Even if the song’s wintery, Christmassy atmosphere isn’t entirely appropriate for Australian audiences, there’s no doubt you’ve heard the holiday classic ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ a thousand times before.
However, it’s set to be taken off the airwaves, after a radio station in the US deemed the song’s lyrics inappropriate given the recent #MeToo movement.
Penned by Frank Loesser in 1944, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ has long been considered a Christmas song thanks to its wintery theme.
The duet, which has been recorded by a litany of artists over the years, takes on the form of a conversation between two people (dubbed ‘mouse’ and ‘wolf’ on the original sheet music), and sees the ‘wolf’ flirtatiously inviting the ‘mouse’ to stay longer, citing the cold weather outside as the chief motivator.
While the lyrics use phrases such as “What’s in this drink?” to refer to decisions made under the influence of alcohol, many have begun to view this song under a modern light, where such phrases and ideas could be considered inappropriate for pushing boundaries of consent.
Although The Washington Post notes that the track was once considered “an anthem for progressive women”, it appears many have lost sight of the song’s original cultural context, and have begun to view it as something of a predatory anthem.
As CNN reports, Ohio radio station Star 102, WDOK-FM has made the move to ban the song, stating that the station’s listeners let their voices be heard.
“It wasn’t really our decision. It’s the decision of our listeners,” explained WDOK midday host Desiray to Fox 8.
“People might say, ‘oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation,” Desiray continued. “The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”
Sondra Miller, the President and CEO of the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, says the decision to ban the song was a positive one.
“I think it’s taking a 2018 lens on a song that was written a very long time ago,” she explained. “It really pushed the line of consent.”
“The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they’re saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ and I think in 2018 what we know is consent is ‘yes’ and if you get a ‘no,’ it means ‘no’ and you should stop right there.”