

When you FORCE people to do something on the Net, it has a chilling effect, Adolf!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:24 PM

Maybe the "equal time" feminists ought to try just accepting that people are different.

Posted by: Alexander | July 25, 2007 01:14 PM

Say what? How does the rest of your post support the weird feminist-bashing at the end? People are different, but it's not their gender that determines their communication style. Your comments before the incongruous ending are consistent with the conclusion that communications styles reflect personality and socialization rather than biology.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:24 PM

SURE you're a Harvard grad, Baba. Your lack of meds is making you delusional. Get off the blog and go find another group to bother.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:27 PM

When you FORCE people to do something on the Net, it has a chilling effect, Adolf!

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 01:24 PM

say it twelve more times and it won't be any more true. Most blogs require log-ins, to good effect.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:27 PM

Maybe the "equal time" feminists ought to try just accepting that people are different.

They can't because that would rip the heart out of feminism, which is that gender is irrelevant.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:28 PM

Alexander

"Maybe the "equal time" feminists ought to try just accepting that people are different."


Come again? I take it that your life as a loud-mouthed male has been hunky-chunky so far. How nice for you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:28 PM

"And I've noticed that the naturally quiet people and the naturally talkative people both come in both sexes."

I think that this is true, and I also agree that the goal is not necessarily "equal time." As someone noted earlier, people who do not speak that much but always speak thoughfully often get the most respect for their words. I don't see any reason that we should be hoping that women will begin talking for sake of talking more.

I think the real questions are whether we teach girls to consistently undervalue their ability to contribute or to avoid appearing too challenging/aggressive/assertive/insert your adjective here and that causes them to hold back unnecessarily, or whether we consistently create situations where more aggressive speakers are favored over polite ones (which doesn't necessarily break things out by sex either, but seems to be part of the issue in some way).

I tend to agree with you about forcing quiet people to talk in classrooms. However, I've also noticed that where a teacher or facilitator does not impose some structure - hand raising or something along those lines - people who are polite, shy, or more hesitant will be drowned out even when they wish to contribute by those who are more comfortable jumping in and cutting others off.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 1:31 PM

Alexander's next class: why the behavior of a lone Asian-American women in my class is representatitve of the behavior of all women worldwide, and other helpful tools for discriminating

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:32 PM

"Please... women out there, please learn to answer a question with a simple "yes or no" answer. You will save us all a lot of time! It is utterly painful when my wife has to explain in length an answer that simply requires a yes or no response."

Or, put another way, Mike...

Please... men out there, please learn to answer a question with a complete sentence, not just a simple "yes or no" answer. You will save us all a lot of time, since we won't have to quiz you for 20 minutes to get the details you dribble out, drop by reluctant drop. It is utterly painful when my husband gives a yes or no answer even to questions like "Do you want mustard or ketchup with that, Sweetie?"

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 1:34 PM

Megan

"whether we consistently create situations where more aggressive speakers are favored over polite ones "

Such as this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:35 PM

It is utterly painful when my husband gives a yes or no answer even to questions like "Do you want mustard or ketchup with that, Sweetie?"

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 01:34 PM

Please don't make their arguments for them. Seriously, what other than yes or no would you want to hear from your spouse? How long he's preferred ketchup? That there was an unfortunate incident in the school cafeteria when he was 7 that forever scarred him and made him prefer mustard? If ever a yes or no response was appropriate, this has got to be the time.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:37 PM

This blog has clearly been hijacked by complete idiots. Off to more interesting reading...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:37 PM

It is utterly painful when my husband gives a yes or no answer even to questions like "Do you want mustard or ketchup with that, Sweetie?"

Probably says more about you then it does about him.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 1:41 PM

I think part of this is women's need to have details and for lack of a better word, secrets. Must be a kinship type of thing. Makes them feel out of the loop or hurts their feelings if people hold back from them

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:45 PM

I think part of this is women's need to have details and for lack of a better word, secrets. Must be a kinship type of thing. Makes them feel out of the loop or hurts their feelings if people hold back from them

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 01:45 PM

Still more gender-bashing. I'm too busy to want to hear details. Just the facts, ma'am.

Posted by: Lawyer-ess | July 25, 2007 1:48 PM

Seriously, what other than yes or no would you want to hear from your spouse?

Yes doesn't answer the question. Ketchup. Mustard. Both. No. Those answer the question.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:48 PM

"I think part of this is women's need to have details and for lack of a better word, secrets. Must be a kinship type of thing. Makes them feel out of the loop or hurts their feelings if people hold back from them"

Right. Men have absolutely no interest in secrets or gossip.

Posted by: Truman Capote | July 25, 2007 1:48 PM

I am ignoring (trying to at least) all the ridiculous anons and misogynists. I do think that women tend to speak up less in coed settings, whether they are meetings, academic settings, or even social settings. Women are just taught to be more deferential, and among women, we tend to take turns and give everyone a chance to speak, but the moment a man comes into the mix, the dynamics change. I can think of many a times when a man has taken over a conversation, even when he was in the minority.

I went to an all girls' high school and college, so this was never an issue for me. I speak up when I have something to say, whether at work or in social settings. But I do think that women are socialized to be more deferential, and men are socialized to speak even when they have no idea what they are talking about. I have also read Deborah Tannen's books on linguistics and the gender dynamics that affect communication between the genders. They are really good reads and I highly recommend them.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 1:49 PM

"Yes, ketchup." Done. no more details are necessary or desirable.

the preferred alternative: "Don't worry about it, honey, I'll get it myself."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:50 PM

Right. Men have absolutely no interest in secrets or gossip.

Posted by: Truman Capote | July 25, 2007 01:48 PM

Real men Truman, not gay ones like you. No man will pout if they were not told every last bit of some conversation with someone else.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:53 PM

Emily

"men are socialized to speak even when they have no idea what they are talking about."

And dogs bark for the heck of it!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:53 PM

"Real men Truman, not gay ones like you. No man will pout if they were not told every last bit of some conversation with someone else"

Uh, oh.................

Posted by: Elaine | July 25, 2007 1:55 PM

"No man will pout if they were not told every last bit of some conversation with someone else"

Au contraire, it depends on what the subject's about. There's no more vicious group of gossipers then men discussing who is most likely to be promoted next, or why Bill lost the XYZ account.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 1:57 PM

I skimmed through about half the comments, so this may have been said before, but there are several dynamics at work in gender behaviors in the classroom. In the elementary grades, order and obedience are valued, which benefits most girls, because they are generally sociaized to be more quiet and obedient. Boys dominate class discussions beginning around middle school. This is probably primarily due to declining self-worth that girls go through in early adolescence.

Teachers are aware that they should not ostracize boys for being boys, or allow girls to become shrinking violets; we don't always succeed, but almost all teachers are cognizant of the gender dynamics and attempt to act fairly.

The higher number of women in college is probably due, in part, to the wider variety of (relatively) lucrative fields men pursue that don't require a college degree. They become plumbers, electricians and carpenters, to cite just three examples, in larger numbers than women.

I appreciate the information on lead poisoning offered earlier. I wish more people were aware of the dangers of lead as they still exist.

FWIW, my experience may have been unusual, but until I went to college, I was in class with plenty of girls who raised their hands, did nothing to hide their intelligence, and earned good grades -- I was one of them. Maybe, since the school was in a blue-collar area, I was in school with a lot of those boys who had no desire to attend college. I do remember being surprised by the assertiveness of the young men in my class, and by the favoritism shown to the guys by most professors.

Posted by: educmom | July 25, 2007 2:00 PM

"Women are just taught to be more deferential, and among women, we tend to take turns and give everyone a chance to speak, but the moment a man comes into the mix, the dynamics change."

Yikes! I don't want everyone to take turns and have a chance to speak - the meeting will last 3 hours when 14 minutes was enough to get to a decision. If you have something to say, I assume you are an adult and you'll say it. Otherwise, the only way I'm going to get done what needs to get done today is to have the meeting, reach a decision, and end the meeting. Pronto. Balance requires that all participants act efficiently and not coddle the insecure.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:00 PM

"Please don't make their arguments for them. Seriously, what other than yes or no would you want to hear from your spouse? How long he's preferred ketchup? That there was an unfortunate incident in the school cafeteria when he was 7 that forever scarred him and made him prefer mustard? If ever a yes or no response was appropriate, this has got to be the time.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 01:37 PM "

You missed the whole point.

I'd like to hear "ketchup" or "mustard" or "both" or "neither" or "mayonaise" -- not "yes."

What am I supposed to conclude from this exchange:

She: "Ketchup or mustard on your burger?"
He: "Yes."

My husband gives yes or no answers consistently to either/or questions. If I make the mistake of asking a yes/no question, then I deserve what I get. But if I ask a question that requires a choice, then I deserve an answer that speaks to the question I asked.

Why is it that men are so resistant to parting with their words? It's like each guy has been issued a finite number of words and guards them jealously, lest he run out before he dies.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 2:02 PM

The difference in yap levels seems related to the type of conversation.

From what I've seen, men have more animated conversations when there's a problem to solve or some disagreement, even if that disagreement is friendly. Who's better - DeNiro or Pacino? Why this car is a better value than these other cars, what so-and-so should do about that nagging problem.

More than one male, trying to engage a woman in conversation, has unintentionally ended up making her angry. What he saw as stimulating give-and-take, she saw as conflict.

There's a comic who has a bit that goes something like this:

First woman: I think the earth is round.
Second woman: I think the earth is square.
Third woman: Well, maybe it's both round and square.

And the conversation continues on peacefully.

Posted by: WHT9 | July 25, 2007 2:03 PM

Why is it that men are so resistant to parting with their words? It's like each guy has been issued a finite number of words and guards them jealously, lest he run out before he dies.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 02:02 PM

Men like this tend to marry women like pittypat - women who won't shut up and take 90 words to communicate every stinkin' detail.

There are plenty of men who like to talk and want to share their feelings. They hang in sports bars and discuss the Jets or Redskins, depending on their preferences, always rise to give the first toast, become car salesman or run team-building seminars, and annoy they hell out of the those who prefer silence.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:05 PM

educmom

"Teachers are aware that they should not ostracize boys for being boys, or allow girls to become shrinking violets; we don't always succeed, but almost all teachers are cognizant of the gender dynamics and attempt to act fairly."

How can you be so sure?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:05 PM

"Probably says more about you then it does about him.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 01:41 PM"

Could you explain what you mean here, Emily?

I was commenting on Mike's absurd demand that women answer questions using just "yes" or "no." I was rephrasing his own words to make a point.

Did you read that far back, or are you just in a bad mood today?

Usually, you're quite reasonable.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 2:06 PM

"I appreciate the information on lead poisoning offered earlier. I wish more people were aware of the dangers of lead as they still exist."

You're welcome.

Posted by: to Educmom | July 25, 2007 2:06 PM

Why is it that men are so resistant to parting with their words? It's like each guy has been issued a finite number of words and guards them jealously, lest he run out before he dies.

I will tell you as a man. WE ARE SICK OF LISTENING AND TALKING BY THE END OF THE DAY. Plain and simple. Give us sweet silence and peace.

Posted by: the scoop | July 25, 2007 2:07 PM

Pittypat,

Keep in mind that may not be the "real" Elaine, but instead someone posting as her.

Or maybe Elaine wasn't reading as carefully as she usually does. I've noted that she tends to be pretty reasonable as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:08 PM

Probably says more about you then it does about him.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 01:41 PM"

Could you explain what you mean here, Emily?

Pittypat, that wasn't me (the regular Emily).

Posted by: The real Emily | July 25, 2007 2:09 PM

"I appreciate the information on lead poisoning offered earlier. I wish more people were aware of the dangers of lead as they still exist."

And please be aware of the dangers of lead poisoning to PETS, as well.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:09 PM

WE ARE SICK OF LISTENING AND TALKING BY THE END OF THE DAY. Plain and simple. Give us sweet silence and peace.

Posted by: the scoop | July 25, 2007 02:07 PM

So why bother to live with someone, or marry? If you want to go home to silence, wouldn't it be wiser to simply be alone?

Posted by: Seriously | July 25, 2007 2:10 PM

I will tell you as a man. WE ARE SICK OF LISTENING AND TALKING BY THE END OF THE DAY. Plain and simple. Give us sweet silence and peace.

Posted by: the scoop | July 25, 2007 02:07 PM

So the Neanderthals are out in force, speaking for all mankind as if their jobs are identical, none are SAHDs, none are unemployed, lonely, needy, and none are extroverted or gregarious. The world is quite small to 2:07.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:10 PM

Thanks, real Emily. Sure didn't sound like you.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 2:10 PM

Hey there pittypat. You are just trying to be contrary. Give it up. You know that a man would respond with either "ketchup" or "mustard" or "both" or "neither". Your contrarian attitude is very womanly which equals annoying.

The point is that a man who was asked, "ketchup or mustard, Sweetie?" would give a concise answer, not a drawn out diatribe.

You know you got that point, you're just upset that its true.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:12 PM

How can you be so sure?

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:05 PM

I know from my co-workers, in three differnet schools; from my classmates in graduate school; from people I've met in seminars and professional organizarions; and from the literature published on the subject, which I manage to read from time to time.

Posted by: educmom | July 25, 2007 2:13 PM

So why bother to live with someone, or marry? If you want to go home to silence, wouldn't it be wiser to simply be alone?

You misunderstand, listening and rehashing the whole day, yours and mine is torturous to men. We have already spoke more than we wanted to at work, we are sick of it. Then your wife wants to tell you all about her day and all you want is peace and quiet. That is what is great about male friendship, drive in a car for 30 miles and no ones bothers you. Women chirp up every 30 seconds.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:13 PM

Curious distinction between detail and fact.

The post you called gender bashing did not seem to be so. If one substitutes "intimacies" for "secrets," is there much doubt women are more prone to sharing them?

Posted by: To Lawyer-ess 1:48 | July 25, 2007 2:14 PM

"Balance requires that all participants act efficiently and not coddle the insecure."

The point is that everyone should have the same opportunity to speak, not that everyone has to actually speak the same amount. If a facilitator knows how to cut off the people who tend to go on and on while actually saying nothing and provide a space for the more reserved to voice their opinion, the meeting will probably be the same length as in a free-for-all where the blatherers get to go on and on without restraint and the other people sit and think about their grocery list.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 2:14 PM

For insight into lead poisoning in cats, we consulted Paul C. Gambardella, VMD, MS, Diplomate ACVS, Chief of Staff at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA. According to Dr. Gambardella, older city homes with old chipped paint have been primary causes of lead poisoning in the past. Said Gambardella, "Even if it's not chipping, pets may chew on woodwork or other objects painted with lead paint, and at times the owner won't even know until it's too late." Other major sources of lead are linoleum, old putty around windows; and even drapery weights and newspaper ink.


The most common source of lead today is still the older house with lead paint and linoleum, and those inner city areas that have junk piles. What's the leading source from which a cat can get lead poisoning? Household items. "They're not getting this from the soil," Gambardella states. No one knows how much lead must be ingested before a cat gets sick.

The signs to watch for include: diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, anorexia, hysteria, and non-specific gastrointestinal signs. There is also a range of various neurological signs: convulsions, head pressing and central nervous system signs. (Head pressing is just what it sounds like: the cat goes up to a wall and presses his head against it. It's not known why cats do this.) The brain is affected by lead and so coordination and thinking is affected. There's a weight loss over the long haul, and blindness can occur.

There's a lot of information available on lead poisoning and children. Awareness is keen now and your four-legged child can benefit from this information, too. Check with your local Building Inspector's office, health department, or library. Remember, it will take less of that lead to cause toxicity in your cat than in a child.

Posted by: applies to dogs too | July 25, 2007 2:15 PM

sorry...

differnet/different
organizarions/organizations

two typos in one post!

Posted by: educmom | July 25, 2007 2:16 PM

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1648

Posted by: more lead info | July 25, 2007 2:16 PM

"Or maybe Elaine wasn't reading as carefully as she usually does. I've noted that she tends to be pretty reasonable as well."

How's that?

Posted by: Elaine | July 25, 2007 2:18 PM

The scoop at 2:07 got it right!

We men have to talk all day long at our jobs (we only do it because they pay us to, by the way) And when we get home and are asked "How was your day,Honey?" We respond with "ok" or "fine" or some other simple concise answer. Beleive me, the last thing we want to do is explain the whole friggin day to you especially just after we finished living it! We'll tell you all bout it in a few months when we're on vacation when we're drunk or something.

And as to "why get married in the 1st place?" Because, women, although annoyingly vocal, they have boobies and are great to have sex with.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:18 PM

woman and man in car driving

silence--

WOMAN, he's not talking, must have had a bad day, maybe he's mad at me, we haven't talked about us in a while, is he still happy, am i fat?, maybe he thinks i am fat and unattractive. I need to call jenny and get her take on this when i get home. Now pouting internally, i am a good wife, he has no right to feel this way, now mad at husband.-elapsed time, 1-2 minutes

him-sure is a nice day, i am really looking forward to a nice weekend with my wife.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:18 PM

You misunderstand, listening and rehashing the whole day, yours and mine is torturous to men. We have already spoke more than we wanted to at work, we are sick of it. Then your wife wants to tell you all about her day and all you want is peace and quiet.

So why get married? Why not live alone? She wants to tell you about her life (oh no!) and wants to know about yours, no matter how boring it may be.

Why not live alone if you really don't want anything to do with her as a person?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:20 PM

what's the deal with guys not saying "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me"? My son is failing to do this and think it's his father's influence. I guess he figures that it should be understood, especially when it's "just family." Acck! Yes, I get that we all understand that you appreciate things, but it is a good habit to show manners consistently.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 2:20 PM

2:18, you are hillarious! This chat is really making my day! :) So true.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:21 PM

The post you called gender bashing did not seem to be so. If one substitutes "intimacies" for "secrets," is there much doubt women are more prone to sharing them?

Posted by: To Lawyer-ess
woman view sharing these intimacies as signs of friendship. Men do not. Intimacies are closely guarded for a variety of reasons and it is not viewd favorbaly trying to pull them out of someone. It is disrespectful

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:21 PM

We'll tell you all bout it in a few months when we're on vacation when we're drunk or something.

And as to "why get married in the 1st place?" Because, women, although annoyingly vocal, they have boobies and are great to have sex with.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 02:18 PM

Then just pay someone for sex and quit expecting your wife to live in silence.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:22 PM

It's not really just your part of the world. Using crude language and being a jerk isn't regionally distinctive behavior.

Posted by: To Baba Booey 12:15 | July 25, 2007 2:23 PM

We men have to talk all day long at our jobs

RIght...all men everywhere talk all day long in every job, and this is different from women how? Please. Are there really this many people interested in arguing stupid stereotypes?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:23 PM

sorry about my last post-- I'm sure not all guys are like this. But it does seem that women are much more consistent with saying please and thank you than men are.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 2:23 PM

Jen S.

"what's the deal with guys not saying "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me"? My son is failing to do this and think it's his father's influence"

Whay are YOU letting your son get away with this behavior?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:24 PM

RIght...all men everywhere talk all day long in every job, and this is different from women how

WE DON'T WANT TO! That's why!We don't enjoy it that is the difference! sheesh

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:25 PM

But it does seem that women are much more consistent with saying please and thank you than men are.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 02:23 PM

Because men are more inclined to take umbrage and beat the cr@p out of anyone they think has dissed them. Women are generally smaller, have less upper body strength and more easily cowed.

They don't HAVE to be polite to WOMEN.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:25 PM

educmom

"I know from my co-workers, in three differnet schools; from my classmates in graduate school; from people I've met in seminars and professional organizarions; and from the literature published on the subject, which I manage to read from time to time. "

Which amounts to bupkis! You should know better!

Posted by: educmom |

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:27 PM

What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:27 PM

Whay are YOU letting your son get away with this behavior?

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:24 PM

I bet it's because anytime Jen S. brings it up, her husband minimizes how rude it is, tells her, "this is what boys do, you're making too much out of it!", and generally undermines her authority as an adult and parent.

Jen?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:28 PM

"Then just pay someone for sex and quit expecting your wife to live in silence."

I already pay my wife -- so I should pay her AND someone else to have sex with? Yummy... delicious prospect even. Damn... now I'm all excited.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:28 PM

"The point is that everyone should have the same opportunity to speak, not that everyone has to actually speak the same amount."

(I'm having a devil's advocate moment here, Megan.) But they do have the same opportunity, without going around the circle, or row by row, making sure everyone has a turn, and expressly inviting the comment of each and every person in the room. If you're in the room, you have the opportunity to speak. Take it if you have something to add, or you oppose the plan. You shouldn't take it as a sign of rudeness or exclusion that you are not also personally called out and asked, "Wilma, what do you think?" There is little productive about 8 participants in a row saying, "what she said."

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | July 25, 2007 2:29 PM

Why do you need to ask if he wants mustard or ketchup anyway? Just put both on the table and let him choose --- in silence. Besides, if you've been married to him for any length of time you should know which he prefers by now.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:30 PM

So the Neanderthals are out in force, speaking for all mankind as if their jobs are identical, none are SAHDs, none are unemployed, lonely, needy, and none are extroverted or gregarious. The world is quite small to 2:07.

The standard feminist response to any man's explanation that they don't agree with. Tired hon, tired

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:31 PM

What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:27 PM

Charming.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:31 PM

Megan's Neighbor


What she said.....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:33 PM

bet it's because anytime Jen S. brings it up, her husband minimizes how rude it is, tells her, "this is what boys do, you're making too much out of it!", and generally undermines her authority as an adult and parent.

yes as he resists her attempts to feminize his boy and let her try to turn him into a nice little girl. More and more men are refusing this as they should.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:33 PM

So the Neanderthals are out in force, speaking for all mankind as if their jobs are identical, none are SAHDs, none are unemployed, lonely, needy, and none are extroverted or gregarious. The world is quite small to 2:07.

The standard feminist response to any man's explanation that they don't agree with. Tired hon, tired

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:31 PM

"feminist"? wtf is feminist about acknowledging that not every man is a securities broker or used car salesman? I'd have thought that fact might be apparent to anyone with a brain, including those who like subservient women.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:33 PM

Why do you need to ask if he wants mustard or ketchup anyway? Just put both on the table and let him choose --- IN SILENCE. Besides, if you've been married to him for any length of time you should know which he prefers by now.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:30 PM

WELL SAID!!!

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:33 PM

Megan, nice posts today.

Educmom, interested about your note about teachers being aware of gender imbalances and trying to play fair, based on the various people you've worked and gone to school with and been involved with professionally. One of the most interesting studies I read (and this was several years back) was a combination interview/observation: the study authors talked to the various teachers to determine their views on gender fairness in the classroom, and also observed the teachers in action. What was interesting to me was that even among the teachers who claimed that they were very focused on treating girls and boys equally, the researchers found that boys were called on more frequently, and the teachers were more deferential to the boys' answers. And it wasn't a question of the girls just not raising hands -- the researchers took note of that, and found that even when the girls were raising their hands frequently, the boys still got called on more.

Just seemed interesting -- most of the teachers I know do try extremely hard to treat all of their students equally and give everyone a fair shake. But the study seems to imply that at least a chunk of this stuff is so engrained that people don't even notice when they do it.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 2:34 PM

"feminist"? wtf is feminist about acknowledging that not every man is a securities broker or used car salesman? I'd have thought that fact might be apparent to anyone with a brain, including those who like subservient women

We are men, our dads were men, our friends are men. We have grown up our whole lives as men and with men.I think we know a whole lot more about how men think and act then you ever will.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:36 PM

"Right...all men everywhere talk all day long in every job, and this is different from women how?"

The difference is that WOMEN LIKE TALKING. Honestly, have you not been paying attention to this whole blog? Men hate talking, women love it. That's the gist of it for you anyway... jeesh.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:37 PM

Men don't object to talking at home. By and large, just don't want to be assaulted with talk the minute they get in the door. Give him 20 minutes of decompression and he's OK to talk.

Of course, the issue doesn't come up when the female gets home later than the male, which is not unusual.

Posted by: Barfydog | July 25, 2007 2:38 PM

Laura

What you said....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:39 PM

We are men, our dads were men, our friends are men. We have grown up our whole lives as men and with men.I think we know a whole lot more about how men think and act then you ever will.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:36 PM

ergo, by this logic, you are unqualified to comment on women. Good, the conversation will become much more interesting and varied.

You haven't grown up.

btw, real men don't start their sentences with qualifiers like, "I think".

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | July 25, 2007 2:39 PM

"But they do have the same opportunity, without going around the circle, or row by row, making sure everyone has a turn, and expressly inviting the comment of each and every person in the room."

MN, I definitely agree that they CAN have the same opportunity without that kind of tedious process. But I've sat in way too many meetings and classrooms where they don't because the "leader" just lets two or three people completely dominate, and other people can't get a word in edgewise and eventually give up. A good facilitator or teacher provides a structure that allows people who so desire to speak in turn without having to shout down other people, and knows how to shut up the natural dominators (including myself as often as not) so they don't eat up all the meeting time.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 2:41 PM

bet it's because anytime Jen S. brings it up, her husband minimizes how rude it is, tells her, "this is what boys do, you're making too much out of it!", and generally undermines her authority as an adult and parent.

yes as he resists her attempts to feminize his boy and let her try to turn him into a nice little girl. More and more men are refusing this as they should.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:33 PM

Sign your name, Mike.

Posted by: Lynchburg | July 25, 2007 2:42 PM

"You know that a man would respond with either "ketchup" or "mustard" or "both" or "neither"."

Mike, sorry to deflate your testosterone-fueled balloon, but you don't actually speak for all men.

I don't know that a man would respond as you say. My husband doesn't. I don't love him any less for it, but it's an annoying habit.

My observations concur with much that has been offered here today. When men are in group settings, they perceive that they are in power situations and that they must make themselves heard and felt, even if they nothing to say. Conversely, in domestic settings, when their input is needed and valued (they are, after all, a full 50% of the governing board), they clam up and refuse to share their marvelous selves.

Trust me, Mike. Men can be at least as annoying as the most annoying woman in the world on her worst day. But note that I said "can be"!

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 2:44 PM

We are men, our dads were men, our friends are men. We have grown up our whole lives as men and with men.I think we know a whole lot more about how men think and act then you ever will.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:36 PM

He only plays with the home team as he doesn't want to become familiar with new equipment?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:45 PM

ergo, by this logic, you are unqualified to comment on women. Good, the conversation will become much more interesting and varied.

You haven't grown up.

Keep yammering along, the equation has not changed. I THINK that no, men are not as qualified as women to speak on how women think and act. Since i have never, not for one second ever been a woman, how could I? SO you grow up and get a grip

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:45 PM

Megan

What you said....

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:46 PM

Hey Lynchburg, I did not write the 2:33 post. I always sign my name. I agree with him, but I did not write that one. Sorry.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:47 PM

Mike, sorry to deflate your testosterone-fueled balloon, but you don't actually speak for all men.

What, Pittypat, you missed the memo?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:48 PM

"We are men, our dads were men, our friends are men. We have grown up our whole lives as men and with men.I think we know a whole lot more about how men think and act then you ever will."

What he said.......

Posted by: Truman Capote | July 25, 2007 2:49 PM

What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:27 PM

Mike again?

Posted by: Lynchburg | July 25, 2007 2:49 PM

Hey pittypat, the only men I'm not speaking for are homosexual men.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:50 PM

Just seemed interesting -- most of the teachers I know do try extremely hard to treat all of their students equally and give everyone a fair shake. But the study seems to imply that at least a chunk of this stuff is so engrained that people don't even notice when they do it.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 02:34 PM

You have a point -- this type of bias is ingrained and can easily go unnoticed. Administrators in most schools are making teachers aware of the study you cited, so that teachers are less likely to fall into the gender role trap. Forunately, no sensitivity training classes are on the horizon (yet) -- 99% of the time, those things just waste our day, telling us what we already know. That's probably true in any field, though!

Posted by: educmom | July 25, 2007 2:50 PM

That goes for you to Mrs. 2:48.

(Not that there's anything wrong with being gay)

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:52 PM

What's with the psycho here today? Doesn't sound like he's ever left his basement before to meet real people. It's normally more civilized at this board.

I've been in romantic relationships with both the talkative and the quiet. I'll take the talkative any day. The quiet ones are too much WORK. The quiet ones make you feel like a DJ trying to avoid dead air.

And when your experience with other women has taught you silent=pissed, quiet women are disconcerting at first.

Posted by: Responder | July 25, 2007 2:52 PM

Hey pittypat, the only men I'm not speaking for are homosexual men.

ha ha, thank god that's not true, you delusional nitwit

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:52 PM

To Lynchburg, as I said earlier, I ALWAYS SIGN MY NAME.

That post at 2:47 What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

IS NOT MINE! YOU WILL KNOW IT's MINE WHEN IT SAY'S "MIKE" AT THE END. jeeez.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:54 PM

To Lynchburg, as I said earlier, I ALWAYS SIGN MY NAME.

That post at 2:47 What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

IS NOT MINE! YOU WILL KNOW IT's MINE WHEN IT SAY'S "MIKE" AT THE END. jeeez.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 02:54 PM

Liar.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:57 PM

Barfydog:
That decompression issue crosses genders. For years, I got home the same time as my sons, and they were in "mommy, guess what" and "mommy, can we..." mode from the second they walked in the door. I didn't get unwind time until they were both in high school.

Posted by: educmom | July 25, 2007 2:57 PM

The difference is that WOMEN LIKE TALKING. Honestly, have you not been paying attention to this whole blog? Men hate talking, women love it. That's the gist of it for you anyway... jeesh.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 02:37 PM

uh.... Mike, you've been yammering away all day long disproving your point.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 2:59 PM

"Why do you need to ask if he wants mustard or ketchup anyway? Just put both on the table and let him choose --- in silence."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:30 PM

Never mind mustard and ketchup. Where's the butter?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 2:59 PM

Mike

"Hey pittypat, the only men I'm not speaking for are homosexual men."

Too late. You should have stated this in the first place. There are no dress rehearsals on the Net. You blew it! (pun intended)

Posted by: Gore Vidal | July 25, 2007 2:59 PM

"Why do you need to ask if he wants mustard or ketchup anyway? Just put both on the table and let him choose --- in silence. Besides, if you've been married to him for any length of time you should know which he prefers by now."

Of course, you can let him make his own lunch or dinner or whatever, and just skip the asking altogether. When he is hungry enough, he will get himself something to eat.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 2:59 PM

Hi Responder. I love quiet women, prefer them actually. They are just too few and far between. I've never come across woman who's demeanor was that of the "quiet type", that I did not absolutely adore.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 2:59 PM

"Why do you need to ask if he wants mustard or ketchup anyway? Just put both on the table and let him choose --- in silence."

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 02:30 PM

Never mind mustard and ketchup. Where's the butter?

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 02:59 PM

No Matt, you mean beer.

Posted by: Matt's wife | July 25, 2007 3:01 PM

No Emily, when he's hungry enough, he will have you make him some food.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:02 PM

Hi Responder. I love quiet women, prefer them actually. They are just too few and far between. I've never come across woman who's demeanor was that of the "quiet type", that I did not absolutely adore.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 02:59 PM

Just lobotomize your wife. It's really easy.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:02 PM

"I THINK that no, men are not as qualified as women to speak on how women think and act."

I wish Mike would learn the English language.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:03 PM

Of course, you can let him make his own lunch or dinner or whatever, and just skip the asking altogether. When he is hungry enough, he will get himself something to eat.

Oh the joys of being married to Emily, constant ball busting, staying at home, making your own meals, tending to her hemorrhoids. Now that's romance.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:03 PM

But it does seem that women are much more consistent with saying please and thank you than men are.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 02:23 PM

Seems to you, maybe. But from my point of view lack of manners is an equal opportunity failing.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:03 PM

Hey Gore Vidal, nuce pun. C'mon over and I'll show you how to blow it.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:04 PM

Hi Responder. I love quiet women, prefer them actually

yeah, no kidding, so you can talk all da!n day without interruptions

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:04 PM

To Lynchburg, as I said earlier, I ALWAYS SIGN MY NAME.

That post at 2:47 What is he geting away with, useless pleasantries that make her feel better? The tyranny of manners is pain in the butt. Good for your husband.

IS NOT MINE! YOU WILL KNOW IT's MINE WHEN IT SAY'S "MIKE" AT THE END. jeeez.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 02:54 PM

News flash: screaming doesn't make you any more coherent.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:04 PM

I'm an English professor actually. However, with these chats, my mind tends to race faster than my fingers and I may mispeak sometimes.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:06 PM

I meant "mistype" see, happened again.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:08 PM

The "screaming" made YOU take notice and respond, didn't it?

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:09 PM

Finally! This is a phenomenon which I have noticed over and over again - and haven't seen in the media much. Leslie, thanks for a well-written blog. And thanks to those who actually have been posting interesting and enlightening ideas on the topic.

On women and qualifiers:
For many of us, it's our way of opening the conversation to other perspectives. Our way of acknowledging that you may have a different view and inviting you to express it.

It's interesting to hear from other posters (Anon 10:00, 11:17, and 11:24) on the issue.

Posted by: lsw | July 25, 2007 3:12 PM

On women and qualifiers:
For many of us, it's our way of opening the conversation to other perspectives. Our way of acknowledging that you may have a different view and inviting you to express it.

It's also a way to scurry away if someone disagrees with you. It is a weak habit from anyone, so don't dress it up as some invitation.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:16 PM

«"I THINK that no, men are not as qualified as women to speak on how women think and act."»

«I wish Mike would learn the English language.»

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 03:03 PM

He is right, just this once, Mike is. Women, they know better about how they think. Me, I can understand his English. A native speaker of English, that's what Mike probably is, What is the problem?

Posted by: Abu Ibrahim | July 25, 2007 3:17 PM

I'm an English professor actually. However, with these chats, my mind tends to race faster than my fingers and I may mispeak sometimes.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 03:06 PM

Sure you are. I bet you are tall, have a full head of hair and a big appendage as well. All men do on the Internet.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:19 PM

"I'm an English professor actually. However, with these chats, my mind tends to race faster than my fingers and I may mispeak sometimes."

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 03:06 PM

The English professors at my college knew how to spell "misspeak," but YMMV.

Posted by: Majtt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 3:20 PM

"I'm an English professor actually. However, with these chats, my mind tends to race faster than my fingers and I may mispeak sometimes."

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 03:06 PM

The English professors at my college knew how to spell "misspeak," but YMMV.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | July 25, 2007 3:22 PM

The "screaming" made YOU take notice and respond, didn't it?

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 03:09 PM

No, the incoherence did.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 3:22 PM

Sorry but what does YMMV mean? (I know I'll be sorry for asking)

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:23 PM

Conversely, in domestic settings, when their input is needed and valued (they are, after all, a full 50% of the governing board), they clam up and refuse to share their marvelous selves.

-pittypat

I would venture a guess that, with the amount of respect women have for male point of view (see many examples above), most men eventually learn that they are not actually a 50% partner on the governing board and defer to the one that usuually makes the decisions in the domestic sphere.

It's that, or we really don't care whether you paint the kitchen "burnt umber" or "sienna", just pick one let me get started.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 3:23 PM

oh, YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary!

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:24 PM

LoL, my wife exhibits a lot of these characteristics that some are complaining men have; giving yes/no answers to multiple choice questions, needing time to decompress, etc.

It's probably because she works around men and has to deal with their "emergencies" all day; she's often called on to figure out their cluelessness when it relates to how computers work. Once she's had time to relax she'll often talk at length about her coworkers' latest antics.

BTW, Jen, some men do say "please" and "thank you"; my parents taught me those phrases were always welcome to someone performing a task for me.

Posted by: John L | July 25, 2007 3:25 PM

"I'm just a normal 30 year old guy that is married, works everyday (not in the computer field), well spoken, well traveled and has friends and family of whom I love and adore."

Hey Mike...you might think of yourself as well-spoken, but your verbal skills obviously outweigh your written ones. I count at least 5 grammatical and syntactical errors in this post. Perhaps YOU should keep your mouth shut and occasionally pay some attention to how your wife speaks. I'd bet big $$ that she communicates better than you do in almost any format.

To answer Leslie's original question, and perhaps throw a monkey wrench into the discussion...I found that the atmosphere of my all-girls' high school led us all to believe that we could do or say anything we wanted, which is great to dofor girls at an age when shyness and self-consciousness can be their predominant personality traits. However, many of the women woth whom I went to high school have told me that in their early years of working, they were often told they were perceived as "aggressive" by their (mostly male but sometimes older female)colleagues. So our experience has not been entirely positive after the fact, as these characterizations can lead to more conflicts with colleagues and thus slower advancement, despite being talented, smart, and capable.

Posted by: dcgirl1899 | July 25, 2007 3:26 PM

Right, devil's advocate, the women pick the color and the men have to do the damn labor. 50% my a$$.

Posted by: Mike | July 25, 2007 3:26 PM

Why did Leslie Morgan Steiner present the livescience.com article as the primary article? She says: "along with a study reported in Science, refuted these findings". It should be the other way around. The livescience.com is just regurgitating the Science paper. Ms. Steiner: This makes it look like you did not even read the article in Science. ;)

Posted by: Rob | July 25, 2007 3:30 PM

"Of course, you can let him make his own lunch or dinner or whatever, and just skip the asking altogether. When he is hungry enough, he will get himself something to eat.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 02:59 PM"

Ok, I guess I used the wrong example.

My husband is not the kind of guy who expects me to serve him. So let's change the example:

She: Shall we leave for the restaurant at 6:15 or at 6:30?

He: Yes.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 3:31 PM

I should have been clearer. I AM consistent about using please and thank you and excuse me and I DO demand this from my son. I am constantly saying "What do you say?" and then I'll give him what he wants only after he says "please" or I'll insist that he say "thank you." My husband doesn't do this with my son. If he asks for something, my husband will give it to him (or sometimes not) regardless of whether or not he says please or thank you. I think it needs to be a team effort-- I can't enforce this all by myself. so berating me with "why do you allow your son to do this" is very hurtful to me as it only reminds me that I can't do this myself. that in fact sometimes the other parent DOES undermine the other parent just by inaction (sins of omission rather than commission).

My focus on raising a polite child is certainly further undermined by the fact that my husband (and his whole family) don't consistently use please and thank you. bottom line is that it is a big deal to me that my child have manners, and it is not a big deal to my husband. Because my child models himself after his father more than me-- normal for boys, I'm sure, although the fact that I'm the only one that "pesters" him on these things probably doesn't endear me to him either-- he doesn't practice these pleasantries with his teachers, with his friends, etc. Not a big deal I guess in the whole scheme of things since I know through their actions that they are both very loving and generous people, but it is still quite upsetting to me. any advice?

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 3:33 PM

To 03:16 PM:

Not dressing it up, just giving the rationale behind it. If you have to judge that, that's your problem.

Hasta la proxima -

Posted by: lsw | July 25, 2007 3:34 PM

However, many of the women woth whom I went to high school have told me that in their early years of working, they were often told they were perceived as "aggressive" by their (mostly male but sometimes older female)colleagues. So our experience has not been entirely positive after the fact, as these characterizations can lead to more conflicts with colleagues and thus slower advancement, despite being talented, smart, and capable.

Posted by: dcgirl1899 | July 25, 2007 03:26 PM

Aggressiveness is not a negative trait (unless it is the obnoxious variety). The problem is, that when you view it that way, you have already lost the battle. The answer to "you are an aggresive woman", should be something along the lines of "why is that a bad thing" or "just trying to fit in". You will never get ahead in a competitive environment if let the mere characterization of aggressive slow you down. Things of value (promtions, etc) are very rarely given away, they usually need to be fought for.

Eventually you get to a level where just about everyone is "talented, smart and capable" (please don't laugh too hard), at that point those who can be effective by playing the game are the ones that get ahead. Aggressiveness is just one of the tools to be used while playing.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 3:44 PM

"Aggressiveness is not a negative trait (unless it is the obnoxious variety). The problem is, that when you view it that way, you have already lost the battle. The answer to "you are an aggresive woman", should be something along the lines of "why is that a bad thing""

Having been called an aggressive woman on a few occassions (I'm sure this will be shocking news) I agree with you about the response. But in a couple cases it's obviously been considered a bad thing by the person saying it because they don't think women should assert themselves - to those people, what might be considered ambitious or confident in a man is distasteful aggression in a woman. Which can be a problem if they are your boss.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 3:52 PM

"Ok, I guess I used the wrong example.
My husband is not the kind of guy who expects me to serve him."

Pittypat, I get it and understand. My comment was mostly directed at the persons who suggested that a wife must silently serve her husband with mustard AND ketchup to save him the trouble of having to specify his choice. Barf!!

My husband sometimes says yes to a question that involves making a choice between two things. He once explained that this means either is fine with him, but I agree with you that it's confusing.

I do agree that men don't care so much about certain details as women. For example, a few months ago, his cousin had a baby, and he spoke briefly to her afterwards. When I asked him about the news, he simply said that she had a baby, that they were both fine and resting, and that we were invited over in a couple of weeks to be introduced. When I asked him how much the baby weighed and when exactly it was born, he said he forgot to ask. He even forgot to ask whether it was a boy or a girl. I could not believe these details were not important to him, but they just weren't. He was very oriented toward the big picture. The baby was born. It was fine. The mother was fine. End of story for him. For me, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 3:53 PM

She: Shall we leave for the restaurant at 6:15 or at 6:30?

He: Yes.

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 03:31 PM

Obviously, he doesn't care when you leave. If he did, he would say so?

In this particular instance, if you have a preference, you should state it. Why are you deferring the decision to the man? Not every decision needs to be decided by consensus.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 3:54 PM

But in a couple cases it's obviously been considered a bad thing by the person saying it because they don't think women should assert themselves - to those people, what might be considered ambitious or confident in a man is distasteful aggression in a woman. Which can be a problem if they are your boss.


Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 03:52 PM

It can be a problem, but it is a problem without a solution. A person who views women and men that differently is most likely the same person who wouldn't promote the woman anyways. So, you can be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may (perhaps reeling in the aggressiveness a little bit in your boss' presence) or be a wimp and not get promoted either.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 4:01 PM

Yay, devils advocate is in the game (I was just thinking today could really use some reasoned argument for a change).

Agree on not letting yourself be held down by labels. But I also know that within just this past year, there was a study that showed that aggressive women were viewed much more negatively by their superiors -- the same people who would be promoting them -- than aggressive men. It's the same old double standard, where in men it's a sign of strength, in women it's a character flaw. So, yeah, you can't be held back by those concerns, but you also can't just blow them off entirely.

Women need to learn to walk a fine line in business. If you're going to succeed, you need to learn to stand your ground and convince everyone you know your stuff and aren't something to be trifled with, but you also need to learn when to phrase things more softly, or work around a fight instead of plunging in head-on. Yes, aggressiveness is a tool, but women can't afford to be a one-note wonder, or else you'll be dismissed as shrill, b*tch, b*llbuster, etc.

I've actually found that I've learned to adapt a number of different "voices" depending on my audience. My clients tend to be direct, so if they ask my advice, I cut immediately to the bottom line (that's pretty much me anyway). But if I'm working with a consultant to fix a report, I'm not going to come out and tell them it's a piece of crap, because that's just going to get their back up -- instead, I'm going to phrase things more delicately, make "suggestions," give a context so they can see why it needs to go in this direction, etc.; if they resist, then you get firmer. Subtlety can also be a very useful tool -- not one that comes naturally or that I am frequently accused of using, alas, but useful nonetheless. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 4:03 PM

Devils Advocate, agree, there's not much of a solution to it. But I think it's important for people to recognize that the double standard is there. My hope is that it continues to lessen as time goes on, but I think awareness is part of that.

In practice, my response is pretty much like Laura's, but I tend to err on the letting chips fall where they may. I can't go through life pussy-footing around someone's narrow view of what a woman should be, and fortunately, I've been very lucky to find bosses and superiors who don't appear to hold this bias and get around those that do. Fingers crossed that my luck holds out!

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 4:11 PM

Lol, Emily. The baby story is a classic. :>)

Posted by: pittypat | July 25, 2007 4:14 PM

When I asked him how much the baby weighed and when exactly it was born, he said he forgot to ask. He even forgot to ask whether it was a boy or a girl. I could not believe these details were not important to him, but they just weren't. He was very oriented toward the big picture. The baby was born. It was fine. The mother was fine. End of story for him. For me, it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 03:53 PM

Emily - I couldn't care less about those details and would have done exactly as your husband. As you know, all woman are not baby-oriented, or family news oriented. I'm glad I didn't marry someone who expected me to care, or ask, about stuff like this. I don't mean anything snarky to you, but as I read some of these "women exchange secrets and want to chatter the night away" posts, I don't recognize myself or any of the women I know.

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 4:15 PM

Laura,
You are so right. Women who are assertive are judged much more negatively than men who behave in the same way. Our culture has much less tolerance for outspoken, smart women, and as a result, women must learn to walk a fine line, always feeling the particular waters they are in before deciding how they are going to present themselves, because certain waters can truly be hostile. It's unfortunate, but what can you do?

It's been my experience, however, that even women who are viewed as assertive or aggressive get more promotions at work than women who are shrinking violets (assuming they ar equally smart or capable). Although I would also add that they probably had to deal with more challenges because of their assertive personalities than men who were similarly situated.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 4:16 PM

A person who views women and men that differently is most likely the same person who wouldn't promote the woman anyways. So, you can be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may (perhaps reeling in the aggressiveness a little bit in your boss' presence) or be a wimp and not get promoted either.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 04:01 PM

devils, Spot on. Changing one's approach from a successful one (assertive and clear) to an unsuccessful one (mealy-mouthed and consensus-oriented) due to pressure from someone else makes no sense.

My answer to 6:00 or 6:15 would be, "yes".

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 4:19 PM

I have worked with women for over 35 years and find it difficult to generalize about their behavior. One characteristic that I have observed in women over 40 is that they tend to be hurt if their idea is not endorsed. When they are hurt they withdraw from the discussion and convey a "whatever" kind of attitude. Women under 40 are more inclined, in my experience, to roll with it when their idea is not endorsed. They will stay engaged in the discussion and come back with more ideas.

Posted by: Curt | July 25, 2007 4:21 PM

MN,
I am not claiming all women are the same, but I do think that generally, women and men have different ways of communicating. Deborah Tannen explains that men grow up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest, either to achieve the upper hand or to prevent other people from pushing them around. For women, however, talking is often a way to exchange confirmation and support.

I have seen the dynamics of this conversational divide play out in my life. And I also see how my son, who is only 7, plays the one-upmanship game with his little friends.

But I certainly don't think that all men and women necessarily fit the pattern. Nor do I think the pattern is inherent. I think it is the result of socialization.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 4:26 PM

Some of the men I work with are worse than the women when it comes to gossip.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 25, 2007 4:32 PM

My wife calls 2 friends 2 times a day. I think i called a friend last month to confirm we were going to a football game in december. different strokes

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:39 PM

BTW - To anyone who might care, I found out yesterday that I am carrying a baby girl.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 4:39 PM

Nice to know Emily - two girls in the family now.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 25, 2007 4:42 PM

I think when women are assertive they sometimes come across as a bull in a china shop. You can be assertive and NOT engender instant resistance, it is a fine line. Assertive does not equal rude. They sometimes seem like they are doing it to make a point rather than just doing it to get a job done.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:43 PM

"I have worked with women for over 35 years and find it difficult to generalize about their behavior."

Curt, you had me so excited when you wrote this! YES, exactly, we're all (men and women) individuals! The voice of reason (the generalizations that followed notwithstanding). Like MN, I tire quickly of the "women do this" and "men do that" stuff, especially when it's cast as being inherent - it certainly isn't inherent in me or my friends or (thankfully given some of today's contributions) my husband.

As far as understanding how different people communicate and think, per Deborah Tannen, I much prefer to see works that apply the same principles based on personality types that are not tied to gender. It may be that there are more men in a particular personality type than women, but since it's not absolute why not focus on the type instead of the sex?

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 4:44 PM

BTW - To anyone who might care, I found out yesterday that I am carrying a baby girl.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 04:39 PM

Woo-hoo!!! Thanks for sharing, Emily! What great news!

If we disagree on the value of Deborah Tannen's published works, it's a very, very small thing in the whole scope of life. :>)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:48 PM

Megan hit the nail on the head. Just as you can not stereotype all surgeons as arrogant men and all nurses as submissive women you can't say that all women yammer incessantly and all men grunt monosyllabic answers.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | July 25, 2007 4:49 PM

I think when women are assertive they sometimes come across as a bull in a china shop. You can be assertive and NOT engender instant resistance, it is a fine line. Assertive does not equal rude. They sometimes seem like they are doing it to make a point rather than just doing it to get a job done.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 04:43 PM

that's why we won't worry our pretty little heads about whether you characterize us as "rude" when we are doing our job like the next guy.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:51 PM

"BTW - To anyone who might care, I found out yesterday that I am carrying a baby girl."

Who cares?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:54 PM

"BTW - To anyone who might care, I found out yesterday that I am carrying a baby girl."

Who cares?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:54 PM

Like we really give a sh*t, Emily. Kids tend to imitate the adults in their life. I cringe at what you're going to be raising.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:54 PM

that's why we won't worry our pretty little heads about whether you characterize us as "rude" when we are doing our job like the next guy.

You missed the point. If you act like you have to be mr big balls about everything, you may be seen as a btch. If you act according to the situation, no one will think twice. I had a couple of female bosses. One got things done and never seemed to have any problem, the other was I guess insecure, she was over the top about things and I think it was because she thought to be respected as a woman boss, she had to be ugly about everything.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:55 PM

To WaPO: Please immediately delete the posts at 4:54 consistent with your policy of removing comments that include personal attacks.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:57 PM

"Kids tend to imitate the adults in their life."

Your parents must have been pond scum then, if you are the result of their handiwork.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 4:58 PM

Emily, congrats! Very cool.

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 5:01 PM

Congratulations Emily, some of these people are so hateful, they can't even celebrate a new life. sad

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:02 PM

You missed the point. If you act like you have to be mr big balls about everything, you may be seen as a btch. If you act according to the situation, no one will think twice. I had a couple of female bosses. One got things done and never seemed to have any problem, the other was I guess insecure, she was over the top about things and I think it was because she thought to be respected as a woman boss, she had to be ugly about everything.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 04:55 PM

One hasn't missed the point because one identifies you as part of the problem and not part of the solution. I'm not going to sweat whether some pansy-tuchased, jealous or insecure soul prefers a different style or opts to characterize me or any other woman as rude. The fact that you immediately shifted to the b**ch label tells me all I need to know about how you view women. What you call "acting according to the situation" is really "acting in a way you think women should act".

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 5:02 PM

What you call "acting according to the situation" is really "acting in a way you think women should act".


You really are obtuse. You probably are the one who encounters resistance after resistance and then blames "men with a problem". But what do you expect from insecure people. Such is life

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:05 PM

I'm a late reader today, but Laura and Emily, I agree with you that women who speak their opinions are often (not always, obviously) viewed more negatively than their male counterparts who do the same. Years ago, when I was working on a project about the role of gender in negotiations, I read that people, both women and men, use different terminology to describe the same trait depending on the gender of the speaker. For example, outspoken, strong women are often called "aggressive," while men with the same characteristics are referred to as "assertive." "Aggressive" clearly has a negative connotation, while "assertive" is arguably more neutral. Similarly, I once heard a male executive describe the female General Counsel of his company as "very emotional." I knew the GC, and although I had seen her come down hard on people for mistakes or advocate the company position strongly in litigation, I would never have characterized her as "emotional." It wasn't like she was crying in the bathroom of her Fortune 50 company. I had to wonder whether the male exec would have described a male GC's personality the same way.

Posted by: Lori | July 25, 2007 5:09 PM

that's enough. Based on the response to emily's news I'm done with this blog.

anyway, Congratulations, Emily! I'm having a girl too! Too bad I'm too sickened by the behavior here that I will no longer be able to enjoy your posts.

Posted by: Jen S. | July 25, 2007 5:09 PM

Emily, Congratulations! I'm so happy for your news. You daughter will be lucky to have an aggressive, I mean assertive mom - LOL!

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 5:17 PM

Similarly, I once heard a male executive describe the female General Counsel of his company as "very emotional." I knew the GC, and although I had seen her come down hard on people for mistakes or advocate the company position strongly in litigation, I would never have characterized her as "emotional.

She may have been, she may have not been. You don't know what dealings HE had with her. Many women are emotional and you can whitewash it all you want but I have NEVER seen a man cry at work , but I have seen at least half a dozen women.

Posted by: Seen both sides | July 25, 2007 5:17 PM

Jen S.
Congratulations on your baby girl too. Don't leave though. Nobody cares what those hateful people say. I sure don't. But thanks.

Posted by: Emily | July 25, 2007 5:18 PM

You really are obtuse. You probably are the one who encounters resistance after resistance and then blames "men with a problem". But what do you expect from insecure people. Such is life

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 05:05 PM

So everyone who disagrees with you is obtuse? I'll bet that name-calling strategy has proved to be a challenging approach to winning friends and influencing people. Sorry, but your jealousy is your own problem if you can't envision anyone with a style of which you don't approve being successful. I encounter zero resistance at my job. I'm surrounded by confident and secure colleagues and clients that don't resemble any of the anons or jerks who've been posting today. I appreciate them immensely as a result, and they are mighty glad they don't work with women who chatter incessantly or, in the alternative, are too insecure or spineless to speak up if they have something of value to add.

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 5:20 PM

"If you act like you have to be mr big balls about everything, you may be seen as a btch. If you act according to the situation, no one will think twice."

The point is that this should be equally true for men and women. But some people interpret the same behavior from a man and a woman differently. For some people, what is "acting according to the situation" when a man does it is "playing Mr. Big Balls" when a woman does it. That's not cool.

There's no doubt that there are obnoxious, arrogant, aggressive people of both sexes, but neither sex should be judged more harshly than the other for doing the same thing.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 5:21 PM

For some people, what is "acting according to the situation" when a man does it is "playing Mr. Big Balls" when a woman does it. That's not cool.

But the man is NOT admired for this, that is what has become dogma to you. No one likes a mr big balls jerk man or woman. So simple yet so hard for you to understand.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:25 PM

I'm surrounded by confident and secure colleagues and clients that don't resemble any of the anons or jerks who've been posting today.

It would very interesting to have them post what they REALLY thought of you. You might not like what they have to say, I would bet.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:26 PM

You really are obtuse. You probably are the one who encounters resistance after resistance and then blames "men with a problem". But what do you expect from insecure people. Such is life

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 05:05 PM

One hallmark of insecurity would be posting attack messages anonymously, for example.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:27 PM

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 05:27 PM

like yours?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:28 PM

It would very interesting to have them post what they REALLY thought of you. You might not like what they have to say, I would bet.

Posted by: | July 25, 2007 05:26 PM

Well, Bruce, you'd bet wrong. I'm in a very transparent business. Those with thin-skins who can't take constructive criticism don't last long. Those who are not team players are gone even faster. If people don't like you, and don't have confidence in your work or your style, they don't retain you. They don't send you work. It's as simple as that. Sure, we do 360 reviews, and we submit comments that become part of evaluations for our same-tier colleagues as well. But the bottom line is, I'm busy, and in a highly competitive industry, and in my firm, that says it all. Can you say the say? REALLY?

Posted by: MN | July 25, 2007 5:33 PM

"But the man is NOT admired for this, that is what has become dogma to you. No one likes a mr big balls jerk man or woman. So simple yet so hard for you to understand."

Sez you, and if that's the case in your workplace, then I think that's great. In other workplaces, there's a double standard. You can post random insults about my intelligence and that of others all you want. Maybe I'll even call you Mr. Big Balls since you don't have your own name.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 5:39 PM

Yay, devils advocate is in the game (I was just thinking today could really use some reasoned argument for a change).

-Laura

Thanks, unfortaunately work interfered (sp?) and I was unable to argue with you today. ;) Although on this topic, I think we have the same opinions.

One thing I might add before I go home is, (generalization alert) while women and men appear to have different commmunication styles, one is not necessarily better that the other. IMHO, both styles of communication could be improved if they were to be more self critical and willing to accept that there are other ways to do things.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 5:44 PM

The REAL devils advocate is definitely back, and it's a welcome return.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2007 5:47 PM

"But the man is NOT admired for this, that is what has become dogma to you. No one likes a mr big balls jerk man or woman. So simple yet so hard for you to understand."

Sez you, and if that's the case in your workplace, then I think that's great. In other workplaces, there's a double standard. You can post random insults about my intelligence and that of others all you want. Maybe I'll even call you Mr. Big Balls since you don't have your own name.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 05:39 PM

Megan, I think you are both right. A man is not admired for being MBBJ. But the level of jerkitude required for a man to earn this title is significantly greater that that for a woman.

Posted by: devils advocate | July 25, 2007 5:48 PM

Devil's Advocate, very well put in both posts. You must be working for a very reasonable devile ;) And I concur with the others, the real DA was definitely missed, glad to have you back.

Posted by: Megan | July 25, 2007 5:51 PM

"IMHO, both styles of communication could be improved if they were to be more self critical and willing to accept that there are other ways to do things."

Survey says, ding ding ding ding! I know sometimes my mom drives me nuts being so indirect about asking for anything, I drive my husband nuts asking his opinion about stuff he doesn't care about, and he drives me nuts being so freaking literal all the time. Happiness is somewhere in the middle (so I've learned to ask him if he cares or if he just wants me to decide; he is learning that sometimes when I ask what he wants to eat, he needs to say more than "food").

Posted by: Laura | July 25, 2007 5:52 PM

Emily, belated congrats! :-)

Posted by: Mona | July 25, 2007 6:37 PM

My best wishes to Emily and Jen S. on their news, and my hopes for healthy, happy babies (and parents!).

Posted by: catlady | July 25, 2007 9:39 PM

2:59, there's no such thing as quiet "type." How much people talk is just one sort of behavior. Saying there is a quiet type is like saying someone is a "toast-eating type."

Posted by: JP-5 in the morning | July 26, 2007 12:55 AM

To: JP-5 in the morning ... you're an idiot. I know you understand what I'm saying, you are just nit picking. Jerk.

Posted by: Mike | July 26, 2007 10:28 AM

... and that's why "quiet type" was in quotes. Please, go somewhere else ...

Posted by: Mike | July 26, 2007 10:30 AM

Laura, I've seen the same sort of thing happen before. I dated a woman who would ask where or what I wanted to eat and I would often say, "I don't care. I'll eat wherever or whatever you want."

This was evidently an unsatisfactory answer. Her response was almost invariably a series of probing questions, "Well, do you want chicken? How about Italian? What about...? Or...?"

After this exchange happened a few times, I told her that whenever I said I would go along with her decision, I would. Maybe she didn't believe me because the probing continued.

What do you think? Did she think I secretly had preferences and refused to tell them for some reason? Why was this a problem for her?

I'm asking out of perplexity rather than criticism, why was "Food" an unhelpful answer for you? It sounds like that answer gave you free reign to choose what you wanted.

Posted by: Muttlove | July 26, 2007 10:38 AM

OK, so how is 4:54 an attack, but 4:58 and 10:28 aren't?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2007 10:43 AM

I read the exchange. There isn't a quiet type. Everybody is quiet sometimes and for different reasons.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2007 10:45 AM

ALL of the posts here are anonymous.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2007 10:51 AM

To: JP-5 in the morning ... you're an idiot. I know you understand what I'm saying, you are just nit picking. Jerk.

Posted by: Mike | July 26, 2007 10:28 AM

blah, blah, "idiot", blah, blah, blah, "nit picking", blah, "jerk". Nice attitude, Mike. Could you find a sandbox with people who have the same social skills as yourself and leave this one for the big dogs?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2007 11:40 AM

ALL of the posts here are anonymous.

Posted by: | July 26, 2007 10:51 AM

otherwise known as the gutless cowards' excuse for not identifying any source for an idea or comment. Because that raises the level of discourse? BwahahahahaHAHA.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 26, 2007 11:41 AM

Perhaps in my next class, an Asian-American woman will dominate the discussion. I have no objections.

And quite a few of my most vocal students and fellow students have been women.

My point is, however, that individuals vary in how much of the speaking time they wish to take up, and that they are generally happier following their own preference. I am happier if I do a lot of the talking; others are happier if they are quiet most of the time.

If it is the case that men tend to want to talk a lot, and women tend to prefer talking less, then the "equal time" feminists ought to drop the issue; if those particular people happen to be women who like to talk, then let them be talkative women, but they shouldn't give me grief over the fact that I am talking when women who'd rather be quiet are being quiet. If I talk over them and say, Women shouldn't talk when men are talking--THEN they have grounds to complain. But if there are two men in the room who like to talk, two women in the room who like to talk, and an additional dozen women who'd like to be quiet, no one ought to complain if the men talk half the time and the two vocal women talk half the time.

As an instructor, I call on those who want to talk, regardless of sex. The classes I've taught have been overwhelmingly majority female, and the major speakers have also been majority female--but by a much lower ratio.

Is it fair that some people talk much more than others? Well, on the one hand it means that some of us don't get as much experience talking; on the other it means that some of us do more of the work and do not get the benefit of whatever insights our colleagues have. In most contexts, however, this seems better than any alternative I've found. Certainly it's more comfortable for both those who want to talk and those who want to sit quietly and listen.

In some contexts, where a major purpose of the class is to accustom the students to speak in public (i.e. big Socratic law-school classes), it is proper to force everyone to talk.

Posted by: Alexander | July 26, 2007 3:14 PM

The mythical chat gap
By Ellen Goodman | July 20, 2007

FIRST, let me clear up one small fact: Matthias Mehl is married. This will come as shock to some of the men who e-mailed the psychologist after reading his research showing that men and women are equally talkative.

These men dismissed his work with a wave of the ring-bearing hand. ''Clearly, you aren't married,'' they wrote. ''I'm married, and let me tell you that women do talk more.''

Pity poor Mehl. By disproving the notion that women were the Chatty Cathys of the species, the University of Arizona researcher had thrown science up against stereotypes. He'd put mere math up against myth.

This story began as an attempt to put a number on the chat gap between men and women. One pop psychologist after another claimed a gap of immense proportions. They said that women used 20,000 words per day to men's 7,000. Or 7,000 words a day to men's 2,000. And James Dobson, the family values guru, even claimed that God gave women 50,000 words a day and gave men a mere 25,000.

If tongues were not tied, they were hard-wired by gender. If men were from Mars and women from Venus, Mars was a taciturn planet and Venus was positively garrulous.

But Mehl decided to actually count. For the first time, some 400 college students were equipped with recording devices. It turned out, both men and women use roughly 16,000 words a day. By contrast, the range among individuals was huge. The Chattiest Carl used 47,000 words and the Silentest Sam used 700.

This got the media attention allotted to a myth-busting, man-bites-dog story on a slow news day. News? Did I say news? Mehl may have been the first who actually counted, but he was by no means the first to challenge the chat gap.

Indeed, a survey of 70 prior studies of men, women, and chatter is about to be published by University of California at Santa Cruz psychologist Campbell Leaper. This survey also shows no consistent gap in talkativeness.

Now let's acknowledge that there is a difference between the quantity and quality of words. Linguistics professor Deborah Tannen has long written about men's ''report-talk'' and women's ''rapport-talk.'' Leaper notes that in some of the studies he reviewed, men were more likely to talk among strangers than were women, and mothers more likely to talk with their children than were fathers. If the subject was impersonal or problem-solving, men took up more of the airwaves. If it was personal, women did.

But in every situation, our similarities are far greater than the differences. So I've been wondering, when did you last hear a cry of ''Vive la similarité''?

Researchers have been debunking the notion that men and women are the extremely opposite sexes since Helen Thompson Woolley first reviewed the gender research. That was in 1914. Even then, Woolley said despairingly, ''the scientific evidence plays very little part in producing convictions.''

Almost a century later, men's and women's lives are more alike than ever before. But we seem to have embraced old stereotypes as the new, new thing. The tale is in the book titles: ''Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps.'' ''Men Are Clams, Women are Crowbars.'' ''Why Men Don't Iron.'' And, of course, ''Sperm Are From Men, Eggs Are From Women,'' which at least has the advantage of being anatomically correct.

The chat gap is particularly tenacious because it's what University of Pennsylvania phoneticist Mark Liberman calls ''an equal-opportunity prejudice.'' On the one hand, he says, ''There are people with negative attitudes toward women who see it as showing women are empty-headed chatterboxes and men are serious.'' (See the e-mailers above.) But he adds, ''There's another group who sees women as socially oriented, verbally adept makers of connections and men as tool-oriented, cold-hearted, unconnected loners.''

Whichever you pick, the equal-opportunity prejudice is a bulwark against change. In public life, it's easy to tag any woman who speaks up as speaking too much. In private life, wives are supposed to accept the taciturn as masculine. ''Men can go home and not talk to their wives,'' says Leaper. ''It's teaching wives to accept that he's a cave man at heart.''

So here we go, once more into this breach, bearing numbers. They support the much less marketable truth about men and women that psychologist Janet Hyde whimsically describes this way: ''Men are from North Dakota and women are from South Dakota.''

I have no idea how long the math will trump the myth. But for now, Mehl has given us something to talk about. At around 16,000 words per day per man -- and per woman. Now, is anybody out there studying how much we listen?

***************************

The premise of Leslie's column was bull-mularkey, and a bunch of idiots perpetuated unsubstantiated idiocy. Nice work, imbeciles.

Posted by: Ellen Goodman | July 26, 2007 7:09 PM

I went to an all-femals high school (grades 6-12) where I was definitely one of the students most likely to speak up in class. When I got to college, and found myself in classes with males, I clammed up: I did not speak even once in a single class the entirety of my first semester. Fortunately, I have spent the remainder of my life (12+ years now) making up for it. Graduated from a top 5 MBA program last year, though, and have to agree with the original hypothesis -- pitifully few women participated in classes. And on a handful of specific occasions that I can clearly recall, female students' comments were essentially ignored -- so much so that male students would repeat them immediately thereafter and be credited (by male classmates and professors) for their originality. It was infuriating to say the least. Would love to know what to do about it!

Posted by: ags | July 26, 2007 10:38 PM

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