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This Vote Is Legally Binding

In response to all those articles about talking to women with headphones…I promise, after this, no more poetry for at least a week!

Someone always says it, whenever it comes up:
"I guess I'm just not allowed to talk to anyone any more!"

It is my duty to inform you that we took a vote
all us women
and determined that you are not allowed to talk to anyone
ever again.

This vote is legally binding.

Yes, of course, all women know each other,
the way you always suspected.
(Incidentally, so do Canadians. I'm just throwing that out there.)
We went into the women's room at the Applebee's at the corner of 54
and all the others streamed in through the doors
into that endless liminal space,
a chain of humans stretching backward
heavy skulled Neanderthal women laughing with New York socialites,
Lucille Ball hand in hand with the Taung child.
We sat around in the couches in the women's room
(I know you've always been suspicious of those couches)
and chatted with each other in the secret female language
that you always knew existed.
Somebody set up a console--
the Empress Wu is ruthless at Mario Kart
and Cleopatra never learned to lose
and a woman who ruled an empire that fell
when the Sea People came
and left no trace
can use the blue shell like a surgical instrument.

Eventually we took the vote.
You had three defenders:
your grandmother and your first-grade teacher
and an Albanian nun who believes the best of everybody.
Your mom abstained.
It was duly recorded in the secret notebooks
that have been kept under the couch in the Applebee's
since the beginning of recorded time.
And then we went back to playing Mario Kart
and Hoelun took off her bra
and we didn't think about you again
except that I had to carry this message.

So anyway
good luck with that
it's just as you always said it was.
Hush now,
no talking,


Standing up and CLAPPING LOUDLY!!!!


Oh this is brilliant and just made my day!

Ursula, I love you. This is fabulous

I love you. *wild applause*

-- A (who spent 11 years commuting on the DC Metro, and *oh boy*, were there a bunch of Dudes Who Felt Entitled To Talk To Me, in spite of prominent headphones and a book in my lap. "What, you can't be nice? You're too good to talk to me? What a bitch. You're fat, anyway.")

That is magnificent. Thank you!

What a beautiful thing. I love it.

"Your mom abstained."

This was the point at which I began laughing aloud.

*flails with how awesome that poem is*


(and OMG, when I have my headphones on and a dismantled saxophone in my hands, which happens to have *sharpened needle springs* bristling all over it, for the love of sanity I'm WORKING. Don't distract me unless the shop is on fire.)

Guys, I have some good news,
and some bad news.

The bad news is:
every word of this is true.

Did you not figure out why they always go to the bathroom in groups?
They've got a whole fucking bowling alley in there.

But here's how I know it's true.
I know, because it happened to me,
many years ago.

The good news is:
with a lot of introspection,
and learning to see women
as, y'know, humans,
deserving of the same consideration,
with the same agency,
and who don't owe you shit,
and if you act on this new-found wisdom,
and come to treat women as equals,
and become friends,
the possibility exists
that one day
if you do all of that,
and write something on Facebook that Kate Harding 'likes'
(she's the Queen of Feminism now, if you weren't aware)
you might just get
an appeal.