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You Men

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz 1648 (San Miguel Nepantla) – 1695 (Mexico City)

(Español)
  Hombres necios que acusáis
a la mujer sin razón,
sin ver que sois la ocasión
de lo mismo que culpáis:

  si con ansia sin igual
solicitáis su desdén,
¿por qué quereis que obren bien
si las incitáis al mal?

  Combatís su resistencia
y luego, con gravedad,
decís que fue liviandad
lo que hizo la diligencia.

  Parecer quiere el denuedo
de vuestro parecer loco,
al niño que pone el coco
y luego le tiene miedo.

  Queréis, con presunción necia,
hallar a la que buscáis,
para pretendida, Thais,
y en la posesión, Lucrecia

  ¿Qué humor puede ser más raro
que el que, falto de consejo,
el mismo empaña el espejo
y siente que no esté claro?

  Con el favor y el desdén
tenéis condición igual,
quejándoos, si os tratan mal,
burlándoos, si os quieren bien.

  Opinión, ninguna gana:
pues la que más se recata,
si no os admite, es ingrata,
y si os admite, es liviana

  Siempre tan necios andáis
que, con desigual nivel,
a una culpáis por crüel
y a otra por fácil culpáis.

  ¿Pues cómo ha de estar templada
la que vuestro amor pretende,
si la que es ingrata, ofende,
y la que es fácil, enfada?

  Mas, entre el enfado y pena
que vuestro gusto refiere,
bien haya la que no os quiere
y quejaos en hora buena.

  Dan vuestras amantes penas
a sus libertades alas,
y después de hacerlas malas
las queréis hallar muy buenas.

  ¿Cuál mayor culpa ha tenido
en una pasión errada:
la que cae de rogada
o el que ruega de caído?

  ¿O cuál es más de culpar,
aunque cualquiera mal haga:
la que peca por la paga
o el que paga por pecar?

  Pues ¿para quée os espantáis
de la culpa que tenéis?
Queredlas cual las hacéis
o hacedlas cual las buscáis.

  Dejad de solicitar,
y después, con más razón,
acusaréis la afición
de la que os fuere a rogar.

  Bien con muchas armas fundo
que lidia vuestra arrogancia,
pues en promesa e instancia
juntáis diablo, carne y mundo.

(English)
  Silly, you men-so very adept
at wrongly faulting womankind,
not seeing you're alone to blame
for faults you plant in woman's mind.

  After you've won by urgent plea
the right to tarnish her good name,
you still expect her to behave--
you, that coaxed her into shame.

  You batter her resistance down
and then, all righteousness, proclaim
that feminine frivolity,
not your persistence, is to blame.

  When it comes to bravely posturing,
your witlessness must take the prize:
you're the child that makes a bogeyman,
and then recoils in fear and cries.

  Presumptuous beyond belief,
you'd have the woman you pursue
be Thais when you're courting her,
Lucretia once she falls to you.

  For plain default of common sense,
could any action be so queer
as oneself to cloud the mirror,
then complain that it's not clear?

  Whether you're favored or disdained,
nothing can leave you satisfied.
You whimper if you're turned away,
you sneer if you've been gratified.

  With you, no woman can hope to score;
whichever way, she's bound to lose;
spurning you, she's ungrateful--
succumbing, you call her lewd.

  Your folly is always the same:
you apply a single rule
to the one you accuse of looseness
and the one you brand as cruel.

  What happy mean could there be
for the woman who catches your eye,
if, unresponsive, she offends,
yet whose complaisance you decry?

  Still, whether it's torment or anger--
and both ways you've yourselves to blame--
God bless the woman who won't have you,
no matter how loud you complain.

  It's your persistent entreaties
that change her from timid to bold.
Having made her thereby naughty,
you would have her good as gold.

  So where does the greater guilt lie
for a passion that should not be:
with the man who pleads out of baseness
or the woman debased by his plea?

  Or which is more to be blamed--
though both will have cause for chagrin:
the woman who sins for money
or the man who pays money to sin?

  So why are you men all so stunned
at the thought you're all guilty alike?
Either like them for what you've made them
or make of them what you can like.

  If you'd give up pursuing them,
you'd discover, without a doubt,
you've a stronger case to make
against those who seek you out.

  I well know what powerful
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:45 min read
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Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a Mexican writer, philosopher, composer, poet of the Baroque period, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain (Mexico). more…

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    "You Men" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/35632/you-men>.

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