Persuasive Techniques Used in Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me” and Lesley Kinzel’s “Why You’ll Never Hear Me Use the Term ‘Mansplain’”

Persuasive Techniques Used in Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me” and Lesley Kinzel’s “Why You’ll Never Hear Me Use the Term ‘Mansplain’”

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In Rebecca Solnit’s “Men Explain Things to Me” and Lesley Kinzel’s “Why You’ll Never Hear Me Use the Term ‘Mansplain’” they both focus on the common occurrence of men trying to explain things to women even if they do not fully understand what they are talking about. This is a topic that has become better known in recent years and the term “mansplaining” was created to describe this phenomenon. The authors agree on the problem, but go at it from different angles. While Solnit uses strong examples in her article to try to persuade the reader, Kinzel uses more effective rhetorical strategies and portrays a better understanding of what her intended audience, the male population, wants to hear.
Solnit starts out her article by telling an anecdote about a time she went to a party and the host of the party tried to pretend to know more about a book she had written. Her tone is very much sarcastic in the first few paragraphs, as she gives the owner of the house the nickname “Mr. Very Important.” She does this to lighten the mood before she dives into the much darker topics of rape, murder, and restraining orders. She concludes her article by talking about how women have made progress and are being taken more seriously now, but still are a way away from where they want to be.
Kinzel starts by talking about something personal as well, but talks about her relationship with her husband instead of starting with an anecdote. She goes on to explain what “mansplaining” is, why she does not like the word, and talks about how anyone is capable of dismissive conduct. Sprinkled throughout her article are slang words like dude and cuss words. This makes her writing much less formal and allows her to use a lighter tone to address a potentially dark ...


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...t how in Middle Eastern countries women’s testimonies cannot be used in the conviction and talks about a Marine who was killed by one of her superiors while waiting to testify that he raped her.
All of these stories are intended to instill anger in the reader and make them feel sympathetic. This is another rhetorical strategy used by the authors known as argument by emotion or pathos. Knowing that women are being the object of crimes, are rarely believed in the Middle East, and often do not get the credit they deserve.
While Solnit uses powerful examples in her article to try and sway the reader, Kinzel is more effective at using rhetorical skills and portrays a better understanding of what her audience wants to hear. The authors have many similarities and differences in the way that they approached this topic and do a great job of portraying their knowledge.



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