Is this you?


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?

73 thoughts on “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.

  2. 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. ❤ Thank you!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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! ❤

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. Always thought provoking ❤
    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!

  12. 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

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