I consider myself a bit of a Christmas-song-connoisseur. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, my perfected Christmas Pandora station plays constantly until December 26. I am the proud owner of a plethora of holiday albums, from Hanson to Michael Bublé. Two years ago, my roommate and I won a brand new flat-screen television because of our PhD-worthy knowledge of lyrics to holiday music. Christmas music is my momentum during the weeks before the holiday season; it speaks to me, “Just get through this last paper, meeting, day of work. Candy canes and your crazy family are right around the corner.” But there is one song I constantly dislike on my Pandora station, and that is “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” The lyrics just do not sit well with me while I drink holiday hot chocolate out of my obnoxious Santa Claus mug. Even the cute version from the movie Elf with ZooeyDeschanel I pass over. Why can I not stomach this song? The lyrics go:
I really can’t stay – Baby It’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away – Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been – Hoping that you’d drop in
So very nice – I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice.
It reminds me of that creepy guy at a bar who won’t leave your friend alone, the one who keeps telling her to come to some party while she is telling him about her boyfriend. In the song the man is preying on this woman like a vulture swooping in whenever he has the opportunity.
It gets worse:
The neighbors might think – Baby it’s bad out there
Say what’s in this drink – No cabs to be had out there
So, I am supposed to contemplate whether or not this woman was just drugged while trying to sing Christmas cheer for all to hear?
I simply must go – Baby it’s cold outside
The answer is no – Ooh baby it’s cold outside
Okay! There we have it: the answer is no. So he can stop trying to persuade her now, right? The song continues for another two verses with equally nauseating attempts to get this woman to sleep with him. Too many men equate “no” with “try harder,” as 1 in 3 women will be sexually assaulted in their lives. Our rape culture slipped in a monologue of sexual harassment for us to sing while Grandma plays the piano.
Of course, the counterargument is since obviously all feminists are spending Christmas alone with their cats ordering Chinese food that they are searching for anything they can grasp their manly hands on so that the world can be just as unhappy over the holiday season. But sexual harassment affects everyone, whether you are a self-identifying, cat-loving feminist or not. Is it that outlandish to expect equality during the time of year that represents giving, loving and blessings? But baby it’s cold outside…