While reading an extract by Helene Cixous for an exam, I came across something which I found to be a rather insightful idea. in regards to the role of women, she said that they ‘talk endlessly… but they don’t actually speak’. This led me to ask myself a question, how many people do we talk to without actually speaking and vice verse?
Its easy to find yourself in a position where you and someone may talk but never actually speak. For example, you can know somebody for years, talk all of the time and never know a thing about them, so much so that then they do finally speak, metaphorically or physically, you come to the conclusion that you never quite knew that person. It is possible, actually it is common, we often hear people complain how people have changed, how people no longer represent what you knew them to represent… but maybe in this instance the style of conversation has simply changed from talking to speaking?
The commonality of this can not be understated, there are many times when we gather very little from a conversation, when a conversation is just talk, mundane chit chat. We do this everyday. What we do not do however is speak, To speak is to be vulnerable, to speak is to allow somebody to know you, to know your opinions, to potentially dislike you and said opinions. Its much easier for us to just talk, its safe. Its very human to desire acceptance and those who speak too often are very rarely accepted.
I am not sure that this is something to be discussed or measure among gender lines. I think the topic rather revolves around the idea of assimilation. From the moment we are conceived we are taught to speak in one common language, a consensus that society as a whole must agree too. This language that started off as a way for us to speak has instead become a way for us to talk, a way for us say something while saying absolutely nothing. A way for us to fit in and communicate without running the risk of speaking, without running the risk of revealing ourselves too much, ensuring that we are always accepted.
This is a very logical process and for the most part it is Teflon. However there are situations where emotion beats logic and in such a situation it is impossible to avoid speaking. Speaking, unlike talking is natural, you speak with you heart, with your eyes, with your soul,. You talk with your mind, you talk what you are taught, what you know or at the very least think you know. But you speak what you feel, you speak what is within. Speaking is an unorganised language, removed from the restraints of talk and societal norms, that is why we hardly speak in such a rigid conformist society, but we talk all of the time.
SBIW, Asya Valentine