A Woman of Power: Rosalynn Carter and the Mental Health Scene

  • Marie Whelan University of Missouri


The rhetorical choices of powerful women, specifically first ladies, are often overlooked. In this article, I examine former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s writings, which advocate for mental health care reform. These include one of her books and several newspaper articles. I look at how she was influenced by the societal expectations of a first lady, and how she appealed to those expectations while developing her persona on the rhetorical platform. I examine how her personal life affected her rhetorical choices, and how that led to building a stronger logical, ethical, and more intimate argument.