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Poetry For Social Change- Men Can Win!

A recurring concern in Australian society in recent times has been the behaviour of a significant proportion of men in relation to women. A series of deplorable crimes and misogynist actions and the continuing scourge of domestic violence across all stratas of our nation makes this a critical conversation, be it an uncomfortable one. 

This is not a new phenomenon, but rather an enduring societal issue that continues to be raised as needing resolution, but sadly lacks committed action at several levels of society, in particular governmental levels- a place, not surprisingly, dominated by men. 

Domestic violence and harassment is an abuse of power. It is the domination, coercion, intimidation and victimisation of one person by another using physical, sexual, financial, verbal or emotional means within relationships (intimate) and within workplaces.

As a male, my first responsibility has been to listen to the individual and collective voices and stories of women who are speaking out about this. The women who have encountered abuse. Women of all ages. 

My next step was to find a way to respectfully lend my voice to the efforts directed towards enacting meaningful and lasting change. Daily, I am reminded there is some way to go before anything close to truly respectful relationships is reached. 

What's this got to do with poetry?

Well, poetry has always possessed the power to perform many roles within a society. It has always been capable of providing a voice for change. Poetry has been a vehicle for protest and revolutionary change. It has traditionally played a role in actioning social change. 

I am under no illusion. I must continue to listen and learn.  My words today are a small effort. The wider I can share them, the better. Change often comes about through collective and sustained effort. 

What is needed is lots of voices and heaps of action lending support to those brave women speaking out. I am reminded of the words -'speak out, even if your voice shakes.' 

Each raised voice puts abusive power closer to a day of reckoning. 

Men Win

Men can’t win

Wrote a man recently

A cliché without currency

Win? Win?

Well, yes they can.

Yes they do.

Yes they will.

Men win every time they embrace honour and respect

When conducting relationships with others.

Men win when they steer well clear of mansplaining 

With its overtones of arrogance.

Men win when they listen actively

Lower their voices

Relax their hands, unclench their fists of fury

And seek to build power with

Not over.

Men win when they learn to lose with grace and dignity

By taking responsibility for their actions

Men win by feeding the kind wolf inside

Rather than the angry, mean wolf

When they seek to be honest men

And take solace in such nobility

And its common deeds and actions

They win

When shining a light for younger men to follow is a conscious act.

They win

-Time after time.

Alan j Wright

It's Poetry Friday and our host this week is Matt Forrest-Esenwine  at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme. Visit Matt to discover more about 'Tricube poetry.' The Tricube form, was created by author/poet Phillip Larrea.

It's fairly simple in structure, as it is based on mathematics: there are 3 syllables per line, 3 lines per stanza, and 3 stanzas per poem. Check it out and also find links to other worldly poets.


  1. This is terrible news to learn, but hopefully your thoughtful words can touch someone who needs to hear them. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Thank you, Alan, for this inspiring post. The problem is everywhere and it's important that men speak out.

  3. Thank you, Alan, for this inspiring post. The problem is everywhere and it's important that men speak out.

  4. Alan, thank you for tackling such a difficult subject in poetry. Poetry can deliver what other forms of communication cannot. And, I think your poem does that. I'm sorry that Aus. is struggling with this. It's something happening in my country as well. The challenges of the pandemic are no help. From your poetic thoughts to god's ears...let's hope that we can touch someone with poems of peace such as yours.

  5. Bravo, Alan. This is a poem of significance in this day and age. I want to share it with the men in my family. Thank you for your insights.


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