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BREAKING: Lily Allen, I Apparently Had Exact Same Childhood

Hey! Do you care about Lily Allen’s (apparently toolish) dad? NO? Well, here he is anyway:

“As a man, I could drink, snort, and fuck to my heart’s content without major detriment to my career,” Keith Allen says. “A girl cannot do that. The tabloids are shameless in trying to create a race to rehab between any girl out there who has a drink. But Lily’s learning what Daddy learned long ago: Fame is a pain in the fucking arse. And I don’t mind saying this, because I’ve told her already: She needs to know when to fucking shut up.”

NOW. Were I in a contemplative mood, I could perhaps expound at length on the obvious double standard at play – when dudes go out and have a wild time, they are just boys being boys (which they will be, obvs) but when girls drink, or smoke, or go to a lot of parties, they are huge trainwreck messes who need to be brought in line.

I could also reflect on the culture of celebrity (which Lily Allen’s Dad touches on here, albeit toolishly) as it relates to misogyny – the way we subject people, and especially women, to round-the-clock intense scrutiny, and then revel in demeaning them whenever they slip up or suffer, and how that often is linked very closely to promoting misogynist stereotypes that may or may not apply to the women in question. You know, Jennifer Aniston is a pathetic spinster who can’t keep a man and will never have a lasting marriage or make babies (oh, noooo) and Angelina is one of those crazy women that you just know has to be good in the sack, huh, right, she’d probably let you stick it in her butt, heh heh, and Madonna is an aging woman who insists that she has a right to be sexual and to exercise power in her personal life and/or career and therefore is an ugly, domineering hag, and pretty much any young woman who is sexual in public is a stupid slut, and when famous women are thin they’re anorexic, and when famous women are not thin they’ve let themselves go, and the best thing a female entertainer can do for her career these days is get all heteronormative and have a pretty pretty princess wedding and knock herself up and sell the baby photos for eighteen bazillion dollars, and the picture, when you put it all together, is (a) really ugly, and (b) insidious, because it is (c) fucking everywhere. I’m not saying I like any of these women – I don’t, as a matter of fact, care about them either way – but tons of people actually do get their views on everything from Rick Warren to Lindsey Lohan’s sexual orientation from Perez Hilton and his ilk, and that is a problem, because on sites like his the lady-hating runs rampant and stereotype is promoted as reportage.

Then, of course, there is the problematic relationship between fathers and daughters, a subject which I am told I should stop talking about! Because it makes me sound like I am about to promote my memoirs on Oprah! But it’s not about personal suffering, it’s about a pattern I have observed in lives other than my own, the lives of certain female friends and now maybe the life of Lily Allen: you’ve got your mom, and you’ve got your dad, and you understandably get large parts of yourself from both of them, but when you hit puberty, there is suddenly this antagonism that develops between you and Dear Old Dad, who is of course complicit in maintaining patriarchy (there’s a reason it’s called that, childrens) but needs to love you even as he demeans or degrades or looks down on other women, and who therefore develops this need to punish you for being a woman, for resembling in any way the other women in the world, and an equally great need to enforce correct gender roles as they relate to your behavior, because the only thing worse than a woman who acts like a woman is a woman who acts like a man, so when you start doing the very same things that your father does, like drinking or smoking or kissing people or speaking your mind unapologetically (and maybe occasionally giving an infelicitous quote or two to the press, MISTER ALLEN) you are punished for it, and it is all very screwed up and gives you Issues and also maybe an inability to tolerate the Oscar-winning film American Beauty, which I walked out of at the precise moment that Kevin Spacey tells his daughter “if you don’t watch out, you’re going to wind up a bitch just like your mother,” and I understand that he comes around in the end and learns to appreciate plastic bags and the finer points of not being an abusive sonofabitch? But at that point he is dead, so Thora Birch really doesn’t get anything out of the deal. Boooo.

I could go into all of this. However, it would be an overshare, which I have been instructed to avoid, and also I don’t know the full context and don’t want to jump to conclusions (which I never do, as you know) so I will simply say this: SPIN Magazine has only strengthened my abiding love for the persona and works of one Lily Allen.

Lily! Mon amour! We will wed in the South of France!


  1. ParaKat wrote:

    “and I understand that he comes around in the end and learns to appreciate plastic bags and the finer points of not being an abusive sonofabitch? But at that point he is dead, so Thora Birch really doesn’t get anything out of the deal.”

    ^ This part made me laugh out loud in the library and people stared. It was glorious.

    And yeah, similar experience with my father over here. Except he’s not so bad on the my speaking my mind unapologetically thing.

    Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Sady wrote:

    It is so bizarre! American Beauty, that is! I kind of want to see “Revolutionary Road,” by the same director, because, you know, Kate Winslet – but can I really handle more of this dude? I understand that there is this very Beautiful And Artistic scene in which she gives herself an abortion which kills her and then just sort of stands there thoughtfully while she bleeds to death through her ladybusiness? UGH. COUNTER-REPRESENTATIVE. DO NOT APPROVE.

    But, yeah, gender roles within the family are weird. And sometimes they make people act all crazypantsed. You know this. I know this. Lily Allen does too I think!

    Friday, January 23, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink