June 7th, 2007

thinky tim

Not done with writing for school yet

One of the features of the Women Studies graduation ceremony will be a collaborative speech from a few of the graduating students about what Women Studies means to them. This group includes yours truly, because ... well, honestly, because if I was going to bust my ass planning this ceremony, I wasn't going to pass up the chance to get some attention. :P

Anyway. Each of us will have about two minutes to speak, with a focus of our choice. Which leaves me with the question of how the HELL to express everything I feel about Women Studies in the space of two minutes? >_>

The second question is how to make sure I say what I want to say, but still make it a compelling speech. I'm particularly aware of the risk of coming off as didactic or pedantic, seeing as I just came from a graduation ceremony where the student speaker, uh, sort of did just that. I mean, she wasn't all bad - I don't want to rag on her, because she had a lot of pressure on her, and she did pretty well. There were just several moments in the speech that rubbed me the wrong way, and felt too much like moments of "Now I shall impart my wisdom upon you." I'm sure I come off that way myself, sometimes. :P So I want to avoid that as much as possible.

One idea I'm playing with is the balancing of opposing ideas. For instance, doubt and strength - doubt in the 'truth's given to us, doubt of ourselves; balanced with the strength that self-doubt and self-reflection can grant. There's also the balance of joy and anger, as displayed in these two quotes from Gloria Steinem: "The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off," and "I think we need to talk about the joy. I get such joy out of feminism. It is the greatest joy of my life, and somehow we don't translate that."

Feminism, and by extension, my Women Studies education, have really taught me the best parts of both sides of those balances, and that's one of the things I want to highlight for my classmates and for our families.

But is it the most important thing? And is this the best way to express it? I have about a day and a half to decide. *sigh*
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