Today, some friends and I went to the English Rose Tea House in VA Beach. We each had a pot of tea with a scone, fruit cup, soup, sandwiches, and desserts. Everything there was incredibly ornate, petite, eclectic, and aesthetic.

While we were there, we commented that this was only a place we could go with girl-friends: there was no way to get guy-friends to come to the tea house. In thinking about it, it would be “really girly” for a guy to go to a tea house, but it made me ask why?

When chapter 3 talks about verbal styles of gendered expressions, it claims that women “are portrayed as decorative and emotional, are defined by appearance and relationships, and speech is characterized as collaboration oriented or affiliated” (p.63). Everything surrounding the tea house was feminine. It wasn’t just that the walls were pink or that all the china had flowers painted on it; the idea of sitting around and talking face-to-face is a feminine friendship quality (p. 151), the detailed ornateness of the entire tea room describes chapter 3’s concept of women in general, and the petite tradition of everything runs counter to many of the stereotypes for men in this textbook.

Walking into the tea house was overwhelming because all of the walls are decorated with art, hats, and nic-nacs. Each table was ornately set with different china in different color coordination sets. The room was scented like flowers and there was a small fountain in the back corner. It was bright, colorful, and aesthetic. None of these are contemporary masculine qualities. Even though it was overwhelming for me, I can only imagine what it would have been like for one of my guy-friends.

SOURCES: Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.