To all the girls I’ve rejected


The article “To all the girls I’ve rejected” by Delahunty Jennifer Britz attempts to demonstrate the existing gender differences in college students’ admission to various colleges across the country, whereby the young girls have to be discriminated against over their young boys’ counterparts. As the title of the article reflects, Britz further attempts to sympathize with a student to whom she is about to send out rejection and waitlist letters for approximately 3,000 students, whereby regrettably, a mainstream of them would be young women similar to her, my daughter. The author uses rhetorical appeals to demonstrate how she admired young girls’ brilliant achievements who have been making it to college but unfortunately fail to secure a chance. The rhetorical appeals also present the demographic realities that need to be addressed in the United States.

The author uses pathos to show her emotions about the conditions young girls are going through even after working hard in secondary schools to secure better chances in the country’s best colleges. For instance, the author writes, “Why, indeed? She had taken the toughest courses in her high school and had done well, sat through several Saturday mornings taking SAT’s and the like, participated in the requisite number of extracurricular activities, written a heartfelt and well-phrased essay, and even taken the extra step of touring the campus” (Britz 1). Here, the writer attempts to describe how the young girls are going through difficult situations by imparting emotional feelings to the targeted reader.  The author extends the emotional feelings when she further notes that, “I know this well. At my own college these days, we have three applicants for everyone we can admit. Just three years ago, it was two to one” (Britz 1).  The situation seems to have protracted for some time with any necessary interventions since the ratio of the students who have been qualifying for direct admission to the college has been increasing, making this rhetorical appeal more effective in passing the demographics’ realities.

The use of ethos has also been utilized to depict the credibility of the author’s arguments. For example, the author says, “last week, the 10 officers at my college sat around a table, 12 hours every day, deliberating the applications of hundreds of talented young men and women…She was the leader/president/editor/captain/lead actress in every activity in her school. She had taken six advanced placement courses and had been selected for a prestigious state leadership program” (Britz 2). The writer is credible since she uses a real-life situation to convince her audience about the matter at hand, which is more concerning. Therefore, the author shows credibility and attempts to take the reader to the ground to demonstrate that whatever she is putting across is not a fictional narrative but what has been downplaying the young American girls after working very hard in high school. The writer further credibly says that, “few of us sitting around the table were as talented and as directed at age 17 as this young woman. Unfortunately, her test scores and grade point average placed her in the middle of our pool” (Britz 3). Here, the author credibly tries to show the reader how a debate should have to occur before deciding whether to admit a young girl or not, regardless of her achievements.

Additionally, the author effectively applies logos to demonstrate how young girls have been demoralized at the young boys’ counterparts’ expense. The writer notes that “had she been a male applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit. The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants” (Britz 4). The author is logical since she systematically shows how nowadays, about two-thirds of the colleges and universities are getting more girls than boys applicants, as more than 50 percent of the undergraduates countrywide are still the women.  The writer further raises a question about equality when she asks, “what are the consequences of young men discovering that even if they do less, they have more options?” (Britz 4). The author logically throws a rhetoric question to the reader to ask themselves what kind of messages are being sent to the young women that they should, approximately 25 years after the defeat of the renown Equal Rights Amendment, and even more talented than males to get admission letters to join top national colleges.

Ultimately, rhetorical appeals have been successfully used throughout the article to persuade the reader about the problems challenging the students, especially the young girls,  when joining colleges and universities across the country. These rhetorical devices have further shown how parents have ached whenever their talented daughters read the waitlist letters and feel a bolt of anger, more so at the university and college admissions professionals who failed to recognize how exceptional their daughters are.

Work Cited

Britz, Jennifer Delahunty. “To all the girls I’ve rejected.” The New York Times 23.March (2006).



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