Rhetorical Analysis on Dig Deep: Beyond Lean In
When feminist in recent years spoke on the topic of feminism, it never grasped the audience’s undivided attention. A feminist, author bell hooks, wrote the article “Dig Deep: Beyond Lean In” published in 2013 in the blog The Feminist Wire, and she argues about Sheryl Sandberg, a white, high-level corporate executive, using her white privilege to promote equality for her race, not for all women and men. hooks starts to build her credibility with stating her personal experience with being a feminist, citing facts and statistics about Sheryl Sandberg, and makes use of appeals to the readers’ throughout the article.
In her article, hooks begins the article by sharing her experience as a feminist and how the discussion of feminism was never brought to anyone’s attention until Sheryl Sandberg published her book Lean In that later became one of Times list for best seller for more than 16 weeks. hooks then proceeds to discuss that white woman have a bigger voice than poor white women along with women of color. Sandberg sees woman’s lack of perseverance as more the problem than systemic inequality. hooks suggests to remember that the main goal of feminist is to help change the world so that everyone can have equal rights and bring more freedom and justice in our society for both female and male, not just one race according to Sandberg.
Throughout the article, hooks incorporates ethos by providing personal experience of being a feminist for more than 20 years. These sources include 2 of her books “Feminist Theory From Margin To Center” and “Feminism Is For Everybody” along with other books/articles from other feminists, “The Fracturing of the American Corporate Elite”, and “The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture, and Social Change” (qtd. in hooks). Citing these sources from different books/articles helps hooks increase credibility by providing her own books on feminism, and providing statistics as well as other feminists books/articles to help support her claim. She also shows she has personal experience of being a feminist by listing some books written by her.
In addition, hooks uses strong logos as well. hooks points out facts from More Magazine that American women will be able to control 23 trillion dollars by the end of the decade. These facts support the idea that women need to address the meaning along with the uses of money on. Women will not have the advantage and courage to lean in. hooks continues with another statistic about women being married, divorced, and never married. According to Sandberg, “of the twenty-eight women who have served as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, twenty-six were married, one was divorced and only one was never married.” Both of these statistics support her claim about the issue of women equality and wealth along with supporting equality for all. This shows the statistics that were brought up in the article by Sandberg are issues still going on in today’s society.
Not only is there strong logos appeals, hooks also includes pathos as a way of bringing emotion to her audience. hooks addresses that Sandberg’s claim that gender equality
should be important to everyone is an insight that everyone included in the feminist movement agree that it is a central duty. hooks states, “If Sandberg had acknowledged that she was primarily addressing privileged white woman like herself…. then she could not have portrayed herself as sharing a message, indeed a life lesson, for all women” (hooks 663). By hooks mentioning this, it shows it is offensive to the audience that Sandberg isn’t spreading equality for all. If anything, she’s only addressing it for her race rather than for everyone of color. hooks’ goal is make the readers feel offended by the way Sandberg isn’t trying to use her platform to spread equality for everyone, only people of her race.
Another thing mentioned by Sandberg that incorporates pathos that stood out was “Given the huge amounts of money Sandberg has acquired, ostensibly by paying close attention to her financial future, her silence on the subject of money in Lean In undermines the call for genuine equality” (hooks 669). This also increases offense to women and the audience because Sandberg is making women not have the strength and confidence because it’s undermining the call for genuine equality for all women.
hooks purpose of this essay is to conclusively persuade her readers whether feminist or not, the feminist goal is to change the world so that freedom and justice, the opportunity to have optimal well-being, can be equally shared by everyone, female and male. Readers can see that spreading equality for all is still a big issue in today’s society.