Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged poetry

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Feminist snark from 1915, courtesy of Roqayah Chamseddine on Twitter. Anna Breslaw of Jezebel writes:

FYI: [Alice] Duer Miller was a poet, writer and Barnard College alum whose name appears in the first-ever issue of the New Yorker as an advisory editor. I haven’t even put pants on today.

Alice Duer Miller wrote biting poems about a “woman’s place” in the early 1900s. A collection of her poems, titled Are Women People?, is available for free on the Project Gutenberg website. They’re just as relevant today as they were nearly a century ago. Let that sink in for a moment. I’ll post three here:

The Revolt of Mother
(“Every true woman feels — ”—Speech of almost any Congressman.)


I am old-fashioned, and I think it rightThat man should know, by Nature’s laws eternal,The proper way to rule, to earn, to fight,And exercise those functions called paternal;But even I a little bit rebelAt finding that he knows my job as well.
At least he’s always ready to expound it,Especially in legislative hall,The joys, the cares, the halos that surround it,"How women feel"—he knows that best of all.In fact his thesis is that no one canKnow what is womanly except a man.
I am old-fashioned, and I am contentWhen he explains the world of art and scienceAnd government—to him divinely sent—I drink it in with ladylike compliance.But cannot listen—no, I’m only human—While he instructs me how to be a woman.
— Alice Duer Miller
Feminism


"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.”
— Alice Duer Miller
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.
— Alice Duer Miller

Feminist snark from 1915, courtesy of Roqayah Chamseddine on Twitter. Anna Breslaw of Jezebel writes:

FYI: [Alice] Duer Miller was a poet, writer and Barnard College alum whose name appears in the first-ever issue of the New Yorker as an advisory editor. I haven’t even put pants on today.

Alice Duer Miller wrote biting poems about a “woman’s place” in the early 1900s. A collection of her poems, titled Are Women People?, is available for free on the Project Gutenberg website. They’re just as relevant today as they were nearly a century ago. Let that sink in for a moment. I’ll post three here:

The Revolt of Mother

(“Every true woman feels — ”—Speech of almost any Congressman.)

I am old-fashioned, and I think it right
That man should know, by Nature’s laws eternal,
The proper way to rule, to earn, to fight,
And exercise those functions called paternal;
But even I a little bit rebel
At finding that he knows my job as well.

At least he’s always ready to expound it,
Especially in legislative hall,
The joys, the cares, the halos that surround it,
"How women feel"—he knows that best of all.
In fact his thesis is that no one can
Know what is womanly except a man.

I am old-fashioned, and I am content
When he explains the world of art and science
And government—to him divinely sent—
I drink it in with ladylike compliance.
But cannot listen—no, I’m only human—
While he instructs me how to be a woman.

— Alice Duer Miller

Feminism

"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.”

— Alice Duer Miller

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.

— Alice Duer Miller

Filed under Alice Duer Miller Feminism Poetry Politics Satire Women's suffrage voting ebook women's rights equality

4 notes

America

by Allen Ginsberg

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid and I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over
from Russia.

I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let our emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie
producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals
an unpublishable private literature that goes 1400 miles and hour and
twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his
automobiles more so they’re all different sexes
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they
sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
speeches were free everybody was angelic and sentimental about the
workers it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party
was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother
Bloor made me cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have
been a spy.
America you don’re really want to go to war.
America it’s them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take
our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. her wants our
auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him makes Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers.
Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts
factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Filed under Poetry Allen Ginsberg Love life America belief Communism politics American injustice