Rhetorical Analysis Of What Makes A Woman By Elinor Burkett

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In the article, “What Makes a Woman?”, American journalist, Elinor Burkett, addresses the topic of transgender females and natural females, along with their contrasting views. The article argues that transgender women can not transition and automatically generalize the entire female population. The purpose is to show that there is more to a woman than just her physical anatomy which is accomplished by Burkett. The rhetorical feature that influences the audience the most is pathos, such as when she talks about the struggles of changing from a young lady into a woman, and how a transgender can never truly understand this transformation. Another rhetorical feature that influences the audience is the use of ambiguity since the words “female”…show more content…
The argument of the essay is trying to persuade the audience to realize how inappropriate it is for a man, transgender or not, to define women. The style of argument is similar to that of a persuasive writing.The author tries to appeal to the more logical side of her audience by stating the facts regarding a woman’s physical anatomy that men will never be able to experience, let alone understand. However, the author relies more on pathos and ethos to persuade her audience rather than with facts. The author’s message primarily regards what women are thought of as being. Since the argument is primarily backed with pathos and ethos, her persuasion does not have a lasting effect on many people who are less easily persuaded simply by addressing their emotions. Thus meaning, her message is not as strong as it could be if she incorporated more logic. Op-Ed is the shortened way to say “opposite the editorial page”. This means that the article written in Op-Ed is not affiliated with the publisher’s editorial board. The significance of Op-Ed is to allow an up-and-coming writer to express their opinions regarding a certain topic. The purpose of an Op-Ed article ultimately is to convince the audience that their(the author’s) opinion is correct, or more just than the opposing side, Burkett’s article does just…show more content…
When describing the difficulties a woman faces, Burkett mentions that women sometimes wake “up after sex terrified they’d forgotten to take their birth control pills the day before”(❡ 10). This is common logic since the risk of a woman getting pregnant is especially higher if the woman forgot to take her birth control pills. Men do not have to fear that risk of getting unexpectedly pregnant because it is impossible for a man to become pregnant. Burkett continued to argue that men, “haven’t had to cope with the onset of their periods in the middle of a crowded subway the humiliation of discovering that their male work partners’ checks were far larger than theirs, or the fear of being too weak to ward off rapists”(❡ 10). This also shows common logic since it is a fact that women have to deal with menstrual cycles monthly, women do not receive equal pay as men, and women are more vulnerable to attacks by rapists than men. She then mentions how transgenders feel excluded due to the use of the words “women” and “vagina”, and how women are standing up for themselves and their body anatomy. She quotes how when actress Martha Plimpton was criticized for defending the word “vagina” Plimpton responded by saying, “given that without a vagina, there is no pregnancy or abortion?”(❡ 21). This is of
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