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Saturday, 2 December 2017

Tumblr User Writes Feminist Defense Of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' And The Internet Is Torn

Tumblr User Writes Feminist Defense Of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' And The Internet Is Torn

As soon as December hits, Christmas music can be heard in stores, on the radio, and just about everywhere. But not every Christmas tune brings joy to our hearts. One song in particular has been scrutinized in recent years for its lyrics.
"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a 1940s classic Christmas song with underlying tones that are just not acceptable in 2017. That is, until a Tumblr user shared his defense of the lyrics from a historical perspective.

Despite being a popular Christmas classic, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" has come under fire for its predatory connotations.  

Lyrics such as "I really can't stay" and "Hey, what's in this drink?" are particularly concerning.

Every year, Twitter users call for the song to be banned throughout the Christmas season to emphasize why it is so problematic.

And, they definitely aren't completely wrong about that. 

In fact, Funny Or Die created an honest performance of the song to show how creepy the lyrics can actually be.

While funny and over the top, it really does highlight the fact that the lyrics can be perceived this way.

But a Tumblr user turns the whole song on its head by giving some historical context.

The user, bigbutterandeggman, calls himself a "former English nerd/teacher," as well as a lover of jazz, and gives a feminist perspective to defend the song.

He starts off with unpacking the line "Hey, what's in this drink?"

"Hey what's in this drink" was a stock joke at the time, and the punchline was invariably that there's actually pretty much nothing in the drink, not even a significant amount of alcohol."

You have to remember that when the song was written in the 1940s, things were a bit different. 

"See, this woman is staying late, unchaperoned, at a dude's house. In the 1940s, that's the kind of thing Good Girls aren't supposed to do — and she wants people to think she's a good girl."

"The woman in the song says outright, multiple times, that what other people will think of her staying is what she's really concerned about … But she's having a really good time, and she wants to stay, and so she is excusing her uncharacteristically bold behavior (either to the guy or to herself) by blaming it on the drink — unaware that the drink is actually really weak, maybe not even alcoholic at all. That's the joke.”

So basically, he is saying that the song isn't about rape, rather the woman is exerting her own sexual agency by finding a way around the societal norms of the times. 

But, that's not all. 

The user sums up his post by saying that the song is actually quite feminist. 

He also argues that the song is "one of the best illustrations of rape culture that pop culture has ever produced."

Why is that, you might ask?

"It's a song about a society where women aren't allowed to say yes…which happens to mean it's also a society where women don't have a clear and unambiguous way to say no."

Despite this interesting stance on the topic, there is still a lot of debate.

I mean, when you look at it from a 2017 perspective, it does sound pretty bad. 

Let us know your take on the topic in the comments. Tag a friend you think would find this debate interesting. 

Will "Baby, It's Cold Outside" be on your playlist this year?

h/t Tumblr | bigbutterandeggman 

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