tail between legs

I disquiet more and more men as time goes by; evidence of how formidable I’ve become, I suppose.

I take it as a compliment.

They’ll stand there,
offended by my assumptions of them.
Then with tail between legs,
nose high in the air,
amble on as if I’m the one who’s said
something wrong;
done something to display
a grave
ignorance and disregard
for the
dignity and worth
of another
human being.

Perhaps I should wear a sign:

Don’t confuse my lightheartedness
with a willingness to laugh at your crude jokes.
Don’t mistake my tendency to want to please for the ability to understand your need to feel superior.
Don’t forget, my feelings and experiences as a woman are valid.
Don’t look away just because the truth is hard to take.