Chatty Cathy Needs a New Name

I’ve got two questions for you:

Who talks more? Men or women?

Who interrupts more? Men or women?

Any guesses? If you’re like me, your immediate response would be “women” for both questions. Well, I stand corrected. I’m currently reading Deborah Tannen’s book, You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, and these are just a few of the facts that I’m finding. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised.


I didn't know Chatty Cathy was actually a doll. I have to admit, she scares me. No wonder there's a negative stereotype.

Too often women are pinned as the “Chatty Cathys.” It’s time to put that stereotype to rest. Because there’s a new order in town: men are the talkers and they won’t shut up, at least not when they have the stage.

Take the boyfriend example. Do you ever notice that when you’re together, just the two of you, he seems meek and mild with little to say? But then once there’s a guest or a party, he becomes the comedian extraordinaire? Well, that’s because men are eager to speak when they have the opportunity to assert their status and express their “one-up” standing in an asymmetrical relationship.

Women on the other hand, prefer to keep their talking under the roof and in the comfort of their own home. The problem with this is that men see their time at home as the time-out for their mouths. See the dilemma here?

So how can we get each other on the same page? And feel happier in the process? Like anything in relationships, I think it takes compromise. Women should speak up for themselves when out in public and men should put down their newspapers and genuinely ask their lady how she’s doing. Make eye contact, turn on their brain, you know. Once we start doing this, maybe everyone will start seeing the statistics for what they are instead of holding women as the chatty champions. Because we actually stand by the sidelines more than you might think.

Speak now! (Ala Taylor Swift)

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

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  1. “Well, that’s because men are eager to speak when they have the opportunity to assert their status and express their “one-up” standing in an asymmetrical relationship. That’s what the book says if you think I’m being feminist. (Don’t worry, I shaved my legs this morning).”

    I would say this does not match up with a feminist’s line of thinking, but the exact opposite since there isn’t an expressed equality. Also, I’m a little disheartened by your portrayal of feminists. I consider myself a feminist, and I shave my legs! Feminism have become generalized to mean bra burning, hairy legged, angry women in society, but that really isn’t the case at all. Please be careful how you represent things so as to not offend your readers.

    Also, you said yesterday that “I think the book’s overarching statements are a bit ridiculous for the 21st century.” From what this author seems to be saying, women feel more comfortable “in the home,” which sadly just reminds me of 1950s housewives. ugh! Do you see this in action in everyday life, how men are chattier than women? Just curious!

    Interesting post, Lauren!

    Posted on 10.3.11 | Reply
  2. Lauren Cook says:

    Thank you for your feedback Amanda!

    This is why I rarely attempt sarcasm on my blog…often readers take every word literally. I was in a sassy mood when I wrote this post but don’t get me wrong, I am a feminist as well. I’m all about girl power and if anything, this post was to encourage women to take a stand and speak up for themselves.

    Also, regarding your question, I do think the book is outdated. It was written in 1990 and since then, I think women have made a lot of strides in equality in communication. I think more and more women are willing to stand up for what they believe in and I think men are recognizing this as well. Do you agree?

    Posted on 10.3.11 | Reply
    1. I couldn’t agree more! I would be interested in reading her book, just to see what other points she tries to make.

      And I’m sorry about the misunderstanding! I Thanks for clearing things up 🙂 I appreciate your point, and I’m sure others do, too.

      Posted on 10.3.11 | Reply
  3. Susan Novak says:

    Hello, My name is Susan ,I am 61 years young. When I was a little girl I got Chatty Cathy for Christmas! She was adorable! The first doll that talked, anyone scared of her is spoiled by all the wonderful things that you kids have these days… I’m very grateful to the makers of Chatty Cathy. She was a ton of fun and a great comfort to a lonely little girl

    Posted on 8.23.12 | Reply

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