On March 3, 2010 The New York Times ran an article written by Kim Elsesser entitled “And the Gender-Neutral Oscar Goes To.” Elsesser is a research scholar in Women’s studies and psychology at UCLA with a primary focus on gender issues in the workplace. The op-ed article argues that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should merge the Academy Awards categories of best actor and best actress. Elsesser argues that the two categories need to become one category in order to eliminate gender segregation in Hollywood.
For this article there are several different audiences Elsesser is addressing. The first most obvious audience she is addressing is the Hollywood film industry and more specifically the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A majority of the article is spent scrutinizing Hollywood and their award ceremonies but in her final paragraph Elsesser makes a direct suggestion that the academy should modify its ballots to treat men and women as equals. The author also may be hoping to persuade Hollywood elites that having a separate category for males and females is sexist and to take action against it. Another audience of this article is anyone who reads The New York Times since that is where the article was published. Readers of The Times tend to be middle aged with an about equal number of male and female readers (Customer Insight). Additionally, women are another potential audience for this article. The overarching argument of the article is for gender equality, which is primarily an argument made for and by women. Elsesser uses ethos, pathos, and logos throughout her article in an attempt to persuade her target audience.
In the opening paragraph of her article Elsesser uses an appeal to pathos and logos to get the reader’s attention. She creates a hypothetical situation in which there would be separate awards given for best white actor and best non-white actor, something we all know would be unacceptable, and uses this as an analogy to illustrate how nominations segregated by sex are equally wrong. This analogy is effective since it seems logical that if the awards are not segregated by race they should also not be segregated by sex. It is particularly effective due to the fact that the first part of her analogy regarding separating awards by race evokes a strong negative response. By then questioning why it is acceptable to segregate nominations by sex the author creates a parallel between the two scenarios to evoke that same feeling of wrongness in readers.
The author again uses an appeal to logos by stating “In the 21st century women contend with men for titles ranging from the American President to the American Idol. Clearly, there is no reason to still segregate acting Oscars by sex (Par. 3).” The author is hoping to illustrate that if men and women can compete against one another for president it is foolish for them not to be able to compete against one another for the title of...