Rhetorical Analysis Of 'First They Ll Come For The Burkas'

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“First They’ll Come for the Burkas” Rhetorical Analysis I think we can all agree, shirtless, old men in short-shorts are not a pretty sight. Hairy thighs and sweaty beer bellies—it’s practically blinding. I’d rather they all wear burkas. Burkas might have originated from oppressing roots, but they do promote modesty. It’s a universal fact: old, shirtless men could use some modesty. Don’t you agree? In a similar fashion, Diana Wagman uses popular opinion and cleverly chosen words to prove her points in her article, “First They’ll Come for the Burkas.” Wagman laces her article with relatable words and phrases—“Every summer when the temperature goes up, people start stripping down… Toddlers look cute in just a pair of shorts. Middle-aged men…show more content…
This piece, however, focuses less on the implications of the burka and more on the invasion of human rights upon banning a form of expression. Does a country have the right to ban a form of religious expression? Do people even have the right to judge others based on their apparel—whether the clothes appear to be a form of oppression or not? After careful reading, Wagman’s purpose is clear: to open her readers’ eyes to the double standard in people’s decisions on what apparel is appropriate and what apparel is not—especially since there is no dress code in America. She states outright that, “in a democratic society, America or France, people should be free to wear whatever they want,” whether it is religious wear, sagging pants, or nothing at all—“it’s none of [her] business,” she does not have the right to…show more content…
For example, Wagman compares jogging girls in stretchy shorts and bikini tops to women in burkas: “to be ogled and objectified doesn’t do much for women’s equality. . . neither does a religion that requires women to be completely covered” (211). In this comparison, Wagman logically equates the two different forms of expression, and then she follows this tactic with cause and effect argumentation explaining that “if we outlaw burkas, then. . . ” it’s only logical for us to also “. . . ban all manners of religious dress, including nuns’ habits and priests’ collars. And if we’re suppressing that personal expression, where will it end” (211)? Wagman uses logic for the last time to sell her purpose. She describes a child who wore a shirt to school that read, “’Obama is a Terrorist’s Best Friend,’” (212). This 11 year-old child is sent home, but Wagman argues that if a child were to walk into school with a shirt that read, “’Obama is the Best President Ever,’” people might disagree, but nothing would happen. Her arguments all culminate to her end statement, “When does one person’s expression become more important than another’s” (212)? Her use of these rhetorical tools effectively equates all of the different forms of expression; however, an attentive reader might notice that Wagman’s ties are far-fetched and offensive. As mentioned in the first example, Wagman makes

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