The Coquettish Slave Released

Photo courtesy: Adam Sofen, Flickr Creative Commons

I refuse…

To play the coquettish slave,

Her fawnings, her painted eye

Relieving men their slight discomfort.

But what else is there?


I refuse…

To play the neglected wife, the woeful mother,

Her child doting, her excessive attentions,

Wishing her husband would give her.

But what else is there?


I refuse…

To play these  roles,

Neither slut nor mother nor wife

Fully tell the woman story.

But what else is there?


, , , , , , , ,

  • What I find so difficult is that any one label or role seems to negate the other. It’s like a constant war for me as a woman to meet the needs of those I care for and to serve myself. We are all more than one thing, and we each fulfill our roles differently. Wollstonecraft talked about understanding duty, but there was still the assumption of what a woman’s duty was/is. She should strive first to be well educated in the ways of reason to be a useful member of society. Then she should strive to complement her husband whom she should be a companion to rather than a glorified upper servant. Then at such time that she becomes a mother her duty should be the care and education of her children. Our priorities may shift, but we don’t stop being a wife to be a mother, just as we never stop being a woman with our own interests to be a wife. We don’t stop being one thing, we actually add to who we are becoming more than we started.

    • Agreed. And what a disservice it would be to our children for them to know us only as their mother (in duties and title) and not as an individual with ideas and opinions.