‘Fool’s Gold’ by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society December 16, 2021 Culture, Poetry 42 Comments . Fool’s Gold The gutsy suffragettes gained girls the vote— One bold soul trampled by a monarch’s horse Grabbed patriarchy by the gloating throat. Her ghost changed every voiceless woman’s course. Their song rang out throughout the universe Till women took the working world by storm And broke the lifelong humble-housewife curse. Now duster-toting blokes are thought the norm. Some barefoot men stood pregnant by their sinks— Pregnant with a hex-the-sexes scheme, With ways and means to ditch the blues for pinks In plans where man is but a hazy dream… A ruse where guys attain the crazy heights Of Number One by bending gender rules— Heights blind to chromosomes of those with sights On bogus gold—joke medals from woke fools. Swathed in spandex, hooked in no-bounce bras, The brazen, brawny, bearded ones begin To light up dusty history tomes as stars In women’s sports—they’re guaranteed a win. The rise of fittest females is in trouble— The matriarchs in trousers may have lost To skirted rabble-rousers sprouting stubble. “Equality” comes at an ugly cost. . . Susan Jarvis Bryant is from Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 42 Responses Michael Dashiell December 16, 2021 Well done. We need more contemporary based formal poetry. I’m attempting to persuade Poetry Magazine to publish a formal poetry issue. It’s about time it’s accepted, not necessarily old-fashioned. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Michael, thank you very much for your observation. Like you, I think formal poetry should get a much greater airing. Although rare, there’s some great contemporary formal poetry out there. I recommend the latest poetry anthology by Beth Houston: “Extreme Formal Poems: Contemporary Poets”. It features some of the SCP poets and it’s a wonderful read. Also, Joseph Salemi publishes a marvelous quarterly journal called “TRINACRIA” – it’s well worth reading. Reply Peter Hartley December 16, 2021 Susan – I was expecting a poem about iron pyrites here, albeit a highly accomplished one; but no, geology doesn’t come into it. The title is far too witty for that, the subject being rather more about gold-medal winning gender-benders’ entitlement to the best of both worlds. If Emily Davison had known where her fatal protestations would lead, I wonder would it have made any difference – probably not. She no doubt traumatised the poor horse, for a start – horses have a natural delicacy and a deep-seated aversion to trampling human beings to death if they can help it. Even when I was young you would never have seen a man pushing a perambulator. That is just silly, but it is no surprise that children as young as four feel they are being encouraged to question their sexual identity when boys are given dolls and girls are given toy train sets for Christmas. This poem is brilliantly written with all the trade-mark ingenious alliteration that we come to expect from the mistress of such poetic device. Non-bouncing bras, by the way, are an abomination. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Peter, I am grinning… no, there’s not an iron pyrite in sight in this latest poem… although, I did have mine for a little inner mettle to share it. At least I know I won’t be cancelled on this marvelous site for stating the obvious. When equality is as far from being equal as one can imagine, surely it’s time to review the situation. As for bras… I’m not burning mine… I’d be hard pressed to summon up the stamina it takes to win in women’s sports – I certainly wouldn’t make the men’s team. Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 16, 2021 A great poem, Susan. Slowly but surely, third-rate male “transgendered” athletes will start to win all the prizes in competitive women’s sports events. They have the body weight and the muscle. There’s a poem about the same subject in the latest issue of TRINACRIA, concerning lacrosse. As long as we accept the absurd idea that sexual identity is a legally protected “choice,” these kind of male opportunists will take advantage of the law. No wonder so many extreme feminist icons like Robin Morgan are vehemently anti-trannie. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Thank you, Joe. I’ve just read “Fake Female Athletes” in TRINACRIA – a spot-on take. As for the extreme feminists raising their voices in horror at such inequality, I agree with them wholeheartedly. But oh, the hypocrisy. For years many militant feminists have been saying women can do anything men can do… better. In fact, men have been emasculated and told they are obsolete. Adverts depict cowed and cuckolded men who are not fit to undertake hefty physical tasks – the women do it better. And now the physical differences have become detrimental to women’s success… it’s a different story. Perhaps we should embrace our differences, welcome diversity, and accept the science. It’s settled on the male/female score and has been since time began. I’m all for equal opportunity in areas where the playing field is fair… that’s not head-to-head in a boxing ring. Reply Brian Yapko December 16, 2021 Susan, this is as always, a wonderful poem and a much-needed spotlight on the quite strange times we live in. It’s also an interesting history lesson as I looked up your suffragette reference to Emily Wilding Davison. She was killed in 1913 — accused of being an anarchist, no less. As you well know, anarchists do not warm my heart. But you have invoked her not as an anarchist but as a martyr, which is a crucial point to your poetic argument: the advancement of feminism is something that women have had to pay dearly for. The concept of womanhood is important for a huge number of reasons, including the fact that many women have suffered for the rights to vote and join the workforce. I’m also reminded of your evocative (and distressing) poem “Birthing Person.” Given the price paid and gains won, for leftists to now attack the very concept of womanhood is insulting. It is one thing if some men want to claim that they are psychologically women. That’s their schtick. But for such men to then be permitted to compete in sporting events with biological women is a travesty — it promotes fiction as reality and does so to the detriment of honest people. In the legal world that’s called fraud — which actually seems to be the endgame of the men you caricature as “brawny bearded ones” “swathed in spandex” and “no bounce bras.” And anyone who dares point out the fraudulence and absurdity of this situation is hounded and badgered as if they’d stabbed Caesar. The ideology of pretending that whatever subjective trash enters peoples minds is “truth” has to stop. It’s past time for sensible people to say plainly that the emperor has no clothes. Reply Clifton Anderson December 16, 2021 I think, Brian, that you made every point perfectly. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Brian, thank you very much for your considered comment. I agree with you on the anarchy front, and I also abhor terrorism. I lived through the worst of the IRA bombings and the constant threat of a bombing when visiting the museums and theatres. There was much about the suffragettes to dislike and to be suspicious of… I think politics was a driving force in their actions and a lot of women were used as pawns in a world which most certainly favored men. I would definitely have fought alongside them… with my pen. I agree women have had to fight hard to be treated fairly. In my grandmother’s time, she had no property rights, no rights to her children should she have wanted a divorce, and she was the property of my grandfather. They adored one another and all was fine… but, for many it wasn’t. But now, women have fought for “equality” to the detriment of many worthy men who are accused of being “toxic” just because they’re masculine. My litmus test on equality is to study the latest adverts, the latest films, the latest op-eds, swap the male for a female and see if the message will fly without offense. You might be surprised. I’m with you, Brian. It’s time to point out the emperor has no clothes… he’s cavorting around naked in many areas of our lives. LOL Reply Yael December 16, 2021 Too funny, what a great romp through history and right through to today. I’ve often wondered if the early feminists had any idea where their movement would end up, or if I would have been in favor of women’s voting rights if I had lived during those times. I may never find out but it’s fun to think about while enjoying your very entertaining poem. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Yael, I love your reaction. I often think the only way to highlight idiocy is through humor – a good laugh at lunacy brings people back down to earth with clearer vision. I’m all for treating people equally and fairly whatever their color, creed, or gender… we are now further from fair than the suffragettes were… we live in an insanely unfair world where the very women fighting for women’s rights turn their backs on the most oppressed women: the sex-trafficked, those facing the threat of honor killings, the genitally mutilated, the Sharia governed. Marching for no tax on tampons doesn’t do it for me. Reply Russel Winick December 16, 2021 Another great poem, Susan. You have such amazing talent! I was initially startled by how readily the Leftists sold women down the river on this issue. But then they turned Asians into whites on affirmative action, so clearly they just have their favorites at any given moment. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Thank you, Russel. I’m loving your poems of late – your spot-on poetic observations spur me on. It’s all about the victim hierarchy – women have been trumped by trannies! Reply Bill December 16, 2021 Any man who is trans-gendered should be required to surgically remove his penis and testicles. If they are still intact, he is just a wanna be. No trans-gendered man should be allowed to compete against biological women, it is not fair to women and never will be. I encourage all women (especially large breasted) to protest by joining men’s football teams, baseball teams and hockey teams as transgendered and then competing without a shirt. Perhaps that will get someone’s attention. It would certainly get mine. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 I love your humor, Bill! In these crazy times a good laugh brings a modicum of sanity to the madness. Reply Mary December 16, 2021 I’m sorry, I thought this site was a center right trad pro Christian site. Why on earth would you call motherhood a curse when St Paul quite literally calls it the one tried and true way a women can get to Heaven? And using terms like patriarchy and voiceless women (a cliche I might add) is absurd. And women in the workplace has been a disaster for western society. Normally, I think, Ms. Jarvis work quite enjoyable and nicely written, but this poem sounds, in part, like a feminist anthem. And who cares about women sports anyway? It’s basically boring. I think you need some editorial consistency. I mean, before he died, you used to publish Leo Yankevic. Just saying. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Mary, where have I called motherhood a “curse”? By “voiceless women”, I was talking about the suffragettes fighting for women who didn’t have the vote… they were voiceless when it came to choosing a person to govern their country. I agree that western society has a lot to answer for on the broken family front and working women who work because they have no choice financially is part of that problem. My poem is certainly not a feminist anthem… it’s a call for fairness… fairness in sport or any other area that division occurs because the laws aren’t fair. If you read my comments beneath, you will see that I stand up for men as well as women… I stand up for what is right and just, and biological males competing against biological females isn’t right. Even if you find sport boring – it isn’t right. Thank you for your thoughts. Reply Mary December 16, 2021 Susan, you literally criticize the trans agenda using feminist talking points. Thus, a feminist anthem. Now if you criticized this unfairness, which I agree it is, by showing how this agenda is an outgrowth of feminist thinking, well, then, you’d have a truly thought-provoking poem. And, yes, you did say motherhood is a curse “and broke the humble house wife curse.” Usually, a housewife connotates motherhood. I truly enjoy your verse. God bless. Susan Jarvis Bryant December 16, 2021 Mary, the poem is tongue-in-cheek. The poem is mocking the insanity of biological men competing with biological women in female sports. Women who fought for “equality” now have it in the eyes of the law… I’m mocking the insanity of it. The only thing wrong with a “humble housewife” is the fact that the role has been held up as the epitome of female degradation for those wishing to further their political agenda – both male and female. That’s the reason I put the term in italics… it’s not me saying it… it’s me using it to make a point. I used to be a humble housewife/stay-at-home mum, and I loved every minute! The poem is satirical not an outpouring of my personal beliefs. Joseph S. Salemi December 16, 2021 The name is Yankevich, not Yankevic. You have completely misread the irony of Susan’s poem. She used the word “patriarchy” as part of a comic parody of feminist rhetoric, and that was also the case when she she spoke of the “humble housewife” curse. If you don’t know how to read a poem as a fictive artifact that can make use of varied voices, you shouldn’t try to criticize it on religious grounds. Mary’s comment is another proof of what I said in one of my essays here about the dangers of allowing religion and moralism to interfere in the interpretation of a literary text. Reply porpoiseboy December 17, 2021 Also true when allowing them to interfere with simple tongue in cheek comedy. That just blends right into the cancel culture. Good Post Cheers Mary December 16, 2021 Mr Salemi, Nonsense. This poem doesn’t indicate any such irony. It’s a feminist screed, to deny it is absurd. And you shouldn’t attack me–its not as if your clique has many readers. And, anyway, at this late date poetry should be used for the glory of God, and nothing else. And you didn’t address the Yankevic point. And how dare be so rude. Mary Reply Joseph S. Salemi December 16, 2021 To Mary: You’re obviously here with an agenda, but to push any kind of agenda at a poetry website requires that you have some basic knowledge about literature, and some sympathy for its nuances. You don’t. First off, this is a conservative and right-wing website, not a Judaeo-Christian one. Persons of all sorts of religious backgrounds, as well as atheists and agnostics, contribute material. Your complaint that we ought to have “some editorial consistency” is actually a disguised call for censorship. The SCP publishes many Christian poems, but it also publishes some that are purely secular, skeptical, comic. erotic, and philosophical. Your notion that all poetry should be used “only for the glory of God, and nothing else” is pure fanaticism. Where do you get off telling us what to do? Susan Bryant’s poem is not a “feminist screed.” It is a comic parody of feminist modes of thought and speech, and it skewers the absurdity of trans-sexual ideology and its silly consequences for female sports. It is an extremely effective piece. (By the way, nobody cares whether you are bored by female sports or not — the poem is not about you, but about the essential unfairness and deprivation of freedom that genuine female athletes experience as a result of having fake women on their teams.) I don’t know what point you were trying to make about Leo Yankevich, except that you misspelled his surname (twice). Leo and I were close friends for many years, and I can definitely tell you this: he had NO PATIENCE for piety-spouters like yourself. He was a hard-bitten, violent, heavy-drinking, and womanizing tough guy, and although he was a Catholic he had pure contempt for the way in which all the Christian churches have surrendered to modernist ideology. I don’t know what “clique of readers” you are talking about. Do you mean the persons who come here to read what the SCP publishes? If you knew anything about literary motivation, you’d be aware that really serious poets don’t write for a big readership, but only for those who are appreciative and knowledgeable. Stop trying to tell us what to say, and what to think. There are enough leftists and liberals attempting to do that these days. The SCP, above all, is a place for freedom. As we say here in Noo Yawk: “You got a problem with that?” Reply Clifton Anderson December 17, 2021 You want me to break her eggs, Joe? I’ll do it for free. If her eggs are broken, then maybe her mind will start working. Paul Freeman December 17, 2021 Joseph! Mary! And’erson! What are the chances? Mike Bryant December 17, 2021 It takes real insight to catch the good Lord’s humour… good job, Paul. Peter Hartley December 17, 2021 Nonsense? Nonsense??? It makes every bit of sense, as does every word of this poem which, like most of Susan’s contributions to this site, uses satire to very powerful effect in order to lampoon injustice. Only incidentally, as in this poem, has it also exposed the sententious pietistic bigotry of some who apparently have no notion of the meaning of the word “satire,” or any concept of what it is used for. A feminist screed? You could not possibly, remotely, be further from the truth. Reply porpoiseboy December 17, 2021 I can hear the sound of the wind blowing all cogent points blowing right over your head. And how dare he … or I for that matter? It is called freedom of expression. You dangle right on the line of being lumped in with groups of people I am pretty sure you do not want to be. They have lotions and potions that will help with thin skin ma’am. Reply Jeff Eardley December 17, 2021 Susan, the sheer volume of comment shows how good this is. As a duster-toting bloke, and proud of it, I love the idea of being swathed in Spandex with no bounce bras. I will suggest this to the band who will no doubt respond accordingly. In a week where famous JK Rowling is being pilloried for her opinions, we read that a male rape suspect can identify as a female and the charge will then be woman to women rape, whatever that is. It seems the spirit of Orwell is still amongst us. A magnificent, enjoyable piece that I hope is very widely read. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 17, 2021 Thank you very much, Jeff. I’m glad to hear you’re toting your duster with pride. There’s something to be said about a man who tackles the cobwebs with joy in his heart. And, as for the sartorial dreams you have for the band, I believe the outfits will attract crowds from afar. When the UK is open for business again – I’ll book a ticket for a front row seat! Jeff, the identity-politics idiocy surrounding the heinous crime of rape is beyond comprehension. We have the same sort of stuff happening over here. A teenage transgender raped a schoolgirl in the girls’ bathrooms that welcome these “oppressed” minorities and the father of the raped girl who vented his spleen at a school board meeting has been labelled a terrorist. I’m still trying to get my head around that one. Let’s hope the new year brings some sanity with it. Reply Mike Bryant December 17, 2021 This poem adds to the list of your work that skewers the powerful, beautifully, pointedly and, above all, humorously. While you were writing this amazing poem, I’m sure that our neighbors could hear us laughing. Isn’t it funny that you’ve taken my name and retained your own surname exactly as tradition, at least here in south Texas, would have it? Not the best way to polish your feminist credentials. An interesting look at satire: https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/wlf/what-satire A quote from the link above: “Satire is the art of making someone or something look ridiculous, raising laughter in order to embarrass, humble, or discredit its targets.” Another: “Satire also depends on the audience recognizing it as such: for satire to be effective, it must be received as satire — there is always the risk that the satire will be read “straight” or superficially.” I’m afraid that your hard-hitting satirical poem has gone over the heads of some. Brilliant! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 17, 2021 Thank you, Mike. And, thank you to all those who understand my aim and have pointed out my poetic purpose to those who have missed the point. I expected a bit of backlash, but not on the literary front. 🙂 Reply Jack December 17, 2021 I am very different than other commenters here. I am not educated in the arts and I do not read poetry. I had no idea who you were until I read your poem. The title and subject matter caught my eye, so I gave it a read. I love this poem! To articulate this “transition” in such a concise, thought provoking and humorous manner takes amazing talent. It made me think on many levels and from many angles while chuckling at many of the lines. “Some barefoot men stood pregnant by their sinks” I know those guys! The classic phrase worth stealing is “joke medals from woke fools”. I am going to share this with other non-poetry readers whom I know will enjoy it. Thank you for this masterpiece. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 17, 2021 Jack, I am over the moon that my poem has reached the realms of those who don’t read poetry. I happen to think poetry is a perfect literary vehicle to get a message across in a punchy and potent manner, getting straight to the heart of the matter without the reader getting bored… and if I can mock idiotic ideology in the process, all the better. It’s great to have you here… I hope you return. This site has some amazing poetry on every subject you care to imagine. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and thank you for sharing my message. Reply Yael December 17, 2021 There is a chance that the true brilliance of a poem is revealed only in its comments section. Your poem shines brightly atop this string of comments Susan! I learned a new word, “sententious”, and I’m being massively entertained as I read your wonderful poem over and over together with the new comments which keep coming in. May God bless all y’all and may His face shine upon you. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 17, 2021 Yael, thank you very much! It thrills me to think of you reading my poem again and seeing deeper meaning in it because of the comments. I have learned so much from the comments section on SCP. We are lucky to have so many talented and professional poets willing to devote their time to imparting with knowledge I suck up like a sponge. And it’s wonderful to have the appreciation of readers like you… especially when they have a musical bent and bring news to the readers in such a marvelous manner. Yael – you are much appreciated. Thank you for being you! Reply David Watt December 18, 2021 Susan, I failed to detect any feminist tendencies in your humorous social commentary piece. I did find plenty of memorable lines including ‘skirted rabble-rousers sprouting stubble’. Your ‘duster toting blokes’ brings to mind the fact that much of our T.V. advertising here depicts men as either gormless idiots or creatures concerned primarily with how white their whites are. It seems to me that we have replaced one sort of stereotype with another. Thanks for this thoughtful, and thought-provoking piece. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 24, 2021 David, thank you for your astute observations. We have indeed gone from one stereotype to another… equality has taken a running leap when it comes to depicting the sexes in adverts. If you substitute the man for a woman in most of today’s adverts, there would be uproar. I think that in this day and age we have moved as far from equality as one could imagine… all in the name of “equity”… that weasel word that is ruining lives. Reply The Society December 18, 2021 Thank you for the poem, Susan! Just to clarify for those reading this thread, the Society of Classical Poets has no political affiliation. We are an enterprise of traditional metered and often rhyming poetry. We also publish on topics that I suspect other poetry and literary venues are scared to publish on, as in the case of this poem. As a result of these two factors, we do draw a large number of poets who probably consider themselves conservative or right-leaning. Nonetheless, all are welcome to submit, to read, and to comment. -Evan Mantyk, SCP Editor Reply Tamara Beryl Latham December 22, 2021 Susan, I am at a loss for words. Your poem is brilliant and you have expressed in poetic form what the public is reluctant to presently state. The poor girls have nothing to call their own, not even their own bathrooms in schools, dressing rooms in clothing stores or showers in public gymnastic locker rooms. When will this madness end? You’ve captured it all in a few poetic lines. Bravo! 🙂 Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant December 24, 2021 Tamara Beryl, thank you very much for your kind and perspicacious comment. It’s much appreciated. We’re living in strange and wayward times. Reply Kaushalya January 17, 2022 nice poem thank you Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.