A Language Analysis of Articles on Women in Combat Roles in the Australian Defence Force.

Topics: Rhetoric, The Australian, Greg Sheridan Pages: 3 (920 words) Published: March 24, 2012
The recent issue of Australian women being allowed into front-line combat has generated community debate. Those who are in favour argue that it’s their choice and if they want to they should do it. Those opposed contend that it is too dangerous for them, and will cause combat to more dangerous for the men. The issue has sparked serious debate within the media, who proffer various opinions on the subject.

In an incensed yet condemnatory manner, Greg Sheridan, in a Newspaper Editorial for ‘The Australian’ titled “Women have no place in combat” (29/09/2011) contends that Women are too weak both physically and morally to be of any adequate use in combat roles for the ADF. This piece appeals to its target audience of a male dominated society, through its assertive and antagonistic presentation and style. The primary tone, constructed through biased comments and opinionated language, is impassioned and intransigent. “A decision born of a post-modern fantasy, a kind of derangement of nature contrived by ideology against reason”, “This new ruling || defies common sense. It’s the idea that the there is absolutely no spiritual or moral difference between men and women” and “Men are bigger than women and they are much more aggressive” produce this tonality, thereby appealing to the reader’s sense of chivalry.

These appeals augment persuasive techniques used, which seek to persuade the reader to endorse Sheridan’s contention, namely that women should not be allowed to operate in combat roles for the ADF. Sheridan uses attacks at society: “do we want women to participate in unisex, professional boxing matches with men?”, “Domestic violence, in Australia, is overwhelmingly carried out by men against women” and “Is there a single decent husband who does not feel this way about his wife and daughters? If your family is assaulted will you send your wife out first to meet the assailants?” to persuade the reader of the author’s contention that a stupid decision has been made...
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