Thursday, December 8, 2011

"My Heart Belongs to Daddy"...Ewwww

So earlier this week I saw My Week with Marilyn. Truthfully, I wasn't impressed. While I love Michelle Williams and I think she does a good job, it wasn't really an interesting film and Monroe just comes across as annoying, which, maybe she was. I don't know.

Anyway, I saw it at the Alamo Drafthouse, because, you know, I see everything there. One great thing about the Drafthouse is that it does not play commercials as you trickle in the theater. Rather, they have a pre-show composed of clips from music videos, TV shows, movies, and other pop culture artifacts, all which pertain to the "featured presentation."

So for My Week with Marilyn, they played a video, which I assume was from a Monroe movie (I know very little about her, other than what you can't escape from as a member of our society.) It was a song and dance routine of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." I couldn't find the exact video, but this should give you a good idea of what it sounded like:

Let's take a look at some of these lyics:

While tearing off a game of golf
I may make a play for the caddy
But when I do, I don't follow through
Cause my heart belongs to Daddy 
If I invite a boy some night
To dine on my fine food and haddie
I just adore, his asking for more
But my heart belongs to Daddy
If I invite a boy some night
To cook up some hot enchilada
Though Spanish rice is all very nice
My heart belongs to Daddy

Obviously, there are a number of things wrong here and this for real grosses me out. I am super uncomfortable with the inclusion of "daddy" into suggestive situations. I have no idea where this type of thing started, but Cole Porter's "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is the earliest instance of this stuff that I've personally seen. Who knows? It might be as old as human civilization.

I can't help but let my mind go to all kinds of horrible situations when I think about this. And it all has to do with the connection that has been made between youth and sex; the infantilization of women.

Examples of this are everywhere in our youth obsessed society: sugar daddies and sugar babies, Brazilian waxes, baby talk, plastic surgery, and the list could go on. TV shows poke fun at it. Bloggers get mad about it. Advertisers have long capitalized on it, for example, in this old school ad:

Just as with Marilyn saying "da da da da DAD," there is undeniably both undertones of childishness and sexuality in here. I mean, come on. "Innocence is sexier than you think?"

This is a problematic combination.

Ok, listen. I am very much a "to each their own" type of person. If you really think that combining a childlike element in your ADULT CONSENSUAL relationship is for you, then whatever. So long as no kids are actually involved, live and let live. But I will say I am concerned about the power dynamics at play, just as I am with real age disparities. It makes me uncomfortable to have this cultural script of women as weaker, less informed, and dependent.

Ah well, I guess I'll just be over here enjoying a relationship that is blissfully devoid of any daddy references.


  1. I am hypersensitive to this kind of thing because I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The sexualization of pre-pubescent girls is horrifically common. It is truly disturbing.

  2. Kit-you are so right, it IS horiffically common and it's the other side of the coin...

    Side 1: promoting childishness as sexy for grown women
    Side 2: sexualizing very young girls

    Both WRONG.


This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.