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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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I ran across this long-forgotten poem over on thefiringline.com- and present it with a respectful nod to the distaff side...
1 posted on 11/21/2001 4:26:07 PM PST by backhoe
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To: backhoe
Thank you...:)
2 posted on 11/21/2001 4:33:07 PM PST by JD86
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To: JD86
Thanks for looking... I always liked Kipling, but hadn't seen this piece in years, It's something to mull over...
3 posted on 11/21/2001 4:36:23 PM PST by backhoe
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To: backhoe
I tried to find it. I thought I had Kipling Compleat. But I see no reference to it in "Departmental Ditties", "Soldiers Three", "Plain Tales", "Under the Deodars", or an anthology of poems and writings. What did I miss?
4 posted on 11/21/2001 4:40:21 PM PST by IronJack
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To: IronJack
Dunno! Your list sounds like it ought to include it. I can't recall when I first read this poem- teenager, probably, in the 1960's- but I do recall reading it.

There are a couple of references at the bottom.

5 posted on 11/21/2001 4:44:04 PM PST by backhoe
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To: backhoe
I concur with the analysis. I was an Army wife and I always felt protected and safe when my husband was present. I knew he would take care of me and our children. But I also know when he wasn't there, I was more than capable of holding down the home front. And God have mercy on anyone who ever tried to harm my children, because I certainly wasn't going to. They would have had to go through me to get to them and that would not have been an easy task.
6 posted on 11/21/2001 4:50:05 PM PST by JD86
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To: backhoe
I've known one or two male jerks in my life, but when it comes to individuals who'll eternally nurse a grudge and eagerly destroy your reputation and self-esteem and career over the tiniest perceived slight, I could name quite a few women.
7 posted on 11/21/2001 4:50:26 PM PST by JoeSchem
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To: backhoe
Mostly true. :)
8 posted on 11/21/2001 4:51:39 PM PST by sarasmom
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To: JoeSchem
We never forget...:)
9 posted on 11/21/2001 4:52:06 PM PST by JD86
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To: Victoria Delsoul; CheneyChick; vikingchick; WIMom; kmiller1k; Snow Bunny; GOPJ; Gracey; Mercuria...

Well, the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
Her simple tears will win the day where man's wits often fail.
And things are even worse for men, since Rudyard Kipling wrote,
For the female of the species now has got the right to vote.


10 posted on 11/21/2001 4:54:05 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: JD86
We never forget...:)

That's true, so long as 'Remembering Differently From What Video Tape Would Show' is counted as 'Not Forgetting.'

11 posted on 11/21/2001 4:56:46 PM PST by JoeSchem
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To: backhoe
I like Kipling and Jack London, the "Kipling" of the North. The last line about soldiering in Afganistan by RK, is chilling.

But I don't think, anymore, that "the Female is more deadly than the Male". I think the "Western Male" is is even weaker still, than in Kiplings time.

12 posted on 11/21/2001 4:56:51 PM PST by elbucko
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To: IronJack; backhoe
Kipling didn't write it. Ted Nugent did.
13 posted on 11/21/2001 4:57:23 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: backhoe
Kipling's right. Women can be unbelievably tough and vicious.......when protecting their own.

I pity the fool that ever deigns to seriously cross RightOnlinesWife. Trust me when I tell you that that would be frightening. Glad she's on my side. :)

14 posted on 11/21/2001 4:59:06 PM PST by RightOnline
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Victoria Delsoul; CheneyChick; vikingchick; WIMom; kmiller1k; Snow Bunny; GOPJ; Gracey; Mercuria...

When the yuppie in his sportscar merges to the passing lane,
He wonders if the driver up in front could have a brain.
But the fender of her SUV will make his courage fail,
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.


17 posted on 11/21/2001 5:04:11 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: Sabertooth
Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights, Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,

I have to agree with this part...hee hee....I can cut to the quick real fast with my words.

18 posted on 11/21/2001 5:06:59 PM PST by Sungirl
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To: Sabertooth
And things are even worse for men, since Rudyard Kipling wrote,
For the female of the species now has got the right to vote.

Ah, a wise guy. Well, I'm starting a list, and you're at the top of it....Mister Man! :)

19 posted on 11/21/2001 5:07:04 PM PST by vikingchick
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To: JoeSchem
I'm sorry, you seem to be remembering a specific instance.
I was making a general comment....we never forget...as in remember forever.
20 posted on 11/21/2001 5:08:39 PM PST by JD86
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To: backhoe
Nice post, heavy equipment guy...lots to ponder about here. What I want to know, however, is WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN? Sorry, if I'm off topic...just something I've wondered about for the last two decades or so.
21 posted on 11/21/2001 5:09:02 PM PST by be-baw
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To: JoeSchem
You would like the writings of Phillip Stanhope, better known as the Earl of Chesterfield, and the letters to his son.

"My Dear Boy; Women, then are only children of a larger growth;......but for solid reasoning, and good sense, I never knew one in my life that had it,"....

Letter dated 05 Sept. 1748.

22 posted on 11/21/2001 5:09:10 PM PST by elbucko
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To: backhoe
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

This is one of the two greatest weaknesses of the democratic experiment.

23 posted on 11/21/2001 5:09:19 PM PST by monkey
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: vikingchick; coteblanche; Sungirl

When paying cash for groceries, standing in the express line,
A man will rarely hesitate to plainly speak his mind,
Except behind the woman with a hundred dollar sale,
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.


25 posted on 11/21/2001 5:12:31 PM PST by Sabertooth
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
Sic 'em, Sabertooth....Uh, I gota' go now, wifes calling.
27 posted on 11/21/2001 5:22:39 PM PST by elbucko
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee
If you want poetry in a similar vein, check out Robert Service. Incredible.
28 posted on 11/21/2001 5:23:40 PM PST by IronJack
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To: be-baw
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

They've given more rides than Greyhound....they're bound to have picked up a few tricks along the way.

29 posted on 11/21/2001 5:23:44 PM PST by Lizavetta
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To: vikingchick; coteblanche; Sungirl

Women have the gifts of looking sweet and smelling nice,
But try and leave the lid up and they'll quickly turn to ice.
Although we're made of snakes and snails and little puppy tails,
It's the female of the species that's more deadly than the male.


30 posted on 11/21/2001 5:26:27 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: coteblanche; Sabertooth
When Sabertooth is driving, his pickup to the mall--
He zooms up right behind you, and leaves no room at all.
What's the rush?, you wonder, his aggressions oh so clear,
Is he pining for his sports programs and depleted case of beer?
31 posted on 11/21/2001 5:27:43 PM PST by vikingchick
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To: be-baw
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

okay, I don't know if this was a serious question...so I'll provide two answers, take your choice....
not serious - liberal women think legal bordellos are a civil right...so that may carry over to their attitudes....
serious - either you have your labels reversed...or you have been meeting the wrong "conservative" women....
but...don't believe me, ask the conservative men here...they all seem pretty satisfied with their choices.

32 posted on 11/21/2001 5:31:07 PM PST by JD86
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To: be-baw; coteblanche; Lizavetta
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

That's what all the lesbians say.


33 posted on 11/21/2001 5:31:12 PM PST by Sabertooth
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To: be-baw
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

Do you really need to ask?

34 posted on 11/21/2001 5:31:40 PM PST by pcl
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To: be-baw
"WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN"

in my experience the opposite is true. Conservative gals may be a little shy about this and that and the other thing- but in my experience they are quite enthusiastic once they feel you will not think ill of them, and are quite happy to dress up as a pirate, and chase one around the room on a pogo stick whilst brandishing a spatula.

"liberal" women, in my experience, are anything but in private. Seems to me they take everything seriously, and are more repressed than an Amish spinster.

I dunno- intimate relations should be about caring/loving/romance, etc.- but sometimes they should also be about fun, being silly, or being a leeeetle bit naughty- I don't think progressive women are comfortable with anything but the first part....OWWWW- baby- you have to defrost the duck first OWW OWW....

35 posted on 11/21/2001 5:34:12 PM PST by fourdeuce82d
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To: Sabertooth
Re #10: Wow! I love your posts, but you've outdone yourself here!!!! :-)
36 posted on 11/21/2001 5:39:28 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: Sabertooth
Re #17: okay, I don't know how to post a link, but please do a search for "the driving habits of the North American Soccer Mom." More than enough ammo for you there.... :)
37 posted on 11/21/2001 5:41:34 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: be-baw
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

Most likely, because they believe in helping the unskilled to the same bounty as the skilled. OTOH, Conservative women, rather than unfairly rewarding the unskilled, realize the prize goes to the guy who can rightfully claim it.

Just a thought.

38 posted on 11/21/2001 5:41:46 PM PST by SusanUSA
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Sabertooth
When paying cash for groceries, standing in the express line,
A man will rarely hesitate to plainly speak his mind,
Except behind the woman with a hundred dollar sale,
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

My God, that reminds me of my last trip to Walmart!

40 posted on 11/21/2001 5:44:13 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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To: susangirl
OUTSTANDING!
41 posted on 11/21/2001 5:44:27 PM PST by JD86
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To: coteblanche; Sabertooth
Take my word for it, the silliest woman can manage a clever man, but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.~Kipling
42 posted on 11/21/2001 5:47:15 PM PST by SusanUSA
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To: be-baw
WHY ARE LIBERAL WOMEN MORE SKILLFUL LOVERS THAN CONSERVATIVE WOMEN?

Hmmm. Hard to answer that question... I think :
1. You haven't met the right Conservative women,
2. Your data sample is too small (no offense),
And, I can't think of anything else. But I think you're wrong. :-)

43 posted on 11/21/2001 5:47:30 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
A woman sees a man she wants, the game has just begun,
She tells him he's the best on earth, the moon and rising sun,
He knows she's right, he buys the ring, this scheme will never fail,
The female of the species is more clever than the male.

Okay, you've got us figured out. Hmmm. Ladies, what next?????? :-)

46 posted on 11/21/2001 5:52:08 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: coteblanche
Thank you, re #44, I started laughing as soon as I was scrolling down & saw the wreckage..... :)

Like I said before, this whole thread reminds me of my last trip to Walmart!

48 posted on 11/21/2001 5:54:05 PM PST by proud American in Canada
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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