On January 21st, public speaking came to the limelight in the Women’s March. Some speeches were more passionate(?) fiery(?) profound(?) candid(?) than others. Some simply stated why they chose to march, others rocketed the crowd with their straightforwardness.
Here are just a few of the speeches that shook up the Women’s March and the world.
“We are in this situation because someone thought a character from television could fix our shit. This is not about Olivia Pope. This is not about anybody saving you, people! This is about you and me, standing up for our democracy and saying ‘I matter.'”
“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die. I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.”
“The freedom and struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history.”
“We march today for our families and our neighbors, for our future, for the causes we claim and for the causes that claim us. We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war. He would like us to forget the words, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,’ and instead, take up a credo of hatred.”
“President Trump, I did not vote for you. That said, I respect that you are you our President-elect and I want to be able to support you. But first I ask that you support me, support my sister, support my mother, support my best friends and all of all girlfriends. Support the men and women here today that are anxiously awaiting to see how your next moves may drastically affect their lives. Support my daughter who may actually, as a result of the appointments you have made, grow up in a county that is moving backwards, not forward, and who may potentially not have the right to make choices for her body and her future that your daughter Ivanka has been privileged to have.”
“Continue to embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough. Whenever you feel in doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.”
“We are linked. We are not ranked. And this is a day that will change us forever because we are together. Each of us individually and collectively will never be the same again. When we elect a possible president we too often go home. We’ve elected an impossible president, we’re never going home. We’re staying together. And we’re taking over.”
And yes, even here in the UK there were amazing speeches in our sister rally in London to show solidarity for the Women’s March on Washington. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, was in attendance, as were comedian Sharon Horgan, actor Gillian Anderson and artist Grayson Perry.
“We are marching because a talented woman MP was murdered by a far-right extremist and we need to call it out as the terrorism it is. And we are not just marching – we’re … standing up to the misogynists, the bullies and the haters who try to intimidate and silence people online, just as for years they tried to intimidate or silence women on the street.
“We are here because we want to take a stand against Donald Trump. Millions of American women and men voted for him. Marching isn’t enough – we need to persuade, to win arguments, to challenge the causes of division and to build a future in common. For the sake of our children and grandchildren … we are here because we will not let the clock be turned back.”
Moodie has become an active member of the Women’s Equality Party. “I’ve been a feminist by nature and philosophy, and have been teaching my daughter feminist ideals, but I hadn’t actively joined anything,” Moodie says. “I told them that I’d always been too busy being black to be a feminist! But equality’s better for everyone, and I realised I just had to wake up.”
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What did you think about these speeches – did they shock you? Did they get you fired up? What did you learn about public speaking from these women? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts – catch up with me and my team and tell us all about it on Facebook and Twitter!