Readers, look through your minds’ eyes
Imagine a glittering literary prize
Further imagine, if you please
On hard chairs, five nominees
Ladies sitting all in a row
Dude nominated is a no-show
What a shock—the dude has won!
Murmur to a friend: ‘Well, THIS is fun.’
Or picture what might have been
A lady’s won! Now there’s a scene.
Extra, extra, have you heard the news?
She has a prize! And she has boobs!
Every paper harps upon it
You’d think we were still wearing bonnets
See the amazement on my face
It’s like a potato won a race
George Eliot and James Tiptree
Not that different, you may see
From J.K. Rowling and E.L James
Don’t tell me there’s nothing in names
Lists of actual bestsellers I have hated,
Eight men to two women-we sure dominated.
Online lists of ‘bestsellers’ to be decried
Eight to two again—on the other side.
Here’s another tale to tell
Six writers, doing very well
What kind of cash could they expect
To help promote their next?
It’s the truth: I wouldn’t fudge it.
All three gents got thrice the budget
The game’s fixed—and if you prevail
Then you’ll hear rather a strange tale
'My books sell well—I hoped they would
And some say they’re rather good…’
'Dear lady, you're a dark aberration
Sit down, you’re causing a sensation.’
See critics start to rip and slash
'Popular yes, but the book is trash.'
Hear the voices rise to a shout
‘She wrote it, but look what she wrote about!’
And if our novels at times seem cursed
For ourselves… it’s rather worse
At a festival or bookstore show
Let me tell you how these things go:
Either ‘ladies always make you wait, am I right?’
Or ‘No lipstick? Good lord, she looks a fright!’
'Did she just dare to EAT a SANDWICH?’
'Christ fuck, she's using vulgar language!'
Older lady—‘How dare that hag offend our eyes?’
Older dude—‘Heavens, he seems so wise!’
Guy jokes—‘He’s so deep, as well as witty!’
Girl jokes—‘God, she must think she's pretty!'
Some ladies I love with love holy and whole
Some ladies I hate with all of my soul
Seeing any ladies torn down my soul itches
To cry ‘Now, gods, stand up for bitches!’
Soon you will hear the world’s demands.
'Sit in this chair and fold your hands'
'Dress nice: be quieter if you will'
Answer: ‘No, I will not be still!’
I will not do what I am told
I will not let men take the gold
For doing half what women do
And saying we should be grateful, too
We must set our daughters free
When concerned folks say to me:
'Think of the children!' Girl, I do.
Change the times and the Times list too.