By Danielle Babineau
The classic holiday anthem “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been added to the naughty list, as critics claim the lyrics implicate date rape and consensual issues.
After various #MeToo activists voiced the social repercussions of the acclaimed inappropriate song, radio stations across the United States have been left to debate whether this seemingly timeless song could truly withstand the test of time.
The first of many decisions was made when the Cleveland Radio station WDOK announced that it would no longer play the song, inspiring many other radio stations to follow suit.
The voice to ban the beloved holiday song was heard, but the voice of opposition could be heard even louder. Millions of listeners across the nation feel as though this iconic song, sung by various musical legends over the years, is part of musical history and should not be banned solely based on an opinionated interpretation.
It is understandable that in a society surrounded by the issues of rape and consent, an interpretation like this could be derived from the seemingly misleading lyrics. With lyrics like “I’ll put some records on while I pour” and “Mind if move in closer?” it has been suggested that the man is getting the woman drunk to take advantage of her.
Although the lyrics may sound inappropriate to modern ears, the song originated as a sweet duet between songwriter Frank Loesser and his wife. His son, John Loesser, told Vanity Fair that his father would be “mortified” by its newfound association with sexual assault.
The world today has become so aware of societal issues surrounding genders, races, and sexuality that even items from a different generation have transformed into the modern notion of misconduct.
It is important to consider historical context before banning something created many years ago for simple enjoyment and holiday cheer. Turning a song created out of love into something depicted as hate truly gives today’s generation a bad name.
Another factor adding to this negative view of today’s generation, is seen in the large amount of current music that refer to women in an offensive and sexualizing manner. This negative characterization acts as a more direct contribution to the current issue of rape in society than a 1944 Christmas song. Why can these negative things be said without consequence, but a traditional song faces the potential end of its time on radio?
As people across the nation debate what the future of this song will be, it has been found that listeners overwhelmingly wish to bring the song back on air in numerous radio stations. In an online poll for 96.5 KOIT, producers asked “Should 96.5 KOIT place ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ back in rotation?” with 93% voting “I want it back” and only 7% voting “No, It offends me.”
Although “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is just a song in a world of much greater issues, this argument of political correctness represents society’s constant attention to the negative, even in things created for good. The reality is that the nation’s traditions that bring people together are being lost solely for political correctness.
What will be next? Is Frosty the Snowman fat shaming? Does Rudolph the Reindeer promote bullying?