Post #2: Neo-Aristotelian Criticism


This speech was given by Ashley Judd during the 2017 Women’s March on Washington D.C. and it was given to Judd by a nineteen-year-old, Nina Donovan, as Judd mentions at the beginning.  This rhetorical situation has different parts that are all essential in understanding the meaning of the speech and how it is given.  The main rhetor of this work would be Ashley Judd, as she is the one giving the speech, but Nina Donovan is the writer of this speech and it is her words that have meaning in this situation.  Due to Judd’s platform as a celebrity it was important for her to give this speech, because she was able to gain a lot of attention from media organizations and this gave people the opportunity to actually notice the information being presented.  There are a few different audience members of this speech ranging from people who agree with what is being said to those that may not agree, but need to hear it.  Due to how often the word, “nasty,” is mentioned it is clear that Donald Trump is an audience member, because the phrase, “nasty women,” was used by him as a way to overpower Hillary Clinton and her campaign, but it actually gave her and her supporters a sense of empowerment by owning the negative comment.  Another audience would be the women who supported the Women’s March movement, because this speech helped to encourage women that they are not wrong for what they are feeling and that they can make a difference.

The main purpose of this speech was about empowering women to own the idea of being a woman and to not accept the injustices that are present in society, not only based on gender, but also race and religion.  While this speech was focused around the topic of women it was also used to comment on Donald Trump and his supporters in a way to show that women will not accept their behavior and while Trump may refer to certain women as, “nasty,” this will not stop them from taking a stand and describing what they find to be nasty in the world.  The topic of this speech was about the nastiness Donald Trump and his followers have spread and how women are unfairly treated in society based on their wages, reproductive systems, and also based on differences each race faces.  In order to put this speech into context it is important to look at the date of the speech, which was the day following Donald Trump’s inauguration.  This day was chosen in order to show that women are not going to stand by and allow a man such as this one set this country back with the use of his fear rhetoric and hate speech.

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