Through the Ages, She is Blamed: Yeats Challenge, Day 29

This is for Jane’s Month with Yeats Poetry Challenge.

 “Why, what could she have done, being what she is?

Was there another Troy for her to burn?”—W.B. Yeats


Through the Ages, She Is Blamed

They laid the conflicts at her door–

her hair unbound, or what she wore—

they blamed their deeds on her physique

oh, they have brawn, but they are weak,

when they confine her to a guarded room,

do they fear her fruitful womb,

and do they grope her milk-filled breasts

and say it is their god’s request?

and they blame her body for tempting them,

as they rip her dress from neck to hem,

they will not let her flee–nor be–

scared if she gains knowledge, scared if she is free,

those named and nameless who do not see

it is they, not she, who commit the atrocities.


“I am woman hear me roar.”  I hope I can end the challenge tomorrow on a more pleasant note, but considering all that’s going on in the world and the fact that I’m working my way through my copyedited Encyclopedia of Rape and Sexual Violence. . .well, we will see. 🙂




18 thoughts on “Through the Ages, She is Blamed: Yeats Challenge, Day 29

  1. Helen of Troy was the classic example, wasn’t she of the blame the woman culture? You set it out very well, the completely illogical argument, that men must have all the power because they are stronger than women, but women have to be kept locked up because they have such power over men’s weakness…

  2. Your poem has brought to mind the countless women through the ages confined to mental hospitals because they wouldn’t conform. Oh how I hope we are truly at a watershed point in history. Which way shall we fall? Only time will tell.

  3. I’ve managed the Yeats challenge, until this point. I think this quote demands a woman’s voice (especially considering all the recent news – as if it’s new), and I don’t have that. Brava to you.

  4. “oh, they have brawn, but they are weak”–I had to laugh (ruefully). Part of growing up is learning to control your impulses. If you can’t…lock em up! I say. Of course the Gods (and certain presidents) don’t set very good examples…(K)

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