Gender studies: presentation, write a speech Essay Example

Speech Presentation on Gender Essay Proposal

  • The topic of my essay is: ‘Identity politics and the queer challenges to conventional identity’. The main issue in the essay is sexuality studies especially identity politics.

  • I will discuss the identities of ‘woman’ and ‘Lesbian’ and the queer challenges that have been levelled against them.

  • I will also discuss the Gay and Women liberations to show their achievements. These achievements will be compared to those of the queer politics to determine what the challenges have achieved.

  • I chose to look at this topic because it gives me an objective position in looking at sexuality, particularly identity politics. A research approach that aims at looking at both sides will objectively find out if conventional identities are ‘all theory and not facts or all facts and no theory’.

Breakdown of the essay

  1. Introduction: I will state the thesis statement of the essay and give a brief guideline of what the essay will be discussing including a brief breakdown

  2. The identity of ‘woman’ and ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’.

  • I will talk about lesbian identity because in Women’s Liberation individuals first had to represent the identity of ‘woman’ in order to claim and represent, in positive terms, an identity as a lesbian. This means that taking on an identity as a lesbian was preceded by taking on an identity as ‘woman’.

  • Taking on the ‘woman’ identity was a reaction against centuries of sexism and misogyny in representations of woman as secondary and inferior.

  1. Queer critiques on conventional identities. I discuss the various grounds on which the identities have been challenged; philosophical, historical and practical/political grounds. I will address each ground in detail.

  1. Philosophical ground:

  • Here, I will discuss issues like biological binarisms of male/female as well as other essentialism critique.

  • I will also focus on Foucault’s rejection on sexuality as constituting an identity before the 19th century, at least in Europe. I will also discuss the history of sexualities in other parts of the world to compare to Foucault’s argument.

  1. Practical/political grounds:

  • Here I tackle the issue of how claiming an identity hinges on a commonality or sameness with others, which can lead itself to demands for conformism.

  1. Achievements of Gay/Women Liberations:

  • I will discuss both Gay and Women Liberation movements to show what identity politics achieved in the two movements.

  • I will seek to answer the question – What was achieved in improving the situation of woman and gay/lesbians?

  1. Achievements of queer politics:

  • The question of whether Queer politics is able to achieve as much as was achieved by Gay and WL movements.

  • In this chapter, I will also highlight the doubts that have directed towards this issue by feminists.

  1. Conclusion: I will give my conclusion on the issue; basically, the direction identity politics has taken with the queer challenges.

Articles on the Essay Topic

There is an array of good articles on this issue. To mention just two;

  1. Articles by Judith Butler on woman on biological binarisms of male/female and other essentialism1. This article challenges feminists on biological binarisms and argues that there needs to be a better ground for analysing feminism. She addresses philosophical grounds that feminism has been challenged.

  2. The article by Kathy Rudy ‘Radical Feminism, Lesbian Separatism, and Queer Theory’2 in which she discusses three main areas pertinent to this essay, that is, feminism, lesbianism and queer challenges on them.

Insights from the Proposal Feedback

I will be able to improve the essay from insights I gained from the proposal feedback. In fact, I have already made some of the improvements. The insights have helped me to;

  • Narrow down on identity politics and the challenges from queer politics instead of broadly covering issues affecting women.

  • Lay the foundation of the origin of feminist movement and the Gay/Lesbian movements

  • Include the achievements of the Gay and Women liberations and compare them to those of queer politics in this debate.


Butler, Judith, ‘Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity’, Routledge, New York, 1990.

Rudy Kathy, ‘Radical Feminism, Lesbian Separatism, and Queer Theory’, Feminist Studies, Spring 2001, vol. 27, no. 1, 191–22.

1Butler, Judith, ‘Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity’, Routledge, New York, 1990. (Especially Chapter one).

2 Rudy Kathy, ‘Radical Feminism, Lesbian Separatism, and Queer Theory’, Feminist Studies, Spring 2001, vol. 27, no. 1, 191–22.