Baby, it’s cold outside

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Baby, it’s cold outside

Drawing from Design Bundles

Drawing from Design Bundles

Drawing from Design Bundles

Drawing from Design Bundles

Another holiday, another controversy. Or should we say, another day, another controversy. Cause it’s 2018.

This time, the populus has concerned themselves with the lyrics in popular Christmas classics. What was once seen as charming, quaint fun has evolved into another sexist excuse to violate the First Amendment.

Take “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as a prime example. First written in 1944 by composer Frank Loesser as a duet with his wife, the Academy Award winning holiday classic contains polarizing lyrics that may sound unfit to enjoy amidst the #MeToo movement, with sexual assault claims around every corner.

The song opens with a man and woman enjoying drinks at the man´s home when the woman decides to leave; the ensuing lyrics are interpreted twofold: the man forcefully persuades the woman to stay the night after she attempts to leave his house, or the man and woman engage in joyous flirtation about whether the woman should stay the night.

The most controversial line is undoubtedly the woman’s exclamation: “I’ve got to go away … Hey, what’s in this drink?” Feminist critics argue the man drugs the woman by slipping something into her drink to force her to stay. The male voice may also seem overbearing as he coaxes her into submission: “Mind if I move in closer … How can you do this thing to me?”

Due to overwhelming criticism, some radio stations banned the song to avoid controversy altogether; however, this was met with equal controversy, such as what happened at San Francisco’s KOIT (they wound up playing it after 77 percent of listeners complained about the ban).

These proponents claim the song is non offensive because at the time it was written, it was necessary for a woman to reject any advances men made to protect her reputation of sexual purity. The song is a “cat and mouse” duet, but the woman denies the man’s advances not because she doesn’t want to stay, but because of what the neighbors and her family will think of her immoral promiscuity. She even says, “at least I’m gonna say that I tried”; she wants to stay, but fears what “the neighbors might think.”

The most controversial line in the song is not about rape drugs, but women’s sexual liberty in a male-dominated society.

Even Loesser’s daughter, Susan Loesser, believes the criticism is misguided. In an interview with ABC, she claims, “It’s not a date rape song. It’s a flirt song, and they’re both into it.”

 

       But maybe just a half a drink more (put

some records on while I pour)

       The neighbors might think (baby, it’s bad out

there)
       Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had

out there)

I wish I knew how (your eyes are like star-

light now)

             …

             I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move
       in closer?)
           At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s
     the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)
          I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
         But baby, it’s cold outside
         I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
        The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold out-
    side)
   “Baby It’s Cold Outside” – Frank Loesser (1944)
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