Saturday, December 23, 2017
Penned in 1944, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a duet usually staged between a man and a woman. The lyrics place the pair at the guy's home following a date, with the woman lamenting that she has to leave and the man trying to convince her to stay. The complaints of skeeviness stem first from the song's overall tone, in which a man is putting pressure on a woman to engage in assumedly intimate behavior, and second from one now-infamous line in which the woman muses, "Hey, what's in this drink?" Well, I'm not the first to point this out, but based on the frequency of people bringing it up, it bears repeating. Consent isn't actually a problem in "Baby, It's Cold Outside," because if you pay attention, you'll notice that the inclination to leave isn't coming from the woman -- it's coming from the society that wants to control her.
Here are all the statements she gives on the topic of heading home:
I really can't stay I've gotta go away My mother will start to worry My father will be pacing the floor I'd better scurry The neighbors might think I simply must go I ought to say "no, no, no, sir" My sister will be suspicious My brother will be there at the door My maiden aunt's mind is vicious There's bound to be talk tomorrow
The lady here expresses her concerns through a whole lot of words like better, gotta, and must. She anticipates admonishments from every member of her shitty, judgmental family, but she never implies the slightest moral qualm of her own.
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