“For Ladies Only,” Caroline Pepping (2015) — Inquiry 4

Check out Pepping’s website here: http://peppinca.wix.com/forladiesonly

In converting my argument concerning feminism from Inquiry 3 to a media form, I decided to use a different rhetorical perspective by creating a satirical website that would mock the way society deals with the oppression of women. By doing so, I designed a store website called For Ladies Only that sells products to women that they “need” in their lifetime. The title of the website alone reflects an opinion of my argument including gender roles and how women are forced to follow a strict guideline of their gender. The products included on this website are things such as pepper spray, a book of manners, diet pills, and other products that demonstrate the harassment and objectification of women.

After designing the layout of the website, I included descriptions of the products that explained why these products are necessary, again mocking the way we deal with such issues today. For example, I stated that women need to own pepper spray because society teaches women how not to get raped instead of solving the problem at its source by telling men not to rape. I also included a phrase that mentioned it would be the woman’s own problem if she was raped because she is pretty. Clearly, the sarcasm that I have used in this inquiry is to make a clear and strong point that the way the world views such issues is disgusting and nonsensical. By using logos in my satire, I believe people will truly understand how outrageous some of the views are today by pointing out the obvious. Pathos might come into play as well when other women view this website because there is a commonplace among the female gender where women truly understand what these situations of degradation and oppression are like, which may upset or also empower them to make a change.

I sincerely believe that this website was one of the best choices I could have made to modify Inquiry 3 into a more rhetorically savvy approach. My audience, I think, is still the same, but obviously excludes the generation that is unable to navigate their way through a store website. My argument remains the same in this new inquiry, but since it is a website, it does not have a clearly written thesis because my argument is incorporated into the website’s products. I did, however, continue to include all of the aspects and ideas I had in Inquiry 3 by creating a wide variety of products that touch on the different subtopics of feminism, such as gender roles, body rights, rape culture, and more.

Although I had a rocky start, the planning and designing of my website went fairly well. I began by solely focusing on the aesthetic and look of the website so it could look professional and creative. Because I had never used Wix.com before, it took some time to get to know the website as well as get the design that I wanted for my project. This included selecting and uploading specific pictures I wanted to use and then placing them how and where I wanted on my site. A problem that I ran into, but was quickly able to fix with the help of my professor, was the floating header on my website that got in the way of reading some of the material. After a while, I got very good at continuing to update and improve my page. Once all of the aspects of my site were set up, it was then that I began to develop my rhetorical argument in the descriptions of my website. This part was fairly simple, but took an immense amount of planning to make sure I worded things in the best way possible for my argument. Throughout the project, I worried about not including enough text to fully communicate my argument since my website was mostly visual. I was not worried that my thesis and argument would not be communicated, but rather that I did not have enough substance on my website. This made me put more thought into the products on my website and make sure there was a wide variety of products to communicate the many messages that I wanted to inform my audience on. Lastly, I made other pages such as Our Company and Contact pages on the website that discussed the company’s “mission” and, again, used satire to show the immeasurable problem of female oppression.

Overall, I really enjoyed this new way of structuring an argument different from the traditional way of an essay. I liked that I could take a new approach and use satire to create a more powerful message for my audience. I had never done a project like this before, but I believe that more classes should do things similar to this because it forced me to think more creatively and compile the same argument in multiple ways for the best result.