A Declaration of Independence (From Crummy Relationships)

I'm teaching English 11 for the third time in my career, which is great for me, because it is American Literature, and I have degrees in both history and American Lit. Bad news for students: it follows the changes of American language through the history of our nation. Some would argue that there is no great American writer until Twain at the end of the 19th century, which means we as a class have to bumble through the archaic language of the 1700s and 1800s. Many hate everything we read until we get to Poe. Honestly, I don't blame them.

However, there were many great thinkers. And Jefferson's Declaration of Independence is not only, arguably, the most influential documents of all time, but actually quite lovely in its damning prose of King George and England. I compare it to an epic break-up letter. America saying to England: It's not me, it's you. 

So I make them write their own break-up letter in Jeffersonian style. A mimicry of his grievances intended, instead, for a tyrannical love partner. Here's mine (obviously from the MALE perspective). (And no, this is not directed toward my wife, we're fine. This is merely rethinking and exaggerating all the heartache and pain I've experienced and seen).

I'll take it off, but I'm never
throwing it away.  
When in the course of human relationships, it becomes necessary for one half of the whole to disrobe the friendship bracelet that has hitherto joined them in couplehood, and to assume among the powers of manhood, the separate and single freedoms which the law, God, and our parents agree we are entitle to, we shall declare the reasons for which we are awesome and you are not.  

Declaration of Natural Rights:
We, men, hold these truths to be fact, that while all men are created equal, some of us are more equal than others, yet even the lowest among us have been granted by the Creator certain guaranteed rights, that among these are Comfort, Freedom from nagging, Happiness on Sundays, the right to buy ourselves gifts without your approval, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness. --That to assure these rights, ManCode has been created from the blood of cockolded, browbeaten, and domineered men.  And whenever ManCode is denied, it is the right, NO DUTY, to seek out a new partner that will assure their Safety, Happiness, and Satisfaction.

But when a long train of abuses and complaints, whining and unnecessary blabbering, crying and the lot, and basic unhappiness abound from the same principle Source (i.e. YOU), it is their right to throw off, ye, dump, said partner, and start over anew.  The present history of injustices to ManCode shall be listed hitherto:

List of Grievances: 
*She has scoffed at the Code established by Men, which has outlined the rationale for our preferred gender treatment.

*She has refused to listen to our complaints, nay, she has put them on the back-burner whilst she inputs her caloric intake into her MyFitnessPal app on her smartphone.

*She routinely invades the mancave and tries to light candles or decorate in a manner disproportionate to the style predetermined by the proprietor.

*She refuses to recognize and arm against the threat of Zombie invasions, or North Korean terrorists, yet she demandith military action against harmless native species such as arachnids and rodents.  Her use of military force is neither justified nor rational.

*She inviteth people over to parties without the consent of her governed, and forces upon the governed the need to extensively clean, purchase exotic and expensive foodstuffs that will mostly be uneaten, and commiserate with acquaintances about trivial and mundane happenings.

*She has, (I swear-ith), hired legions of female spies to report on our happenings while she is away.

*She has accused and punished us for crimes of little or no importance, some of which were mere fabrications of her own delusional mind.

*She has eliminated our access to the outside female world, even eliminating IMing to females on social media platforms.

*For removing our X-box, our computer, forcing us to keep an outdated iPod, and limiting any other source of entertainment that does not directly correlate to her likes/needs.

*She has openly mocked friends, deleted accounts, alienated family, and spread rumors about us in order to destroy our reputations.

*She is currently, in anticipation of this letter, sending out large armies of Estrogen crazed mutant women, hellbent on destroying all traces of my manhood.

*She has used our natural desires against ourselves by forcing us to do unnatural and slave-like acts in order to receive temporal gratification.

The ancient  Shao Ming method of elbow-to-rib.
Makes photos look crooked as well.  
*She has spontaneously remarked upon the physical appearance of other male specimen; yet when the opposite is attempted, nay, when nary even a glance at the swaying of the hips is observed for mere nano-seconds, the male is met with an elbow to the ribs.  The ribs crieth out, oh Lord.

*Challenging her to rumors of her infidelity are met with a marathon of cryfests, angry fit hits to the chest in the style of 1890s boxers, and lacerating words like capricious, duplicity, and unscrupulous which seem (although aren't known) to be very hurtful.  Somehow, she is the victim.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for an honest hearing, but our requests have been universally denied.  A women whose character is thus littered by the aforementioned claims shall then be defined as an impostor, a pirate, a fake--for your definition is contrary to your nature--and you are unfit to any longer be associated with me.

With that skillset, buddy,
you won't be single long.
If Jefferson had a painting
doing this to King George,
the D.O.I. would be even
more amazing today.   
And now to that impostor's friends: Women, we have warned you repeatedly about her injustices. We have sought out your council, and you have repeatedly rebuffed us, and turned a blind eye towards our suffering. We forgive you for aligning yourself with your own gender, but know now that we are single, and if you forget about her now, you may have a shot at us.  We are not enemies, but friends (hopefully more than friends someday).

We, therefore, Representatives of Men, in accordance with ManCode, God, and ideals arbitrarily established in Stallone/Schwarzenegger/Porky's movies solemnly publish and declare that WE ARE FREE FROM YOUR EVIL GRIP AND HAVE NO ATTACHMENT TO YOUR LIFE, henceforth.  We can date, roam, spend, eat, sleep, and be merry at our own leisure, and will only be haunted by memories of you, and not your physical presence. It's been real, but not real fun.  Bu-bye.

Signed, myself and my two remaining male friends.


Women, I'd love some of your grievances.  Guys what did I leave off (most of these were based off Jefferson's actual list)?


  1. Hahaha! I loved assignments like this in school! Teachers are awesome and not given enough credit for creativity. Very clever.
    For one such similar assignment, I remember once writing a poem about Howard Hughes for an English class. It totally rhymed and everything.

    1. A Haiku For Mr. Hughes:

      Howard had O.C.D.
      because he loved greasy planes
      more than family

  2. hahaha! This is so funny and awesome!! I would love to have had this assignment in high school. I actually kinda want to write one up now just for funsies.