Thursday, June 14, 2012

Talk, Talk

Back in the 80s there was a great band called Talk, Talk.  I don't remember any songs of theirs that included a discussion about talking, but I always like to use their name when I discuss talking just because I still like their music (and their name).

Whenever you talk about men and women, you eventually have to talk about, well, talking.

The stereotype we have about this is that women are the talkers, men less so.  When you think about an image of these, you think about Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” fame, who constantly talked, whether with friends, or as a voice over.  For men you typically imagine Clint Eastwood, “the man with no name” from all those spaghetti westerns. I still remember someone asking him a question and his answer was usually ‚ “I reckon.”

However a few years ago a study came out stating this stereotype was wrong. Men speak as much as women. However, their study mainly looked at college students.  I have a feeling they're right in this instance.  I encounter students daily and yes, both male and female seem to talk about the same amount.  This changes though as we age.  Just ask any husband if he can get a word in during dinner. Ask a woman about her shoes and you'll get a mini-seminar on shoe styles. Ask a man and you'll probably only learn his shoe size.

Okay, this might be a little over dramatic, but just from personal experience I think the old stereotype is legit.  Years ago after one of my former girlfriends spent five minutes explaining why the cook at this restaurant hated her because he didn't cook her order like her mother would have, she turned to me and asked, “why don't you talk more?”

“I'm a writer, not a talker.”

I'm not sure she accepted this answer, but she also didn't challenge it either. Instead she went off on some other tangent that I'm sure must have been pretty important—although I have no memory of what it was.

On another occasion—with a different ex—I had a relatively long discussion (a rare occasion for me) on how it was more important to express how you felt toward a person with your actions rather than words. In fact, we had this discussion on a number of occasions. I thought I had really made my point one time after she told me she loved me and I responded by kissing her passionately and hugging her longingly.

Apparently my actions vs. speech concept didn't impress her, as it was just a matter of weeks later that we broke up. I picture her now living with some guy who will gladly tell her he loves her, but prefers to kiss the keys to his new Porsche.

So do women talk more than men? I sure think so. However, although I'm a writer not a talker, I don't really have anything more to say on this.  


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