Every winter, people who hate things that are good get upset about the adorable song Baby, It’s Cold Outside. They take a playful song about the dance between a man and a woman and make it about straight-up rape. Rape, you guys.
These arguments are published in places like the Huffington Post by scolds who say things like:
Tis the season to be sexist, with the “traditional” Christmas pop played on an eternal loop, reinforcing old gender stereotypes about boys only wanting cowboy boots and guns while girls insist on walking, talking dollies
The answer to the question of why this is now a Christmas “standard” is, of course, that sexism is alive and well today as the one remaining prejudice that’s still socially acceptable to entertain publicly.
No, it’s because we long for the days when men were still allowed to pursue us without the fear of being called rapists. The woman clearly wants to stay with the man in this song, but she enjoys the chase. Spoiler alert: women want to be pursued. This is not new information.
Apparently, that’s also a problem and, this year, it led to some scold-on-scold violence. A new piece had now proclaims “The Problem With Baby, It’s Cold Outside Isn’t Consent. It’s Slut-Shaming.” I really cannot. Here’s her thesis:
If you pay attention, you’ll notice that the inclination to leave isn’t coming from the woman—it’s coming from the society that wants to control her.
Emphasis added by me. The lady here expresses her concerns through a whole lot of words like better, gotta, and must. But not once does she say she wants to go or would rather call it a night or would prefer to GTFO. She anticipates admonishments from every member of her shitty, judgmental family, but she never implies the slightest moral qualm of her own.
All of this is true. The song was written in 1944, a time when women were less free to slut, as she calls it, for better or for worse, and she’s concerned that her reputation will suffer if she spends the night with this man. That being said, are you serious right now? The song is not shaming her. The song is reflective of a moral framework, and you’re free to disagree with it, but it honestly doesn’t even celebrate that framework. It’s clear she wants to stay, and we honestly think it’s cute. We know the inevitable outcome of this little dance they’re doing, and we’re ok with it. We’re going to give these lovers a wink and look the other way.
When it comes down to it, this is a song about a woman’s desire to be pursed and a man’s desire to pursue. Lighten up and let the man pour you a drink. It sounds like you need it.