Lesley Gore’s chorus serves as White House background music

“It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you.”

Now that the Electoral College has done their job, Republican Senators are falling in line. It has taken much too long for the leaders to begin to say grace over the Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris win. These actions will assure the Biden/ Harris transition, as Senate Majority Leader is encouraging no further boat rocking as he does not want to have to take a vote that would be viewed as against the outgoing president.

Yet, you know statements like these are eating at the craw of the outgoing president. As I was sharing with Erika and Jill in comments, the outgoing president likely believes his own BS about the election being stolen due to the echo chamber he participates in. The outgoing president (let’s call him OP) says or repeats something, the conspiracy theorists seize upon it and give it backstory, the pseudo news people echo and report on it, and then OP hears them talking about it and begins to believe his own story. It is a circular rumor bouncing around the echo chamber.

It has never been a surprise OP is doing what he is doing. It is in his DNA with his shallow ego, so he cannot admit he lost. “I won the election and it was stolen from me,” he thinks and says. But, he sells it even more, saying “I won BY A LOT.” Yet, what is underreported is he staged this fraudulent claim for six months.

What has been a surprise is the level and breadth of sycophancy of Republican leaders, except for a few, who actually called him out with variations of some criticism. OP has purposefully misled Americans, once again, to save how he is perceived. As a result, the MAGA crowd is buying his BS. The fact OP cannot convince judges seems to be mere distraction to them. The fact election officials have recounted and pushed back on OP is irrelevant to them. The fact many of these folks pushing bsck or ruling against the claims of voter fraud are Republicans, with some appointed by OP, means they are disloyal.

Disloyal to whom? The US Constitution? I think not. They are not even being disloyal to OP. They are doing their jobs. They are remembering their oaths. And, some are dealing with OP instigated harassment and death threats. So, OP can cry all he wants to, but just like with Lesley Gore, Johnny is not coming back to her and OP will no longer be president after Joe Biden is sworn in.

You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore’s Anthem for Women Everywhere

Being the father of a teenage daughter, my wife and I try to raise our young lady to be self-sufficient and to not let anyone take advantage of her. Fortunately, she has a great sense of humor and can use it to diffuse people who are overbearing towards her or who may want to take advantage of a situation. With that context, recently we were watching one of those retro-look shows which focused on female singers from the 1960s. Lesley Gore had a couple of huge hits “It’s My Party” and “Judy’s Turn to Cry” which are more the standard fare for teenage girls. Yet, amid those songs, she sang “You Don’t Own Me” which is extremely powerful whose words resonate for all women.

Ironically, the song was written by two men – John Madara and David White – but when these terrific words are sung hauntingly by Gore, it becomes her song. Here are the lyrics which are very straightforward.

You don’t own me, I’m not just one of your many toys
You don’t own me, don’t say I can’t go with other boys

And don’t tell me what to do
And don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display, ’cause

You don’t own me, don’t try to change me in any way
You don’t own me, don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

Oh, I don’t tell you what to say
I don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please

A-a-a-nd don’t tell me what to do
Oh-h-h-h don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display

I don’t tell you what to say
Oh-h-h-h don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you

I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want

Since her version needs to be heard, I have included a link to enable you to do that.


The song did resonate with many and was included in the movies “The Big Chill” and “Dirty Dancing.” Yet, it may have been heard by fewer people (than it should have) as Gore actually turned her back on stardom to go to college limiting her career and notoriety. She was born in 1946 as Lesley Sue Goldstein and sang “It’s My Party” in 1963 at the age of 16, the same age as my daughter is now. She turned down major contracts and eventually went on to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. To me, she may have been living the words to this anthem – “you don’t own me” and if I want to go to college, then that is my choice.

Having written earlier about Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s “Half the Sky” about the maltreatment of women around the world, this song had additional meaning. A link to this post is http://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/half-the-sky-turning-oppression-into-opportunity-for-women-worldwide/.  I am not naive, so I know that women who are treated like chattel in some parts of the world would be killed or severely beaten if they uttered these words.That is the purpose of “Half the Sky” to tell these stories, highlight the bravery of the local champions who have rebelled against maltreatment and collectively give women a voice to say “you don’t own me.” Or, at a very minimum, I will not tolerate you treating me this way.

Yet, even in more gender egalitarian countries, the same words could be said. In the US, there seems to be a new onslaught to limit women’s reproductive rights, forty years after this issue was supposedly resolved. Here in the US, we have had over 26,000 women (and men) who have been sexually assaulted in our military ranks just last year, but only 3,400 of these sexual assaults came to trial. And, the solution presented yesterday is only a good first step, but will not solve the problem (listen to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand folks) http://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/the-invisible-war-kirsten-gillibrand-has-it-right/. Here in the US, women still need the deserved opportunity to lead, be it in business or government. Here in the US, we still have insufficient protection for domestic violence victims, which is more about control and ownership. Here in the US, it should be OK to marry your Lesbian partner anywhere in the country. I could go on.

If you know this song, please relive it with me and share with others. If you don’t know it, give it a listen and, if you like it, share it as well. If you have not read “Half the Sky,” you should, but know this; it will be one of the hardest books you will ever read. If you don’t want to go down that path, at least click on the link above to my earlier post.

You don’t own me. Powerful words. Thanks Ms.Gore and Messrs. Madara and White.