Persuasive Power

 

Open Letter to the Author of Thank You for Arguing.

Dear Jay Heinrichs:

We read your book, Thank You for Arguing, a national bestseller, to learn how we might use the techniques of persuasion in order to convince those who do not see the value of self-defense training to women.  And we’re ready, as you say, to “move our audience to action”.  Beyond ready.  As self-defense scholars and advocates, we know that the data show that women’s use of self-defense to thwart sexual assault is likely to be effective and safe.  The challenge has been to get people to embrace that data and move to the actions of funding, learning, and advocating women’s self-defense training.  Your strategies can help us do that – let us know how we’re doing!

First we thought we’d try your tactic of starting with the opposition’s view and then showing how your own position better suits their view.  For example, rape prevention educators say that “holding rapists accountable” is preventative.  So how about taking that view — that “we must hold rapists accountable”– and then reframing it to say that a woman who shouts at, kicks at, or otherwise stops a man from carrying out his plans to rape is holding rapists accountable.  

We also liked your approach of creating effective statements that blend parts of the opposition’s view with one’s own position, such as the highly effective statement, “Abortions should be safe, legal, and rare.” Perhaps we could say, Self-defense should be empowering, effective, and rare.

Another way we might be able to use your technique is to come up  with a memorable soundbite expressing our position–something like:  Securing funding from the CDC shouldn’t go against women’s security.   Or: Self-Defense: Because We’re Worth It.

Perhaps our blog readers can help, too.  Let us know your ideas for the best persuasive statements for self-defense advocacy! 

Sincerely, 

Martha & Jill

 

 

 

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. I like the tagline of my old organization, The Empower Program. It was, ‘Because violence shouldn’t be a rite of passage.’

  2. […] have blogged urging people to help us put an effective rhetorical spin on the case for self-defense against sexual assault. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: