Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Carmelo Esterrich

Second Advisor

Robert Watkins

Third Advisor

Steven Corey


This project investigates “She Should Run,” a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in public leadership by attempting to eliminate barriers to success. The project argues “She Should Run” addresses the lack of women’s representation in government, but does so by mobilizing problematic essentialist rhetoric and post-feminist constructions. Drawing on second wave feminist scholarship, this rhetorical analysis examines the cultural conditions that mediate women’s role in politics as well as their willingness to participate. This project claims that the organization ultimately reestablishes existing essentialist notions of women’s identities and uses post-feminist rhetoric to delegitimize the aims of the feminist movement.