Words  on  Women



Woman, where are you going?
The Hind
Men, women and Ghosts in Science
He        She
Women can't have it All
Woman, where are you going? (2)
Women's Lullaby
Oh Man that like a Rutting Stag


Woman, where are you going? 

I have posted, April 2006, this small selection of my poems dealing with the position of women in modern society.     I have placed them here as my response to material from two very different sources made publicly available in the first months of 2006.    To me, the article by Peter Lawrence and the Amanda Platell Channel 4 programme, (links below), show that my thoughts regarding the feminist assumptions and statements of a quarter century and more ago were more visionary than some then believed.

My overall concern with the direction feminists were going in the 1960s can be summed up in the following extract from The Hind.     This longish poem was written in 1970.

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The Hind

Poised between man and mountain
The hind sniffs the breeze,
Raising her head into destruction or into creation.

Hind of the stag,
Her choice between true and pervert.
Up to the mountain she can ascend
To lie in the jewelled bell heather,
Be hind to horned stag of desire,
Or she can descend to the gully
Down to the hard gun of the stalker,
Follow the print of weak will
To bed of the cloven-hoofed hunter,
Male, not stag, to her wisdom.

Hind of the stag,
Choice to let the stag lead,
Be the bob buff from the hunt
Bellow back reply to the rifle.
Careless to be equal in reason,
(Both chaos and logos are breath.)
She may lick sight to the fawn
Teach deer the art of intuition,
Roll warm-contented in bracken 
And watch easy, stags lowering their antlers.    

Hind of the stag,
The crystal pool is not mirror to ensnare
With false scent the limbing chase,
She and the stag are both monarch
Tongueing love does not dominate, 
The hind and the stag are free mates.
Season for each to move careless 
Munch through the grass by the croft,
And season to flee to the forest 
Away from steel shot of the hunter.    

published in  Camp Fires  1973

I have always assumed women and men were equal, equal but obviously different, complimentary.    I have never felt any need to ape men.    

I do not think problems between the sexes can be solved by every one pretending we are all exactly the same.    While there was obviously a need to make readjustments to the man - woman relationship during the last half century it seems to me much of value has been destroyed.    This, as the Platell programme shows, is at last being recognised by some feminists.    

Some aspects of the feminist debate have I believe been based on ignorance and misinformation of our Christian Anglo - Celtic past.    Fortunately several books have appears in the last years that help rectify this.    See for example, Letters of Medieval Women by Anne Crawford.    The Rise and Fall of the Woman of Letters by Norma Clarke.    Women Poets of the Renaissance by Marion Wynne –Davies.    

To have some idea of how the feminist movement has manipulated at least one aspect of historical research,
see my  New Guinea Waits.

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Men, Women and Ghosts in Science by Peter A.    Lawrence
Published in   PLoS  [Public Library of Science] Biology 

Peter Lawrence shows in his paper how all-powerful is political correctness - of which the feminist movement decrees belong - in Universities at the beginning of the 21st century.    One example he gives is that of Simon Baron-Cohen who felt unable to publish his work on differences between male and female brains until 2003.

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The following poem I wrote in 1970.



Intellect grows in the eyes of the world,
Spirit is all sap of Man.
He soars,
Stretching imagination to cup up the cloud.
Power lies in his reason,
Control almost to touch God.

Love finds him
Startled in a field of stars.
Desire laughs at his will to be God.
He wants,
And the shadow by his side leaps,
He, uncontrolled with his brilliance.


Less does she lie in intellectual passion,
Imagination is less sustained creation.    
Her reason's flight is befriended by emotion,
But there are always stars.    
Desire does not kill all vision.    
Balance of love and intellect, 
She is hampered, 
Never utterly unaware.

published in  Camp Fires  1973

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The  Channel 4  TV programme,   Women can’t have it All 

In this programme Amanda Platell discussed the position of women in contemporary society.    It seems that the problems for All society caused by the power of feminists in the last decades is now troubling even some feminists.    

This programme gave the impression there were few - if any - women writers critical of  Feminist Movement beliefs and statements in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.    

Fay Weldon, for example, once a noted feminist said in reply to Amanda Platell's comment that her generation should bless Fay Weldon’s generation (I am younger but could be considered of Weldon’s generation)  ‘I don’t think you should be blessing women of my generation, I think you should be cursing us’.    I hope this will not include me! 

See below.

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Woman where are you going?


Absorbed in the song of Being
Capable of pulling life into the seed of love 
The child watches her
With eye-reflecting glory.

But mother does not see
This vision of herself
This life of love.
She is competing with the male
Through an efficient office day
Proving she can win
As good a wage as he.

She understands no more
That love is itself reward,
She neglects the child and is
Slave to each masculine whim.


Dreaming thistledown of girl
Crushed into T-shirt and jeans 
Ugly as a toad.

Tell me, girl, why do you wear
This coarse male costume
Model yourself on men?
Do you not see these second-hand clothes
Mark your obedience to patterns
You think you are breaking?


They have pressed on her head a helmet
A hard steel pattern of thought 
Mould of the masculine brain.    
It has folded the female mind 
Into the cell of his reason, 
Jagged with ambitious fact,
Playfield of man's intellect.

Easy and sure in his knowledge
His past makes the game routine,
Secure in the rules he had made 
His intellect free to choose 
He can challenge his own ideas
Discover fresh concepts of thought,
Throw his old helmet away.

But Woman Is trapped in this helmet,
The thing is not the right fit
She must cling to this foreign construction
If she wants to stay in his game.
With her 'mother-tongue' intellect lost
She cannot with confidence challenge,
She is always a second class player.


Woman, where are you going,
What is it that you want?
Love that is born of women 
Power that is seed of men?

Let us look now in the mirror,
What is it that we see
When we study Woman
Of the twentieth century?

Is there from that mirror reflected
A face that can only be
Woman in every feature,
A portrait known by its clarity?
Has she eye of the spirit
Leading Mankind to the Light
Ignoring the struggle for power
That plucks out eyes of sight?
And do her warm lips of love
Scorn might that on ignorance feeds,
Is there magic, beauty and laughter
In a face that is feminine free
As it gathers into its vision
A world where Love may kneel?

Is this your face now, Woman?
Look deep in the glass and see
What is the mirror reflecting 
In this twentieth century.

I see a shadowed image
Distorted and blotched, unclear.
Has it really the features of Woman
Or is it Man with an ugly sneer?
It's a face that has lost the knowledge
That once female with male competes
He turns to rape and violence,
His own sex and pornography.
I see a portrait repainted,
Marred by some band of hate
Into a still-life canvas
Emptied of all Woman's grace.
Now lusting for power over people
A sterile hag has taken her place.

Woman, do look in your mirror,
Can you understand what you see?
Is that disfigured portrait 
Really what you want to be?

If this bruised creature shocks you
Then, as restorers will, 
Seek the original master 
That his wishes be fulfilled.

When Woman makes Man her idol
Bows down to his sexual strength 
And covets to pin all his honours -
Seeds of corruption - on her breast,
If she thinks him in all things superior 
Then she is, and will always be seen 
By Mankind, as twice inferior 
For lacking knowledge of herself and him.    
Yet if she her vision recovered, 
Knew male force as his burden to conquer
From which she, Woman, was freed 
Then would the world see her splendour, 
The mystery of her birthright honour 
And Power to Love - all powerful - surrender.

published in   Leaves  1987

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Woman's Lullaby

Rock by the fire your baby
Dance to the shadows' fall
Dream in the light of ashes
Do not heed the warrior's call.

Create not echo man's cry 
The spear is not your tool,
You are the woman and mother
The male mind must not touch you.

Sing in the dusk to children
Teach them ancestral lore,
Be as your nature is,
Feel, not worry about law.

Do not walk to the men's ring
Their work is not your desire,
Sit by the fire of your wisdom
Have it untainted to give.    

Brood and sleep and ponder 
As is your woman's way,
Be to man as complete female
Not second rate male in the race.    

Grey is the time in the tent
When the role of each is mixed,
And foolish is the harvest.
Both join as one sex without sex.

Do not let fear force you 
To seek out the hunter's track,
You learn his art to kill your own
And the camp will begin to crumble.

Rock by the fire your baby 
Heal away ancient wrong 
Dream in the light of ashes
Cradle the tribe in your song.    

published in   Camp Fires  1973

As I too have known prejudice - although it has been women mostly who have not supported me - I include my following poem in this page. 

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Oh Man that like a Rutting Stag

Oh man that like a rutting stag
Does thrash the earth around
A woman if she should display
Her fine intellect.

Oh man why will you never learn 
That woman too has brains 
And nature may give her a mind 
As good as any male's.

So unbecoming does it seem 
To roar and bellow thus, 
Why all this mad bewilderment 
This silly arrogance.

When woman has the gift of thought 
It is a wondrous thing 
For it will have a clarity 
That sees beyond man's reach.

Free of the past's stale brotherhood
It careless is of ways
That crowd the brain to ignorance;
Her mind will simply think.

Oh man, why scratch and paw the ground 
Why can't a woman's mind 
Beat strong and powerful as the blood 
That runs within her breast?

published in   Leaves  1987

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For several decades I was a member, active at times of  ‘Compassion in World Farming'.

I was also involved with the organic farming movement.