In #MeToo lens, radio station drops Christmas classic ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’
3rd December 2018

The Christmas classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” with lyrics like “What’s in this drink?” is no longer being played by one radio station in Ohio.

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Glenn Anderson, a midday host on Cleveland’s WDOK-FM, explained in a blog post last week that the 1940s-era song “has no place” in today’s world.

“Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” he wrote. “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”

The debate around “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has been stirred every holiday season for the past few years. The debate is especially hot this season in the wake of the #MeToo movement that saw women around the world go public with their experiences of sexual misconduct and assault.

(MORE: Holiday shopping: The best toys for kids make use of their imaginations, not a screen)

Critics say the song, made famous by the 1949 movie “Neptune’s Daughter,” is from a bygone era, with the male singer pushing the female voice in the song to stay inside with him.

“I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?) … At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?),” read the song’s lyrics.

Two actors released an updated version of the song in 2014, calling it “Baby, It’s Consent Inside.”

The female’s lyrics of “I really can’t stay,” are followed in this version with the male singer responding, “It’s totally fine. I’ll call you a cab.”

Others say people should just enjoy the song and not read deeper into its messages or non-political correctness.

One website for women even put a feminist spin on the song, writing, “The song ends with the woman doing what she wants to do, not what she’s expected to do, and there’s something very encouraging about that message.”

(MORE: 25 Days of Cookies: Alex Guarnaschelli’s candy cane cookie sandwiches recipe)

Whatever one thinks about “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” it’s not the only Christmas classic to represent what some would say are outdated views of women and men, boys and girls. Here are four more.

1. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”

“A pair of hop-along boots and a pistol that shoots is the wish of Barney and Ben. Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk is the hope of Janice and Jen.”

This classic song offers no help in dispelling the myth that dolls are just for girls while boys play with toys like guns.

2. “Santa Baby”

“Think of all the fun I’ve missed … Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed … Next year I could be also good … If you’ll check off my Christmas list.”

This holiday hit, originally written for Eartha Kitt, is full of sexual undertones and implies all that a woman must do to end up on Santa’s “nice” list.

3. “Up on the Housetop”

“First comes the stocking of little Nell … Oh, dear Santa, fill it well … Give her a dolly that laughs and cries … One that will open and shut her eyes … Next comes the stocking of little Will … Oh, just see what a glorious fill … Here is a hammer and lots of tacks … Also a ball and a whip that cracks.”

This is a classic children’s Christmas song that once again follows gender stereotypes of toys for girls and boys.

4. “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

“Santa won’t you bring me the one I really need … Won’t you please bring my baby to me.”

Mariah Carey’s hit is a Christmas classic beloved by many but one that focuses on a woman wanting nothing but a man for Christmas, not the most empowering or evolved message for women.

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