Friday, August 09, 2013

Party Doll

The late fifties rockabilly artist Buddy Knox had his biggest hit with a number titled "Party Doll". We're not talking Ira Gershwin or Harold Arlen here- this lyric is about as subtle as a sledgehammer, yet it manages to say a lot about male-female relationships:
Well all I want is a party doll,
To come along with me when I'm feelin' wild,
To be everlovin', true and fair,
To run her fingers through my hair.
It has been said that he who defines an argument generally wins it. The man in this instance decides that the only possible partner for him is a "party doll", a euphemism for a whore. He restricts her company to when he is "feeling wild", and insists upon her fidelity and her attention to his sexual needs.
Well I saw a gal walkin' down the street,
The kind of a gal I'd love to meet,
She had blonde hair and eyes of blue,
Baby I wanna have a party with you.
In this man's world, he selects his mate based upon certain physiological characteristics. Women of intelligence, character or color need not apply.
Every man has got to have a party doll,
To be with him when he's feelin' wild,
To be everlovin', true and fair
To run her fingers through his hair.
He now expands his philosophy to infer that all men are entitled to this arrangement. And then, the payoff:
Come along and be my party doll,
Come along and be my party doll,
Come along and be my party doll,
And I'll make love to you, to you,
And I'll make love to you.
Granted, this is a fairly crude sentiment. But it strikes me that many men have this mindset, that they have this "plan" of action, and that it is the only plan, and that the woman's role is predefined. When a woman accepts that role, she gives herself up to a formula, that may not jibe with her sense of self-worth or esteem. The man could care less. He'll just go on to the next "doll" and continue the process. The very word "doll" connotes a beautiful but insensate object. There are worse things to call someone, but the abasement is the same.

The world of sexual relations is complicated and varied. The roles we might assume make it easier, at least at first, to interact; we play our parts and hope for the best. But it isn't a substitute for a dynamic interplay between two conscious entities. It is that improvised and inspired dance that is glorious, that enriches and fulfills us. As the mating ritual comes to its natural conclusion we can abandon ourselves to our animal impulses- after we respect, explore and complement each other, each in our own way, transcending limited roles, leaving the dolls behind, and becoming fully realized human beings.

Summer Re-run Series
First posted January 15, 2006

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Preconceived expectations such as this should lead him to the only viable solution I can think of. An inflatable friend.

Blogger Shoshanah Marohn said...

This explains why I listen to so much Indigo Girls!

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