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Who’s Your Daddy? by Kimberly Dark

04 Nov Posted by in Guest Writers | Comments Off on Who’s Your Daddy? by Kimberly Dark
Who’s Your Daddy? by Kimberly Dark

The first time I found myself smitten with a Daddy was back in the 90s.

But was it the first time? I didn’t yet know what I knew.

I talked to my friend on the phone. She wasn’t just another sociologist, she was one of my significant mentors . “Why is this Daddy-thing hot though? I mean, it’s fascinating and I’m in it to figure it out, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t totally hot.

“It doesn’t make sense though.” I continued musing. “The stuff we play out is not even fresh. The scripts are recycled. Highly gendered power games based on ownership, upholding patriarchal themes about strength and frailty, purity and goodness. Daddy is a hack. And it’s totally hot nonetheless.”

Kimberly Dark

She listened, but I could tell she didn’t know what to do with this. We were both dykes for one thing. (Sometimes I forget that’s salient because it both is and it isn’t.)  She was normally interested in my social curiosities, but what could she do with this?

“Well, you can’t be a sociologist all the time.” She said.

I don’t remember if I said it, but I know I thought about it a lot over the years that followed: “I can’t NOT be a sociologist all the time. This is how we think.”

Whether or not we can unsee the ways in which power relationships and patterned interactions scaffold the social world, there are definitely themes that are unwelcome for discussion in academic – and other polite – company.

Intellectual and creative freedom being higher on my list of life goals than employment and acceptability, I started inquiring and cataloging. “Who’s your Daddy?” Who’s my Daddy and what do we all mean when we utter that phrase that had gained cultural cache in the 90s, though it’s been around a long time? (Spoiler: we mean a whole lot of things, depending on who’s talking and who’s listening.)

The thing is, I had met Daddy before – I just didn’t remember at first. I’d been taught, like everyone in my culture, to salivate on cue, to recoil on cue, to vote on cue, to love on cue. And socially, we’ve made a pact to ignore our Pavlovian responses to patriarchy. Feminism taught us we should only have negative responses to patriarchy when the truth is, we have a range of responses embedded in our desires and behaviors. Some of those responses are ecstatic and operate like need or hunger, even when consciously, we want to dismantle systems that harm us all; turn our children into soldiers for causes that are destroying the planet, and rendering the wisdom of our bodies mute – or at least indecipherable.

In order to dismantle patriarchy – and still nurture the vital human force of masculinity – we have to understand our draw and repulsion to Daddy: the nurturer, the dominator, the destroyer, the lover. I had the tools to do that. As a sociologist – in particular as a qualitative researcher, an autoethnographer and a poet, I had the tools to do that. I also became keenly aware over the following decade that the academy, including the universities and faculty themselves, were one type of Daddy and that self-analysis was not his thing. I took the tools sociology gave me out into other parts of the world. I study what I want – and that includes gender, sexuality, how power exists and is recreated in intimate interactions and then patterned back out into social structures. That includes Daddy.

The Daddies is a lesbian leather daddy love story. It’s also an indictment of patriarchy, a call to self-love and cultural transformation.  When we have greater understanding; we have greater choices.

November 4
The Daddies – A conversation with  Carol Queen PhD.
At the Center for Sex and Culture

Check out the event on FACEBOOK

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