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Baby It’s Cold Outside: Going Too Far With Censorship

As Christmas gradually sneaks up on us and radio stations become inundated with Christmas tunes, you may have noticed there is one particular song missing from the Christmas classics: “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which, at this point, might be preferable the way society is unfolding), you probably have heard that many radio stations are banning this holiday song due to the lyrics perpetuating rape-culture.

According to Frank Loesser, songwriter of the 1944 song “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the catchy tune was intended as a cheeky way to suggest party guests go home at the end of the night – a sweet “sayonara” if you will.

However, to listen to the lyrics of the song, one could easily misinterpret it differently. The meaning becomes particular questionably in lines like the following:

“I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)
I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
But baby, it’s cold outside.”

Is the song itself catchy? Absolutely! Are the words borderline creepy? Yeah, probably. (Albeit, I highly doubt they were intended to sound predatorial.) But the purpose of this article isn’t to discuss the context of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” This is just an example of a new-wave epidemic we’re starting to see of regulation and censorship in movies, songs, and literature.

In Princeton, an all-male a cappella singing group has recently done away with their rendition of The Little Mermaid’s “Kiss The Girl” under heavy scrutiny that it, too, promotes unwanted sexual advances. And, quite frankly, I’ve had enough.

As a female who has personally dealt with sexual assault and unwanted advances multiple times, I think I am more than qualified to weigh in on this issue.

Sexual advances, assault, and rape is very much an imminent issue and danger in society and should never be taken lightly. However, banning songs or erasing parts of movies or editing dialogues in plays or books is NOT the answer. These extreme measures are not going to stop or change rape culture. In fact, it’s going to have quite the opposite effect.

What’s occurring now is no different than what occurred in the mid-1900’s when people would burn books and tapes because they didn’t approve of the content. It’s not only blasphemous to destroy an artist’s work, but you miss out on a valuable learning opportunity for the youth.

Here’s the thing: sex, drugs, violence, rape, inequality, pain, sacrilegious ideologies, infidelity, homosexuality… all of these topics and realities aren’t just going to go away if we ban a song or skip over a chapter in a book.

Having those hard-hitting, difficult discussions with our children is one of the most important jobs we have as parents. Pretending these issues won’t arise if we just ignore them is synonymous with removing a tumor out of a patient and pretending like the cancer won’t continue to spread, anyway.

So, I propose that instead of banning songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” or “Kiss The Girl”, we handle these hurdles in two ways: We either decide that they probably aren’t nearly as big of a deal as everyone is making them out to be and decide to pick our battles better. OR, we acknowledge maybe they don’t send the best message and SIT DOWN AND TALK TO OUR KIDS LIKE THEY HAVE ACTUAL BRAINS WITH DEDUCTIVE REASONING SKILLS.

Seriously, people. It’s really not that difficult to turn to your little boy or girl and say, “You know, this is a really catchy tune, but it’s just a song. And it doesn’t make it ok for a man to ever pressure you into staying at his house if you don’t want to.”

See? Crisis averted. Now we don’t have to go burning down radio stations or movie theaters because every message doesn’t align with a utopian society where nothing controversial or bad ever happens.

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About Mcclain W.

13 comments

  1. If these two simple cute songs are banned, then all rap music needs to be totally destroyed.

    • Linda, you are so correct. But, the politically correct people would never touch rap “music.” The howls of racism from the “media” would make them back down. I for one say lighten the f up to the people that want to ban this song. Jeez, that was almost sixty years ago.

    • I totally agree! .. and why hasn’t rap music even been brought to the table? It is still making Money, I would guess!
      I have no issues with these songs and my Xmas station is still playing Baby it’s cold outside!

  2. All music and most lyrics insinuate sex or attraction love where does it end the censoring of music…guess we will be a culture free future.

  3. I agree with the comments on the song Baby It’s Cold Outside but they are missing a point. Since I can remember we had girls who were described as “teases” and this was a tried and true method of getting boys to get interested… I don”t see that as a problem as long as they know what they are doing and accept the consequences. Don’t expect every young boy to understand what is going on. How do you get that point across when raising kids? As I recall the girls who were teases usually got their man!

  4. While we’re at it let’s ban some more, aaaah how about Black Betty, or Choices, or Battle of New Orleans, or The Bitch Came Back, etc, etc, etc…

  5. Thomas Hetherington

    Not a mom, but, Linda Howell hit the nail on the head. However, I’m not sure that rap listeners find these songs offensive, perhaps outdated. This vocal minority’s need for justification is really over the top. It would be interesting how they feel about spiting on someone. Merry Christmas

  6. I swear whoever rights this shit is brain damaged

  7. Oh so that’s why the parody is showing up on facebook.
    The song wasn’t to get rid of guests. it was to convince a woman to stay. But nowhere in the song does the man get aggressive if anyone notices.
    If the powers that be really want to re-influence society, get rid of all the movies that portray weapon violence and swearing with every breath.

  8. I can understand what’s going on which is ok but you should also remove all degrading music, violent, sexual, abusive, and gangster reference music which should shut down many radio stations. So since this song “baby it’s cold outside “ is over 50 years old it should be over looked and we should start with the new music being banned from the year 2000 to the present.

  9. The really sketchy lyrics are “Hey what’s in this drink?”

    Literally a cute Christmas song that glamorizes/minimizes drugging someone to get them to do something they say they don’t want to do.

    I love the song, but it’s icky.

    • So, context is really important. At the time that song first came out, “hey, what’s in this drink?!” was a well-known joke that implied that there was *no* alcohol in the drink but that the person saying it was going to use the implication that there *might* be alcohol as an excuse to do something. The entire song is understood, from the culture at the time, to be about a woman wanting to sleep with the man (who also wants to sleep with her) and the ways that they’ll try to have plausible deniability for the social shame of people who aren’t married having sex. It’s about a woman who wants to be sexually liberated in a society which is sexually conservative.

      So all of the song is about that – it’s probably not that cold, not snowing much at all, she keeps finding excuses to stay (maybe another drink…maybe a cigarette…) while being worried about what people will think – it’s not that she doesn’t want him, but she knows that people will call her a slut, a tramp, a harlot, all just for having some fun. So while she worries and finds some excuses, the guy tries to help her find others – no cabs, it’s cold and snowing, you might catch pneumonia).

      It’s really a great song to use to explain to older children/teenagers the problem with how society simultaneously wants women to be sexual and blames them for being sexual (and has *nothing* to say about the men, who are just as complex creatures as women are when it comes to sex).

  10. On please people….grow up. The song, Baby Its Cold Outside has been on forever. So they want to ban this song while they shove homosexuality in people’s faces every single day. You can’t even turn on the television without seeing that carp being shoved at you. I don’t care what people do inside their homes; it’s not my business. And it’s not their business if I want to listen to Baby Its Cold Outside.

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