English 101 050
September 29, 2008
An Analysis of Marked Women
In Marked Women, an essay by Deborah Tannen, she thought back to a time where she and some co-workers had gone on a business conference trip. There was her and three other female coworkers. During the conference she found herself distracted from the discussion by her female co-workers appearances. She scrutinized the three other women’s hair, clothing, and make-up. After a while she realized that she was not doing the same for the men. She thought about why that was so, then understood that it was because they were “unmarked” or standard. The women had no option to be “unmarked”. The men wore average hair styles with average hair color; they could have marked themselves with their clothing, but were able not to do so. According to Tannen for women there is no unmarked style, all styles even no style holds some sort of assumption.
Even filling out a form gives a woman’s personal point of view. Like when you use Miss, Mrs. and Ms. It tells whether you are single, have been married, or refuse to tell either way. Where as in Mr. there is no question being asked. After being interviewed for her book a man in the audience said she was male-bashing “Because she’s a woman and she’s saying things about men”. Tanner explains that if you are a woman it is just as hard to say anything about men and women without being labeled as it is to get up and get dressed without marking yourself, and that is sad that women don’t have “the freedom to be unmarked” that men have.
In this essay I believe that it was very clear throughout the essay that Tannen’s main point was that women are constantly marked no matter what their choice. Whether it is what they wear or what they talk about a woman is marked. I think that when it comes to clothes both men and women are constantly marked. It is just easier to evaluate a woman’s clothes than a man’s because often men do not put as...