The Crushing Of The Shrew

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If there’s one thing…
That gets my goat…
Causes me to…
Scream my throat…

It’s that patronising quote…
“You women all sail…
In the same boat!”
What a condescending tone!

I hear this from male friends…
I hear it from my bro’…
I hear it from “men…
Going around the bend”…

And just so you know…
I think it’s no joke…
To categorise sexes in any way…
Based upon what you think…
Or say!

So I did my own research…
And I found that many women…
Talk about a certain phenomenon…
Of men in their lives…
Being actually patronising…
But claiming to be kind ….

So when you stand up…
To an argument…
When you give it back…
And don’t relent…

The opposite party…
Only seems to see…
An untamed shrew…
A shrieking freak…

So they say, “The neighbours will hear,”
Or, “Dear, calm down!”
But talking back…
Is not a shout!

But they make it so…
They like you to believe…
That when you are firm…
You should be naïve…

They undermine your strength…
They want you submitting and bent…
And their condescension betrays…
Their real intent…

Is to affirm their superiority…
And this cavalier way…
Is the only way…
For them to hold sway…

So let’s be clairvoyant…
See through their stunts…
And not shut up…
Just because…
There are unofficial norms…
And outdated laws…

This patronising way…
Is the autocratic state…
Of all that patriarchy…
Holds in its wake…

Shakespeare, sadly…
Felt the same…
And gathered moss…
And haute acclaim…
For his Taming of the Shrew tale…
Led him to much fame…

Here was a play…
Hidden in a veil…
Of a man ‘liberating’ a woman…
A headstrong bride…
Who often wailed…
Shouted down the house…
Till her husband…
The louse…
In all his grouse…
Locked her up…
Without any sup…
Mentally abused her…
Till she finally gave up…

When the woman returns…
To her father’s home…
She is meek, and still…
As marble stone…

Katherine’s treatment is…
Nothing short of barbaric…
And the ‘tamer’, Petruchio..
Seems content and ecstatic!

Yet audiences seem…
To love the performance…
That plays to packed houses…
In Stratford upon Avon!

Either these people…
Are secretly sadistic…
Because they roar at the ‘humour’…
Of what is plainly misogynistic…

Supporters of the bard…
Defend him and say…
Shakespeare wasn’t an MCP!
No how, no way!

They, in fact, state…
That it was his idea…
To actually convey…
Gendered human behaviour…

He wanted to show…
How society’s expectations…
Of that time and day…
Would make a woman ‘behave’….

That if she didn’t roll over,
Didn’t say “yes”…
She was considered a wretch…
And this wasn’t okay!

Was he trying to show, then…
The depravity of man?
Championing women’s rights…
As only a writer can?

Or is it because, Kate,
Is seen as a true match…
A veritable foe…
To the ‘ideal’ Petruchio?

I’d like to think positively…
But I’m having second thoughts…
With all the said arguments ‘for’….
There’s a lot …
Of a ‘men-are-superior’ plot!

Though the fans say…
It’s only a basic ‘love’ story…
I can’t help but think…
Women’s rights have gone awry…

Katherine’s final speech…
Says it all for me…
“I am ashamed that women are so simple…
To offer war, where they should kneel for peace,”
Somehow, the bells ring true and deep…
This smells of good old patriarchy’s keep!

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.

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