Date of Award

5-2020

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Rhetoric and Writing: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Catherine Fox

Second Advisor

Jeff Bineham

Third Advisor

Matt Barton

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

rhetoric women's anger social constructs Rapinoe

Abstract

Angry women have been the catalyst for numerous social changes throughout American history. Many researchers argue that this progress is stifled, however, because women’s anger is subject to social constructs that contain it. These social constructs reinforce dominant norms by conditioning how women express and reflect upon anger. Megan Rapinoe is a professional soccer player who advocates for social justice and simultaneously resists the social constructs of women’s anger. A rhetorical analysis surrounding Rapinoe’s anger unveils her as revolutionary in how she uses anger because she remains purposeful, exudes composure and conscientiousness, and creates credibility. Each of these rhetorical moves challenge the constructs that often lead to women’s anger being portrayed in a negative light. The rhetoric surrounding the ways that women’s anger is represented in the media work to either perpetuate these normative gender expectations or challenge them. Women, like Rapinoe, who challenge social norms have no agency in media representations. This is problematic because Rapinoe’s consistency and style have the capacity to create change, but some of the manners of representation work to undercut her purpose. Although this problem exists, Rapinoe remains purposeful in her anger since that is what she has agency in. People who recognize or support the revolutionary ways that Rapinoe uses anger, can see the expanded possibilities for thinking about women’s anger differently and possibly applying these moves to anger and other oppressing social constructs.

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