Anne Roiphe's "Confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow" first appeared in the magazine New York in 1972. In this essay Roiphe aims to convince her readers that women must put faith in the idea that they are equal to men, not superior. "Women who want equality must be prepared to give it and believe in it . . . ." Personal anecdotes, contrast, and comparison are techniques Roiphe skillfully uses to create a strong, convincing essay.
Roiphe begins her essay with a personal anecdote describing the "horrifying" realization that she married a man exactly like her father. This technique immediately establishes the essay as informal and personal. It is a great way to capture the reader's interest. Also, this particular anecdote is used as background information for the first point Roiphe makes in the following paragraph—that ". . . people . . . have at one time or another been fouled up by their childhood experiences." Another anecdote in the essay explains how Roiphe's mother used to give Roiphe "mad money" before going on dates. "My mother and I knew young men were apt to drink too much . . ." and "mad money was for getting home on your own, no matter what form of insanity your date happened to evidence." Anecdotes such as this are entertaining and tend to lighten the mood of the essay. Also, it is quite easy for readers to relate to personal experience. Another function of anecdotes in this essay is to substantiate and support main ideas. At the end of one paragraph Roiphe states, "The hidden anti-male feelings, a result of the old system, will foul us up if they are allowed to persist." This is directly followed by the anecdote explaining the necessity for "mad money"—that men are untrustworthy, inconsiderate beasts. The anecdote clearly provides evidence and support for the fact that women have anti-male feelings.
Shortly after capturing the reader's interest with the introductory anecdote, Roiphe begins using contrast. The numerous examples of contrast...
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