Deborah Tannen’s Marked Women and Virginia Woolf’s Professions for Women

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It is as if a window finally cracks open revealing the sun’s rays brightening with the truth that men and women experience different challenges. Deborah Tannen’s Marked Women has to face the music when applied to Virginia Woolf’s Professions for Women. In Tannen’s essay the claim that “[t]here is no unmarked women” has trouble withstanding but manages to hold up Woolf’s position of the battle women fought against the traditional norm to the freedom they can possess. First and foremost, Tannen claims that all women are “unmarked” and that leaves the essay with room for doubt. The manner in which she only observes the women in the meeting signifies that she is more drawn to look at how differently each women looks. The term “marked” in Tannen’s essay “It refers to the way language alters the base meaning of a word by adding a linguistic particle that has no meaning on its own” (Tannen 295). The definition of “marked” allows for men to have the unmarked case. Tannen asserts “Each of the women at the conference had to make decisions about hair, clothing, makeup and accessories, and each decision carried meaning” (Tannen 295). The meaning would imply that no physical display could be unnoticed leaving no ideal of a standard look the way men have. Tannen states “Their hair obstructed no views, left little to toss or push back or run fingers through and, consequently, needed and attracted no attention” (Tanned 295). The similarity in each of the men in the meeting left no desire to look upon and only left the women to be distinguished. The reflection that women have in her essay to have no choice but accept that they are “unmarked” leaves her argument in possible strain against Woolf. Nevertheless, Woolf’s Professions for Women is a... ... middle of paper ... ...eparated women from the workplace broke down but the ability to go beyond that is constantly in need of work. Ultimately, the argument that “[t]here is no unmarked women” struggled but managed to be enough to hold up when used with Woolf’s Professions for Women. The struggle that women must face for not being “unmarked” does not keep them from rising above. Even being from different eras, Tannen was able to apply her argument with Woolf’s and reveals another window that shines brightly for the future of women everywhere. Works Cited Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. "Marked Women." The Blair reader: exploring issues and ideas. 7th ed. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 294-298. Print. Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. "Professions for Women." The Blair reader: exploring issues and ideas. 7th ed. Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 410-414. Print.

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