The popular song seems to have a more sinister undertone and people are finally taking note of the uncomfortable lyrics while an English teacher explains why they are mistaken.
Christmas time and the days leading up to it, you can almost feel the festivities in the air thanks to Christmas songs. It indeed feels like the time to be jolly when there are tunes that embody the spirit of Christmas. Carols are all great and are a festive staple. But what really allows for the Christmas spirit to seep into every part of our life is when mainstream pop musicians make Christmas music that we can't help but tap our feet to and sway along with. While a lot of us may have our preferences for what encompasses the spirit of Christmas we have to agree that "Baby It's Cold Outside" is just not it.
Bummed its not xmas anymore. Glad i don't have to hear rape anthem "baby its cold outside" again for another year.— vincent bennett: filthy casual (@xDIAMONDCUTx) December 26, 2014
The song was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser and was part of the soundtrack for the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter. It even won the Oscar for the best original song back then, reported NPR. The lyrics are problematic and have date rape connotations. The times may have changed and what was once considered okay is no longer acceptable especially in the #MeToo era, when women are finally breaking the cycle of shame to hold men accountable for their actions. The popular song has a more sinister undertone and people are finally taking note of the uncomfortable lyrics.
The song is a duet originally performed by Loesser and his wife. It was later sung between Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán's characters in the film, as the man persuades the woman to stay the night even when she expresses her discomfort to do so. With lyrics like "Say, what's in this drink?" "I simply must go," "The answer is no," it does sound like the woman does not want to stay there but her male companion was not willing to take no for an answer. This is very similar to the tactics used by men like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby, who have been accused of preventing women from leaving hotel rooms, drugging them, and sexually assaulting them, according to CBS News.
Whatever one thinks about "Baby It's Cold Outside," it's not the only Christmas classic to represent what some would say are outdated views of women and men, boys and girls. https://t.co/SKUJzv0g5x— ABC News (@ABC) December 4, 2018
In 2018, a Cleveland radio station stopped playing the song after listeners raised concerns about the lyrics of the song. Brian Figula, the program director of KOIT also decided to stop playing the song. He even held a poll to let the people decide. Last year, however, we got a more progressive version of the song with "woke lyrics" which was performed by John Legend and Kelly Clarkson. For the people who did not want to let go of the classic Christmas song, they had a more consensual and accomodating version. But like it was mentioned before, that the times were different and there are people who had a different perspective about the matter.
Tumblr user and former "English nerd/teacher," said that the song is not the "Rape Anthem Masquerading As Christmas Carol," we thought it was. "So. Here’s the thing. Given a cursory glance and applying today’s worldview to the song, yes, you’re right, it absolutely *sounds* like a rape anthem," they wrote, "BUT! Let’s look closer." They explain, "The song only makes sense in the context of a society in which women are expected to reject men’s advances whether they actually want to or not, and therefore it’s normal and expected for a lady’s gentleman companion to pressure her despite her protests because he knows she would have to say that whether or not she meant it, and if she really wants to stay she won’t be able to justify doing so unless he offers her an excuse other than “I’m staying because I want to.”
If I hear 1 more person say “Baby its Cold Outside” is a date rape song I’m going to tattoo an entire essay on their face about how rufies weren’t a thing when it was written & how its CLEARLY about how this lady wants to have sex but fears her fam & neighbors judging her for it— Morgan Paige (@MorganPaigeLove) December 21, 2018
They continued, "In this particular case, he’s pretty clearly right, because the woman has a voice, and she’s using it to give all the culturally-understood signals that she actually does want to stay but can’t say so." Clearing up the misconceptions, the teacher added, "So it’s not actually a song about rape - in fact it’s a song about a woman finding a way to exercise sexual agency in a patriarchal society designed to stop her from doing so. But it’s also, at the same time, one of the best illustrations of rape culture that pop culture has ever produced. It’s a song about a society where women aren’t allowed to say yes…which happens to mean it’s also a society where women don’t have a clear and unambiguous way to say no."