It sure is cold outside; barely even December yet, and the snowflakes are everywhere, pushing political correctness wherever they fall. Baby, it’s bad out there.
The classic seasonal song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has now been banned by a Cleveland radio station after listeners complained it allegedly promotes date rape, according to CBS News.
“Star 102 Cleveland listeners raised concerns about the lyrics of the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ with some saying the words send the wrong message in the era of the #MeToo movement,” reports the outlet.
On Tuesday, radio host Glenn Anderson wrote how the station came to the decisionto ultimately kick the classic song off its Christmas music roster. “We used to play the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ but you’re the Christmas Executive Officer at Star 102 and you told us it’s no longer appropriate,” he said. “I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad…Until I read them.”
Anderson said that while he understands the song was written at a different time, it has no place in the woke 21st century.
“Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” Anderson wrote. “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place. What do you think?”
As anybody who has ever heard “Baby Its Cold Outside” can attest, the song is a flirtatious duet between a man and a woman in a cozy cabin on a cold winter’s night. As the woman prepares to leave, the man attempts to charm her into staying, using the snowy weather as an excuse. Those who claim the song promotes date rape overlook the part where the woman sings “Baby, it’s cold outside” in unison with her male partner, signifying that the two were always in synch. CBS profiled how the song morphed from a flirtatious song in the 1940’s to some sort of date rape anthem in the #MeToo era:
Written in 1944, song rose to popularity in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter.’ It was sung between Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán’s characters, and then by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, who reversed the roles.
The song was written by popular Broadway composer Frank Loesser, who originally performed it as a humorous number with his wife. But the lyrics, in today’s context, have taken on somewhat more sinister connotations. After the “Me Too” movement gained momentum last year, more women have been speaking out about sexual harassment and assault, and society has become more aware than ever of how widespread the problem really is. The suggestive lines in the song now drum up images of men like Harvey Weinstein, who’s been accused of preventing women from leaving hotel rooms, and Bill Cosby, who was convicted of drugging and sexual assaulting a woman.
Surprisingly, the song has its share defenders in feminist circles who say the song explores the conflicts sexually-free women faced in an era that frowned upon them. Persephone Magazine made this argument:
The structure of “Baby” is a back and forth conversation between the male and female singers. Every line the woman utters is answered by him, until they come together at the end of the song. When we just look at “Say, what’s in this drink,” we ignore the lines that proceed and follow this, which are what indicates to the listener how we’re supposed to read the context.
The song sets up a story where the woman has dropped by her beau’s house on a cold winter night. They talk in the first verse about how long she’s going to stay. She has “another drink” and stays longer, and then later in the evening it’s implied that she’s going to sleep over.
If we look at the text of the song, the woman gives plenty of indication that she wants to stay the night. At the time period the song was written (1936), “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.
Or one could just view the song as a flirtatious duet between a man and a woman in a cabin on a cold winter’s night without having to find some deeper societal meaning.
This is why we can’t have nice things.