“Every year at Christmastime these days, as sure as fake antlers and Aunt Ruby’s fluorescent-cherry fruitcake, the feminists are out denouncing Frank Loesser’s 1940s seasonal-seduction duet ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ as ‘rapey,’” declared Charlotte Allen, a columnist for First Things magazine.
“As cheerless as Scrooge wondering why there are no workhouses, the sexual-assault sisterhood reads sinister subtexts into (Frank) Loesser’s lyrics every Yuletide. ‘Say, what’s in this drink?’ That’s all about roofies, the date-rape drug. ‘I ought to say no, no, no.’ That’s women being socialized by the patriarchy to be nice when they really want to get away. ‘I’ve got to get home — ‘Oh, baby, you’ll freeze out there.’ That’s him wearing her down into unwanted sex.
“I can’t decide whether these Grinch-ettes of rape culture have tin ears, tin eyes, tin brains, or all three. Have any of them ever heard the song sung?”
There are, I suppose, men like Matt Lauer and Harvey Weinsten whose sexual attitudes were influenced by hearing Dinah Shore sing “I really must go” and Bing Crosby crooning “But baby it’s cold outside.” If I were pointing fingers, though, they probably would be aimed at more recent songs with titles such as “Date Rape,” “Nookie” and “Me So Horny.”
But, as the headline above Ms. Allen’s, rebuttal noted, she thinks it’s time to “Chill out, culture police, on ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’”