Spit like a man

count my ribs
I am built like a woman
but my sex does not define me
or make me greater or lesser than a man

once, we seemed to be getting a grip on equality
back then many women, and even a few men
had come to believe that both sexes carried
equal importance
although our bodies bulged in different places
and our hormones came in varying proportions

but the Spice Girls broke our tenuous hold
when they encouraged our daughters to
citing fun as a just cause

I see those girls in the street, stinking of booze
they stagger on snapped stillettos
just to compete with male self-degradation

look, I can be as bad as you, they seem to say –
but anyone can learn to spit like a man

I have built walls, crocheted, constructed shelves,
sown my children’s clothes, wielded an electric drill
made cakes and souffles, smashed a scrap piano

using my individual strengths
I have done those things of which I was able
and left the rest to others

I have never felt the need
to drink any man or woman under the table
to prove I am equal

and, be you male or female
you don’t need to learn to spit like a man

©Jane Paterson Basil


29 thoughts on “Spit like a man

      1. I’m sure the young folks — especially the 20 somethings — are just as wild here in the states, but I don’t think they’re as “in your face about it.” Their exploits are posted all over Facebook instead. I never get on there…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m on facebook, but I rarely give it my attention. I got sick of boring two line accounts which said stuff like “I’m sooo tired – been to Atlantic village shopping mall. It was hectic, and I didn’t buy anything.”

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I become infuriated at the state of our city centre at night. Do you know the council ships in grey, pyramid shaped urinals just so the streets aren’t awash by morning? And there’s a special mobile drunk tank to stop boozers from clogging up A and E. Makes me bloody angry – our poor old NHS is under staring as it is, without thousands of pillocks getting themselves in a mess and just expecting the emergency services to sweep them up and take care of them.
    I think it’ become more acceptable for girls to be drunks too, though I knew a fair few who liked a drink when I was young.
    A very good poem, Jane – spot on

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I didn’t know about the mobile drunk tank, or the portable urinals, but Paul says he’s seen portable urinals in Exeter. What is the matter with the human race?
      I knew a lot of girls who liked to drink when they were young – I was one of them, but (apart from one shameful incident which was not deliberate and I don’t want to talk about) I never got in the state that they get in today.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I used to have a lot of young friends – I picked them up when I had my trendy shop in the town centre. They probably came to me because they were lost or unhappy. A few of them asked me to buy alcohol for them, but I always refused. I was particularly close to a girl who’d been rejected by her bi-polar mother. She was brought up by her dad. One day she asked me to buy a bottle of vodka as a birthday present for him – . she said she couldn’t think of anything else to buy him and there was nobody else she could ask. There is nobody else I would have done this for, but I felt sorry for her, and made the stupid, terrible mistake of trusting her, and bought it.
          That night her 15 year old sister got alcoholic poisoning and had to have her stomach pumped.
          I didn’t know for sure that it was down to that bottle of vodka, but I live with the doubt.
          I didn’t expect to be revealing that guilty secret today…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. She was okay, though, the sister? Daft girl. And they would have got the booze from somewhere, Jane – try not to be too hard on yourself for that one. What a shame, though that the girl misled you like that – it must have been very hurtful for you. Hopefully she learned a valuable (if unpleasant) lesson.
            When will we Bits grow up when it comes to booze? Seemingly never.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, Calen. Are we giving you a terrible impression of UK cities? I’m afraid many are like that after dark at the weekend – awash with wee and littered with insensible young people. The UK’s relationship with alcohol is not a healthy one. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yesterday morning there was a homeless guy sitting in his usual place. The weather was dry, but he was sitting in a huge wet patch which reached ten feet in front of him, and six feet to each side. I think he’d made a mess and someone from the shop next door hosed it down, but he was quite unconcerned – but that’s a slightly different issue…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. There seem to be more rough sleepers in Bristol than when we first moved here – apologies if I’ve we’ve discussed this before. There are regular guys at the City museum and down near our local Asda. I passed the Asda guy the other day – he’s well kitted out with a new looking duvet and a sleeping. He leaves his trainers at the bottom of his sleeping bag and I’m astounded (but pleased) no drunk git nicks them. These guys have become regular sights, sadly.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I remember the tramps of my childhood – they were often shell-shocked soldiers from the war who couldn’tcope with living indoors,, and they roamed the country. My mum used to cook meals for a couple of them who came to the house whenever they were in the area. Whe let them bathe, and gave them fresh clothes when she could. sad though it was, they were very different to the homless people on the streets.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I believe there are still a lot of ex service men that end up on the streets. Had a chat with my son yesterday over the current run of adverts for Army recruitment – ‘Make a better me’, they say. Clearly aimed at working class, urban kids. Frightening how society uses these young people then dumps them, without adequate mental health provision.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s