Feminist Speeches

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There are moments in time where an individual stands before you and grasps your attention through their flowing dialogue. After the individual speaks you are left questioning, imprinting a vision and perspective in your mind. A successful speaker engages the audience in a discourse, which challenges and satisfies. This is evident through three feminist speeches Keynote Address at the Beijing World Conference on Women’ by Aung San Suu Kyi, ‘Spotty-Handed Villainesses’ by Margaret Atwood and and “Faith, Hope and Reconciliation” by Faith Bandler. All these speeches depict insightful techniques that demonstrate their ability to engage their audience.

Delivered through video to the Fourth World Conference on Women, Suu Kyi’s Keynote Address aimed to promote democratic freedom for women both in Burma and worldwide. Put under house arrest by the Burmese government for posing a threat to their regime’s stability, Suu Kyi demonstrated incredible courage in simply delivering the speech despite the potential backlash. However, Suu Kyi does not simply leave it to circumstance to prove her courage, and maintains a strong sense of ethics throughout her feminist crusade within the first sentence, she describes her task as “wonderful but daunting”. She continues to fill her speech with a soft sense of humour and optimism while addressing this “greatest concourse of women (joined by a few brave men!)”, and her attitude underlies her strength of character in dealing with such a “daunting” issue.

The speaker Aung san Suu kyi uses direct language and personal pronouns along with powerful language whenever discussing women’s role in society ‘struggle for justice & peace’, ‘to contribute to the betterment of society.’ Similarly to Atwood, she uses humour analogy ‘Burmese proverb be the dawn rises only when the rooster’ which appeals to the audience thus indicating the notion of her cultural background. Aung san suu kyi enhances her argument by providing political statistics...
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