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March 9, 2012

Poetry Friday--Are Women People?

If you've been paying attention to what is going on in the country in relation to politics, then you may enjoy this "find" from the Gutenberg Project: Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times by Alice Duer Miller.
Our Idea of Nothing at All

("I am opposed to woman suffrage, but I am not opposed to woman."--Anti-suffrage speech of Mr. Webb of North Carolina.)

O women, have you heard the news
        Of charity and grace?
Look, look, how joy and gratitude
        Are beaming in my face!
For Mr. Webb is not opposed
        To woman in her place!

O Mr. Webb, how kind you are
        To let us live at all,
To let us light the kitchen range
        And tidy up the hall;
To tolerate the female sex
        In spite of Adam's fall.

O girls, suppose that Mr. Webb
        Should alter his decree!
Suppose he were opposed to us—
        Opposed to you and me.
What would be left for us to do—
        Except to cease to be?
Now take a look at the opening paragraph of a February 2012 commentary on the website, The Daily Caller :
In a simpler time Sigmund Freud struggled to understand what women want. Today the significant battle is over what women are for.
Say what? I'll leave it to you to read and decide what the writer's intent was in posing that question! But, doesn't it seem to echo the question posed by the title of Alice Duer Miller's book?

The issues of the day aren't exactly the same: in the 1910s it was "should women be allowed to vote?" One hundred years later it is "should women have control over their bodies, their healthcare, their reproductive choices and decisions?"

But guess what, despite the differences in the issues, the basic question is the same--shouldn't women have the same rights as men? Why should males make decisions for women?

I'll share a little more from the book, Are Women People? It has a lot worth sharing, so please check it out!
Why We Oppose Pockets for Women

1. Because pockets are not a natural right.

2. Because the great majority of women do not want pockets. If they did they would have them.

3. Because whenever women have had pockets they have not used them.

4. Because women are required to carry enough things as it is, without the additional burden of pockets.

5. Because it would make dissension between husband and wife as to whose pockets were to be filled.

6. Because it would destroy man's chivalry toward woman, if he did not have to carry all her things in his pockets.

7. Because men are men, and women are women. We must not fly in the face of nature.

8. Because pockets have been used by men to carry tobacco, pipes, whiskey flasks, chewing gum and compromising letters. We see no reason to suppose that women would use them more wisely.

A Sex Difference

When men in Congress come to blows at something someone said,
I always notice that it shows their blood is quick and red;
But if two women disagree, with very little noise,
It proves, and this seems strange to me, that women have no poise.


"Mother, what is a Feminist?"
        "A Feminist, my daughter,
Is any woman now who cares
To think about her own affairs
        As men don't think she oughter."

The next time you hear a bloviating talk radio personality mention a "feminazi," think about how long we women have been fighting for our rights. Thanks to women like Alice Duer Miller, we can vote. And vote we will! You can count on it.

Head over to Gathering Books for this week's Round-Up.

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

Friday evening update: I just have to share this video. Since watching it, I have an earworm, but it was worth it! (Thanks, Julie!)


  1. Wow, Diane - if that's not a timely post, I don't know what is! Thank you for digging it up and sharing it, and for your thoughts. Not just for me, but for my 20-year-old daughter, too, and daughters everywhere.

  2. Wow. I think we forget sometimes how far we've come. Thanks for this reminder. And please consider joining in the KidLit Progressive Poem fun during April! www.irenelatham.blogspot.com

  3. The term 'feminazi' has always gotten under my skin.

    Thank you for sharing these!

  4. "Feminazi" drives me crazy, too! Don't you just love the right-wingers who attach the term "nazi" or "socialist" to anything and everything they disagree with?

  5. Thank you Diane! I tweeted this before I commented. I think it's time to use our votes to find congresswomen who will take the charge of voting for women.

  6. What we need to do is to make sure young women realize what's at stake and that they all go out to vote.

    How stupid can these backwards men be? Do they really think that women aren't going to vote?

  7. LOVE IT! I'm a SLUT! I'm a SNOB! I'm ELITIST!

    ...and I'm proud of every scrap of intelligence and decision-making that's behind those abhorrant words DimBulb assigned to me/us. And I VOTE.

  8. Yey, Mary Lee. I'm glad to know you, you slut.

  9. Wow, what a post, Diane! Chock full of wonderful things.

    The Reformedwhores' song is fun and fabulous, and I love love love it. I'm a slut, too, Mary Lee! My dad would be so proud . . .

    As for the dillholes, morons, and misogynists -- together -- we should rise up and smite them (at the polls).

    Again, fabulous post, D!

  10. Wow, the poems are wonderful! I love the sarcasm of the first one. It feels very modern.

  11. Yes, Janet, I think we will be rising up. I can't wait for someone to organize a major women's march.

    Ruth, the poems are very modern, indeed. I always thought that "feminist" was a term from the 60s. Just goes to show you how much I have left to learn!

  12. looking forward to more from the book; enjoyed the poem too - a sharp bit cutting deep into the problem of the women's dilemma still present within an era of
    great strides forward

    much love...

  13. Do you ever wonder what the world would be like if women were at the helm? I often do...and that video, LOVE it! LOL!

    Gisele :)