I just happened to be surfing past the Broadway Channel on Sirius XM, and found myself startled at the tone of the lyrics of that Hit Parade smash from the 1956 musical, “The Most Happy Fella,” by the great composer/lyricist Frank Loesser, “Standing on the Corner (Watching All The Girls Go By)”—especially at the end:
Saturday, and I’m so broke
Haven’t got a girl, and that’s no joke
Still I’m living like a millionaire
When I take me down to Main Street and I review the harem parading for me there..
Standing on the corner watching all the girls go by
Standing on the corner underneath the springtime sky!
Brother, you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking
Or for the “Woo!” look in your eye
You’re only standing on the corner watching all the girls
Watching all the girls, watching all the girls
Nobody saw anything wrong with these sentiments in 1956. It was fun, it was cute, it was innocent! A bunch of guys hanging out, leering and ogling women as they walked on the sidewalk, with “woo”—that is, lust— in their eyes and illegal thoughts in their brains, and periodically wolf-whistling at “the harem.”
Sometimes we forget—sometimes women especially forget—that our culture’s ethics regarding sexual etiquette and respect does advance, and has, as much as self-serving activists would have us believe otherwise.