Do You Like the “Lady?”

pippi

When you look at me…

Tell me what you see…

Do you see the lipstick?

The nails, the hair flick?

 

When you look at me…

Tell me WHO you see…

Do you see a thing, a delicacy?

Do you see a lady?

And if you see a lady,

 

What do you expect?

A prim, quiet, “yes-sir” type?

Something from a book of text?

 

Something like Cate Blanchett,

From the Lord of Rings…

A poised, reserved being…

Made of fairer, finer things?

 

Not rowdy,

Not brash,

Not grungy,

That’s trash!

 

Behaving according to…

A set of unspoken rules…

That we are bound to follow…

From before we enter school…

 

If ladylike means silent,

Then I’m not that me…

If ladylike means dignified façade…

That I cannot be!

 

BEING means freedom…

Freedom to respond,

Freedom to retaliate…

Freedom to sing your own song…

 

Because “well bred”, I’m informed…

Means never to raise…

A voice, an opinion,

Yes, ladylike stays…

Where she is told…

Ladylike remains in …

All that’s not bold…

Ladylike is LIKE …

An effigy of gold!

 

So I’ve been this well-mannered sort…

Been told this all  my life…

And now that I’ve learned to say “no”,

I’m the source of everyone’s strife!

 

So from “well bred”,

I’ve turned to rude…

Now I’m no lady,

I’m just crude!

My blood has changed to red…

From the bluest blue!!

 

Don’t really care much…

Don’t want to be “good”…

I’m a person like any…

And I’m free now, touch wood!

 

Woman so fair,

Woman so foul,

Whatever we want to be…

No one has reason to scowl!

 

Now I stomp my feet,

The actual left-right march,

But with fruitful force…

And then I repeat…

And make my voice hoarse!

 

I’ve thrown things about,

After an ineffective shout!

I’ve been called everything…

From Hitler, to Dictator, to loudmouth!

 

So that other day,

When someone barked, at work, at me…

“Where are those papers?!!?”

I barked back, you see!

 

“What’s wrong with you Shez?

Why’re you screaming about?

It’s most unacceptable!”

But it’s okay for the boss lout…

To shout!!

 

Then, after that,

Another question arose,

“Where’s my dinner?”

Where do you suppose?!?

 

“I want it now! I want it fast!

I cannot wait! I will not last!”

“Well drop dead now!”

The die had been cast!

 

“That’s so ungracious!

That’s not a decent way to behave!”

Says my all-knowing other…

“Well, I’m not your slave!”

 

The very ones…

Who want ladylike ways…

Are the very ones…

Who want ladylike valets!

 

So well bred is “decent”?

Ladylike is full of “grace”?

Well forgive me for saying,

And not to save face,

 

It’s just not fair…

Using words like “ladylike”!

What’s “gentlike” then?

Oh this stereotype…

What a load of tripe!

 

 I suppose, you’ll say…

There’s a counterpart…

It’s the word “gentlemanly”,

Now let’s not start!

 

What is “decorous”?

Being calm and polite?

Yes, I’m that too…

But when necessary, I fight!

 

The other day,

 On entering home,

I threw off my shoes,

(One landed on the phone)

Not realising, I wasn’t alone…

 

Then I got looks…

“What’s she doing??”

“Behaving like YOU!

Stop your boo-hooing!”

 

Then, another night…

Out at the pub…

I belched a tad loudly!

I got looks of love!!

Then I did…

What I do best in “crisis”…

I laughed at myself!

Unheard of in society’s highses!!

I was now officially…

The bearer of vices!!

 

The men rolled their eyes,

The women looked away!

I had committed…

The crime of the day!

 

It’s not “fitting” to do that…

It’s not the right thing,

But when others are “human”,

They fit right in!!

These same rolling-eye people…

Live in the most questionable places…

(All manner of filth and foul)

And they think I’M falling from graces!!

(Psst…Some of these…

Have dropped out of grad school,

And the icing on the cake is…

They think that’s cool!!)

 

I can’t help judging here…

WHO are they to criticise…

MY behaviour!?

 

Such “poise” these people have…

Their arms turn into hooks…

When they carry that bag!!

And that is “graceful” to them!

They so need a reality check then!

 

Have you noticed, in people,

Who point out “imperfection”,

They’re quick on the draw…

With their holier than thou reaction…

When their own humbug attitudes…

Should be brought into question!

 

And what is “perfect”?

That’s another label…

And oh so debatable!

It’s your intrinsic self worth…

Your own cards on the table!

 

Please do NOT go…

The extrinsic way…

And think you are you…

Based on what “sophisticates” say!

 

So all these pointers…

Of sausage-like fingers,

Have not an iota of reason…

They’re perfect dead ringers!

 

I complain, I curse,

I condemn those cramps!

I’m the first to grab pizza…

And publicly show angst!

And I never feel ashamed,

When I suddenly go blank!

 

With all that’s thrown at you,

From words to looks…

Don’t you have a right…

To bring bigots to book??

 

I know men who are ladylike…

Proper, and polite…

A delicate, genteel type…

 

There is honour,

There is dignity…

In being who you are…

Being who you want to be…

Just honestly…

 

There is poise,

There is grace,

But not in labels,

Not just in face…

 

When we adhere to a label,

We tend to disable…

The people we really are,

And that won’t take us far…

 

So ladylike is a personality trait…

You don’t have to be a “lady”…

To be that way…

And you can still be a “lady”,

If you wish, just say…

POLITELY….

“Please shut your face!”

 

By Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade is a Clinical Child Psychologist, Part-time mother, blogger, French teacher and IATA teacher. She has worked with the differently abled, and now works on and off as a teacher.

2 thoughts

  1. Fantastic Shezi: I wish I could write a poetic appreciation. The words are very inspirational. It’s all about one life so live it your way !

    Like

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