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How Not to be Dicks When Wooing Chicks

July 31, 2010

The following poem was sent to me by a friend who attended an event in Ottawa called Artgasm, which in her words was a “sexy fundraiser for the Carleton Coalition for a Sexual Assault Support Centre”. She thought you guys might enjoy it!

During this event, Michelle Blackburn read the following:

“The Obvious to Womyn but not so much to Men Lesbian Guide to Giving them Tips on: How not to be Dicks when trying to “Woo Chicks”

You know, I know men don’t get it.
You know, I know men don’t get it when I’m walking down
The street with a beautiful womyn, dressed to the nines’
Walking along with me, her soft hands tucked
So neatly between my fingers, and we’re walking and I’m
Listening so attentively to her, and her hands..
Precisely equal to my own, they make my heart stutter.
And, flutter into butter, and I trip on my words just to hear what she has to say
And most of the time, I’m not going to lie:
She’s taller,
But that’s only cause’ I have yet to master,
That sexy-hot-femme-walk-strut-she-has-a-cute-butt-thing-that-she-does in high heels,
And lets face it- I have to say it, it’s never gonna happen for me,
It’s just my reality, to stick to flat shoes, and not mess with gravity
And that’s totally fine with me, it prevents casualties,
So, I just leave it for the drag queens cause’
I know they’re more of a lady than I’ll ever be..
And you know, I know men don’t get it,
And it’s cause I’m more of a ‘gentleman’
Than they’ll ever be.

And you know- I know men don’t get it.
I know this because often they’ll stare at me inquisitively,
With their left eyebrows raised, and their heads tilted to
The side, and they can’t quite figure out why
A lil’ lesbian like me can be with that girl dressed to the nines
So naturally this, this is when I smile, and think to myself
If only I could write them an instruction manual to help,
I would update it annually with new tips, and information
And spread word to this nation, about human relation
Between “us” and the beautiful womyn we wish to “woo”
That’s what I’ll do,
That could be my contribution, and they’ll stop
Demanding womyn for retribution when they buy them
Drinks at a bar, to see how far they can get,
and instead celebrate all the womyn they’ve met
I think to myself, fuck we’d be set..
If only they knew, or would listen.

Her Space:

You know guys, I have to say : I am ashamed
cause’ it’s so often that when I walk down
the street, and see you, grown men. yelling from cars,
or when it’s 3am in the market, you’re piss drunk
Leaving the bar, and every time you see a womyn,
You feel this, incessant need in your balls
To send her cat calls, or bark, and howl, you even growl
And I wonder in the name of Jesus, Mary
And Yoda, as to who the hell gave you the idea
That making animal noises was going to impress her, or
Attract her at all, did you ever stop and reflect
That what that is,
is complete disrespect, and just
Another reason, she could
Reject you, and you know, when she does,
reject you,
it’ll be all her fault, won’t it?
Isn’t that what you’ll say?
Even though you were the one who took over her space.
And I see guys doing this, every single day,
Who just brush it off as just another part of the game you play..
And, at the end of the day, I’m sure she’d prefer
If you walked up to her, in a polite, calm kinda’ way
And ask her, her name, and maybe strike up
Conversation, that’ll mean something, and
You should listen
With your ears, not your eyes, no lies.
Just relax, Just wait, Keep it
Face to face, don’t creepily lean into her, don’t
Stare at her, or pressure her,
Respect Her space. Cause her space, is a place
She should feel safe, not feel the need to
Carry around bottles of mace,
or for you to invade.

Her space, is her choice
And at the end of the day, she does have a voice
She’s not just some playground for boys
Her space doesn’t allow for her to be used,
And abused..
Her space, is for her.
Not you.

Her Short Skirt:

Her short skirt, is not an invitation,
A provocation, an indication, or flirtation,
It doesn’t mean she wants it, or that she’ll give it
Or that you can pay her money to get it,
Her short skirt doesn’t mean she’s begging for it,
That she wanted you to touch her hips,
Or for you to grope her ass, that she’s asking
You to fuck her with your eyes, or boast to her
Your size, Her short skirt is not a legal reason for
Sexual violence, Her short skirt doesn’t mean she
Should be silenced, Her short skirt doesn’t crucify her or
Label her as “bad” , Her short skirt doesn’t mean
She’s just something to be had, Her Short skirt doesn’t mean
She got what she deserved, Her short skirt is hers.

And,
Believe it or not.

Her short skirt has nothing to do with you,
Her short skirt’s not a stop sign, you can American right through,
Her short skirt, is about wearing her pride, having nothing to hide,
It’s about discovering the power of her stride,
It’s about the cool wind brushing between her
Inner thighs, Her short skirt is about losing
the need for disguise, Her short skirt
Allows everything she needs, wants, or feels
To live inside, Her short skirt means that
She is the one who gets to decide-
Her short skirt is for her, not for guys.

And men,
Don’t even dare to tell her to tone it down, or cover up,
Don’t call her a cheap whore, or dirty slut.,
Don’t dare to tell her what she chose to give isn’t enough.
Her short skirt is her defiance, it doesn’t make
Her stupid, or undecided.
Her short skirt,
Is initiation, appreciation, excitation, liberation
Creation, convocation, sensation, admiration
Her short skirt is her feminista-radio station,
Where she chooses her own music,
Where she chooses her own rhythm,
Where she chooses her own reason
For wearing her short skirt,
Her short skirt is where she gets to reserve
The right to her own patience
Because you know what, guys,
Her short skirt is her relation,
To Herself,
Not you.

Her Body:

She doesn’t need to say sorry
For the size of her hips,
She doesn’t need to say sorry,
For not answering your kiss,
She doesn’t need to be sorry
For changing her mind,
She doesn’t need to say sorry,
For your misinterpretation of her “signs”.
She doesn’t need to be sorry
For liking to be kissed,
She doesn’t need to be sorry,
For owning her shit,
She doesn’t need to be sorry,
For not giving it to you,
She doesn’t need to be sorry,
For feeling abused.

Her Body:

Is a place where she can negotiate
All the things she needs, feels, or wants to say
Her body
Is a place for her to embrace, to challenge
And relate,
Her body is a sacred art, an ancient temple where
She deserves nothing but for you to be gentle, respectful,
Her body is worth more than a few paid meals,
Her body is worth more than what she feels,
Her body is a place where she deserves to heal
Her body is worth more, but receives less
Her body is a fortress, an armored battalion
Where no-one gets in without respect, and consent
Her body is it’s own country, where she commands
The hierarchy, where she represents the monarchy,
Where she gets to decide what goes on inside,
Who turns the tide, who’ll live inside,
Her body is not a place where she needs
To hide
Her body is for herself.
Not you.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 2:47 am

    I really like the first verse, describing walking down the street with her partner, and the contrast between them, symbolised by heels and flatties. It’s sexy and intimate and funny. And it says a lot about gender, how men might respond to that sight of two women in love, one of them looking more ‘masculine’ , but it being clear the ‘femme’ would never look at a man that way she looks at her partner.

    But after that I didn’t like it so much. I think it turned more into a polemic and less of a poem. I think I am being a bit harsh! But I adore poetry and I find a poem is a whole world, and this one stopped being a whole poetic world after the first verse for me.

  2. August 1, 2010 3:08 am

    To be honest, I have to agree with you. I wavered a little bit about whether I would publish it or not, because I didn’t necessarily like the poetic flow of the piece, but then I decided that I would, because that’s just a personal opinion among many and there are some elements that I liked and in a way I guess I wanted to honor the context in which the piece was performed and the time and effort it took both in regards to its creation/context, etc and the fact that someone took the time to write it out and send it to me.

  3. August 1, 2010 3:17 am

    I just had to look up what “polemic” meant…and I see what you mean. For instance, this particular section: “And men,
    Don’t even dare to tell her to tone it down, or cover up, Don’t call her a cheap whore, or dirty slut.,”, I think and want to mention in this context that men shouldn’t always be cast as the villains of the story, some people (no mater their gender identification) will try to get someone else to tone it down, because for some reason they don’t like what they represent. But sometimes, when expressing a feeling or making a point it’s much easier to focus on one facet of an issue than being politically correct…Sure, it doesn’t look at the bigger question, but sometimes you just gotta say it anyways. And sometimes people just have to hear it too. Anyhoo, it’s 4:17am here and I’m finding it hard to make a point…or think clearly.

  4. jessie permalink
    August 1, 2010 5:56 am

    I loved it…I was going to say the opposite – I like the last parts about men’s behaviour better.

    I don’t think it’s a big deal to write in this style – I know it’s not really maybe “deep poetry” but who cares, the message is genuine.

    And as far “men shouldn’t be cast as the villains…” well – I have to disagree there, you don’t see many women cat-calling a nicely dressed man on the street making him feel dirty and uncomfortable for dressing up.

    lets not get to empathetic towards the subjects of this poem – it wasn’t all men, it was men who think a certain way – who take advantage.

    Men who aren’t disrespectful or violent towards women would probably not be threatened by such a poem/polemic/someone’s thoughts about how women should be treated piece. They’ll be like “AMEN SISTAHHHHH”

    lol.

    anyway – I really appreciate you posting this. It’s so nice to read and remember how often I should claim back my space, and not let someone disrespect my personal physical boundaries. xo

  5. August 1, 2010 10:26 pm

    Glad to hear a different opinion.

    First I agree, that in this poem it wasn’t all men, but that it was rather aimed at a certain kind of person who doesn’t understand someone else’s space, etc.

    Second, it’s always good, I think, to be reminded of your own boundaries and that it’s ok to say something when someone else encroaches them.

  6. August 2, 2010 7:35 am

    yea…i tend to think that my initial reaction is that i was drawn to the earlier portion of the poem. near the end it gets kind of long winded.
    however, i appreciate the sentiment and understand it’s validity. i don’t think it’s a villianous portrayel of all men per se. i think it’s mainly focusing on the ones that SHOULD be ready poems like this. but won’t.
    anyways – the world is a better place because of poems like this, and womyn who write poems like this.
    so thanks.

    The Covetist

  7. August 2, 2010 9:27 pm

    Ya, sometimes though, I wonder about the ultimate benefit of writing all this stuff, since the people who really need it don’t read it or would never understand it if they did. Kind of a catch-22 if you ask me. Sometimes it feels, like the community of bloggers who are trying to get this kind of word across (and by this I mean the kind of stuff I write about here) are just talking among themselves. Leaning form one another, which is great, but how do you reach the ones, like you said “that should be reading poems like this, but won’t.”???

    I guess it’s not so lonely when there’s people out there making the world a better place.

  8. Jessie permalink
    August 3, 2010 3:37 pm

    I totally needed that poem — it felt good. ❤

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