Rhetorical Analysis Revised
EN1320: Composition I_V2.0
Feminism is defined as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). This definition is a good description of Crystal Eastman’s view- points. She was a socialist feminist in the 1920’s. Eastman was a pioneer in her day, pushing for the equal rights of women in the United States. The end of World War l, the unequal treatment towards women, including the lack of voting rights, were a couple of driving forces for Eastman’s speech “Now We Can Begin: What’s Next?”. But maybe there was another, more personal reason Eastman believed ...view middle of the document...
Throughout her speech she makes several statements as to what she perceives the problems are. However she does not leave it there. She then expresses her opinion on how she perceives the problem can be resolved. An example of this technique is when Eastman poses the questions, “What, then, is the matter with women?” and “What is the problem of women’s freedom?” (Eastman, 1889).
Eastman also used the Plain Folk rhetorical device when she describes what life was like in the1920’s for women. She made the statement that two women could live together and both take responsibility of the housekeeping, in addition to working outside the home. (Eastman 1920) She goes on to say that such an arrangement would be a fun environment to live in. However, Eastman felt that living with a man was never fun, and it was never a “team effort”. According to Eastman, when a woman stays home she is expected to do everything to make the home the way the man feels it should be. She was fond of saying, “The average man has a carefully cultivated ignorance about household matters – from what to do with the crumbs to the grocer’s telephone number – a sort of cheerful inefficiency which protects him.” (Eastman 1920)
Although Eastman’s speech was geared towards women, it was also an appeal to men as well. She used emotional, as well as personal, elements in her speech to engage women on an individual level. Using herself as an example she said,
“I grew up confidently expecting to have a profession and earn my own living, and also confidently expecting to be married and have children. It was fifty-fifty with me. I was just as passionately determined to have children as I was to have a career. And my mother was the triumphant answer to all doubts as to the success of this double role. From my earliest memory she had more than half supported the family and yet she was supremely a mother.” (Eastman, 1920)
Eastman tried to emphasize that equal rights were to be expected, and women were just as important as men. Eastman’s speech was delivered with the intent to get people to realize how much better the country would be if everyone were treated equal. Women would add intelligence to the work...