The language of gender


Photo credit: Helen Suh

When someone says they’re bilingual, they typically mean they speak two languages. Like in America, it’s most common for someone to speak both Spanish and English.

That way, it’s easier for that person to communicate with someone whose first language is different than what is normal. Or if you’re visiting, it’s easier to communicate with the natives.

However, most people overlook two languages that are the most important to learn, that no matter what country you’re in you need to learn these languages. And those languages are the gender languages.

I took a gender communication class a few semesters back, and it made me realize how much difference there is between a more masculine speech and a feminine speech. Feminine speakers have tag questions at the end of their statements and masculine speakers are straight to the point.

I often feel people see problems in relationships or other sort of things as a communication problem, whether it is a lack of communication or a misunderstanding of what is being communicated.

The best way to understand the opposite sex or someone with a different gender speech is to learn how they speak. Becoming aware of how someone talks is just one step closer to better communication.

It’ll be easier to understand why someone says one thing and what the true meaning behind it is. It’ll probably lessen the fights about communication.

Communicating about communication is hard enough, but when you speak two different languages, that just doesn’t help at all.

First, you must become aware of what language you speak. It sounds simple, like a man would have masculine speech and women would have feminine speech. But sometimes it’s not that way. Sometimes women could have a more masculine speech, which is what my gender communication teacher had.

Once you figure out your speech, you need to find out what your partner is or whoever you’re communicating with. This is probably easier, because once you figure out yours, you can see if the person is the same or different than you.

If the person you’re communicating with isn’t aware of the differences, maybe pointing them out will help the conversation.

I’m constantly telling my boyfriend things about what feminine speech is like, and he just doesn’t understand because his masculine speech is so different.

It may take time but so does learning any language. You’d never expect a person who only speaks German to be able to communicate with someone who only speaks Korean. So how is that any different between gendered languages? The best communication is knowing what you’re saying AND what the other person is saying.

Brittany McClintock can be reached at [email protected] or @B_McClintock17 on Twitter.