Rhetorical Analysis Of Shirley Chisholm's Speech For Equal Rights

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The first African-American congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, in her speech For The Equal Rights Amendment, emphasizes her point on why women should have equal rights in the workforce. Chisholm’s purpose is to convey the message that discrimination against women is unlawful and unjust. Chisholm adopts a passionate tone in her speech to the American Public. Shirley Chisholm starts her speech by calling out House Joint Resolution 264 which she says, “It provides legal basis for attack on the most subtle, most pervasive, and most institutionalized form of prejudice that exists”. Doing this helps Chisholm grab the reader’s attention by getting right to the root of the problem. Chisholm continues by saying, “Discrimination against women, solely on the basis of their sex, is so widespread that it seems normal to many people, natural and right.” inferring that discrimination is traditional in a way and that it’s justifiable. This helps the audience gain an understanding that the problem is in the minds of “men”. …show more content…

doesn’t act now against the discrimination, future generations will have no hope or optimism to end it. This helps Chisholm by giving the audience a glimpse of what the future would be like if the prejudice doesn’t stop. Chisholm then says, “Of course laws will not eliminate prejudice in the hearts of human beings.” Chisholm assures the audience that laws alone won’t solve the problem. She continues, “but that is no reason to allow prejudice to continue to be enshrined in our laws -- to perpetuate injustice through inaction.” Shirley Chisholm basically says that if we allow prejudice to stay within our laws and don’t do anything about it, we will continue to see

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