"Baby, It's Cold Outside" Does Not Teach People to be Date-Rapists
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'Baby It's Cold Outside' Is Not Teaching People To Be Date-Rapists

"Say, what's in this drink?"

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girl and guy

So, apparently, people really, really want the classic Christmas song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" banned from all radios.

And have all copies in the world burned. You know, fire; destruction; the usual.

Someone suddenly decided that the satirical line of "hey, what's in this drink?" was a definite implication that this girl was definitely sexually assaulted by means of a date-rape drug.

One of the first articles I read today was "We Need to Take 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Off The Radio-- Date Rape Isn't In The Holiday Spirit."

I mean, I'd definitely have to agree. I wouldn't say date-rape is in the spirit of the holidays. I'd also say it isn't in the spirit of common decency, either. I would say it's in the spirit of, I don't know, date-rapists. But that's just me.

The article went on to say "it's just as bad as 'Blurred Lines.'"

If you didn't know, Robin Thicke has been under heat as well. Is 'Blurred Lines' catchy? Sure. Does it make it any less questionable? No. Is "Baby, It's Cold Outside?" just as bad? Definitely not.

Being termed the "date-rape anthem," the Christmas song has been cut zero slack.

So, a couple points here:

#1 Despite popular opinion, listening to music that's termed a "date-rape anthem," will not create within you a date-rapist.

Firstly, just because you claim a song is the "anthem" for something doesn't make it one.

"Blurred Lines" would be a better choice for the title, where the line "I know you want it" is contained in a song where crossing clearly drawn sexual lines is encouraged and laughed about. So yes, I could agree that the inference this song isn't above board is completely reasonable.

This over-generalized opinion that music you listen to or movies you watch will make you who you are is a lie.

Yes, it's wise to be mindful of it.

But just like rock music does not invent suicidal tendencies within people, accidentally flipping to a radio station playing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" won't make you a date-rapist.

#2 Educate yourself on the context of the song.

Frank Loesser, the author, wrote the song for him and his wife to perform at dinner parties, and never particularly expected it to become a hit.

A December 2010 post on the feminist blog Persephone Magazine argues that considered in its historical context "Baby, It's Cold Outside" can be heard as an instance of a woman pushing back against the sexist mores of her time, rather than being oppressed by the sexism of the man in question:

At the time period the song was written [1944], "good girls," especially young, unmarried girls, did not spend the night at a man's house unsupervised. The tension in the song comes from her own desire to stay and society's expectations that she'll go. We see this in the organization of the song — from stopping by for a visit, to deciding to push the line by staying longer, to wanting to spend the entire night, which is really pushing the bounds of acceptability. Her beau in his repeated refrain "Baby, it's cold outside" is offering her the excuses she needs to stay without guilt. …
Later in the song she mentions that there's going to be talk tomorrow – this is a song about sex, wanting it, having it... but it's not a song about rape.

So, let's talk about the line inciting the hysteria: "say, what's in this drink?"

I've discussed solely looking at the lyrics of the song and its internal universe so far, but I think that the line "Say, what's in this drink" needs to be explained in a broader context to refute the idea that he spiked her drink. "Say, what's in this drink" is a well-used phrase that was common in movies of the time period and isn't really used in the same manner any longer. The phrase generally referred to someone saying or doing something they thought they wouldn't in normal circumstances; it's a nod to the idea that alcohol is "making" them do something unusual. But the joke is almost always that there is nothing in the drink. The drink is the excuse.

Is this all to say that the song is really setting the absolute best example, or encouraging of the wisest decisions to be made in these types of situations? That's subjective.

But, that doesn't mean it's encouraging of criminal activity.

#3 If you're going to argue it's about date-rape, at least make arguments that make sense.

An article on the Huffington Post entitled: "A Line-by-Line Take Down of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'" is a listing of the song's lyrics, with added annotations of what the author believes is the true or hidden meaning.

They start this "takedown" with a listing of the first few lyrics of the song:

I really can't stay / But, baby, it's cold outside
I've got to go away / But, baby, it's cold outside
This evening has been / Been hoping that you'd drop in
So very nice / I'll hold your hands they're just like ice

Followed by: "okay, she states her intentions clearly and they're immediately met with his undermining tactics and pressure. And did he just subtly suggest that she's 'frigid'? Nice negging."

I could've laughed at how ridiculous this is, but I honestly couldn't tell at this point whether or not this was meant to be sarcastic.

It was not.

Apparently mentioning the weather conditions is now an "undermining tactic." What was particularly alarming, was the implication that he was "subtly suggesting she's frigid."

Is he a junior high girl who is bad at insults?

Maybe her hands are cold because— I know, this is crazy— it's cold outside?

The article continues to the next couple of lines:

My mother will start to worry / Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor / Listen to the fireplace roar

To which the author responds: "If her mother and father are waiting for her, then she's probably still living at home — she may not even be old enough to legally drink (or legally give sexual consent!)."

I'll refer you back to point #2, where it is mentioned that the author of the song wrote it for himself and his wife. I'm going to stop there. But if you're going to use the age argument, are we going to disregard the cigarette she has?

It continues:

So really I'd better scurry / Beautiful, please don't hurry

And the following: "Never trust someone you're still getting to know who calls you "Beautiful" instead of your actual name — you are not an individual, you're a notch."

Lesson learned. Great point. Never thought about that. Y'all take this and remember to slap the next person who compliments you without knowing you well enough. Disgusting.

Also again, they're married. I imagine he knows her well enough to refer to her by something other than her full name.

I'm only a few sentences into this article, and there is plenty of evidence that these arguments are just bad. Feel free to read the rest here.

#4 Your conclusions do not equal fact.

There's a blog post that makes a half-joking case alleging the "rapey" connotations of the song were evidence of statutory rape.

Though, through my fairly-intensive research on the matter (basically reading the first two pages of Google's results for 'baby-it's-cold-outside-date-rape'), it seems to be the general consensus that rather than statutory rape, this is a case of date-rape; supposedly clean-cut, and obviously an issue of male-superiority, believing they can pressure women into meeting their demands.

For almost the entirety of its existence, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" was universally applauded as "wry," "playful," and "flirtatious,' which is certainly the spirit in which it was written.

But, once it was viewed as borderline sexual coercion in the early 2000's, public opinion began dissecting the song and providing their insights, arriving at the conclusion that this girl was a victim of date-rape.

But seeing as how this is a song created for holiday party entertainment, it's not a depiction of a real crime.

Not to mention the fact that your conclusions of what may have transpired in this fictional description of a fictional evening transpiring between two fictional people, cannot be correct.

#5 It's an over-all hypocritical and a weak excuse of a battle against sexual violence.

Upon reading many, many articles on the matter, I stumbled across a "less sexually aggressive" version of the song, released in 2016 by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski, which is easily one of the most painful things my ears have ever encountered— and it doesn't help that it doesn't event rhyme.

Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski - Baby It's Cold Outside (Live on The Current) www.youtube.com

Wow, this is such a useful tool to battle sexual assault statistics.

If you're going to re-write songs as "less sexually aggressive" in the name of sexual-violence awareness, just start working your way down the top charts and stop wasting your time here.

Radios have agreed to take the song off of the air, due to its questionable lyrics.

Despite this outcry: just yesterday, I turned on the radio to be met by the song “Breathe" by Astrid S., which contained the lyric: “Did you slip me a magic pill?"

Where's the uproar over that one?

Oh right, I'm sorry— I seem to forget the double standard.

We are too busy dramatizing lyrics written in 1944 to apply the same standards to the music that is much more easily defined as “rapey," that you allow your children sing along to in the car everyday.

This is not because this issue is being mistakenly overlooked. It's being blatantly ignored, because none of these people actually care about the "deeper-hidden-supposed-rapist" meaning of this song.

They merely care about making a scene.

(But just in case I'm wrong, do yourself a favor and skip the track on your Christmas albums. We don't want any “rape-ish" tendencies sprouting up in you by accident).

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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