Social Fallacies

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Social Fallacies

Grand Canyon University- COM 362

Brianna Baldwin


Social Fallacies

The concept of gender equality has been a hotly debated topic for decades. Emma Watson popularly known for her thrilling shows and movies is a 28-year-old woman with a sense and vibrant passion for fighting and advocating for equal gender rights and treatment. She prominently addresses the issue of pay discrimination inclined towards favoring the male over the female American. Emma Watson not only addresses the concept of equal pay for all the women in America, but she also makes a firm standpoint on the notion of equality for men and women across the planet. She projects the notion of feminism from a different perspective. Emma Watson breaks feminism into finer particles and isolates the fact that feminism extends past fighting for women but all the other genders and equality. She utilizes her voice, fame and elevation into the movie industry to shun stereotyping and the mistreatment of females and males

During the 20th September 2014, HeForShe Campaign held and sponsored by the United Nations the proposal and declaration of Emma’s Campaign were made. During the speech, Watson highlighted several examples to promote equity among males and females by categorically stating that the females are paid way less than the average working male of equal skill, qualifications, education and status and the plight of 10 million women in domestic violence. She also highlights the sufferings of mental disorder males for fear of being regarded as less masculine as well as the UK suicides for youths and older males (Watson, 2014). This speech was entirely purposed to awaken men into engaging as well as informing women on how to recognize both sides of the equality campaign.

Emma Watson’s conclusion during the speech posits that all genders should be equals in all the aspects of life and she is purposed to achieve that equality. From her conclusion, it is critical to note the several premises upon which her argument is based. According to her equality can only be achieved when everyone participates and not just women who are perceived as oppressed. She categorically states that everyone and neither men or women alone ought to participate. The first premise for this argument involves her personal experiences with sexist remarks while trying to make a career out of acting as well as her childhood nostalgia. The second premise is that she feels that men face similar stereotyping processes and criticism as well.

Despite the efforts in campaigning for equality, there are several notable fallacies in her speech. Firstly, Watson uses to appeal to emotion throughout the entire speech (Van Eemeren & Grootendorst, 2016). This is explained by the use of strong and subjective terms such as “anti-man” or “man-hating.” Instead of focusing on facts, Emma Watson invokes her emotions by referring to the experiences and experiences that pushed her into activism (Smith, 2014). Secondly, she uses an appeal to fear. This is targeted at creating a concern or reaction from the audience when she talks about the levels of suicide.

Notwithstanding, she appeals to pity by discussing what the future has in store incase the changes she recommends are not achieved or made. She argues that if nothing is done, it will take the next 75 years to achieve pay equity. She also argues that “15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children. And at current rates, it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls can receive a secondary education” (Watson, 2014). This aspect of the speech asks the audience to pity those affected in the dates given.

The fourth fallacy is the fallacy of relevance. In one statement, she says that in a state where men are not required to be aggressive to be accepted then women would not be forced to be submissive (Watson, 2014). She posits that “If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled” (Watson, 2014). Bringing the notion of control into the equation steers the discussion far from the conclusion of equality. A deeper analysis shows that she considers males and females discriminate yet tends to focus on how men control women. Lastly, Watson focuses on a sided argument. She presents a classic example of a false dilemma. In the speech, it is either one supports feminism or they are anti-feminism. She posits the question of how the world can effect change when only half of the population is compliant. The half she talks about represents the females and subscribers of feminism (Smith, 2014).



















Smith, M. (2014). Emma Watson’s UN speech: what our reaction says about feminism. The Conversation.

Van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (2016). Argumentation, communication, and fallacies: A pragma-dialectical perspective. Routledge.

Watson, E. (2014). Gender equality is your issue too. Speech by UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson at a Special Event for the HeForShe Campaign, United Nations Headquarters, New York20.