Gender, Character, and Rhetoric
This concluding chapter argues that by developing and circulating new characters, rhetoric scholars can enact social and political change. By forwarding alternative characters—autistic people who are capable self-advocates, parents who are accepting of their children's differences—individuals can shift public perceptions and gain a voice in decision making. Those involved in other kinds of rights movements—such as women's rights or civil rights—have had to generate alternatives to the often stereotyped, demeaning characters used to limit their opportunities and to justify oppression. Autistic individuals involved in the neurodiversity movement similarly seek to gain fundamental rights, in part by contesting the stock characters of autistic people that circulate in the media and in popular discourse.
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