Thursday, September 14, 2006

Conversation and gender continued

Yesterday's post about 60 something men and their conversational shortcomings engendered (no pun intended) a lot of wonderful conversation from several contributors. It was enlightening, to say the least, to read a male take on the tendency of men to need to sell themselves, to establish credentials with their hearers, and to rely on their hormones to give them the cues they need to develop relationships.

It was useful to hear this from presumably-credible males who did not seem to be making excuses or being defensive about their gender's attributes. A rich discussion which I hope will continue!

That said, while the post was percolating out there in the blogosphere, I was having coffee with a group of 60 something men and women from my congregation; this is a newly-begun, regular "koffee klatch" kind of thing and yesterday was our first meeting. It was the best conversation I have had for months! Nobody dominated; when one man went on a little too long, somebody else redirected, and the content of the conversation ranged from church matters to world peace.

At one point, I burst in and said "this is fabulous! This is one of the best conversations I've had in ages and I appreciate so much the ability of the people here to converse!" I went on to give a short synopsis of the "conversation" which inspired my previous post and the discussion veered into the same area-------what's the deal with conversation? Does it have anything to do with gender and innate characteristics? social expectations? personality? and what responsibilities do conversants have to one another?

After two hours of great conversation with a mixed group, I came home to find the responses to my post piling up, some of them confirming what the coffee group had said, some challenging it. But all rich and diverse and exciting!

If there's more to be said on this by my readers, I welcome it!


ms. kitty said...

It struck me after posting this that perhaps the key is that we were in a group, a mixed group. I'm going to a ministers' cluster meeting today over in Port Townsend; the group is mixed male/female and manages to have real conversations, not monologues.

That said, a male friend of mine is a master of the monologue in a group style. So it's not foolproof.

Joel said...

That said, a male friend of mine is a master of the monologue in a group style.

Judging from the lengths of your posts, you're no slouch at it yourself. Must be all the sermonizing. :P

LinguistFriend said...

I am glad that you (Ms. Kitty) have just had a couple of mood-enhancing collective and serial conversations after the frustrating ones with which you began. They seemed overdue and well deserved. No doubt the conversation here will be renewed at some other time.
Best wishes -

ms. kitty said...

You're right, Joel, I get a lot of practice at monologue! But I claim the right and, after all, posts are written, not spoken.

I hope that a monologue in the context of a church sermon would be acceptable.

I figure you're teasing your Reverend Auntie. And you were too young at the time to notice that an uncle by marriage had verbal diarrhea!

Chalicechick said...

I think what LF said in the last thread about men being used to having to establish their credentials was really good.

Also, theCSO tends to get "paragraphy" as we call it, when he's under stress or when he's talking about something he's passionate about, which has led me to notice that I'm the same way.

It would seem like a first date, where a guy has just met you and is telling you how much he loves re-enacting Civil War battles and wondering if you like him because he's lonely too, would be a confluence of those three factors.


Joel said...

And you were too young at the time to notice that an uncle by marriage had verbal diarrhea!

Actually, I don't remember much about him at all, except that he taught me how to hitchhike. (Is that an uncle, or what?)

Chalicechick said...

Talk about an interconnected web!