Women Speak Out

After the excitement of discovering that women are not yet so downtrodden that they’re afraid to speak out against a group of rioting youths, I’ve begun a tribute thread in the name of outspoken, revolutionary women and their impromptu speeches.

A common theme in the vids is that all the women’s speeches are unplanned and off the cuff, but exceptionally articulate. WOmen are generally not given a platform in public life, not for the real issues, not for the things that matter, so we have to grab any oppportunity we can and SPEAK. Women step up to the task and it looks like your average woman has a speech up her sleeve at any given moment.

Pauline Pierce

The brave and historical speech of Malalai Joye in a room full of Afghan warlords. SHe was thrown out and later hounded at her hotel and threatened with violence.

Okay, that was only two so far. But there are many more out there. I’m searching for one in particular where a female congresswoman in the U.S  attacks male politicians for disrespecting women. In the meantime, feel free to add your own 🙂


48 thoughts on “Women Speak Out

  1. Will this be ok? It was groundbreaking. There were many male sniggers and comments against it, until they saw much of the public supported her.

    Voting on a bill in the Canadian House of Commons. Not quite a speech, but the first ever in Canadian History.

    NDP Member of Parliament (for Nova Scotia) Michelle Dockrill holds her seven-week-old baby Kenzie James as she votes during proceedings in the House of Commons in Ottawa Tuesday, Oct.27, 1998.

  2. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D- Houston, made clear (…) that women in the Texas Legislature are not to be messed with.

    • wow! she is talking about “hate” when it comes to language against women. hate.

      i dont believe i have ever heard that word used, when it referring to language ever.

      AND another of them calls the men out for subjecting the women to PORN on the house floor.


  3. Here is a speech by Barbara Jordan. She was my Congresswoman in the mid-1970s and I was privileged to hear her speak in person at a small local church. I will never forget how remarkable that was, I remember being absolutely rivited by her sense of power born of truth and immense presence. Here’s one of her speeches (Nixon impeachment) that I think carries the essence of what I’m talking about. Her intellectual power is also obvious, something far beyond anything I’ve seen in today’s politicians.

    At that same time I was active in the women’s movement and attended a barbeque that Ladybird Johnson gave for women active in the women’s movement at that time. The table next to mine was Lynda Bird Johnson. These events were quite informal and egalitarian. I did not have to pay to attend, I was relatively poor. I had no real political power. Many of the women who attended would be considered radical feminists today. There was a tangible sense of women’s power in that time and place, very different from today. What we did not understand was how fragile that power was.

    But the same power is still there, the power that you see in the other women and that you see in Barbara Jordan.

    • I also want to point out the level of her vocabularly and the precision with which she wields words like a sword of truth. Using her remarkable vocabulary, she never sounds stilted. She is passionate and you feel her in your gut. She speaks to people as equals, never talking down, but elevating people in her dignity.

      (I wanted to embed the video, but it didn’t imbed, sorry)

      • THere you go 🙂
        I think that speech is amazing. Precision is the operative word. One gets the feeling she’s the only person in the room who really understood what the law actually is, and what the constitution actually means, and she’s having to *teach* everyone in the room, but she’s able to do so in a way that everyone understands because the language she uses is so appropriate–not too simple, not too high-falutin’

  4. Town Bloody Hall.: Germaine Greer wiping the floor with Norman Mailer.
    “”And no woman yet has been loved for her poetry”

    “We broke our hearts trying to keep our aprons clean’

    She starts speaking at around 2:40, but watch a bit earlier to hear what an utter fucking arse Norman Mailer is. (He stabbed his wife in real life, by the way)

    • Why the fuck was Mailer chairing that event? And I just had to look it up on Diki about the wife-stabbing:

      Mailer married his second wife, Adele Morales, in 1954. They had two daughters, Danielle and Elizabeth. Mailer was violent to his wife. He punched her in the stomach when she was six months pregnant, and coerced her to have group sex with his friends. In 1960, Mailer stabbed Adele with a penknife after a party, nearly killing her.[20] He cut through her breast, only just missing her heart. Then he stabbed her in the back. As she lay there, haemorrhaging, one man reached down to help her. He snapped: “Get away from her. Let the bitch die.”[21] He was involuntarily committed to Bellevue Hospital for 17 days; his wife would not press charges, and he later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault, and was given a suspended sentence.

      Charming. And a suspended sentence for attempted homicide? wtf, wtf, wtf.

      I will bet all the feminists at that event were creeped out by sitting at the same table as him.

      Anyway, the bastard is dead. Good. Not before clocking up six wives – did he think he was Henry VIII?

      • not only that, but he was one of the great “literati” as Greer (ironically) puts it and his most famous novel had a scene in which a man murders his wife and then anally rapes his maid. He goes into lots of detail as to why the maid deserved it, *wanted* it, in fact. *Lots* of references to the maid being dirty.

    • Wow, that was a remarkable speech by Greer! I might listen to it periodically for reminder/inspiration. I do feel my “heart has been broken trying to keep my apron clean.” At the expense of so much else.

  5. Another voice of truth–Sinead O’Connor’s performance on Saturday Night Live. This was when allegations of child abuse in the Catholic Church were surfacing and were being suppressed. It is difficult to imagine today because we take this information for granted, but at that time anyone who came forward about it was being publicly vilified. Especially in Ireland this was the case. The Pope was the embodiment of the patriarchy.

    She takes the song “War” and adds unscripted lines about child abuse, followed by her unscripted tearing up the picture of the Pope and final words “fight the real enemy.” To go against the Pope at that time was much worse than it would be today. Calling attention to it in such an outrageous way was likely very effective in getting everyone talking about it and shedding light on it. Everyone talked about it, most against Sinead. It hurt her career badly. She was booed offstage at later performances. However, I remember her as a performer who was not willing to sell out. I think that is how she will be remembered in matriarchal herstory.

  6. Pingback: Women, Art and Society continued…Introduction « House Hex

  7. Again, not a vid but two photos especially the latter. How amazing that such an installation took place in the centre of cowboy misogyny. Nellie McClung was one of the Famous Five. I think this only got done because the impetus for the commemoration, naming of them etc came from a politically well-connected woman. That’s my opinion, only.

    Nellie McClung: circa 1916: “Never retreat, never explain, never apologize. Get the thing done and let them howl.”

    And, in 1916: “Women are going to form a chain, a greater sisterhood than the world has ever known.

    I regret that we have none of her speeches recorded to hear.

    “The Famous Five or The Valiant Five were; five Canadian women who in 1927 asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the question, “Does the word ‘Persons’ in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?” in the case Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General).[1] On 24 April 1928, Canada’s Supreme Court summarized its unanimous decision that women are not persons.[1] The last line of the judgement reads as follows: “Understood to mean ‘Are women eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada,’ the question is answered in the negative.” This judgement was overturned by the British Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. ”

    The WP write up makes it sound so easy. So “given” in reponse to their request. The statues, almost 80 years after women’s courageous and hard-won fight, we women were declared “persons”.

    I believe installation (wrong word?) is unmatched among “statues” to remember women’s achievements.

  8. Should read: “The statues, set in place almost 80 years after women’s courageous and hard-won fight where women were declared “persons”.

    Note this installation is in front of a restaurant. If it had been MEN doing something so momentous, it would be in front of the legislature where a couple of these women served, and where also sat the men who contested there every move whether for this endeavour or others on behalf of women.

    This is a copy of the main one which is near parliament.

  9. This from just a few months ago in England. A jewellery store being robbed, with the robbers attacking the windows with bats and things. “Supergranny” comes running down the road, and starts hitting one of them with her handbag

    • THat WAS Supergran OMG. See, the malestream media would never depict women like that on TV or in films (unless it was for comic irony because, you know, real women would never do that would they 🙄 ) and yet LOOK, look at what *real* women are doing. The gap between the way women actually behave and the way male directors presume we behave is enormous

    • I had an elderly female relative who did something like this to some young adults, male and female, who entered her house to steal. She was a poor woman. They didn’t know she was home, I’d guess. She chased them out, hollering and yelling at them. One of them was a young woman who got frightened and dropped her own purse. This relative tracked her down and told her to come and get her purse, then yelled at her about it and told her she had her info and if anyone tried breaking in she’d turn her in. They just didn’t expect to get the reception they got.

      CBL, Supergran, that has a nice ring to it.

      • the funny thing is that all men’s declarations over the past 500 years or so that women are mad, or “hysterical” are coming back to bite them in the butt.
        While women are always alert to male violence, because men are predictably violent, men don’t expect it of women, so when a woman is violent they think there’s a high possibility she’s stark-raving mad. ANd theres’s nothing more dangerous than a madperson (in the eyes of society)

        We should milk this for all it’s wortj 🙂

  10. A couple of thoughts. The vids commemorated relatively old women featured featuring young, traditionally beautiful actresses playing them. Especially in a video, that’s what we see. We don’t see Sojourner Truth, or Susan B. Anthony.

    And, noted how Malik turned their mysogyny on it’s ass, starting with stroking her hair (foreshadow?) and proceeding on from there in that vein. And it took them down because that is all they give her, so she uses it.

    Brava. You could do this thread every day and I’d never be sated, and we may have to go OT, and sometimes that would be only because not all such courage was videod or filmed in earlier days, or even written down, and what was, was of men, and what was, is very little online.

    And also, it seems to me, we usually only lmemorialize the courage of beautiful women. Or when it’s an old woman. Virgin, and whore.

    • In going through a lot of youtubes, I noted a lot of Pakistani/Afghanistani women, standing up (all ages really, from young to older). Unfortunately none were translated, so it was a bit hard to follow what they were standing up about, but they were standing up to males.

  11. I would bet we have all done something that would qualify if we’d been videoed. I sure have. I find that men do not expect it generally, and you can strike fast and hard to stop something or divert attention, if you’ve “got a mouth” And which of us does not? I have even startled police officers into stammering and backing off. Sometimes that’s all you need to do is a kind of “non sequitur” the major part of which is, a women, stepping in for someone else, or for herself, not backing away.

    You have to be willing to be a “spectacle”.

      • Yep. I’ve done a few myself. Not videotaped. They were not planned, it just happened. Here’s a quote I like about it, but also about many other situations:

        “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” Audre Lorde

      • And I will add, looking back on some of the situations, yeah, just a tad on the foolhardy and dangerous situations to be in…

        I think it is just the courage of one’s convictions. If you really believe in something, or something is really wrong, you just go for it.

  12. Great one, Gallus. She will not let him off the hook! She points right at his penis. She is so totally calling him out on his disgusting behavior. You can tell he did not expect to be called out. He looks surprised that someone is calling him out. He tries to get her to doubt what she saw. Just like they all are, taking for granted that it is their right to do what they want, then deny it, get away with it. Fucking pervs! Now he doesn’t get to choose, he’s no longer the one in control. He keeps his bag over his genital area, but folks are taking pictures for the police. .

    She’s the goddess of anti-denial.

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