faith, war on women

Women, Voices and a Bit of Bible

Creative Commons  Duncan Hull

Creative Commons Duncan Hull

“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:” Psalm 68:11

I read yesterday’s post to my daughter.  All I wanted to know was a) Is it too long? and b) Is it boring?

I did not like the grin on her face when I looked up at the end.  “What?  Too long and too boring?”

“No.”

“Then why the grin?”

“I don’t know, I guess I always chuckle when I hear ‘blogger voice'”.

“Blogger voice?  I don’t have blogger voice!  Are you saying my writing is prosaic?”

“You used too many adverbs.  My Hemingway app always tells me to remove the adverbs.”

“Your Hemingway app is for college papers, I was telling a story.   Without adverbs a story is just a laundry list of facts.”

Stinking kid.  Now I’m all self-conscious about sounding bloggery.

So today I’m just going to post an excerpt from the Bible study I wrote; try to get my voice back and hope you learn something:

You have probably heard that a woman uses about 20,000 words per day while a man uses about 7,000.  That claim became widely quoted after it was mentioned in a 2006 book entitled The Female Brain. The following year, a group of University of Arizona researchers published the results of their study of 396 college students.  They found that women spoke 16,215 words per day, while men spoke 15,669 – a  difference which is not statistically significant.

The quote has stuck, even though it has since been removed from the book, because it seems to ring true.  Perhaps it rings true because we instinctively know that there are differences in the way men and women communicate.  Matthias R. Mehl, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona and the study’s lead author, found that the difference is not in the quantity of words, it’s in the type of words. Women use more pronouns, men use more numbers.  Women tend to talk about relationships; men talk about sports, technology and gadgets.

A perfect example played out at a small group meeting I attended one night.  One of the men shared that his tenant seems depressed lately.  During a recent visit to the property his tenant lamented that life really had him down and then he relayed the details of his shipwrecked health, finances and relationships.  The group member paused and said, “He doesn’t talk anymore.  He used to talk all the time.  I’d come in and he’d say, ‘How about those Tigers?’ or we’d talk about the Giants.”   I wonder whether I am the only woman in the group who chuckled inwardly.

I ran that last paragraph by my husband and asked whether it made sense.

He said it did.  Then I asked, “Do you know why I chuckled?”  “Nope.”  Later I ran it past my daughter.  It took her a second and then she grinned as she caught the irony.

I think I’ll do my own mini research here.  Do you know why I chuckled?  Answer with a comment because I am going to tally male versus female responses.

Now for a little bit of Bible:

The Hebrew word for Eve is Chavvah (pronounced khav-vaw’).  It is a proper name which has been defined as “life” or “living”.  The Septuagint translates it into Greek as “Zoe”.  Chavvah is derived from the Hebrew root word chavah (pronounced khaw-vah’), which means “to tell, declare, show, make known” and from the Aramaic root word chava’ (pronounced khav-aw’), which means “to show, interpret, explain, inform, tell, declare”.

If the 20,000/7,000 statistic had proved to be true, I would say Eve’s name indicates that woman is the verbal side of God’s image.  But since men and women are equally verbal, we can glean from the root of her name that she is, at the very least, a wise and life-giving second opinion.

Therefore, all of our voices – including mine – are unique and worth hearing and none are prosaic.

Don’t forget to comment, my research depends on you.

© The Reluctant Baptist, 2014

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11 thoughts on “Women, Voices and a Bit of Bible

  1. Because talking about “Tigers” and “Giants” was hardly really “talking”.
    When women talk, it’s about “real” issues, important issues like family, children, famine, sickness, births, divorce, unions. Not sports scores.

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  2. I loved the biblical name history bit. Along with the stats. In support of the stats, John Gottman’s relationship and marital research shows that men and women DO communicate very differently. Women are less physiologically affected when overwhelmed by verbal conflict; men’s adrenalin and testosterone levels go berserk when having a verbal fight, and get ‘flooded’ more easily. It may be a jump to conclusions, but it could explain why sticking to topics further from home (sports, food, beer) is men’s default.
    Aside, now I wonder if mom ever calls me “stinking kid” in her head…

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  3. My interpretation of that situation is the tenant was actually talking MORE, but because he was talking about serious things, rather than light conversation such as sports that is easier and more pleasant to hear, the group member was no longer really hearing him, because he was no longer really listening, and thus because he wasn’t listening, he decided the tenant wasn’t talking as much. I think listening is a skill, and active listening even more so.

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    • Exactly, the tenant was talking more! I think Marty (the friend in the group) was listening to him because he relayed to us in detail what he said. I just grinned because it was so male to not consider the pouring out of one’s heart talking.

      But now that we’re discussing it, it occurs to me that perhaps Marty didn’t consider it talking because he wasn’t talking. Only listening. Marty likes to talk!

      Liked by 1 person

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