Over the past few years, we’ve seen social justice warriors cry foul over holiday staples from Halloween costumes to silly Christmas songs. Since 2017 and the rise of the #MeToo movement, the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been the focus of much controversy as feminists and other pearl-clutchers claim it promotes rape culture. Thankfully, radio stations that preempted the yearly gasping over the lyrics by banning it from the airwaves are responding to the overwhelming dissent. Many are speaking up, including some notable folks, proclaiming the song is perfectly acceptable as a modern classic.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, who also wrote the lyrics to the Broadway musical, Guys & Dolls.
In order to be outraged by Loesser’s lyrics, one has to be completely ignorant of the context and why it was written the way it was, as well as being completely clueless about the interplay between couples who are attracted to one another.
During the holiday party season, performers were expected to perform for attendees. The song was written to be a parlor act. The true mark of just how well written “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is, lies in the fact that we still know it today.
Contemporary crooners, like Michael Bublé and Frozen‘s Idina Manzel, perform “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” nearly every Christmas season.
The daughter of Dean Martin, who had one of the most well-known performances of the song, recently made a statement dismissing the ginned-up controversy over it.
The daughter of Frank Loesser also spoke out in defense of the song her father wrote.
“Way before #Me Too, I would hear from time to time people call it a date rape song. I would get annoyed because it’s a song my father wrote for him and my mother to sing at parties,” Susan Loesser, 74, said. “But ever since Cosby was accused of drugging women, I hear the date rape thing all the time.”
Loesser also makes the sole point for why the song is neither a date rape song, nor controversial, and that is the all-important concept of context. Without context, the song is undoubtedly troubling. But only the simplest minds cannot grasp the concept of the romantic context of a song meant to be acted out and performed by people who actually do like each other.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has hopefully been spared the cultural noose of the humorless SJW scolds. For 2018 anyway.