Its that time of year where Christmas music can be heard on every radio station, during commercial breaks from the TV shows that have a holiday theme, and even wafting down from the MUZAK stations in your local convenience store while you browse for the best deals on a loaf of bread, and during this time I normally revel in the music of the holidays, but not always. Because some Christmas music is downright evil.
Whether its the humanity murdering song, 'Christmas Shoes' from Newsong, the rape culture perpetration of Frank Loesser's 'Baby it's Cold Outside', or John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie's stalker horror story of 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.' Every single one of these songs is an absolute abomination not for the music, or the singing, but for their horrible, HORRIBLE lyrics.
(Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)
2. Baby it's Cold Outside
I used to like this song a lot! It has a nice jazzy quality to the music and the singing, it has that classic Christmas music feel and fun musical duet for two singers. However this song is completely and utterly disgusting in its lyrics.
Before I go into the lyrics I want to make something clear; I completely understand that songs like this come from a different time with different views on roles of women and men. I'm taking a stand here to say that these views were wrong and still are wrong. You can disagree with me or fight me on it, but just take a couple minutes to read through some of the lyrics here before we begin.
Done? Good, let's get started
First off, you should know two things the female singer is traditionally given the first line of the song, "I really can't stay..." and the male singer sings the backup lines traditionally denoted by parentheses. While I've heard this song done with two female singers, I've never heard the traditional male/female lines being reversed.
That being said, I don't believe that reversing the traditional roles change it's message or its contribution to rape culture. Making it a great piece of Christmas music, right? (/sarcasm)
The first thing I want you, the reader, to do is read through the lines in parentheses and the outside of them. Consider the disconnect between the two characters. The first singer is clearly interested in leaving but finally relents to person 2 and consents to have "half a drink more" and "just a cigarette more" denoting that they have already been drinking and smoking together and that person 1 /might/ be legitimately interested in spending more time with person 2, but due to family and society's constraints, they were worried about how this time together might be perceived.
This is an excuse I've heard given before, but I think that it breaks down later in the song mostly because of person 2's responses to this perceived threat.
Throughout this song person 1 continues to offer things that they are worried about regarding this unchaperoned time together. This is not outside the norm for the time period it was written and much of the time before it and this in it of itself is a beautiful example of a society heavily invested in slut shaming and rape culture. A different time and a different place but still wrong, regardless of how you wanna slice this Christmas music.
And if that were it I might just chalk it up to a song removed from the society it was written within, but here's what really drives me crazy. What really just rips my heart out.
Person 2 never ONCE recognizes person 1's concern for this. Not. Even. Once. They just go on and on about "your lips look delicious" and "how can you do this thing to me?" (guilting?) And finally, as if the rest weren't enough, the prime example is in the final line person 2 sings alone, "Get over your hold out."
Seriously? No compassion for what person 1 will be going through tomorrow, so long as you (person 2) get a piece of those 'delicious lips' or get that 'thrill' you when they touch your hand.
This song is disgusting no matter how you slice it. Either person 1 exists in a society where they, as a consenting adult, don't feel comfortable exploring their feelings with another consenting adult or one person is guilting and emotionally manipulating another person into an uncomfortable position they really don't want to be in.
If it's the first one, shame on that society. It was wrong then and is wrong now. Also, shame on second person for not even empathizing with the first person's position and being concerned solely with getting their jollies off.
And if it's the second, then this song is even worse and any amount it should be shunned due to the first possibility should be multiplied 100, no, 1000 fold.
But seriously, either way? Terrible Christmas music.
This is what I think. What do you think?
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