Rhetorical Analysis of "Does Gender Matter?"

Topics: Rhetoric, Discrimination, Gender Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: October 17, 2011
Rhetorical Analysis of “Does Gender Matter?”

Ben Barres, author of the article “Does Gender Matter?”, gives us a different perspective on the issue of gender discrimination. The article takes a look at gender discrimination especially in fields related to the sciences. Ben Barres gives us a unique perspective on the issue because of his background; he is a female-to-male transgender and gives us a well put together argument about the ongoing issue with prejudice in the workplace. Ben Barres uses rhetorical strategies quite effectively to enlighten readers to the ongoing struggle women face in the workplace, specifically in science related fields, solely because of their gender.

The article begins with a bit of background on the author and then gets straight to the books; Barres uses studies from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as figures on math test scores and science productivity in children of different genders to lay down the framework for the rest of the article. “My main purpose in writing this commentary is that I would like female students to feel that they will have equal opportunity in their scientific careers.” (1) We can take from this that Barres, having been on both sides of the gender spectrum, can give us a point of view on the matter that is not held by many, and through doing so may help to bring the issue of gender discrimination to the surface. The article continues on to suggest people ‘speak out’ when witnessing these injustices towards women in addition to ‘taking action’ to help diversify the leaders in modern science. The rhetorical strategy most apparent to me throughout “Does Gender Matter”” is the pathos. Barres begins the article with something anyone that has ever stepped foot in a school gymnasium or schoolyard can relate to by bringing up the notion that male gym teachers would yell at young boys to “not be like girls” (2) he pulls readers in by appealing to their emotion. Almost anyone...
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