I was faced with a problem, while reading an article men talk just as much as women. I can't totally understand what's this text talking about, especially its last part?

However, researches had been skeptical of the common belief that women use three times as many words as men. This idea become popular after the publication of a book called The Female Brain (2006) whose author, Louann Brizendine, claimed that "a woman uses about 20,000 words per day, whereas a man uses 7,000." Professor Mehl accepts that many people will find the results difficult to believe. However, he thinks that this research is important because the stereotype, that women talk too much and men keep quiet, is bad not only for women but also for men. "It says that to be a good male, it's better not to talk - that silence is golden."

Be a good male? What does it mean? "...it's better not to talk - that silence is golden."!

How does this section connect with the whole discussion which is limited to "male-vs-female, who's more talkative?" ?

He thinks this research is important, why? The answer is "The stereotype"? So why a "bad" stereotyoe? The worst part is here: "... not only for women also for men." Why? Where else does that happen?

1 Answer 1


To be a good male

There are cultural norms that say how a man or woman is supposed to act in society. So a "good male" is a man who adheres to these norms. But a popular trend in the West is to totally ignore these norms to be an "individual," so the stereotype is seen by many as a bad thing.

it's better not to talk - that silence is golden.

The professor is implying that some men want to be more expressive, so the stereotype is damaging to them because it's telling them to be quiet instead. I suppose the reasoning is something like, if a woman speaks up it might be dismissed as "Oh she's just a woman that likes to talk," and if a man speaks up it might be dismissed as "Oh he's just having a temper," since men "aren't supposed to show emotion." We saw this in the US last week with the testimony of Justice Kavanaugh, who was mocked for showing emotion as "having a bad temperament." So the professor thinks that by eliminating this stereotype, these kinds of things won't happen anymore.

"Silence is golden" is sort of a proverb, extolling the virtues of the peace that comes with silence. Apparently there used to be another saying, "Silence is a woman's best garment," which ties more directly into this article.

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