My Fair Ladies? No Room For Their Own (Securing the Chaste in Prose/poetry)

My Fair Ladies?  (No Room For Their Own)

My female ancestors from the far North were lucky, I realize of late.

Living in a raw climate, they could tolerate the extra layer of chastity belt.

Sure, it clanked when they walked, but the red hot poker up the janzi and similar genital reconfigurations were saved for royalty and,
occasionally, the psychically inclined.

All I want is a room somewhere–

While my particular ancestors were none of these, but commoner sorts.

Far awaiiy
from the–
Born into an age and place that needed women able to walk (even if clanking)–

cold night air–

a barren landscape where the few females were valuable, if chattel,

with one enormous chairrrrrr—

whereas in the more populated world of today, it seems that women are sometimes


expendable chattel. 

And, what with scrap metal so precious and thorns and threads and knives and other young girls so cheap,

no one even bothers with–


clanking.  Cutting straight to the–



While in my so-lucky case,  I can worry about

a room somewhere–

So way beyond unfair,

heart hurts.


I’m sorry to those who follow this blog that I am still thinking a lot about the oppression of women – a very big and grim subject.

The above is a draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar challenge hosted by Anna Montgomery which is a challenge to mix up poetry and prose.  In this case, my poetry owes a debt to Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist of “My Fair Lady.”  

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25 Comments on “My Fair Ladies? No Room For Their Own (Securing the Chaste in Prose/poetry)”

  1. wood Says:

    this is just so clever, and so well written.

    “Sure, it clanked when they walked, but the red hot poker up the janzi and similar genital reconfigurations were saved for royalty and,
    occasionally, the psychically inclined.”

    i just can’t stop laughing… give me a minute

    “And, what with scrap metal so precious and thorns and threads and knives and other young girls so cheap,

    no one even bothers with–


    clanking. Cutting straight to the–


    just wicked clever. love the voice and pace, this format really works for this piece. so well done.

  2. sonny Says:

    its chattels who create history…;))
    and they arent expendable either…no way…the world pretends that they are….

    fabulously done…loved every bit…

  3. jenneandrews Says:

    I love this– it feels a bit like a parody of some of the language poets who in my view are gravely mis-named– the fracture of the narrative structure so integral to this piece. I’m fine with our language, its beauty and possibilities and afraid I’ll always engage in some free association as in the current piece, but not go out on a limb…xxxj

  4. brian miller Says:

    hey as long as it has a hold of your heart, it dont bother me at all….i think we have to talk about these things….and i really like the fractured feel of it…ugh…the clanking while could be humorous i just find hard and shivering….really well writ ma’am

  5. David King Says:

    Oh, I just can’t get over how clever this is. Wonderful!

  6. Mary Says:

    I know you are stil thinking about the Kristoff video. Too many young women in some parts of the world today are just chattel….and do not have a room of their own, never will. So sad to think about. An eye-opening poem which hurts, but not as much as these young women must hurt….daily.

  7. Mama Zen Says:

    Smart, smart write.

  8. another touching write k.

  9. ..sometimes one has to make different attempts to get to the point of something and then out of their system, but I think this is one subject that is sticking….thank goodness for your great sense of humor 😉

  10. Very clever – prose, lyrics, poetry, history tumbling out of the poverty and ignorance of once upon a long time to the realization that it wasn’t long ago, it’s still now and we…we…we in time, and place so lucky. Smart, incisive, metallic clunking forward – almost antipodal to my write but similar too…it feels like changing while everything (somewhere) stays the same.
    Thanks for the notes on mine. Much appreciated!

  11. barbara_ Says:

    I love my humor with a bite. This has both, and music (yours AND Lerner/Loewe)

  12. Clever, incisive, and all around marvelous. Room of One’s Own works so well throughout this and the combination of biting wit and clanking chastity belt conspire to create a symphony. I’d pay money to see it performed – like Aristophanes meets Broadway.

  13. Sad subject, very well done. It saddens me that so many women in the world are treated as worth less than cattle, you should never apologise for your beliefs. I wrote a couple of months ago on child brides, sold to men old enough to be their grandfathers. It disgusts me and ought to disgust any decent minded people.
    Well said K

  14. kaykuala Says:

    Chastity belts! Why should women be so subjected. The oppression of woman go to such extend. It is unbelievable if not for seeing the existence of such ‘tools’ in pictures!. Nicely K!


  15. Sorry to be so late, just life’s burdens. Best form of attack, mocking humour to expose oppression. And made more powerful by the weaving of a song which has its own ironic resonance

  16. Sabio Lantz Says:

    You tricked my mind to follow carefully — a combination of humor, horror, explicit taboo mixed skillfully with a song to make a very serious message. Well done. Never would I put together clanking chastity belts

    “Chattel”, a word I don’t use, made me think of cattle, of course. And sure enought:

    chattel, cattle & capital all have the same etymology:
    from L.L. capitale “property”– itself coming from ‘head’ [capitis]

    “hot poker up the janzi” intrigued me. But urban dictionary embarrassed me by letting me know that no one has defined the word. Good search showed it as a last name — also disappointing. But for fun, since “janzi” was being so elusive, I did an image search [with strict filtering, even] and I got two fun images:
    1. Crazy Janzi : Funny and makes you smile
    2. : a cuter version

    Your poem is useful to remind us of our crimes.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Sabio,

      I have to confess that there is some version of the red hot poker up the janzi – and I don’t remember whether he uses that exact word or words – is in one or more Terry Pratchett books. He is a super funny satirist. I don’t know what his exact phrase is, but I am sure that I have caught some echo of his usage, as I have read many of his books numerous times and I am pretty sure that one of his character uses some words along these lines. It is quite amazing to me that some have labeled a creature with this name. I thought it was a word that was more typically used in the form that I chose. I do think it’s fairly self-explanatory. (Ha.)

      I highly recommend Pratchett if you are ever looking for a funny intelligent read. Not so much the books published the last couple of books – he has early onset alzheimer’s, tragically, and whiles these later books are still super clever, they are just not quite as incisive as the older ones–but the books (many) that he wrote in his prime are just fantastic. k.

      • Sabio Lantz Says:

        Thanks, K.
        I am new to literature — even the pulp sort, really.
        So, could you recommend ONE Pratchett book for me to read to get a flavor — I just read his wiki article (never heard of him) — impressive dude and very popular in the UK.
        Thank you
        [following, now]

      • ManicDdaily Says:

        Pratchett has written over forty books probably. Most take place in this fantastical world called Discworld. They tend to run in series that do not rely on one reading them sequentially, but are probably better if read in the sequence. (The plots do not rely on one another, but you get to know the characters a bit better if you read them loosely in order.)

        The two best series to my mind are the ones about the Night Watch in Ankh-Morpork, and the ones about the Witches in Lancre.

        You might like the NightWatch ones better as they are very sharply satirical in a more biting political way. The first Night Watch book is Guards Guards, which I like very much but some people think a bit slow (and a little more fantasy oriented). The second is Men At Arms. I think you’d probably prefer Men at Arms to Guards Guards – so if you only want to read one (and not risk being put off) you might start with that Men at Arms. If you want to give him a longer shot, you might try Guards Guards first. (Again, I find it hilarious, but would agree that Men at Arms, is probably funnier.) All of the ones in that series – Feet of Clay, Jingo, NIght Watch are very good – but then you are really jumping ahead. (And they are probably not as tight as Men At Arms.)

  17. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Sorry, messed up the HTML on the second link:
    2. Cute Janzi: a cuter version

  18. hedgewitch Says:

    Such a long hard road to defy the power of others to own and control us…I find it appalling that female sexuality is seen as so dangerous that it has to be destroyed or locked away, that it is always a way to demean and diminish, even in our supposedly advanced civilization. Very effective mix of staccato graphic and lyric wishfulness, k.

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