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Mind Games

Sociology Women Men Mind Games

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#61 ArmourMe

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 03:29 AM

sierraleone, on Jul 13 2003, 07:01 AM, said:

You sound like an awesome mom, I just wish we had more parents like you :)

You and your kids do sound fascinating. I have got a question if you do not mind ;)

I was reading a newspaper article on children who want to do things to seem *grown up* as in, for girls, wearing make-up, highheels, play with dolls and house. I could see how some kids would see this as the definition of grown up  :wacko: As they are not allowed to (usually) and adults are. It got me wondering if there are any positive (gendered bias or not) things they try to imitate? What do your kids (and those girls you mentioned) do when they want to feel or look more ¨grown-up¨? Especiallywhen you have been trying to keep gender roles and other such possibly negative influences from them?
Thanks you, too, Sierra!!   :blush:

To answer your question, the children aren't seperated from grownup work in the home - and when they want to feel mature they jump in and help out for as long as they like.  My son will try to help me make baby carriers (a small home based business I have) or wash some dishes or start the car for me when we're going out or keep an eye on his brother for a few minutes.

The children don't seem to aspire to token symbols of being adult (clothes, mannerisms) very often.  Perhaps because they have the regular opportunity to do real adult things they don't mistake the trappings FOR the real thing?  I dunno.  When they do play with things like make up, its clearly not to imitate the grown ups (we all most never wear it) but more like a war paint ritual :D  They use make up the same way they draw on themselves with markers - to look like a stripey wild animal, or to look 'beautiful' or to look scary.

One of the primary tennets of our community is that the children aren't the center of attention - the adult work is.  We don't hover over them 'enriching; their play by imposing adult rules onto it - we expect that their play is innately teaching & guiding them.....that they grow toward maturity every day w/o being forced to.  We expect them to gradually join in the adult work because it is natural to mature into a person who WANTS to do join in the meaningful work that makes life happen.  The children are near us constantly - they recieve our guidance if they are being destructive to eachother or things, they come to us if they want nurturing or support or to learn something specific.

These are all ideas from The Continuum Concept - some continuum writing is up at www.continuum-concept.org :)

#62 Peridot


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Posted 14 July 2003 - 07:38 AM

QueenTiye, on Jul 12 2003, 01:43 AM, said:


As to the second question, it's pretty complex, and could be addressed from a number of angles.  Some sociologists would probably approach it from the angle than women can be seen as an oppressed class, and that any oppressed group, because they have less overt power, will try to find ways to develop covert power, including manipulative behavior.  (This is one of the reasons children are sometimes so manipulative; not that they're necessarily oppressed, but they do typically have less power than adults, especially in the child-parent relationship

However, other sociologists would look at it from a linguistic point of view.  Men and women often have different communication styles, and some of what appear to be "mind games", when viewed across gender lines, may simply reflect some of these differences.  Each person may be genuinely trying to communicate; each may feel misunderstood, or feel manipulated when that is, in fact, not the case.

And I'm inclined to think both are right. (I'm so easy - I always agree with everybody! LOL!)

Actually, I'm inclined to think that both are right too!  :D  It's actually not that uncommon for a social or psychological phenomenon to have more than one factor that causes or influences it.  I'm sure there are sociologists who would support both theories!


There are a couple of books out on the above concept, which were written by a linguist; I haven't read them, but I'll see if I can find the author's name and the title for you, if you're interested.

I'm interested.

Okay.....here we go.....

The author is Deborah Tannen.  When I looked her up, I found she had more than a couple of books on this subject, but here are the ones I was thinking of and that I had previously heard of:

That's Not What I Meant:  How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Your Relationships with Others

New York: Morrow, c 1986

ISBN# 0688048129

You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation

New York: Ballantine Books, 1991, c 1990

There was also another one, on family relationships, so I copied that down too:

I Only Say This Because I Love You:  How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives

New York: Random House, c 2001

ISBN# 0679456015

As I said, I haven't actually read any of these, but I did notice on the cover of one of the ones I had seen previously that the author is a linguist; I would guess with an emphasis on sociolinguistics, just from the various titles I saw, including these.

Glad to be of help, and hope these are useful!  :)

#63 Cardie


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Posted 14 July 2003 - 08:29 AM

Deborah Tannen is the superstar of sociolinguists working on gender relations.

Nothing succeeds like excess.

#64 Delvo

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 10:24 AM

The problem with DT is that she doesn't follow through logically on her own assertion. If men and women talk differently because we think differently, then it stands to reason that she can't explain what men think that makes them talk the way they do. But she's perpetually giving "explanations" that are just plain false and made up from nowhere, instead of just letting her astute direct observations of patterns stand on their own. And her "explanations" of what men think and why they talk the way they do are really nothing new; women have been making fun of us with such nonsensical insults for a long time, probably for as long as there've been langauges.

Men, on the other hand, respond to (and often make fun of or insult) women's unfathomable behavior, not by "explaining" it in ways that can't possibly be right but get presented as fact anyway, but by just talking about how unfathomable it is. How's THAT for a gender-difference generalization? :p

Edited by Delvo, 14 July 2003 - 10:26 AM.

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