A Rude Response: Lessons in missing the point.

So there is a video that has gone viral this week of a Dad’s response to the song Rude by Magic!. So far I have had several people post links to it in my time line. The problem with both the original song and the tongue-in-cheek response to it is they both miss the point entirely.

Here are the lyrics to the original song:

Saturday morning jumped out of bed and put on my best suit
Got in my car and raced like a jet, all the way to you
Knocked on your door with heart in my hand
To ask you a question
‘Cause I know that you’re an old fashioned man yeah yeah

‘Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes
‘Cause I need to know
You say I’ll never get your blessing till the day I die
Tough luck my friend but the answer is no!

Why you gotta be so rude?
Don’t you know I’m human too
Why you gotta be so rude
I’m gonna marry her anyway

Marry that girl
Marry her anyway
Marry that girl
Yeah no matter what you say
Marry that girl
And we’ll be a family

Why you gotta be so rude

I hate to do this, you leave no choice
Can’t live without her
Love me or hate me we will be boys
Standing at that alter
Or we will run away
To another galaxy you know
You know she’s in love with me
She will go anywhere I go

Hook-Chorus-Chorus- etc

Here are the lyrics to the response:

Saturday morning came without warning
Woke me up from my bed
Seeking permission to marry my princess
Son, what’s wrong with your big head
It’s the first time I’ve met you, why would I let you
Run off with my baby girl?
Get back in your Pinto. It’s time that you go.
The answer is no.

You say you want my daughter for the rest of your life
Well you’ve got to make more than burgers and fries
Get out your mama’s basement and go get you a life
Son you’re 28 don’t you think that it’s time?

Why you gotta call me rude?
I’m doin’ what a dad should do
Keep her from a fool like you
And if you marry her anyway

Marry that girl,
I’m gonna punch your face
Marry that girl,
I’ll make you go away
Marry that girl,
In the bottom of a lake.

You may not get this so let me explain
Cause you need to undersatnd
This is forever, she deserves better
She really needs a grown man
I know what you’re thinkin’
You think you’ll still take her
Give it your best shot
I may be a Christian
But I’ll go to prison
I’m not scared of doin’ hard time

Hook-Chorus

The answer is no
So why don’t you go away?

Did you see it? Or should I say did you not see it? WHERE IS THE WOMAN IN BOTH OF THESE SONGS?????  Both of these songs are about two men making a decision and coming to an agreement about what will happen in this woman’s life WITHOUT ANY INPUT FROM THE WOMAN. The most worrisome lyrics in both songs imply that this is some weak ass woman who has no clue what she is doing and needs the two men to decide for her.

 “Can I have your daughter?”
(Not can we have your blessing or your permission but, “Can I have your daughter” like she is property to be transferred.)

“You know she’s in love with me. She will go anywhere I go.”
(This can be a beautiful thing if you say to someone else I will follow you anywhere. However, in the song he is saying it more like, I can take her anywhere I want and she will go with me and you will lose her. It seems like a power trip.)

“I’m gonna punch your face
I’ll make you go away
In the bottom of a lake”

“I may be a Christian,
But I’ll go to prison.
I’m not scared of doin’ hard time.”
(So Christian dad just wants you to know (in all love) if you insist on marrying his daughter and “taking her” he will have to kill you.)

“you think you’ll still take her”
(Again with the “taking”, as if she is an object he can just take against her will. Obviously she is not thinking clearly if she chooses a mate Daddy doesn’t like.)

A while back I wrote a post called, Don’t ask me if you can marry my daughter. At the time it was a response to the rise of so called “Purity Balls”. In it I said, among other things,

My husband never asked my father’s permission to marry me. We also didn’t ask for his blessing. Not only that, I have a feeling if Kent would have asked him he would have said it wasn’t his decision to make.

Because it wasn’t.

It was mine. My life was mine to join to someone else’s. My future was in my hands. My heart was mine to give.

Once Kent and I decided that we were going to get married we told both my parents together. Simple.

My parents, wise as they are, knew that even though they had given me life, raised me and protected me, they did not have ownership of my heart and could not give the naming rights to whomever they chose as if I were a sports arena. They knew that even though they had dreams for me, and thoughts about how my life would turn out, those were not necessarily my dreams for myself. They knew that they had raised me to be independent, wise and trustworthy and they knew that they had given me more and more freedom to make choices, to try and fail and to try and succeed. They knew that if at some point I found the one person I wanted to give my heart to, that they had already done what they could to help me make the best choice. They knew that if I wanted advice I would ask them for it. And I did. Plenty. But they also knew, lovelies, that it was my decision to make. My heart. My future. My life. My choice…

I am proud to say, my husband and I are carrying on the proud tradition my parents started. We are our daughter’s parents, we are raising her to be strong, brave, independent, discerning and trustworthy. When the time comes I hope we don’t know about her proposal before she does. If her future spouse does come to us first, I know exactly what I will say, “She is not mine to give. Her heart is her own. You will need to ask her. It is her choice.”

 

 

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19 thoughts on “A Rude Response: Lessons in missing the point.

  1. SO says:

    Your planned response to your future son-in-law seems flippant and pedantic. When a man asks a woman’s parents for their blessing no one expects it to create a binding agreement on the woman in any way. What the man is really asking for is your approval on the matter on behalf of the prospective couple. One day your daughter’s suitor may come to you, hat and heart in hand, to ask for your approval. He deserves more then a passive aggressive non-answer.

    I feel that familial relations have become more important in recent years. With rising health care costs and longer lifespans, parental care is becoming a more significant factor in domestic life. The majority of households now have two wage earners which means child-care is another major expense. The recent recession is also showing a return to multi-generational households as children and parents move back in together. These factors combined are leading to the dissolution of the 1950’s nuclear family model based on a wage earning husband, a homemaker wife and 2.5 kids. If extended and multi-generational families continue to become the norm, I would consider it prudent to want to vet my future in-laws.

    • My future son-in-law will be welcomed into my family with open arms. I will not however be a party to an antiquated system based in a time where women were considered property to be agreed upon without the woman’s consent. I am not ignorant of the fact that it is now mainly considered a courtesy and a way to honor the parents; However, that does not negate the fact that its roots are in the patriarchal system that I am fighting to abolish for my own children. It seems rather hypocritical of me to fight for the full equality of women and then to be a party to a song and dance wherein I “give my permission” or “my blessing” which you admit “is not binding on the woman in any way.”
      In addition, my daughter knows where we stand on this and would likely advise her future husband that asking is not necessary. Also, we have the type of open and honest relationship where anyone she would be going to marry is someone we would have already had many occasions to spend time with and know well. My answer to said young man in this case would not be passive aggressive (an indirect expression of hostility), flippant (not showing a serious or respectful attitude) or pedantic (overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching) as it is well thought out, expressed lovingly and concerned with the full equality and autonomy of my daughter when it comes to who she chooses to marry.

  2. SO says:

    A parent’s blessing of a marriage is not binding on a woman right to choose but just as it is a woman’s right to give or withhold her agreement, it is a parent’s right to grant or withhold their approval just as it is the couple’s right to accept or disregard said approval or disapproval. We can acknowledge both the man and the woman as free and unbeholden to their parent’s wishes while still acknowledging that they also act as part as part of a family unit and not merely as individuals.

    You acknowledge that the asking for parental blessing is regarded as perfunctionary yet by your reaction to the song and the song responding to it, you validate it and give it power. Is the message of the song truly worrisome or is it just an extremely limited narrative constrained both in space, rhyming scheme, and focus?

    • The response to the original song is truly worrisome.
      To say that to respond to something is to give it power would mean that we never respond to anything for fear that we give it power by responding. I would argue when we do not respond we give our consent by our silence. Education and awareness do not happen when people remain silent.

      “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
      Haile Selassie

      “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
      Elie Wiesel

      I am not implying by these quotes that asking for a woman’s hand in marriage from her parents is equal to slavery or genocide. However, it IS a remnant of a time when women were property and did not have a say in whom they married. If no one ever pointed out what was wrong changes for the better would never be made. It is a lie that pointing out bad traditions or behaviors gives them power. On the contrary, education, information and truth bring freedom and the betterment of society for everyone.

      • SO says:

        To drive something to decay in neglect and obscurity, laughter and derision is more powerful than fear and hatred. The original song is a shallow piece of pop music fluff and the other is cheap comedy. The institution represented is the remnant of form with no real substance, a cultural artifact. We retain other artifacts like the handshake, the QWERTY keyboard, and the necktie. They are driven by inertia rather than utility.

  3. Wow. It’s amazing how much carryover these traditions still have. When we had a boy, there were no comments about buying shotguns, or how awful the teen years would be. Yet, the acknowledgment that we would really like a girl (a theoretical child) always brings that up – we’ll apparently give up our anti-gun ways and buy one to protect her (but theoretical she is not our property).

    • SO says:

      Is it said out of real belief or is it simply a lame joke from people who don’t have any better material? Give it another 20 years and everyone who is of an age to have grown up hearing those jokes and finding them funny will likely be dead.

      Time changes everything, the video gamer demographics has shifted to an older populace because the children who grew up playing them are still playing them as adults. There are teenagers boys going to their senior prom who don’t know how to tie a necktie or fit a suit because their father never needed to learn how to do those things either. There is a subculture of people trying to bring back the fedora but over half a century has passed since they were ubiquitous. Almost no one knows how to size them to their heads, match them to their clothing, or the proper etiquette for wearing them.

  4. Magic Mike says:

    It’s a parody. Get off your soap box :) your blog and opinion means nothing :) sorry, but rather then blasting this dad who’s having fun, take a chill, have a drink and write a blog about something more important.

    • It obviously means enough that you felt the need to come on and tell me how little it means. If my blog disturbs you so much or is of so little significance you are welcome to discontinue reading. I wish you well.

    • You realize a parody IS a soapbox, yes?

      And he’s having fun… thinking of his daughter as a possession of which other men are unworthy somethingsomething murder. That’s… problematic.

      (Incidentally, I’ve noticed that people will say anyone with real concerns should focus on “more important” things… but if she wrote a blog about, say, video games, that would be okay. We only have time to focus on THE most important thing–unless we’re talking about something entirely frivolous.)

  5. Susie says:

    Thank goodness it’s not just me! I’ve only discovered the response song today, but I’ve been annoyed about the original for a while. I’ve been thinking of doing a response from the woman’s point of view – the start of the chorus wouldn’t need to change at all… Something like this:

    Why you gotta be so rude?
    Don’t you know I’m human too?
    Why you gotta be so rude?
    Now you can’t marry me anyway

    Marry this girl
    Marry me anyway
    Marry this girl
    Yeah no matter what you say
    Marry this girl
    I’m not your property

  6. Scotty says:

    It is amazing how people latch on to words and totally misread the meaning of the song. Half the time the chosen words just rhyme, and don’t have to have some deep undertone or suppression. I have a daughter on the way, and she will always be “my” daughter. Not my possession. My daughter defines a relationship and roles within that relationship. I will be her Father. We own the relationship not the person. I do agree with many of the principles of what is written above, but seriously? The respect actually can go two ways. I once dated a girl who said that she would never Marry a Man that her parents didn’t approve. She was not saying that she needed their approval, but that if her parents didn’t approve that there was something wrong. She respected and trusted her parents so much that she knew they would approve of the person she chose. My wife (who has 2 kids of her own, still will sit with her “daddy”, and there is a bond there that is truly beautiful. But she would say that changed dramatically when she got married. When she lived alone, and she needed work done.. She called “Daddy”. Without suggesting the the Husband slots into the role of the Father (He doesn’t) when we started dating some of the skills I had meant she didn’t need her Father. When she needed something fixed she called me. The song was actually wrote very much with the funny sense, and I have to say I laughed alot, but you know what. With 1 in 4 Marriages breaking up, if your son or daughter…. FForget that…. If your friend was heading into a relationship that potentially was going to ruin their life.. Shame on you if would not stand up and say, woow be careful here. Fact is that 25% of people who marry (I assume with the view to last a lifetime) got it wrong earther at the point of marriage or somewhere along the way. Permission is a cultural traditional. As someone who has travelled to quite a few cultures and witnessed many marriage traditions I realise some are good and some not so much. Our tradition symbolises especially for younger couple a massive change in the relationship between a Father and a daughter. Some people who don’t have this massive bind may not understand it. But dont speak for the people who do. There world view is different NOT WRONG. The same are you view is not wrong. It is defined by your relationships. I have heard my wife and my sister talk about there father/daughter relationship, but will never full understand their perspective either. Also when a couple are married it is the joining of two families. I personally gained a wife, a sister, a brother and two new parents. With my new parents I have eaten their food, slept in the bed, shared good times and bad times They cared for me when i was sick. And before I married my wife, I would not disrespect them by not asking them. What is wrong with the parents wanting the best for their child, and for the son/daughter wanting to have a blessing and approval of the parents. It sets all the relationships of to a good start. So I personally loved the Video and laughed alot.

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