One of Christmas’s traditionally popular songs, Baby, it’s Cold Outside, has been banned in some places due to the misogynistic and sexually fuelled lyrics that it embraces, and we’re finally having a conversation about why it is not okay.
As a woman, I would argue that it’s about time we start culling all songs that identify as misogynistic or imply sexual assault. I certainly don’t want to hear about it on the radio.
Following the #MeToo movement, women finally feel they have a voice to state the inappropriate nature of relics that we have grown up with.
Banning songs may not actually result in a lot of immediate action, but it has encouraged so many to talk about what is wrong with these lyrics. We’re no longer “pushing it under the rug”.
Classic Christmas song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside was recently banned in Cleveland, Ohio by a radio station due to a number of complaints.
Glenn Anderson, the host of the radio station, blogged that the lyrics felt “manipulative and wrong”.
He also stated:
“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.”
Lyrics used in the song include:
“I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)”
These lyrics allude to sexual coercion, and I am not a fan.
Another line in the song says, “Say what’s in this drink? (No cabs to be had out there)”. After some digging, I discovered it’s perhaps one of the most controversial lines in the song, and has been interpreted by some as a reference to date rape.
The entire song is about coercing the woman to stay and for them to have sex, and she repeatedly says “I must go”. This should not be accepted in 2018, or so I would hope.
For some context, the song was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, and yes, it should be left in 1944.
The rise of the #MeToo movement has given women the voice they need to finally fight these misogynistic undertones of the music world.
Songs throughout the ages hold archaic verses that allude to the misogyny that has existed for centuries. The exclusion of Baby, It’s Cold Outside, is just a small step forward for women to reclaim their assertiveness and place as valued members of society.
I think it would be fair to argue, as a woman, that keeping these songs in our lives is condoning misogynistic claims. What is more important is the conversation about these pieces that would normally go left unsaid, due to it being seen as a ‘classic and traditional’ element of Christmas.
The current controversy of Baby, It’s Cold Outside has been the most publicised media frenzy of banning a song. I would argue that there are a lot of other songs that should be banned on the radio for similar reasons.
One such song is Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, which has been banned by some universities. It contains lyrics that are arguably more explicit than Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
The repetitive “I know you want it”, really rubs negatively with my knowledge of consent. Consent is only granted if the person tells you explicitly that they “want it”, so no, Robin Thicke you don’t know that they “want it.”
Another classic is Summer Nights from Grease. It contains some sexual innuendos that don’t sit right with me. Lyrics such as, “Did she put up a fight?” and, “She was good, you know what I mean” definitely don’t allude to consent. The song is affirming rape culture, and if we are to argue that Baby, It’s Cold Outside should be excluded, we also need to acknowledge the similar lyrics that exist in so many other popular songs.
2018 is a time of conversation, and it is about time that we talk about the allusions to sexual harassment that has infested our popular culture for decades.