Column: Men excluded, us included

Ladiesonly

They’ve done it in India, they’ve done it in
Japan,
they’ve come up with a good plan.

And they’ll be doing it in
South Korea too,
sending out the painting crew.

“Ladies only” the train
cars will say,
and it doesn’t matter if you’re gay.

You’re not supposed
to go in there,
no matter what kind of earrings you wear.

Leave them
alone, give them their space;
don’t force them to use their Mace.

They
want to be away from certain kinds of men;
they want to have a safe place for
Rani, Miko and Gwen.

They want to be away from men who move in too
tight;
they want to be away from men who pinch with delight.

They want
to be away from men who like to leer;
they want to be away from men who stare at
their rear.

They want to be away from men who are big flirts;
they want
to be away from men who look down their shirts.

They want to be away
from men who are always teasing;
they want to be away from men who can’t help
squeezing.

They want to be away from men who love to grope;
they want to
be away from men who don’t understand ‘nope.’

They want to be away from
men who think they’re trash;
they want to be away from men who are eager to
flash.

They want to be away from men who like to lean;
they want to be
away from men who act fifteen.

They want to be away from men who are
always crude;
they want to be away from men who picture them
nude.

They want to be away from Anand, Mikito and Gus;
they want to
be away from THOSE GUYS, not us.

They’ll put up with us –- we’re as
harmless as a tree;
the worst thing we’ve done is sing off-key.

They’ll
put up with men who are always snoring;
they’ll put up with men who are
always boring.

They’ll put up with men who have nothing to say;
they’ll
put up with men who have tooth decay.

They’ll put up with men who prance
in the aisle;
they’ll put up with men who have no style.

They’ll put up
with men who never buy a ticket;
they’ll put up with men who always talk about
cricket.

They’ll put up with men who never get off the phone;
they’ll
put up with men who wear bad cologne.

They’ll put up with men who look
the other way;
they’ll put up with men who wear a toupee.

They’ll put up
with men who smell of beer and cheese;
they’ll put up with Hare Krishna
devotees.

They’ll put up with men who pray non-stop;
they’ll put up with
men who listen to hip-hop.

They’ll put up with us –- it’s those other
guys they can’t stand;
all because of them, we have to deal with ‘no man’s
land.’

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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