In is fairly useful to readers due to

In
her text, “Opportunities for Feminist Research in the History of Rhetoric,”
Patricia Bizzell references historical figures along with personal experiences
to discuss the lack of feminist research in the history of rhetoric and outlines
three approaches that will help diminish the issue. Bizzell’s purpose
throughout the piece is not only to make the audience aware of the issue, but
to ensure that the audience understands the issue’s importance and the possible
approaches that may be worth exploring. Through her work, she argues that there
is needed research on women and rhetoric due to the fact that its history is
overpowered by the “traditional white-male elite.” (50). Bizzell claims that three
approaches worth exploring are to be “resisting readers” by noticing aspects of
the canonical texts that were originally supposed to go unnoticed by readers, recovering
female authored texts which employ traditional rhetorical strategies, and
locating work by women that has not previously been conceived as rhetoric in
order to “redefine the whole notion of rhetoric.” (51).

            Bizzell’s individual approaches are productive
due to them being supported with strong detailing and personal experiences. For
example, as an attempt to persuade the readers into being a resisting reader, Bizzell
introduces examples of the white, elite male hovering over the history of
rhetoric and immediately discusses that there is no rhetorical equivalent to a
Jane Austin or Emily Dickinson when comparing the highest-ranked rhetoricians.

She uses this as a doorway to lead the reader into the issue and provides a
possible solution to the issue by including the example of herself being a
resisting reader. She discusses how while reading The Praise of Folly by Erasmus,
she created her own argument regarding Folly’s character even though that was
not what the author had intended. (52).  By using herself as an example, Bizzell helps
persuade her audience into noticing the fragments in texts, looking into the
details of various texts and analyzing the mannerisms of the women presented.

            As Bizzell explains her approaches,
I found her detailing to be very helpful. When discussing her final approach, she
explains, “If women are not represented in the traditional history of rhetoric,
we might look for the issues that throw into relief the social practices that
resulted in this exclusion, this also highlighting where women are, as well as
where they are not.” (54). I believe that this description is fairly useful to
readers due to the fact that she introduces an actual solution for the “rhetorical
canon” to be opened. She enforces the idea of researching into the core of
history, and rather than searching for facts over the surface, we should search
for issues that have been brushed to the side. Personally, this approach caught
my attention the most because this approach would ensure the inclusion of
important women movements that are not typically highlighted in the history of
rhetoric.

Towards
the end of her piece, I found myself conflicted with her final statement. As an
attempt to defend her approaches from possible criticism, Bizzell recognizes
that all these approaches tend to “blend” when enacted. This section created an
objection in my mind at first due to the way that it was approached, by
providing a mindset that allowed her approaches to come off as “messy,” it
almost made me question her credibility. However, with her following statements
my concerns diminished. Bizzell immediately mentions how the need of more work
on women and rhetoric is far too important to be “stymied by theoretical
quibbles.” (57). This statement highlighted her feelings towards the matter,
accentuated the importance of implementing feminist research in the history of
rhetoric, and concluded her piece perfectly.