The classic Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” “has no place” on the airwaves, according to an Ohio radio host.
Radio host Glenn Anderson at Star 102 in Cleveland wrote a blog last week addressing listeners’ protests to the station playing the classic Christmas song, saying “I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad...until I read them.”
After sharing the full lyrics to the song, Anderson said they seem “very manipulative and wrong.”
“The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended,” Anderson wrote. “But in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”
The song, written by Frank Loesser (of “Guys and Dolls” fame) in 1944, was intended as a duet for Loesser and his wife to perform at parties. The song became so popular, according to Vanity Fair, Loesser and his wife “became instant parlor-room stars.”
Anderson isn’t the first to call the song’s lyrics into question. In 2014, The Daily Beast called the song “everyone’s favorite date-rape holiday classic.”
According to the Washington Post’s Marya Hannun, the original sheet music for the song labeled the male’s part as “wolf” and the female’s as “mouse,” which some have argued sets a predatory tone for the song. But Hannun also points out an argument made by feminist blog Persephone Magazine back in 2010, which argued when put in historical perspective, the song makes more sense.
“At the time they were written, an unmarried woman staying the night at her beau’s was cause for scandal. It’s this fear we see reflected in the lyrics, more than any aversion on the part of the woman to staying the night,” Hannun writes, claiming from this viewpoint, the song could be read as “an advocacy for women’s sexual liberation rather than a tune about date rape.”
Multiple musicians have released alternative versions to the song, including a rewrite of the song featuring a polite exchange where instead of begging his lover to stay, the male voice sings, “Baby, I’m fine with that.”
The song was also parodied on “Key and Peele” as well as “Saturday Night Live,” and a parody of the song called “Baby, It’s Consent Inside” gained popularity in 2014.