If we happen to be fighting while we’re walking
down the sidewalk, for example,
He asks me to please keep my voice down.
His eyes dart all around like bees.
Unlike most bees in this situation, when he hears my raised voice, he is scared.
Maybe because we’re fighting,
But probably because other people can hear a woman’s voice,
Loud, frustrated, angry, strained,
And they will think
what people think
because this is what has happened for centuries upon centuries.
A woman screaming
desperate to be heard
to save herself
and the man,
The man who doesn’t want to hear,
Doesn’t need to hear,
Just needs to make sure the others can’t hear her either,
And judge him in proximity to her sounding.
I will keep on yelling in public.
The men may not like it.
But the bees should be fine.*
* “We should not expect insects to respond to sounds which have no significance to them, nor to sounds not in their category, because they may not hear the sounds that we do…We must not forget that the specialization of the organ of hearing has reached in man [sic!!!!!!!] a delicacy of detail which is evidently not found again in lower vertebrates. It is, I believe, the sense which removes us most from the lower animals [sic!!!!!!!].”
N. E. McIndoo, “The Auditory Sense of the Honey-Bee,” Journal of Comparative Neurology.(1922).