Mary Fisher before that day in August 1992 was a television producer and assistant to Gerald R. Ford. She was a recognized artist/mother and daughter of Max Fisher a longtime republican leader and presidential advisor. A year prior to her giving the speech Mary discovered that she was HIV positive. Focusing on raising awareness worldwide for this issue Mary Fisher has made a huge difference in today’s society’s outlook on HIV/AIDS and how the issue should be approached. The notion of A Whisper of Aids is extremely straightforward to what it refers to, which is the silence of the people to this worldwide deathly epidemic.
The whisper of Aids seems constantly hushed in our society, a taboo, covered by the shouts of shameful accusations aimed at its helpless victims. This turns into the deaths of millions worldwide. In our modern society even mentioning AIDS still manages to cause an increasing feeling of discomfort. A Whisper of Aids by Mary Fisher is an eloquently written speech focusing on the “brutally clear reality” of AIDS. AIDS is not a disease that simply affects certain kinds of people. “It does not ask whether you are black or white, male or female, gay or straight, young or old. It isn’t something to be stereotyped to specific people it is a disease that see’s nothing but a host to infect and ruin.
The infectious rate is at a constant increase which is fueled by our prejudiced silence. In her speech Mary Fisher begs of her Party to take a compassionate public stand. She asks of them to not only speak but to act on their words and she motivates these actions by invoking fear into her audience. Through her words she’s opened the eyes of many and opened their hearts through fear for their own safety, their families and their loved ones safety as well.
She speaks of the shame the victims of this terrible virus feel. How they stay silent because of its taboo in our society. Hushed condolences and mournings spread through the nation.. Implying that it is our job to provide a safe haven for our children and loved ones instead of keeping to this shroud silence, shunning out those who need us most. In this speech Mary Fisher very simply pleads her audience to have courage and set aside the prejudices that have plagued their minds, to make room for compassion and sound policy in their hearts and to make the world a safer, kinder place for our children.
What Mary Fisher did was one of the most courageous and bold acts of any political women of that time. She was able to stand in front of countless people or more specifically in its entirety in front of 27 million people being openly broadcasted live by ABC,CBS,NBC and PBS. and openly say that she had AIDS during a time where it was even more of a taboo than it is now. Her speech was structured flawlessly from beginning to end. She began by catching everyone’s attention challenging the audience and political parties there in a brave remark.
Mary used pathos and even more rhetorical appeals to ethically sound and shape her view. Because of her status she already was ahead of the game gaining the worlds attention and solidified the ethos in her speech as a whole while the given statistics added the much needed logos to appeal and convince the audience of the importance of this topic. Through her use of logos Mary helped the audience understand the issue at hand on a more knowledgable level while the emotional side of the already taboo and distressing topic made a natural passageway for pathos.
Mary Fisher used her motherly attributes to relate, persuade and induce emotion from her audience nearing the end of her speech by basically saying her early “goodbyes” to her two children. She proclaimed “I will not hurry to leave you, my children, but when I go, I pray that you will not suffer shame on my account. ” This statement was heart wrenching and at the same time pointed our her shame towards her illness and in the same breath explained that she wouldn’t want her children feeling this same shame as her.
Mary spoke loud and clearly without any unnecessary pauses or interruptions she remained calm and collected. Her body language alongside was fitting to her purpose, head high, shoulders straightened and calm composure. Her speech was perfectly planned aiming at the audience she was conveying this message to. She wasn’t frightened or intimidated in the least bit by the huge audience at the Republican Nation Convention in Houston, Texas or by the fact that she was being watched and broadcasted as well.
Even the most skeptical viewers could not argue against the statistics given which were even more trusted because of her strong background and ethos. Women in the audience could be seen crying in the audience, moved by her powerful words while her father sat strong and attentive watching over her in a proud yet mourning state. Her speech was focused towards politicians and rich folk who could decide to make a difference, she wanted them to understand that this was not a topic simply affecting minorities but also a silent danger that could so easily affect them as well.