Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Communication Studies and Theatre

First Advisor

Rebecca Kuehl


communication studies, rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, sexuality in communications


Female sexuality is constantly restricted in public discourse in the United States. To combat this, Sophia Wallace created the Cliteracy campaign: a project that sought to challenge the stigmatization of female genitals. Wallace’s attempt to create a new language regarding female sex and sexuality revealed critical implications for how we discuss sex in American culture. For an in depth analysis, I utilized feminist, materialist, and social movement rhetorical lenses. This study revealed that while text is viewed as an objective mode of communication, however, it is ingrained with hierarchical societal constraints. Moreover, Wallace’s rhetoric suggested that a god term is reliant on the communicative magnitude of the devil term. The research also detailed severe implications for a single leader led social media movement and for a text that challenged multiple counterpublics. The Cliteracy campaign featured persuasive techniques that attempted to bypass double binds that commonly restricted feminist movements and featured text that provided a beneficial addition to feminist rhetorical scholarship.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sex in popular culture
Women -- Sexual behavior
Rhetorical criticism


Includes bibliographical references (pages 111-124)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright