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The “Daddy’s Girl”

6 Apr

The first time I noticed a girl outwardly claiming to be a “Daddy’s Girl,” I was in high school. This chick wore a tee-shirt announcing, in gold applique cursive, she and her poppa got along well.

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In college a fellow classmate wore a gold chain with a “Daddy’s Girl” charm attached.

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In the past few weeks, I’ve seen several tattoo-clad ladies, with “DADDY’S GIRL”  splayed across their flesh. 

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All of this “Daddy’s Girl” business makes me feel weird and it also makes me uncomfortable when anyone over 12 calls their dad, “daddy.” Let me be clear here. There is a difference between “daaaaddy” and what sounds like “deddy.” Calling your paternal figure “Daddy” is extremely common in the South, and when Southerners say it, it sounds like “Deddy.” My grandmother, from the South, has forever referred to her parents as Mother and Daddy. I never think that’s strange. That’s like me calling my dad, dad. But, if you are from anywhere other than the South and you call your dad “daddy,” I tend to cringe.

Additionally, there are such things as “daddy’s girls.” That seems to be fine too. If you get along with your Dad – awesome. If you have a special bond with your father – rad. If you prefer your pops over you mom – fabulous. But if you adorn your attire with announcements of your affections, it’s kind of repulsive and sends me into a tizzy of confusion and caution.

The assumption in claiming your “daddy’s girl”-ness, is that you are spoiled and privileged – even if your not. It’s like, “My daddy loves me sooooo much he bought me this tee shirt and Volkswagen Jetta to match.”

Also, in a strange way, it shows you father’s ownership over you. You aren’t your own girl, your daddy’s. 

I can’t try hard enough to establish myself outside of my parents. It’s not that I don’t love and admire and adore my mom and dad, because I do. But, also, I’m trying hard everyday to become my own person. To identify as anyone’s “girl” makes me shiver with fear. Identifying as a “daddy’s girl” would only make me feel young and small.

I cannot ignore the current sexualization of the word “daddy.” If someone my age says, “My Daddy gave me this car,” it freaks me out because I totally interpret this to be sexual. 

I think Freud probably had something to do with this. His popularization and idea of Oedipal relationships between parents and their offspring has sort of leaked into everyday thinking about familial relationships. In fact, there is actually a book, Relative Intimacy: Fathers, Adolescent Daughters and Postwar American Culture by Rachel Devlin, that explores the history of “daddy’s girls” – what it meant then (1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s) and what it means now. (Great article here!)

The most interesting part is what it currently means to be a “daddy’s girl.” Why do girls have this need? And why publicize it? I think Delvin is on the money (pardon the pun) when saying today, being a daddy’s girl is about commercialization. Most girls want their Dads to love them and thus buy them things to show it. If some chick is advertising that this is the relationship she has with her dad – other ladies get jealous, they desire that as well. It’s like any good clothing trend.

I hope this “Daddy’s Girl” attire sticks around as long as parachute pants did, but, something tells me it will be more like the fanny pack, continuously re-invented.

Check Up.

20 Jan

(No, mom, contrary to the title, I have not seen a doctor or dentist… yet.)

So, my blogging has been dismal this month of January. The holidays seemed to fly by (too fast) and now here it is, January 20th. Inaguration Day. We have a new prez.

The book I was reading was Joan Didion‘s Slouching Towards Bethlehem. I can’t believe I never read her stuff as a Journalism minor (in college). It’s pretty astonishing — considering she was one of the most famous, non-fic, pseudo-journalists (by pseudo, I mean, she was a journalist, but also author and essayist) in the 50s/60s. Anyway, that’s where all the words came from. I liked reading something that made me not only think but learn new (smart) words. It inspired my friends to get me the book: 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart. I will use at least one of the words from that book in this post… it’s up to you to decide which word it is (it is NOT prez, just in case you were wondering ;)).

Now I’m reading another book I got for Christmas, Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman is also a non-fic kinda author. He works on columns and non-fic books, and he has a few novels floating around out there. Is he the modern day Joan? No, of course not. But he critiques and brings forward certain (hip) parts of society. There’s small things the two have in common, I’ve noticed, in their content – not their style.

Anyway, I’m not that far into the Klosterman book, but I have read the first couple of rants. So far, it’s really brusque and man-centric. 

A point he focused on in the first piece is the idea that romantic comedies are ruining a generation. We all have these ideas of what love and relationships are supposed to be like. We get these ideas from movies and music and sitcoms that exotify love and “the relationship” to a point where it is hard to get a grip on what the reality of things are. A couple that we think are “cute” or “well-suited” or whatever, according to Klosterman, are just enacting in public, what they learned from Monica Gellar and Chandler Bing on Friends. This could be true. A  few years ago, I was head-over for this one guy. When distance separated us I poured an album of  Coldplay into my head for an entire 4 months of my life. The “relationship” in my head was one like what Chris Martin sings:

“Lights will guide you home…And ingnite your bones… And I will try… to fix you…”

In actuality, the “relationship” was much different, which crushed me (twice!). I had this fantasy that because this guy was in a band — he must be the Chris to my Gwyneth. I was wrong (twice!).

So, while Klosterman puts forth a very manly take on things — I can relate — and in some ways I agree. It’s easy to agree with him on this point when you are single.

Eggers check-in; pg. 176; because I can

5 Sep

I’m almost half way through the book I mentioned picking up in my last post – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. Surprisingly, I don’t hate it. I thought I would hate it, my best friend hated it. She thought Eggers was elitist, racist; thought the book had no point. She wasn’t interested in the characters and found his ramblings (staggering) annoying, contrived and white.

Eggers, in his “memior,” is completely a middle-class white dude from a mid-Western, upper middle-class town. Of course he’s racist and elitist and self absorbed (aren’t we all), it just becomes hard to swallow when he doesn’t really apologize for it – or (doesn’t seeem to) have any idea that his thoughts and words could be what they are (racist, elitist, self-absorbed, asshole-ic). He has created his character to be pretty blasse about tradgedy and responsibility – which, yeah, is annoying. There is no inward struggle about self and who he is. As a twenty-something (a label Eggers appears to relate to a lot in his book) – I find this not to be the case. Everyone I am surrounded by, who is in their early to mid twenties has no idea who they are or what they are doing. They (we) question everything about ourselves and wonder who we will be, how we will get there and dream about who we will mow down on the way to the top.

On the other hand – I am interested in the character that Eggers has created (recreated?). I find him interesting – almost like a foriegner, or more like a foriegn country. I wonder about him in my off time and I wonder if men really are that different from women. How is it so possible to emmotionally detached from the world, your family, your friends? I cannot seem to separate my emmotions from anything and I find people who do kind of hard to get to know and get along with.

One of the most attractive parts of this book, for me, is again, place. The book, like Lisick’s, is centered in the Bay Area – San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley being the center of that. So I love to know where he is, think about when I was there, think that maybe only I would understand what he means when describing the Bay Bridge. It’s also cool to be able to know a recent history of neighborhoods – South Park in the 90s, Berkeley a decade ago. Has it changed? Why? How?

today was touch, yesterday was go.

4 Aug

It’s been an adjustment… moving into a new place, with new people. Mostly, leaving behind the old is the hardest. Leaving Oakland felt (still feels) sacreligious. However, I must say, I do love my new neighborhood. Everything is so close… and there’s life at all hours. I did realize today, as I walked around, that there are SO many people in this city. It’s one thing to see a gathering of people at a specific location (resteraunt, park, theater), but seeing gatherings of people not interested in one activity feels so different. There are so many people in one spot, but they are all actively doing something unrelated to one another.

Reading makes me feel less stupid.

26 Mar

SO, it’s been almost a year after graduation… (yes, I realize that is a major topic of mine as of late, but whatever, it’s what I’m going through at the moment). As I seek to find a vision, I have decided to return to my roots… basically, I’ve been getting back to what gets me going, gets me feeling passionate, makes me want to “move and groove,” if you will.

I’ve been buying (and reading) magazines.

Right after graduation, at the beginning of my job (career?), I would only buy such reading material as People, Us Weekly, and Star Magazine. Maybe I had air of “Fuck you, academia, this is where you got me, so this is what I’m going to read.” For about 4 months, I followed, closely, the goings on of Britney Spears and other falling, failing Hollywood bimbos. Basically, I’ve been feeling as dumb as them.

And then, I had an epiphany at the Borders Mag Rack. While purusing the array of trashy magazine covers, I caught a glimpse of a camel crossing a Chinese desert. First, I thought, “I didn’t know they had camels in China,” and then I thought, “What else don’t I know about China?” So I bought and subsequently read, The Economist. Politics and Economics — two of my faves. Then came Ms. magazine and feminism. And Adbusters, full of media commentary and anti-establishmentness. Perfect.

I’m feeling a little bit smarter these days. And I’m getting to the point of dealing with the big question… “WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?”

boys, video games, the simpsons & porn

7 Mar

I was listening to my favorite radio show a few weeks back, and the host (a new guy, Ian Punnett) was interviewing a Dr. Richard Sax. I’d never heard of the guy, but found the topic really interesting. Since the show, I’ve been thinking about it pretty much every day.

Dr. Sax was discussing “what’s happening to boys today,” and the book he wrote on the subject, called “Boys Adrift.” His research is driven by the fact that one third of men ages 22 -34 are still living with their parents (Sax attributes this data to the Census Bureau), and their sisters seem to be more successful than ever. And, according to Sax, this data shows these trends occuring across all demographics. Sax says it’s a combination of social and biological factors.

The good Doctor narrowed it down to five main components that are driving the decline of boys (this list is from his Web site):

Video Games. Studies show that some of the most popular video games are disengaging boys from real-world pursuits.

Teaching Methods. Profound changes in the way children are educated have had the unintended consequence of turning many boys off school.

Prescription Drugs. Overuse of medication for ADHD may be causing irreversible damage to the motivational centers in boys’ brains.

Endocrine Disruptors. Environmental estrogens from plastic bottles and food sources may be lowering boys’ testosterone levels, making their bones more brittle and throwing their endocrine systems out of whack.

Devaluation of Masculinity. Shifts in popular culture have transformed the role models of manhood. Forty years ago we had Father Knows Best; today we have The Simpsons.

I think about this a lot in my daily interactions with dudes who act like they would be doing me a favor if I gave them a blow job. It’s insane! Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned, angry,  single lady, or maybe I’m noticing something other people are too. Certainly, this does not apply to ALL guys … I guess it’s just a third of them, or maybe less, because I’m sure there are some decent dudes who still live with M & D.

another check minus for college journalism

20 Feb

Last February, I blogged about an article published in Central Connecticut State University’s newspaper, The Recorder,called, “Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It.” The “satirical” tirade was disgraceful to women and to college journalism. The article explained that rape is a magical experience and a help to society. It went on to say that ugly women would never know the joy of sex if it weren’t for rape… it was disgusting (here is my post about this, with a copy of the article).

And then, today, I saw this. Max Karson, of the University of Colorado, wrote a column for his college newspaper, The Campus Press, entitled, “If it’s war the Asians want… It’s war they’ll get.” It was published on Feb. 18 and starts by pointing out the “tension between the white students and the Asian students” at the UC campus. Karson then relays a story about an experience he had with an Asian student that made him realize that Asian people hate white people. He says, “They hate us all. And I say it’s time we start hating them back.” His article goes on to detail a plan he has to torture and humiliate the Asian population at UC … it is physically revolting – so if you read it – do so with caution.

I don’t know who these guys think they are. They act like Stephen Colbert – who I don’t really get in the first place. Colbert is apparently “satirical” or something… and yeah, his speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was pretty in line… but beyond that – I think he’s a dope. These college writers are just too dense to realize Stephen Colbert is not a journalist. They’re satire is not funny – it’s ripe with gross, harmful, and hurtful stereotypes, racism, and sexism. And it totally makes college journalism look like religious pamphlets passed out on street corners!!!

What’s with this trend?