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Estefania Olvera
Mrs. Mary Marley
Rhetorical Analysis
1 November 2013
Feminism in America

The general idea of feminism is a movement to reach public support for

womens rights through a political, social, and economic stance. In a better sense of
words, feminism is the dedication to achieve the equality of genders. The main issue
casted here in America within the walls of this idea is the people who try to rule
against it due to lack of comprehension. I have chosen two pieces of work to analyze.
In the book Feminism and Power: The Need for Critical Theory, Mary Caputi makes
an effort to encourage women to find their voice and be tough-minded. Just recently,
Emma Watson helped launch the 2014 HeForShe campaign by delivering a speech in
which she attempts to target both women and men as her audience. Although both
works have the same center, they seem to split into different viewpoints and approach
the situation differently.
Even though both works are written to get the same point across, they are
evidently approached in polar opposites. Caputi chooses to advance into the situation
by embellishing the reader with relatable bearings, resulting in an immediate
gravitation towards the topic. Although it eases the reader into the proposition, Caputi
seems to get a bit too bias by turning the matter one sided and not allowing the reader
to move towards other presented theories. Watson is generally very open through out

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her speech. She noticeably made the effort to bring up every issue within feminism.
Not only does she thoroughly explain what feminism is, but she also prepares herself
with reasoning behind each subtopic. Her fault is arguably the way she words a few
things, making it a bit harder to understand what she is trying to say.
Feminism and Power: The Need for Critical Theory is a novel full of gathered
information arguing through different sets of theories in order to present a better
understanding of female empowerment (Caputi). Caputis writing and explanations
have clearly been organized in accordance to related theories, thus helping her build
her own. The book only contains six chapters in which she discusses the different
theories that have brought and taken feminism away through out its start. The point of
her novel is undoubtedly to persuade those who are seemingly against the movement
why they shouldnt be. Although she is fairly detailed with her arguments, she seems
to contradict her own out reach to women to find a voice by promoting silence as a
weapon in disguise (Caputi 167). At this point, her endeavor may be to explain how
silence and listening can be the key for others to follow and understand what
feminism is, but she fails to clarify how to work with different audiences by
unknowingly targeting only one. She establishes a strategy that may perhaps be able
to successfully get the point across of the matter, but is unfortunately one-sided and
seems to lack the ability to reach all audiences. Caputi certainly intends to make
females her targeted audience, but had she chosen to target both females and males,
her work would definitely have been more affective. Regardless of her strategy
blunder, Caputi is able to bring to light different theories through out her novel that
successfully interpret other aspects of feminism.

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Emma Watsons HeForShe speech on gender equality was well thought out
and essentially organized. The speech was dedicated to a further elaboration into the
subject by explaining the motives of this movement and how it is meant to benefit
both sexes. She was able to depict an extensive picture for the majority of topics she
brought up within the topic of feminism. Although very thought out, she definitely
could have rephrased a few things differently. For example, through out the speech
she comes across the subject of responsibilities and how women should not have
them. Her approach to this subtopic unintentionally opposes her primary argument by
basically stating that women should just be handed opportunities. Perhaps if Watson
had worded it differently, her point would have gotten across better. This lamentably
misguides the audience, resulting in more questions than answers. It seems as though
she was trying to explain that both men and women should have equal responsibilities
and not just be volunteered into one because of their sex. As we go on to other parts
of her speech, we come across what seems to be the biggest disagreement towards
feminism. The more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for
womens rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one
thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop, says Watson. Distinctly, her
motive here is to identify feminism as a movement towards fair play between genders
as opposed to the notion of it being against the opposite sex (Watson 2014). For the
most part, she clearly elaborates on how most people who are against the movement
are clearly only viewing this idea in a one-sided matter. It is time that we all see
gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals, says Watson.
As I read and reviewed both pieces, I found many differences in the way

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feminism was approached. Each person had their own way of viewing the topic and
seemed to experience some difficulty with the way they wanted to inform their
audience. Caputi reasonably samples other theories over feminism in her novel,
helping her build a stairway to her own theory. Although it is a fairly informative
theory, she fails to explain it to where all audiences can relate. The point of feminism
is not to intrigue only women, but to get men interested in the movement, too. It is
meant to reach out to both genders in order to be more affective, which is where
Caputi fails by the way she approaches the topic. Watson may have been able to form
a better approach, but she too also fails by the way she chooses to phrase some of her
points. In some areas of her speech, she seems to lack relevant arguments, but is able
to redeem herself with the way she concludes her speech. Her strategy is clearly to
target both women and men, making her speech easier to relate to and definitely more
In conclusion, I found Emma Watsons speech to be more organized and
thought out. I liked the way she reviewed all her topics and set up her arguments.
Feminism in America has unfortunately become more narrow-minded and one-sided.
Society has depicted an unrealistic stance of what feminism is; causing most people to
conclude that it is an anti-men campaign. Even though I completely agree with not
having to invite men into the movement, feminism will never be able further if
there is no positive and more formal attempt to get men and opposing women to
understand why feminism even exists (Watson 2014).

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Work Cited
Lisa Cole, Nicky. "Full Transcript of Emma Watson's Speech on Gender
Equality at the UN." About. About Education, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
Caputi, Mary. Feminism and Power: The Need for Critical Theory. N.p.:
n.p., n.d. Print.