Methods of Protest Writing

Topics: Feminism, SCUM Manifesto, Woman Pages: 4 (1252 words) Published: September 12, 2006
Any piece of writing that expresses a strong objection to a certain situation or event, with intent to convince or catalyze a change in the readers view of said situation or event, may be classified as protest writing, regardless of structure, language, audience, point of view, appeals, or support. The only factor that classifies writing as protest writing is purpose: the purpose of catalyzing change and amending the things to which the writer objects. Radical texts are a vital part of protest writing. Radical writing is an extremely effective way of catching the public's attention and catalyzing change. A sense of legitimacy is not intrinsic to an effective piece of protest writing, as shown by the comparison between the writing of Betty Friedan and Valerie Solanas. One is an extremely effective and respectable piece that had no exaggeration or radicalism in its message. The other is a radical and over the top piece that has no sense of legitimacy or credibility. But they both promote a change in the status quo in America concerning women. They both promote awareness of the stagnancy of routine in the lives of American housewives, and both hope to catalyze a change in American society.

In Betty Friedan's piece "The Problem that Has No Name," she writes with a distinguished and respectable tone. Her writing makes her out to be a well educated and intelligent person, who wants to raise awareness for her cause. "Over and over women heard in voices of tradition and of Freudian sophistication that they could desire no greater destiny than to glory in their own femininity." In this case she is an advocate for a cause that she is directly involved with. The plight of housewives and the overall repression of women in America is best told by a housewife- a person who has experienced the ‘problem.' She is able to convey her argument in an acceptable, and, almost polite tone. This keeps even biased readers somewhat open to what she has to say.

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