- Feb 2017
Not surprh,ingly, as women's education improved, women increasingly began to speak in public :md to reflect on their rhetorical practices.
From the intro to Mary Astell's section: "For Astell, women's rhetoric should focus on the art of conversation... This is women's proper rhetorical sphere, different from but in no way inferior to the public sphere in which men use oratory" (845).
In what ways does this new focus on women's public oratory affect Astell's insistence on private, domestic, and/or conversational discourse as sites of rhetorical power? Especially as we consider this part from Mary Beard's lecture: "In the early fourth century BC Aristophanes devoted a whole comedy to the ‘hilarious’ fantasy that women might take over running the state. Part of the joke was that women couldn’t speak properly in public – or rather, they couldn’t adapt their private speech (which in this case was largely fixated on sex) to the lofty idiom of male politics."