Be sober. It isn’t the mother of all battles for pregnant women Confusion reigns within our society as pregnant women’s minds are influenced by media, doctor’s orders and expectations. “Be sober. It isn’t the mother of all battles for pregnant women”, an opinion piece by author Rita Panahi was published on the 12th of May 2014 in the Herald Sun. Direct yet informative in tone, Panahi asserts that pregnant women should defy the changing and unreliable advice of doctors and should limit substance use for the sake of their ‘unborn child’. Emphasising on her stance against pregnant women consuming alcohol, Panahi illustrates the ambiguity of expecting women when faced with alcohol. The foreground imitating an authentic sky represents tranquillity, contradicting the gloomy issue and suggesting that there is a balance between the temptations of alcohol when expecting and doing the right thing for your child. Panahi purposefully uses a straight-on angle to dictate to the audience that equality is prominent within this matter. Panahi also inserts a hand that is tilted upwards in the shape of a ‘tick’ all the while gesturing defiance, signifying uncertainty. Moreover, the cunning headline explicitly asserts a pun, humouring the reader, all the while informing them with the frank tonal shift. Adopting the tone of an outraged bystander, Panahi appeals to the reader’s empathy and humanity “an expectant women’s diet, exercise habits, stress levels and birth plan all become a matter of public debates”, to attempt to ignite a sense of responsibility to protect and assist expecting mothers. Arguing that there are “long-term consequences” on pregnant women’s health, the pejorative language of “potentially devastating” and sarcastic “useful opinions” further suggests society is unaware of the issues that is adjacent with substance use while expecting, and is a form of attack on the reader’s. Heightening her irritation, Panahi inserts sarcasm when using...
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