A Classic Christmas Rape Song?

Headline news tells us that radio station WDOK in Cleveland, Ohio is refusing to play the song, Baby It’s Cold Outside.

Wait, what?

This duet involves a man trying to convince a lady friend to stay, either longer or for the evening, while the woman seems to be struggling with her conscience.

That’s my take, anyhow.

Naysayers are now claiming this classic to be akin to a rape song.

People are pointing to the phrases, “The answer is no” and “I really must go”. Yes, but she also seems to waffle with “I ought to say no,” and “Maybe just a half a drink more”.

From Wikipedia: “What’s in this drink?” was a common idiom of the period used to rebuke social expectations by blaming one’s actions on the influence of alcohol.

This song was written in 1944, which was an era of very limited options for females. The #Metoo movement should pay closer attention to the following lyrical snippets, which really struck a chord with me:

“My mother will start to worry. . . My father will be pacing the floor. . . The neighbors might think. . . My sister will be suspicious. . . My brother will be there at the door. . . My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious. . . There’s bound to be talk tomorrow. . .”

Women might be on to something, but the reasoning is off.

This song isn’t about rape; it is about a gal’s rightful concern with being slut-shamed by her own family and friends.

That’s on all of society, not just men.


Enjoy the first movie depiction with Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban, alongside a role-reversal done by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton.

Wilfred Knight

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