I am pretty sure my Mum had a Doris Day album in her now long gone record collection. I can actually easily picture her happily enjoying this catchy little number by Day. It would be right up her street. None of that new-fangled ‘noise’ that people call music nowadays.
It is indeed a catchy tune. I only listened to it once and I couldn’t get the damn thing out of my head. In the end I was saved by songs from the musical Six which managed to banish this hell from playing over and over in my brain but just looking at the lyrics today and I can hear the boopy little tones of Doris are still in there somewhere. Which is very annoying because I absolutely hate this song with a passion.
I did think about just ignoring the prompt. After all I am a big believer in if you don’t have something nice to say then say nothing at all but it just irritated me so much I knew it was something I had to share. I don’t have a beef with Day, although she was a fairly flawed character who had some pretty obnoxious conservative views when it came to sex and marriage but she was also, a bit like the girl in this song, a victim of misogyny and a patriarchal society which led her to being abused both physically, emotional and financial by various men in her life. She went to great length to portray the sexy virgin persona is both in her movies but also in her life in general, but the truth was of her life was far darker than that. That false narrative she held onto does not endear her to me but I try to remember that she was a product of her time and of the men in her life but this is not really about the Doris this is about the song.
I know what you are thinking, I can hear you saying. But Molly, this song is a product of it’s time, why be angry about it now? And you are right, it is a product of it’s time but the reason to be angry about is that society at large really still believes lots of bullshit. Rape culture is all around us all the friggin time.
In this song the young man’s behaviour is basically excused because ‘he’s just a guy’ and that attitude is still ripe in our society. It is that idea which results in young men who rape women behind a dumpster get little or no jail time because ‘it will damage his swimming career’ or ‘he was young and made a mistake‘. Where men who are accused of assaulting women and clearly have a drink problem are made Supreme Court Justices and men who deny how many children they have Fathered and have been fired from previous political roles are all set to be made Prime Minister. Men’s behaviour is constantly fucking excused in a way that women’s never is. I don’t like Teresa May but can you imagine her being elected by the Conservative Party to be Prime Minister if she had a child with her lover and possible have at least one other child that she went to court to keep secret? It is so fucking far fetched it is laughable. She wouldn’t have even made it to Home Secretary let alone got her name on the ballot paper for leader. But Boris, well, it’s his private life, and he made mistakes but that has nothing to do with his ability to be a Prime Minister, apart from the glaring fact that it makes him a lying, cheating, self serving tossbag.
I love a ‘good girl’ those are words that can totally work for me in the right setting with the right person but in this song they make my skin crawl because her good girl is all about behaving in a chaste and pure manner whilst the boy basically follows her home and kisses her even though she said no, but that is ultimately OK because her parents, well really her Father, decides she can get married and that will make it all OK. Urghhhh. The thing is, this still happens today, men are still forcing themselves on women even when they say no, and being excused for it. Women are marrying men because they are pregnant, they are still being given away by their Father at the alter, like fucking chattel passed from one male to another. It is happening all the fucking time, young girls are dreaming of white weddings and finding the man who is going to look after them rather than being taught they are autonomous independent human beings and who can find out who they are, what they like, what they are good at, before ever even thinking about taking on a man baby to care for. Because that is essentially what happens in most marriages, on the outside he is protectors and provider to his little wife but when you strip back the layers the truth is, she is in fact him Mum, she does all the cooking, cleaning, child care, probably works too. The only difference to him actual Mum is that he gets to fuck this one.
Often in the world I move in, on Twitter and with my friends it is easy to lose sight of how endemic misogyny is within our society and how powerful patriarchal society still is. So many of the people I spend time with are sex positive feminism people (both men and women) striving to make things better but the truth is young women today are singing Fight Songs and Independent Women because the nonsense Doris Day sung about it still all to prevalent in our society. It is not a thing of the past, or a product of it’s time but powerful ideals that continue to police women (especially their bodies and sexuality) whilst excusing men for their behaviour and continuing to reward them even when they at best mediocre and at worst down right abusive. A guy is a guy might appear to be a bouncy little number that is of it’s time but the truth is beneath the veneer it actually tells a fairly sinister story that in 2019 has not really changed that much from 1956 and no matter how hard I try I just can’t find anything cutesy or endearing about it whatsoever.
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