It seems that the Christmas season has a way of bringing out the softer, sheltered, bubble-wrapped types who apparently have the time to get offended at the most trivial of things.
Oh wait, did I say ‘Christmas’ season? I suppose I should’ve just said ‘holiday’ in case someone saw the dreaded ‘C’ word and felt oppressed.
I never really bought into this idea that there’s a “war on Christmas” every year, but 2018 has started to make me change my tune.
That’s because – speaking of tunes – there’s a controversy going around these days about the song, ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’. Apparently, in the wake of the #MeToo movement where women are collectively standing up to all forms of sexual wrongdoing and alleged male oppression, the song is, at least according to some, promoting a form of rape culture due to the song’s subject matter, where a woman is being pressured to stay in a man’s home despite her suggestion that she needs to leave.
When I saw this “controversy” hit the web, my head literally hurt from my eyes rolling back so hard and fast, and frankly, I may have even become offended….that so many have become offended at a song that’s over 70 years old.
The song was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser and was first featured in the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter’. What’s interesting about this is that if you look up the clip from the film on YouTube, you see that the duet song is performed by two perspectives, meaning not only is it sung by a woman thinking she should leave a man’s home, but also a man thinking he should leave a woman’s home.
But hey, don’t let a little basic research ruin the illusion that only women can be victims. Wouldn’t want to mess up the narrative being sold that the lyrics are “predatory” in 2018, when they can simply be dissected to tell you what they actually mean, or rather what they meant back in the 1940’s.
Susan Loesser is the daughter of Frank, and she blames the controversy surrounding ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ on disgraced actor/comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted earlier this year of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman following years of claims by scores of alleged victims.
Susan told NBC News last week that Cosby is “ruining it for everybody” and that ever since Cosby’s disgusting antics became public knowledge, the topic of date rape has tarnished the song. She says that her father would be furious today that his lyrics, at least in today's climate, have taken on connotations they were never meant to when he penned them in the 1940’s. And while she understands that the song may strike a different tone with the growth of the Me Too movement, she also thinks that people need to simply look at the song in the context of the time in which it was written.
I’m with Susan, particularly on that last part. Everyone is so lightning-quick to shout, “I’M OFFENDED!” that no one stops to step back and look at the context of anything anymore. We’re not talking about a song that was only written in the last five years, we’re talking about a song that is as old as most grandparents are today.
Do you want to know how to NOT be offended by a song? You simply don’t listen to it.
While we’re at it, do you want to know how to NOT be offended by things you read? You simply don’t read them.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of the Me Too movement and what it’s allowed women to do that they may not have been able to do before, but in the wake of everything that’s going on RIGHT NOW in our world, with much more current and really shady and abhorrent news hitting our headlines, we’re going to shine a spotlight and shame a 74-year old song? Really, a SONG?
So since ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ apparently promotes rape instead of the light, flirty connotations that it was intended to have between a husband and wife (Loesser wrote the song for he and his wife to sing at parties), why don’t we take a look at other Christmas songs and sayings that may be offensive in 2018 (oh darn, there’s that ‘C’ word again).
Is Santa Claus still allowed to say ‘Ho ho ho’, or is he somehow promoting prostitution?
Is it ‘Frosty the Snowman’ or ‘Frosty the Snowperson’?
Is it ‘Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire’ or ‘Chestnuts Roasting on a Safely-contained, Continuously Monitored, Eco-friendly, Non-toxic Outdoor Fire (For Which I Have a Permit)’?
Is it ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ or ‘I Saw Mommy Greeting Santa Claus with a Purely Platonic Expression of Inoffensive Mutual Affection’?
There’s a quote I love that perfectly explains where I stand on our Western society’s terrible oversaturation of political correctness: claiming that you’re offended is essentially saying that you’re incapable of controlling and/or managing your own emotions, so everyone else should do it for you.
Toughen up, people.
For this week, that’s been the Ruttle Report.