It's a common practice to quote from other's speeches, but when I read speech anthologies, I'm not surprised to find few--often the same few--women represented. So here's a suggestion, and one we can all carry out: Why not make an effort to quote from women's speeches in your next speech or presentation?
To help, here's a collection of resources focused on women's speeches and quotations. I welcome your additions--please leave them in the comments or on The Eloquent Woman on Facebook:
- Gifts of Speech: This is a great (and updated) database of women's speeches, from Sweet Briar College, and it offers speeches from women worldwide. It began in 1989 "when Liz Kent, a college librarian, was asked to help a student find a speech by Gloria Steinem. Ms. Kent assumed it would be easy to locate a speech by Ms. Steinem, and was surprised when she could not find one in any of the resources available within her small college library."
- Infoplease's Notable Speeches and Addresses by Women has a smaller but varied list of speeches from politics, science, literature and more.
- The Archive of Women's Political Communication at Iowa State University has a searchable speech database that's organized by subjects from abortion to welfare. You can contribute speeches to the archive at this link.
- The Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University has 40,000 hours of spoken word recordings -- not just speeches -- and you can search by topic or name of the speaker.
- The National Women's History Project has a "Great Speeches" page currently under construction--so write and encourage them to get it going!
- What If I Am a Woman? is a two-volume recording of African-American women's speeches, narrated by Ruby Dee and downloadable here on iTunes.
- Great Speeches by Today's Women is a series of videos. Prices may put this out of reach unless you're an educator or business.
- Speaking as Women: Women and Floor Speeches in the Senate is an academic paper analyzing speeches by women on the Senate floor, often about women's issues. Published in January 2010, it's available for $30 for the downloaded version.
- We Shall Be Heard: Two volumes, the first--We Shall Be Heard: Women Speakers in America--a collection of 28 women's speeches, and the second, We Shall Be Heard: An Index to Speeches by American Women 1978-1985, an index to guide your searching.
- Women in mathematics will find this list of "Books, Articles and Speeches of Interest to Women in Mathematics" from the Canadian Mathematical Society a useful resource. Women scientists also may want to check out the 50 must-read bloggers for women in science and engineering compiled by the National Research Council's Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.