Is it time to retire 'Baby It's Cold Outside' from the holiday playlist? | The Tylt
Is it time to retire 'Baby It's Cold Outside' from the holiday playlist?
Here's an unfiltered look at the song, originally written for the film "Neptune's Daughter" in 1949. From the get-go, it was never a truly innocent song; the two characters singing are identified as "mouse" and "wolf" on the printed score.
For many, the song is a perverse ode to rape culture and abusive gender dynamics. In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, hearing "Baby It’s Cold Outside" over the loudspeakers at the mall comes off to many as insensitive at best and downright offensive at worst.
Sure, it's a classic...but standards have evolved. It's awful to have a song so steeped in rape culture even semi-connected to the holidays. Shouldn't the music we listen to reflect the values we care about?
Even if the intentions aren't sinister, it’s simply exhausting to be a woman in that situation. In the original score, the male part is written as a “wolf” and the woman as a “mouse” — that speaks volumes about male predatory behavior. Many women know what it’s like to feel trapped by a man, whether emotionally or physically. In those situations, it doesn’t matter how it began or why she wants to leave, it only matters that she wants to go, now.
For others, this much ado about nothing. Many fans of the holiday classic say the song has been misinterpreted by oversensitive social justice warriors; it's really about a woman who wants to spend the night over but cannot freely due to outdated, patriarchal notions of female virtue. In essence, the man is trying to encourage her to embrace her feelings and to hell with the patriarchy!
Yet, in a world anxious to assign blame and anger at anything that blinks, "Baby It's Cold Outside" has become a punching bag. If you don't like it, don't listen to it. But don't shame others into buying your manufactured rage.
Feminists love to cultivate sympathetic “allies.” And they’ve got them aplenty in their grim and puritanical loathing of a cheery Christmas song: radical Islamic terrorists.