By Krista Ratcliffe
One of many few authors to outline and concentrate on feminist theories of rhetoric, Krista Ratcliffe takes Bathsheba’s drawback as her controlling metaphor: "I have the emotions of a woman," says Bathsheba Everdene in Hardy’s faraway from the Madding Crowd, "but simply the language of men." even supposing men and women have diverse relationships to language and to one another, conventional theories of rhetoric don't foreground such gender alterations, Ratcliffe notes. She argues that feminist theories of rhetoric are wanted if we're to acknowledge, validate, and handle Bathsheba’s issue. Ratcliffe argues that simply because feminists usually haven't conceptualized their language theories from the point of view of rhetoric and composition stories, rhetoric and composition students needs to build feminist theories of rhetoric by means of using a number of interwoven options: convalescing misplaced or marginalized texts; rereading conventional rhetoric texts; extrapolating rhetorical theories from such nonrhetoric texts as letters, diaries, essays, cookbooks, and different assets; and developing their very own theories of rhetoric. concentrating on the 3rd choice, Ratcliffe explores ways that the rhetorical theories of Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, and Adrienne wealthy could be extrapolated from their Anglo-American feminist texts via exam of the interrelationship among what those authors write and the way they write. In different phrases, she extrapolates feminist theories of rhetoric from interwoven claims and textual techniques. by way of inviting Woolf, Daly, and wealthy into the rhetorical traditions and through modeling the extrapolation strategy/methodology on their writings, Ratcliffe exhibits how feminist texts approximately girls, language, and tradition could be reread from the vantage aspect of rhetoric to build feminist theories of rhetoric. She rereads Anglo-American feminist texts either to show their white privilege and to rescue them from fees of na?vet? and essentialism. She additionally outlines the pedagogical implications of those 3 feminist theories of rhetoric, hence contributing to ongoing discussions of feminist pedagogies. conventional rhetorical theories are gender-blind, ignoring the truth that ladies and males occupy assorted cultural areas and that those areas are extra advanced by means of race and sophistication, Ratcliffe explains. Arguing that concerns equivalent to who can speak, the place you may speak, and the way you can still speak emerge in everyday life yet are usually skipped over in rhetorical theories, Ratcliffe rereads Roland Barthes’ "The previous Rhetoric" to teach the restrictions of classical rhetorical theories for ladies and feminists. researching areas for feminist theories of rhetoric within the rhetorical traditions, Ratcliffe invitations readers not just to question how girls were positioned as part of— and aside from—these traditions but additionally to discover the consequences for rhetorical heritage, concept, and pedagogy. In extrapolating rhetorical theories from 3 feminist writers now not as a rule thought of rhetoricians, Ratcliffe creates a brand new version for reading women’s paintings. She situates the rhetorical theories of Woolf, Daly, and wealthy inside present discussions approximately feminist pedagogy, really the interweavings of serious considering, studying, and writing. Ratcliffe concludes with an software to educating.
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Extra resources for Anglo-American feminist challenges to the rhetorical traditions: Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, Adrienne Rich
Yet this ethic also functions from assumptions that limit the rhetorical potential of women and feminists, as evidenced by the following questions that may inform feminist theories of rhetoric: Who establishes this ethic? What truth conditions must be accepted for one to believe this ethic? Who benefits from the power structure of this ethic, and how? Where are the boundaries of this ethic? At what points are these boundaries visible and vulnerable? What are the implications of believing in plain and emotive languages?
Third, it enables feminists to (re)theorize rhetorical theories; that is, conventional theories of rhetoric may viewed not as static but as mutable, while new theories may be seen as emerging from the old and making the old unrecognizable. Such possibilities challenge the rhetorical traditions. Therefore, by complicating Burke's rhetorical function with Barthes's multiplicity and Kristeva's third term of feminism, I construct a rhetorical function that intersects with my materialist feminism. From this position, I construct the following definition: Anglo-American feminist theories of rhetoric are those theories that employ Anglo-American materialist feminism(s) as their primary lens of inquiry to expose how language functions through subjects, contexts, and texts to construct meanings that influence public and private cultural spaces by moving specific subjects to personal and collective action and/or attitude.
Focusing on the extrapolating option, I offer the following critical question for this study: How may Virginia Woolf's, Mary Daly's, and Adrienne Rich's Anglo-American feminist theories of rhetoric be extrapolated from their feminist texts about women, language, and culture in ways that productively complicate the genderblindness of traditional rhetoric and composition history, theory, and pedagogy? As one response to this question, I examine the interrelationship between what Woolf, Daly, and Rich write and how they write; in other words, I extrapolate their feminist theories of rhetoric from their interwoven claims and textual strategies.
Anglo-American feminist challenges to the rhetorical traditions: Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, Adrienne Rich by Krista Ratcliffe