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:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=009kRJKf9rg?hl=en_US]

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.

Jennifer: I can kind of work with the drinking thing because it is possible that one would simply be inquiring about the contents of alcohol in a drink. Like, as a means of diverting conversation to another topic. There have legitimately been times when I have felt a conversation is tense and said something to the effect of “what a great daquiri! What do you put in it?” Like I am Auntie Mame.

Samantha: Exactly! For example, if somebody put tequila in my drink, I would realize there was a terrible, terrible type of alcohol going through my system. She could simply be pondering on his recipes. This is before Pinterest, mind you.

Jennifer: And trying to get him to stop talking about seducing her! That is a legitimate conversational gambit that people do use.

Samantha: This is very true. “Hey, what’s in this drink?” could actually mean, “Hey, can’t we just play cards?” Or watch Netflix?

Jennifer: Yes. I think that really does depend on tone. But the “the answer is no” thing is harder to explain away.

Samantha: This is very true…I can’t imagine being much clearer than that. Plus, he keeps using words that only creepy fanfic writers use in reference to human beings. “Gosh your lips look delicious! ” No, no they do not. You cannot have them.

Jennifer: Says, what’s in these lips!?

Samantha: Well maybe just a little bit more…

Jennifer: Look, I may have interpreted this whole song wrong, but my impression was always that she left in the end. Like she lingered and then at the end she regretfully got up and left. Because she had promises to keep. And miles to go before she slept with that guy.

Samantha: I always imagined that she left, or eventually he was so drunk he passed out. Or she pulled some bizarre “The Princess Bride” thing and secretly roofied him as well, so that way he would fall asleep and leave her alone. I do also take issue with this line: “What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride? ” Oh, deal with it buddy. Get a Match.com account, find a nice lady who does not have a high cold tolerance and back off.

Jennifer: That would really be a better option. But remember this song came out in 1944.

Samantha: True.

Jennifer: It was a different cultural climate wherein it might be trickier to tell whether or not a woman was interested.

Samantha: Oh, I thought you were referring to Match.com

Jennifer: Since they’d been told they were at least to put up an impression of resistance to a man’s advances. I’m just saying he should take out an add in the paper.

Samantha: And they didn’t even have Photoshop back then, so if a woman responded, she was probably genuinely attracted to him! But on a more serious note — women definitely were told to play defense, never offense.

Jennifer: Would it work if the genders were reversed? Would that be cool?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iigfts-sJFg?version=3]

No, it would still seem predatory and weird.

Samantha: And I have a feeling men would use it as some sort of “ALL WOMEN WANT RELATIONSHIPS” anthem. And it would be interpreted as her begging him to love her forever. And never, ever leave…

Jennifer: I mean, the song was originally set to be sung be a “wolf” and a “mouse.”

Samantha: That sounds awfully ill-matched…

Jennifer: The wolf doesn’t have to be the man. Even in the 40’s, they had Mae West and all manner of femme fatales. I would think a man was foolish for not knowing what was in a drink because in my head all men are amateur bartenders

Samantha: Especially of that decade!

Jennifer: The song would end with me saying “Gin. It is a martini.”

Samantha: “And those gross little balls at the bottom? They’re called olives.”

Jennifer: But it would still be uncomfortable to clearly say “no” and have it overlooked, regardless of gender.

Samantha: “They’re popular in Europe.” Definitely. Even if that line was taken out, this song is just sort of depressing.

Jennifer: So it… is a song about sexual harassment? SAD EMOTICON FACE.

Samantha: Lonely desperation evolving into creepy awkwardness. If this was a spoken word poem, this would be incredibly uncomfortable and much more rape-y.

Jennifer: I hope someone gets everyone involved one of those human sized hugging pillows for Christmas.

Samantha: With Zach Galifinakis’ face and body on it. Everybody wants to cuddle with Zach Galifinakis.