Juvenal Satire Number Six (Satirising the Satirist)

He protests too much.
His bitter complaints
sound like the bleats
of a wounded male ego.
In many places—number six—
is not satire
but personal vindictive diatribe.
Compliant woman is criticized
but satyric man is applauded—
double standard, Juvenal!

He tells a friend
that suicide would be preferable
to marriage.
And if he doesn’t want to hear
his woman’s dissatisfaction,
he should look for a pretty boy.
Cop out, Juvenal!

The same friend—lauded as randy—
is told to find a chaste wife.
Make that chased—Juvenal—
for equality’s sake!

He cannot understand the attraction
that women have for gladiators.
He labels them—gladiatresses.
Maybe they like a fighting chance,
and not the effeminate flounce of togas?
He admits—steel is what they all crave for.
Call it backbone and frontbone, Juvenal,
and look to yourself!

He fails to see that dynastic marriages
tend to compel to immorality.
Lacking love, both sexes debauch.
They seek any kind of connection.
Infidelity rules.
Grind your axe on Roman tradition, Juvenal!

Number six comes from a man
who has been wounded and hurt
and wants revenge.
A tormented sentimental goat
who wants the old ways back,
when—“poverty kept Latin women chaste”.
Nowhere to go but your bed, Juvenal!

His verse paints an alcoholic picture
of women lusting in drunken stupors,
but no immoral intoxicated men
are coloured in on these pages.
Biased reporting, Juvenal!

In a shining chauvinistic streak
he says—“Worse still is the well-read menace…
choose someone rather who doesn’t
understand all she reads.”
This woman actually quoted poets
he had never heard of.
Your damaged superiority is showing, Juvenal!

Your inferiority, Juvenal, is indelible.
It is too kind to call you—
an intolerant misogynist snob!
But I will say that you are
more satyrical with a—y
than satirical with an—i!