After class the other day, I strategically pulled out my Walkman — no, not iPod — in preparation for my trek back to Silliman.
Like most Yalies, I have picked up on several tricks of the antisocial trade and will, on occasion, sport headphones without music in order to indicate my reluctance to engage in conversation. The other day, however, I found myself nostalgically strolling to the tune of “Time of the Season”, a huge hit from 1969 by the Zombies.
I only cemented my coolness when I started humming along: “What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me?”
The Zombies’ lead singer, while extremely condescending to women, is not referring to himself as anyone’s “Daddy.” He really is asking about the girl’s Dad. However, across modern musical genres, the term “daddy” has nothing to do with anyone’s father and takes on a blatantly — and sketchy — sexual connotation.
Who cares? What really matters is that “daddy” is such a useful word. This is probably because everyone agrees that the older man — the father figure — is always superior in every way. At least all of the old white men agree.
Thus, “Who’s Your Daddy?” naturally has become an all-purpose indication of superiority. The image of raucous Boston Red Sox fans holding signs proclaiming “Who’s Your Daddy?!” above their heads in reference to Pedro Martinez’s athletic prowess immediately jumps to mind.
How could you not love a phrase which makes Freud excitedly nod his head in his grave?
For Freud, the father is simultaneously sex object and protector; the young girl seeks safety in him, and she also thinks he’s kinda hot. “Who’s Your Daddy?” alludes to a young girl’s sexual desire for a protective father figure. Mmm, I love it when people assert their manhood by depending upon the supposed Electra complex of little girls.
Who cares if Freud’s whole theory depends upon elitist generalizations? So what if he somehow manages to include the word “penis” at least five times per paragraph but never manages to consider women outside of their dependence upon men? He makes you feel so — so — masculine!
(If you have a penis. But doesn’t everyone? Oh, that’s right. Well, even if you don’t have one, you want one and you know it.)
“Who’s Your Daddy?” affirms a man’s virility. That’s when the derogatory use of the word “pussy” comes in handy. When I can assert that you are a “pussy,” only then can I be your “Daddy.”
Weird. And kind of gross.
But without lines like this, what would men do to establish masculinity?
Sex is, after all, so much more fun when it becomes a competition. Saying “Who’s Your Daddy?” is equivalent to jumping up and down, pointing and shouting “I win! I win! Oh yeah! In your face! I’m the best! I’m the best!”
Since “Who’s Your Daddy” has become so widespread, why not find more ways to reinforce our patriarchal superiority? Let’s start a war while we’re at it. Iraq, Who’s Your Daddy?! Whoops, that one’s been done already. Damn.
Who knew a phrase so common could be so kinky? And oppressive? Women really should get a sense of humor. They’re taking this all too seriously. Everyone should be glad that “Who’s Your Daddy?” is still at our disposal. Without it we would perhaps have to remove our misogynistic heads from our asses.
But that, as proven by the number of people who voted for Bush Tuesday, is going to be damn difficult.
Loren Krywanczyk would like to say that his “Daddy” is John Kerry. And not in a sketch way.