Sara Mills gives a new dimension to both the terms – gender and politeness. Gender and politeness cannot be generalized. It has to be analyzed in the perspective of the race, class, the particular situation. Mills states that politeness has to be observed over a period of time and it should be seen within the context of the community of practice. Women adopt different strategies in different situations.
A general notion prevalent is that women talk more than men talk and are more vocal about their feelings but an experiment proved otherwise. Marjorie Swagger gave three pictures to men and women separately and they were asked to describe it in as much time as they wanted. The average time that men took was 13 minutes while the women averaged at 3:17 minutes. Women should talk less and men should remain ‘calm’ has been culturally accepted by all societies around the world.
According to Nancy Bonvillain, women use more polite speech than do women; they are more conscious of the honor of the person or the hearer. Society has predominantly been male-dominated and they have been asserting themselves at every stage. Traditionally a woman first was under the protection of her father, then at the mercy of the husband and finally under the son. She was never allowed to assert herself. It was considered a disgrace if a woman was aggressive in her speech. It was always expected that a woman should ‘behave like a lady’. A ‘lady’ is synonymous with calm and peace. She always had to look up to the man in her life. ...Show more