Portrait of man and two women in orchard --- Image by © Robert Recker/Corbis
Is it you?
the girl who knows lustful eyes are on her back
is it you?
talking to your female friends
when a man enters
you reveal your choice every time
the man comes first
women only afterward
is it you?
thinking they don’t notice
when your eyes drift
from female conversation
to a man’s deeper tone
as if attention were garnered toward
the male of the species alone
don’t you see? you put down women
with every favor you give a man over
and whilst you may say
no that’s not true I am an equal opportunist
an observer will note
the change and variance of your attention 
you are a creature of men
owned by their regard
choosing them first in every scenario
sadly undermining
the worth of women
it is surely what lets us down most
the value we place on each other
being less than the other gender
call me an old embittered dyke
biased in her choice
if you need to
but truth speaks
louder than worship
and I must ask
is this you?

0 Replies to “Is this you?”

    1. I’d been thinking on it for a while and it came together, was talking with Holly about how girls do that to each other and how it undermines everything so I have to credit her for the idea as much as anyone.

  1. That used to be me. It wasn’t easy to recognize it, let alone start to overcome it. We are brainwashed from a young age about our place, and where our attention should focus. This is beautifully written! And a gentle(ish) nudge that, as women, our loyalties need to lie with our sisters. <3 Thank you!

  2. The other half of the scenario is that men can walk into a conversation between women and expect that the women will stop talking to listen to what he has to say. It’s a form of hierarchy that men and women fall into accepting. Or not. The best way to protest is to say ‘Do you mind? You’re butting in.” Which most of us are too polite to say. I just turn and walk away. If the others are happy to play the fawning minions, I’m not.

      1. I’m rarely in that situation now. Most of my sociabilité is with dog people and they don’t do that, but is used to make me furious when I’d be waiting to pick up the kids outside the school talking to a friend or friends, and a man would amble over and take over the conversation as if we’d all just been waiting for a man to tell us what to talk about. It’s pathetic to let yourself be walked over like that.

          1. It shocked me when I was first involved. Talking to a strong-willed woman bringing up two kids on her own, seemed like the kind who would put him in his place, but no, she backed down and turned her attention to the man.You don’t have to be a rabid feminist to find that kind of behaviour degrading.

  3. I think certainly as we grow older women realize the importance of solidarity. BTW, I just received your first book in the mail!! I only wish you were nearby to sign it…and, of course, so I could give you a big hug! <3

  4. This is SO good! It describes perfectly someone I used to know (an old “friend”) who would ditch me every time a guy came into her life. Yes, us girls need to stick together!

  5. Have you ever seen the movie The Comfort of Strangers, with Helen Mirren, Natasha Richardson, Rupert Everett and Christopher Walken? Towards the end Helen (whom I love, love love and whom I met briefly once, one classy lady)and Natasha have a scene which reminds me of your poem. Helen’s character basically says that things will only start happening once a man appears, whatever they say to each other is unimportant without a man’s presence to lend it weight. Great poem as always, I just love your work. Three cheers for Feather! Please be flattered, I don’t do enthusiasm.

      1. I love the bit when she says they have stepped across into the other side of the mirror (obviously… read my latest poem, another mirror piece).

        1. Agreed I cannot praise her highly enough, she is great in many movies. The Long Good Friday, Caligula, The Thief etc, Prime Suspect… and she looks so much better without an cosmetic surgery

          1. I love the colour changes in the clothes when they walk from room to room. His early movies from the 70’s and the eighties are his best.

          2. Definitely. I think he did a series of films much alike in that visual splendor and metaphor and sexuality and disgust and obscure and viseral and overt. A good balance. I liked all of those of that period. Did you watch HANNIBAL when it was on TV or via Netflix? I find that has the same mis-en-scene completely and is transfixing by that alone. To me that’s what art via film can achieve though it is rare. Another modern example is Vicram Seth’s work (sp) he did The Cell which I felt was very unrated.

          3. Is that the one with Jennifer Lopez? I really liked that and it was panned by critics… it was very surrealistic, and well done. I watched the first series of Hannibal and I enjoyed it. I haven’t got round to the second series yet. The Falls by Greenaway is a very strange movie.

          4. Right? Why was it panned? There’s another one he did btw it’s Tarsum Sing wow I’m so bad with names. He’s VERY good. The Cell is SO underrated I thought it was superb. Hannibal is one of my favorite ‘series’ because of that visual emphasis. I haven’t seen The Falls I must see it.

          5. So many GREAT films are like that. What springs to mind off the top of my head – Heavens Gate, some superb parts and some DIRE bits. Repulsion. Metropolis, un chien andalou, Battleship Potempkin, Citizen Kane etc. Wonder what that IS?

          6. I love Repulsion… it has my favourite Catherine in it, also and obviously Un Chien Andalou. You are right, maybe a great work of art has to encompass as many emotions as possible and boredom is one of them.

          7. Me too. I mean I think boredom is always a factor in the more arty long winded ones, as if recognizing it as a state we pass through on the way to another state – exactly

          8. I think we are on the same page, we usually are. I think we need to have a good knock down fight about something, though I have no idea what…😘

          9. There is this mysterious person ahead of me, he’s really into surrealism and he knows a lot of random interesting stuff, we talk sometimes, he’s kinda fascinating, he’s always one step ahead …

  6. Always thought provoking <3
    This is such high school behaviour isn't it…some things just embed in psyches. The older I get the less I care. I had a really close friend growing up who always ditched me for her boyfriends…even on our planned girl nights. Ugh! But her self worth issues were sad.
    Plus, I think the older we get we become more aware of the nuances and complexities. I personally enjoy the cross gender connections, sometimes we miss things looking at our own gender because we assume certain things.
    But I have long discussions all the time with my husband about male ego… 🙂 I had a really great chiropractor once, I was complaining to him about some things to do with relationships etc and he said, "Vanessa, you need to understand something. Men have massive egos, and I am so sorry for it…" long conversation ensued… but of course, this doesn't apply to all. I could go on haha but he was lovely and self aware and knew that he dominated conversations etc etc.
    (I also had a lot of guy friends as a child because I had little patience for a lot of the drama that seemed to stick around girl groups… and of course, this was part of the issue.. oh the ironies abound really…)
    Side note, hope you're well!

    1. I agree. I have met many men who have not got massive egos too but many who have. But that’s not why women worship them it’s because we devalue ourselves and over value them in favor of other women and put them on a pedastool which is probably why they are egocentric true – it all leads back to that doesn’t it? So true

      1. It’s complicated…so much comes into play…I think those kind and nurturing qualities bite us in the butt when we encounter dominating egos that are also fragile…and then self worth issues, father issues and on and on. Oh my gosh, don’t get me started hahaha and then reality tv shows that glorify such awful attributes, yikes. Long conversation <3

          1. haha oh yeah, that’s infinitely better than the others…I haven’t even watched them, but whenever I have seen a commercial for “desperate housewives…” I want to stab my eyes out. They way those women carry on and treat each other. The whole premise for shows like that is just crazy sad imho.

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