An APPRAISAL analysis of a Women’s Day rant, rally and reflection
Gender equality is an issue affecting all South African women. Women’s Day is celebrated to draw attention to the plight of women and to celebrate their empowerment. Rape in South Africa is prolific and evidences inequality faced by women. Helen Moffett, David Moseley and Lulu Xingwana all reacted to Women’s Day, discussing different issues and making different evaluations. A critical APPRAISAL analysis using the full system of Attitude, Graduation and Engagement reveals that these three texts, a rant, a reflection and a rally use different APPRAISAL resources to align their audiences around different stances, reflecting different communities of shared values concerning gender equality. These shared values can be seen to reflect different foundational understandings of the lived experiences of women in South Africa. Since Lulu Xingwana speaks as a government representative, and Helen Moffett and David Moseley speak from their perspectives as members of the public, the discrepancy in their perceptions raises questions regarding the representative nature of South African democracy. The patterns of APPRAISAL resources used in these texts furthermore characterise them as a rant, a reflection and a rally, and the limitations of the APPRAISAL system in dealing with these text types reflect potential areas of methodological development.