When people argue, they take sides based on the information they have and present to the public, which constitutes ethos, logos, and pathos. Their usage of such data to inform their reasoning could contribute to fallacy, a state where one reaches a wrong conclusion based on either right or false assumptions. In most cases, such misconceptions come about when people employ logic and ethics in their interpretation of a condition (logos and ethos), and they include slippery slope, cherry picking, and begging the question, among other types of informal fallacies (McKay and McKay). Emmas Gender Equality is Your Issue Too is an example of an argumentative composition that utilizes various types of informal fallacies to appeal to the readers; hence, a scrutiny of the essay would help to point out how some of these misconceptions manifest themselves in writing.
The first type of fallacy that Emma uses in her work is the argument from silence. By definition, it is a misconception that comes about when one takes advantage of the fact that the audience might not prove their position to convince the listeners to think their way (McKay and McKay). For example, Emma says, This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN (Waston). That claim could be false based on the fact that the UN has held other campaigns before, and it is almost not possible that Emmas movement is the first one of that caliber. Further, the writer describes herself as one among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men, and unattractive (Waston). Once more, that is an assumption that has no basis at all. Finally, she assumes that no country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality, which is not based on evidence (Waston). Therefore, it is crystal clear that Emma bases some of her arguments on claims that lack opposition to appeal to her readers.
Another palpable fallacy in the composition is the slippery slope, where the author assumes that given conditions would arise from the occurrence of one event (McKay and McKay). Emma claims:
I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters, and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human tooreclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves (Waston).
From that statement, Emma argues that feminism would eliminate prejudice against the females and excessive aggressiveness among the males. That way, she sees a situation where one event would cause another despite the possibility of a contrary occurrence. For instance, Emma does not take into consideration the fact that feminism may only encourage the boy child to work himself harder to maintain his position in the society as the head of the family. Therefore, Emma makes possibly false assumptions regarding the expected occurrence of events.
Another aspect of logos in the essay is, If men dont have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women wont feel compelled to be submissive (Waston). That statement assumes that women are only submissive because men are aggressive; however, it does not look into the possibility that the females could appear weak because they do not want to be as aggressive as men are. On a keen look at the statement, one realizes that it is a fallacy of weak induction; the author does not give sufficient evidence to support her claim (McKay and McKay). In reality, there would seem to be a relationship between males aggressiveness and their perceived dominion over women, but that does not guarantee the claim that females would be stronger if the masculine gender stopped their aggressive nature. So, that argument is not proven at all.
Finally, Emma uses ethos in her submission to make her points. She says:
it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men (Waston).
In that argument, the author raises the question of ethics; thus, she is arguing to appeal to morality. However, in the process of applying ethos, Emma commits cherry picking; she assumes the fact that equality goes hand in hand with equity (McKay and McKay). That is, her reason is one-sided.
Evidently, Emmas work uses various fallacies to convince the audience. Through the logos and ethos that the author employs, she makes many unfounded assumptions. For example, she blames males aggressiveness for the submissiveness of women. Further, she assumes that empowering the feminine gender would eliminate cases of excessive aggression among men and discrimination against women. She also makes other claims without providing any solid proof for their applicability. Hence, one would say that Emmas writing is based on numerous informal fallacies.
McKay, Brett and Kate McKay. How to Argue Rationally and Logically. The Art of Manliness, 26 Nov. 2017, www.artofmanliness.com/2011/05/26/classical-rhetoric-101-logical-fallacies/.
Waston, Emma. Gender Equality Is Your Issue Too. UN Women, 20 Sept. 2014, www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2014/9/emma-watson-gender-equality-is-your-issue-too.
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