This paper discusses an article by Jennifer Delahunty Britz, who is a dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College. The article is named “To the entire Girl’s I’ve rejected” and appears in March 23, 2006 issue of the New York Times. The article is written by the author as an attempt to explain a complicated demographic situation which college admission commissions have to deal with on the one hand, and to explain female applicants, as well as their parents the reasons behind their girls’ failures. This is an informative essay more than anything else, a piece aimed at clarifying things to the target audience. The target audience is first of all female applicants of colleges, activists of women’s movement, parents of failed female applicants, as well as any readers interested in the situation in the sphere of education at current moment. The main point of the author, claimed in this essay, is that women’s movement has gone too far, that in attempt to defend the rights of girls to receive education modern society has come close to achieving an opposite goal: feminist movement has failed to reach a balanced gender equality it was at first aimed at, and as one of the results, the girls are now facing unwilling discrimination when going through admission procedure, and young men are facing a sort of affirmative action, as he author calls it. And thus the author of the publication uses logos, pathos and ethos, as well as a number of other rhetorical devices, referred to below, in order to show the necessity of doing something with the gender misbalance in the admission process and discrimination, which derives from this very unfortunate circumstance.
Pathos is a rhetorical appeal, with which the writer begins the article. She explicitly appeals to her experience in the problem, and thus explains her competency to speak of both logical and ethical sides of the problem. The author is both a mother of a child, and shares the feelings of her child, and, as a person involved in the educational system, is aware of the reasons, which result in such an unfortunate situation. And this is what gives her, a mother and an admission officer, to have a very particular view of the point and to defend it. She starts from the end, she sets her latest experience in the beginning of the article in order to start with in appeal to pathos, to show to her audience, that she has got moral right and authority to discuss the issue, stated in the article, that she has got experience, relevant to the problem and is aware of statistical evidence, but that is not the end of the story. She is also emotionally involved in the problem. And here the author even uses some of informal vocabulary to deserve the audience’s trust. The author of this paper is very well aware of the power of pathos as a starting point in the essay and a tool of reaching the attention of the audience.
The author is also making a good use of logos as a rhetorical appeal in this article. She provides statistical evidence to prove her point. She also provides logical basis for the sake of proving her point, in order to show, how significant the problem actually is. The author refers to the statistical evidence from her own experience in order to logically explain the problem. In this part of the essay the language of the author is dry and clear. She uses clear grammar structures and simple grammar for the audience to be able to concentrate on the figures and logical explanations provided. Such logical and factual information is certainly a bright example of logos in rhetoric. Thus it is possible to say that the author effectively used logos in her work.
Ethos was also applied in this essay as another rhetorical appeal. In order to realize this rhetorical appeal the author extensively uses metaphors, lengthy sentences, listings and some other devices to show, how unethical the outcome of the women’s movement ended up being. The author particularly points at the figures, the actual people, who ended up facing the problem because of the current state of affairs. She speaks of the ethical side of the problem, which is hidden behind the indifferent statistical data. What a lie it would be to say, that the writer is not effective in her attempts to appeal to ethics in her article!
Thus, as shown above, the author uses all three rhetorical devices, starting her essay with a pathetic appeal to her experience and relevant knowledge, as well as emotional involvement in the problem which gives her the right to speak of the problem. She then goes on to discuss the data which supports her point. She shows in figures, how significant the misbalance has grown to be, and thus how important it is to take measures to resolve the problem. Lastly she appeals to ethics and shows, how unethical it is to treat millions of girls in such a way. And here she once again appeals to pathos: her daughter is among the victims of the circumstances, and she is among those, who have to follow the stream and kill the hope of girls just like her daughter. By means of these three appeals the author of the publication shows, that women’s movement has come to reach gender misbalance instead of gender equality and this is the right moment to revise the goals of the movement in general, since girls begin to suffer from this misbalance.