Wonder Woman hated men when she first set off to the world from her home, Themyscira, but later understood that she was wrong in her initial assessment of men because she simply didn’t understand men. In Deborah Tannen’s essay, “Sex, Lies, and Conversation”, the often misunderstood forms of communication between men and women are explored. Gloria Steinem, American feminist who is a nationally recognized leader of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s, who expressed how she felt Wonder Woman is an exemplary model of what a feminist is. I believe Steinem would agree with many of Tannen’s views because they are rational, based on research and her essay is meant to bring the two genders to better understand one another.
Steinem and Tannen both have the same goal; they both strive to find peace between men and women. Tannen discusses extensively in her essay about how if you understand that both men and women are raised in separate cultures, American man culture and American woman culture. An example of this would be how women place intimacy as the foundation of relationships, and talking as the cornerstone of relationships. The bonds between men can be as intense as women’s relationships, but they are founded less on talk and more on the activities they experience together. Both forms of communication are used to build bonds between peers but do so in different ways, and that’s a pattern that follows both cultures throughout “Sex, Lies and Conversation”. I believe that Steinem would agree that to have peace between the two sexes, there must be some sort of understanding of how the two sexes communicate with one another. Through that understanding, women would live far better lives in a world that seems dominated by men.
Throughout her essay, Deborah Tannen is clearly explaining that the problem between the sexes is that there is much mistranslation but that it is reparable and she even goes to state “Once the problem is understood, improvement comes naturally”. Her essay is something Gloria Steinem would agree on and possibly even recommend to members of her various organizations to help improve their relationship with the world around them. Wonder Woman’s values like self-reliance, peacefulness and esteem for human life are all values that Steinem believes that feminists are trying to introduce into the mainstream. Although Steinem focuses heavily on improving the lives on women, I believe she does that because women are at a disadvantage in today’s society and she’s looking to help bring equality between the sexes.
The gap that only a few years separated women from men in society having equal opportunities and rights is slowly disappearing and I think its in large part due to the efforts of people like both Steinem and Tannen. People who are looking to both understand that although men and women are different, they should to be allowed access to the same opportunities. Steinem’s efforts to empower women correlates with Tannen’s effort to bring to light the need of a cross-cultural understanding between men and women because in the end, they just want to see improvement in communication. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to understand that Steinem would agree with Tannen’s attitude towards the failure of communication between the sexes. If people start to understand how to interpret how the two sexes communicate and educate themselves and others, The world would be a better place for everyone. Like Tannen says at the end of her essay, “like charity, successful cross-cultural communication should begin at home.”
Courtney from Study Moose
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