• Wed, Dec 19 2012

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” Isn’t About Date Rape!

Normally, EIC Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff would debate this important question about the holiday, but Ashley Cardiff is gone. Who knows where. Who knows why. (On holiday in Europe. Because of vacation days). Fortunately, Samantha Escobar was in the office this week. Watch her and Jennifer desperately try to convince themselves – and you – that “Baby It’s Cold Outside” isn’t a totally creepy song.

Here is the song:

Jennifer: I think there’s a difficulty in that both of us like this song and would like to continue listening to it. To do so, we need to figure out how to make it not a song about sexual harassment and possibly date rape. First of all, why do we even like this song?

Samantha: Well, primarily because it’s pretty and I never actually thought about the lyrics until around a year ago when every blog I followed started explaining that it was about rape and creepy winter roofies. Plus, it’s the only time I’ve ever liked Zooey Deschanel releasing sound from her mouth.

Jennifer: I like it because I like sexy songs about Christmas, by which I mean songs that are not about snow or the baby Jesus. It seems weird and off point to me in Elf! They are so innocent, both of those characters!

Samantha: Actually, now that I think about it, that scene itself was pretty creepy — wasn’t she in the shower while singing it? Or at least thought she was alone? Will Ferrell walking in on you singing…now that is uncomfortable.

Jennifer: Yes, but the only other sexy Christmas song is “Santa Baby” and I think that would have made her sound like a gold digger.

Samantha: This is true!

Jennifer: So. I think the two most troubling lyrics in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” are “what’s in this drink” and “the answer is no.”

Samantha: I’ve heard that argued as there being alcohol in the drink and she didn’t actually realize it at first. While I do not condone the giving of booze to an unknowing party, I have rarely drank anything that had alcohol in it and wasn’t aware. But then again, it could also be rohypnol.

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  • Anna

    Good talk. I love these style posts. This plays at work. While it was playing one day my make corker said something about it being a song about date rape. I almost high dived him.

    • alexandra

      High dive? Is that a thing? CAN IT BE?

    • Anna

      High five. I need to check before I submit. Giving a high dive is not work appropriate.

    • …her?

      What’s a high dive? Should I know this already as a mid-20s lady?

  • Benita

    The line that gets me and never gets mentioned in any of these “Baby It’s Cold Outside” take downs is “At least I’m gonna say that I tried” which is traditionally sung by the woman.

  • Sabrina

    No! I have refused to read every article except for this one :) talking about how this song is date rape. No! I love this song and no one can take it away from me! These are my reasons: I have often flirtily asked “what’s in this drink” to someone when I’m getting tipsy. Not because I think I’ve been roofied, but because I want them to know I’m getting tipsy. And sometimes you just flirt, ok? Like as in if a guy walks you home and you’re kissing and you go back and forth about him coming inside, but you know you’ll part ways and he won’t come inside, but you have to play the game a little to flirt. I feel very passionately about the fact that this song is ok.

  • BriW

    We’ve had Christmas radio playing at work for the last two weeks, and I can’t help but get a sour face every time this song comes on. It’s just so creepy!! Every line just makes me so mad! How clear does this woman need to be about the fact that she wants to GTFO?!?

  • Ellie

    Oh give me a break. This is what it says to me. “Dude it’s a freakin’ mess out there and I don’t want to drive in it. Plus I’ve got all these judgey wankers in my family who will get bent out of shape, and your neighbors are gossips. Aw hell with it. We’re having fun and I’m pinned to your couch by this glass of wine.”

  • http://SommelierinSneakers.blogspot.com/ SomminSneakers

    As a child, I found this song disturbing. As a child, even though I didn’t know why. That should say something.

  • Maargen

    Oh puleeze…this song was written at a time when a woman HAD to say “no” – no matter what – or be branded as “loose”. Both men and women played their respective roles – he as the chaser and she as the poor, defenseless prey. Women weren’t allowed to want to have sex, or even like it, so she couldn’t admit to wanting to stay, even if that was the case – she had to pretend he talked her into it, or that she was doing it to please him. Men and women had to play this game with each other, and this song is a really great example of how the game was played.

    This sort of indirect sending of “signals” caused a lot of confusion, and provided cover for the men who would do whatever they wanted to a woman regardless of what she said she wanted – the fact that women were all required to play coy meant that men could always claim to think a woman was playing coy when he knew damn well she wasn’t.

    NOW “no” means “no” not only because men get the picture, but because women no longer have to play coy. Because of the sexual revolution she is allowed to say “yes”, so if she says “no”, that’s what she means. This was NOT the case in 1944.

  • Sandy

    I allways seen it as a song about two people in the early stages of love. “whats in this drink” refers to feeling these feelings of love. “oh dear there must be something in this drink because im feeling like staying with you now even tough I probably shouldnt, and my parents will be all after me in the morning”

  • lottie

    Just so people are not worried about the possibility of rohypnol, they were not even invented intil 1972 and were not in the US until the mid 80′s!