08 November 2008

Talking as a form of social domination

One of the greatest mysteries of the second x chromosome is the fact that it gives so many women the ability to talk nonstop and suppresses any sense of courtesy while their lips are moving. I guess there is some chance that this behavior is achieved through environmental instead of genetic influences. However, the net result is the same regardless of the source.

A straightforward example is the fact that most women insist on talking in the bathroom. Women bounce in amidst the throes of active conversation, toss their belongings on the counters without a care, go about their personal business, and depart, leaving a trail of words at every inch. Even worse is when you're already in your stall, doing your thing, and another woman comes in, takes the time and effort to peer at your shoes, makes a determination as to whether they can associate said shoes with a name, and says, "Hey, so-and-so, is that you?" ZOMG!! NOT COOL!! I'm not sure about you, but my sphincter stops immigration from Bladder Island to the Mighty Empire of Commodia when someone shouts my name. It feels like a pissing contest, quite literally, as the one women uses words to inhibit another woman's bladder, thereby making sure that only she is able to mark her territory.

Women use talking as a form of domination in other ways, as well. Let's use group conversations as an example! I see this at work all of the time. A gaggle of ladies gets together and starts talking, and before you know it, they are all talking at the same time. They're not listening to each other except in the most superficial of ways (i.e., they hear someone mention their child and then they start talking about how awesome their children are) and slowly, voices will drop out until you only hear one voice left. The victory has several layers: (a) one women has forced the other women into vocal submission, and (b) by forcing the other women to hush and listen, they ensure that their topics of discussion and their stories receive precedence, thereby making them more memorable. I see this happen at luncheons, at meetings, and during good old idle chatter when said women get distracted from their work. I understand group conversation dynamics, but when men or mixed company are involved, they take turns, and I just don't find this with ladies!

For me, this means that I find one more reason to stick to myself and not hang out in groups. I can't function in these kind of conversations, and I end up just retreating into own thoughts. Whoever talks the longest and loudest is rewarded, and whoever is interested in listening or shows common courtesy just gets ignored, which is the psychological equivalent of being trodden upon.