Analysis

Allusions

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

This federal statute was first signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 29, 2009. This act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it possible for women to file gender discrimination lawsuits up to 180 days after the last paycheck affected by the discrimination was issued.

Rhetorical Devices

Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

Adichie makes use of the rhetorical devices of ethos, logos, and pathos to further her main argument in We Should All Be Feminists. She calls upon ethos when she argues that women's rights are human rights and that as both a woman and a human (and an award-winning author) she's qualified to argue for changes in the way that we all approach matters of gender. She frequently appeals to logos when pointing out the illogical nature of many arguments in favor of traditional gender roles, including an evolutionary one about female apes who bow to male apes (as Adichie points out, humans being are not apes, by definition, nor should we act like our animal ancestors). Of the three rhetorical devices, Adichie makes the greatest use of pathos, using personal anecdotes from her own life to inspire pity, anger, and frustration over the sexism she and other women have experienced. One of her anecdotes involves a valet who accepts a tip from Adichie, but then turns to her male friend and thanks him for the money, because the valet assumed that Adichie's money must come from a man.

Themes

Feminism

Feminism is both the subject and the biggest theme in We Should All Be Feminists. In the beginning, Adichie relates a story about a childhood friend who once called her a feminist during a debate. She didn't know the meaning of the word at the time, but still understood that it wasn't a compliment. In fact, as Adichie notes, the word...

(The entire section is 735 words.)