Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sandra Dee Redux

Remember back in the 70s, when the musical Grease heaped withering scorn on the social mores of the 1950? More specifically, I refer to the song sung by the character Rizzo at the girls' sleepover party, the one where she mercilessly mocks nice girl Sandy's "purity."

You recall it, don't you? It goes like this:
Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee
Lousy with virginity
Won't go to bed
Till I'm legally wed
I can't, I'm Sandra Dee 
Watch it, hey, I'm Doris Day
I was not brought up that way
Won't come across
Even Rock Hudson lost
His heart to Doris Day 
I don't drink or swear
I don't rat my hair
I get ill from one cigarette
Keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers
Would you pull that crap with Annette 
As for you, Troy Donahue
I know what you wanna do
You got your crust
I'm no object of lust
I'm just plain Sandra Dee 
Elvis, Elvis, let me be
Keep that pelvis far from me
Just keep your cool
Now you're starting to drool
Hey, fungu, I'm Sandra Dee

Sandra Dee was supposed to be as passé as they come. Today, however, as Bruce Thornton points out in this insightful essay, the current moral panic re men behaving badly seems to have brought out the Sandra Dee in our womenfolk:
So here we are, watching self-proclaimed feminists who once sang “I am woman, hear me roar,” but now cower like Victorian ingénues, whimpering victims who turn to the statist Big Daddy for protection and redress. 
Obviously, sexual violence against women is a despicable crime to be severely punished. Men who use any sort of coercion to obtain sexual favors are cads and creeps whom every respectable person should look on with contempt. But apart from the charges of sexual violence, the bulk of the current sexual harassment complaints involve clumsy flirting, juvenile humor, unwanted touching, unsolicited sordid cell-phone pictures, sexual quid pro quos, and other techniques of the inept sexual suitor.
In other words, these women thought they were Rizzos, but all along what they really wanted to be was a Sandra/Sandy. Which makes the musical's denouement that sees Sandy transforming into a been-around-the-block-more-than-a-few-times tough/slutty Rizzo type in order to land her man all the more ironic for us, when the cry "keep you filthy paws off my silk drawers" seems to have made a dramatic and unexpected comeback.

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