Mary Poppins and the Me-too Movement

With the release of the new Mary Poppins movie, I couldn’t help but remember some thoughts I had about the first Mary Poppins film. There’s a song in the show that I considered pretty grown up the first time I heard it. I wondered why the Sherman Brothers would write a song about such an adult topic for a kid’s movie. You see, the song deals rather clearly with the subject of date rape. Or to put it another way, it’s has a pretty clear anti-date-rape message. Decades before the Me-too movement, the Shermans came up with a song and a character that offers the antithesis of the intentions of the gentleman in Baby It’s Cold Outside, as though Mary Poppins is telling us just how a guy should behave on a date.

Instead of

       “The answer is ‘no,’

       “But baby it’s cold outside.”

Mary Poppins tells us this.

      It’s a jolly holiday with you Bert.

Gentlemen like you are few.

Though you’re just a diamond in the rough Bert,

Underneath your blood is blue.

You never think of pressing your advantage.

Forbearance is the hallmark of your creed.

A lady needn’t fear when you are near.

Your sweet gentility is crystal clear.

Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with you, Bert.

A jolly, jolly holiday with you.

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