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The Female of the Species
http://www.potw.org/archive/potw96.html ^ | ? | Rudyard Kipling

Posted on 11/21/2001 4:26:07 PM PST by backhoe

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

The Female of the Species

    WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
    He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
    But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
    He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
    But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
    They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
    'Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    Man's timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
    For the Woman that God gave him isn't his to give away;
    But when hunter meets with husbands, each confirms the other's tale—
    The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

    Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
    Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
    Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
    To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

    Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
    To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
    Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
    Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

    But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
    Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
    And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
    The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

    She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
    May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
    These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
    She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

    She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
    As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
    And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
    Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

    She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
    Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
    He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
    Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

    Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
    Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
    Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
    And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

    So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
    With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
    Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
    To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

    And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
    Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
    And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
    That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.


This poem can be found, for example, in:
  • Kipling, Rudyard. Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Inclusive Edition, 1885-1918. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1919.
  • Felleman, Hazel, ed. The Best Loved Poems of the American People. Garden City, NY: Garden City Books, 1936.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
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To: be-baw
Nope, no buzzer.

Trust me, in this area of skill you can't pass by grading yourself. And within 5 minutes the other will know, anyway. Conservative women don't believe in free...well, ya know.

101 posted on 11/22/2001 5:10:13 AM PST by SusanUSA
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To: IceGirl2
Geez! Nobody fetched you the link?

I am a Muslim Woman

Begin Old Guy Rant:

"Back when I was young, we programmed in Assembler!
We pushed our keypunch machines thru 3 foot-a snow to school!
Back then, people around here would help 'ya...."

102 posted on 11/22/2001 5:19:14 AM PST by backhoe
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To: be-baw
I notice, though, that you didn't disagree with my statement.

I didn't want to brag.


103 posted on 11/22/2001 6:47:36 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: susangirl
Trust me, in this area of skill you can't pass by grading yourself.

I wholeheartedly agree.

And within 5 minutes the other will know

Only if your partner is less than skillful. If skillful, it will take much longer to find out, wouldn't you agree?

104 posted on 11/22/2001 7:01:01 AM PST by be-baw
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To: coteblanche
Au contraire, mon ami! Les hommes Gauches et les femmes Gauches ont le savoir-faire ensemble :-).

You trying to spark a Gomez Addams moment?


105 posted on 11/22/2001 7:09:23 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: be-baw
Agreed. But don't you get dizzy running in these circles?
Now hop back over to my first reply and give it time...the context WILL catch up with you. *LOL*

Happy Thanksgiving

106 posted on 11/22/2001 7:21:56 AM PST by SusanUSA
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Comment #107 Removed by Moderator

To: susangirl
the context WILL catch up with you

Always chasing something...


108 posted on 11/22/2001 7:46:02 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: backhoe; innocentbystander
Happy Thanksgiving Dearest JR --- and ((hugs)) to Emily and Taffy!

I love your topic. Wish I had more time to spend on it tough. Quickly, I think that the power that a woman yields has to do with their ability to flirt, appear cool and then simultaneously appear dependent and independent. Keeping a man off balance is an art form. Achieved the best coquettes. History has Josephine Bonaparte, Ninon de 'l'Enclos, Madame Mao, etc. Women's ability to offer sex and remove it makes men crazy. Yes, we are more deadly than the male species.

The Shadow

It cannot be grasped.
Chase your shadow and it will flee;
turn your back on it and it will follow you.
It is also a person's dark side,
the thing that makes them mysterious.
After they have given us pleasure,
the shadow of their withdrawal makes us yearn for their return,
much as clouds make us yearn for the sun.

Not always a conservative v. liberal issue when it comes to matters of who holds the power.

We also have a resident expert on all these matters, with a PhD in matters of gender wars. IB tear yourself away from the stove for a minute, will ya'?

109 posted on 11/22/2001 8:07:20 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Oh! I like that poem!

Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours!

110 posted on 11/22/2001 8:18:59 AM PST by backhoe
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Comment #111 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
Hahaha ...how'd I know? ... a woman's instinct ... honed to perfection!

"by force or grace to give it away to their beloved."

I would substitute "beloved" for "prey" in many instances.

112 posted on 11/22/2001 8:31:04 AM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #113 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
misdirected
114 posted on 11/22/2001 8:37:32 AM PST by SusanUSA
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To: Sabertooth
And they gave us the clintons for eight years!! More male bashing!! It's all BS. ANYONE who has any cajones will defend themselves regardless of gender.
Besides, no matter what a woman accomplishes, a man can bring her down. Flame away, ladies, I have asbestos on!!
115 posted on 11/22/2001 8:50:33 AM PST by poet
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To: 2Trievers
About what? Instinct? Beloved? Prey?

Bella is her own woman.

As for me ... I'm ... well, ... um, ... let's say putty in the hands of the right magician.

116 posted on 11/22/2001 8:58:14 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: poet; All
And they gave us the clintons for eight years!! More male bashing!! It's all BS. ANYONE who has any cajones will defend themselves regardless of gender.

Uhh... It gets worse, I'm afraid...


         Hillary's Parade         


The former First Lady has big Thanksgiving plans to rise above her New York troubles.

Click on Moose and Squirrel for the link!


117 posted on 11/22/2001 9:09:23 AM PST by Sabertooth
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Comment #118 Removed by Moderator

To: poet
One of the best stories I read lately concerned Napoleon and Josephine. She had such powers of seduction, that she managed to hold him under her spell. A few days after their marriage, Napoleon left for Italy to battle the Austrians. Josephine refused to follow him. Napoleon begged her to join him. She continued to decline and it drove him crazy. Utilizing a combination of coldness, charm and grace. He could hardly direct the army, his distraction for her so was overwhelming. While they did part company with their lovers/mistresses, Napoleon's final word, on his death bed was, "Josephine."

So I don't necessarily agree that men will bring an unattentive woman down. We have our ways, you know.

119 posted on 11/22/2001 9:17:54 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: innocentbystander
So when you meet up with a magician, will you give him my number?
120 posted on 11/22/2001 9:19:21 AM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #121 Removed by Moderator

To: 2Trievers
What he meant to say was: Josephine, you B*tch!! but, died b4 he could finish. LOL
122 posted on 11/22/2001 9:40:45 AM PST by poet
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To: innocentbystander
Innocent, sweet me?

<-----------desperately trying to fix halo.

123 posted on 11/22/2001 10:50:10 AM PST by Bella_Bru
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Comment #124 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
No, that will come tomorrow and this weekend. ;-)
125 posted on 11/22/2001 10:54:34 AM PST by Bella_Bru
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To: innocentbystander
Me, pack? Oh yes, that bottle of "Love potion # 9."
126 posted on 11/22/2001 11:00:12 AM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #127 Removed by Moderator

Comment #128 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
You are a brave man, a VERY brave man! LOL!
129 posted on 11/22/2001 11:11:56 AM PST by headsonpikes
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
We do command their attention.

Definitely. Happy Thanksgiving, CW.

130 posted on 11/22/2001 12:09:15 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: innocentbystander
That's where you'll find me ... practicing at the range.

Only a former Marine would find that walking through a mine field is sexy.

But when you get into a real life situation with a femme fatale, heaven forbid its between the sheets, you become quivering lumps of gelatinous material. Wha' up wit dat?

131 posted on 11/22/2001 3:56:50 PM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #132 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
"But, I guess you would have to ask somebody........."

A Marine? Boston Brahman? Cessna pilot? Ski bum? Bill Cosby?

I dislike openended questions ... they seem like traps.

133 posted on 11/22/2001 4:26:44 PM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #134 Removed by Moderator

To: innocentbystander
"Why would a "trap" scare you?"

I didn't use the word "scare," now did I?

The heat I pack requires special permits and licenses. After hours instruction is required, as is, proficiency in several areas of test making and skill mastery. Advanced degrees available for those mastering it as an art form.

135 posted on 11/22/2001 5:24:40 PM PST by 2Trievers
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Comment #136 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
"...For the female of the species now has got the right to vote..." ==============================================

ha HA !! !! !!
Ya know.....I think that you're on to something there.....

137 posted on 11/22/2001 5:55:19 PM PST by Alabama_Wild_Man
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To: innocentbystander
"Tell me more............"

Another openended ... TRAP

Could you be any more obvious? The suave meter needs callibration or new batteries tonight! Not falling for it!

138 posted on 11/22/2001 6:23:11 PM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Could you be any more obvious? The suave meter needs callibration or new batteries tonight! Not falling for it!

Well.

This has been an amusing thread to eavesdrop on.


139 posted on 11/22/2001 7:41:16 PM PST by Sabertooth
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Comment #140 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
LOL. You should talk ... you're a very classy enabler yourself!

Are you trying to muscle IB out of his position as "FR Flirt of the Month."

141 posted on 11/23/2001 2:37:54 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: innocentbystander
"I just wanted to know more about your weapon, thats all....

Then you need to go back to the dictionary.

All you need to to know about my weapon is that I keep it loaded and warm. Very few have found out much more about it, or even know that I carry.

142 posted on 11/23/2001 2:44:35 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Good Golly! This post is still getting responses? I have spawned a monster....
143 posted on 11/23/2001 3:11:55 AM PST by backhoe
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To: backhoe
'morning JR

Yes, you have! But I know you have big shoulders to carry this burden! It's been fun. Thanks.

144 posted on 11/23/2001 3:15:14 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Hi! Well, so far it's been a fairly courteous monster.... most of the replies have been ironic, sarcastic, funny, a wee bit lewd, but with less acrimony than I've seen elsewhere. All in all, an entertaining and informative post, and I really am amazed at the number of replies.
145 posted on 11/23/2001 3:51:11 AM PST by backhoe
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To: backhoe
"a wee bit lewd"

Sorry, JR. I seem to have a lot of reprobates following me around these days ... it's my fault. I'm afraid I encourage it too much. Will you forgive me?

146 posted on 11/23/2001 4:07:39 AM PST by 2Trievers
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To: 2Trievers
Aw, h@ll, all the good women I've ever known were a wee bit lewd- it's part of their charm!
147 posted on 11/23/2001 4:28:55 AM PST by backhoe
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To: IronJack
I found this page which says the poem is contained in:

Also, Google has a pretty good web directory on Kipling

148 posted on 11/23/2001 5:22:25 AM PST by BufordP
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To: BufordP
Thanks. I'll check on those.
149 posted on 11/23/2001 6:05:10 AM PST by IronJack
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To: 2Trievers
Are you trying to muscle IB out of his position as "FR Flirt of the Month."

Month?


150 posted on 11/23/2001 8:15:44 AM PST by Sabertooth
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