A Cleveland radio station has decided to remove holiday classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” from its rotation in light of #MeToo movement, but was it the right decision?
After a call from a listener deeming it inappropriate, WDOK Christmas 102.1 posted a poll on their website asking listeners to vote on whether or not the song should be removed.
In the article above the poll, Glenn Anderson, Star 102 personality, 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. What do you think?
According to Fox 8, the station said the majority of listeners voted that the song was inappropriate.
American songwriter Frank Loesser wrote the now-controversial classic in 1944. The duet plays out a conversation where a man tries to convince a woman to stay with him after she says she must go.
At the beginning of the tune, she sings, “I really can’t stay” and the man responds, “Baby it’s cold outside.”
As the song progresses, the call and response become more controversial. The lyrics include:
Say, what’s in this drink? No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how – Your eyes are like starlight now
To break this spell – I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
Fox 8 spoke with Sondra Miller, Cleveland Rape Crisis Center President and CEO, who said her organization supports the station’s decision. She feels its important to take a look at this old time classic with a modern perspective.
At another point in the song, the woman sings, “I ought to say, no, no, no sir.”
The man remains persistent in his point and singing, “Mind if I move in closer?” and, “but baby, it’s cold outside.”
Miller believes the song is an example of the rape culture we live in and how from the perspective of a rape survivor, the song isn’t so innocent.
“It really pushed the line of consent. The character in the song is saying ‘no,’ and they’re saying well, ‘does no really mean yes?’ and I think in 2018 what we know is consent is ‘yes’ and if you get a ‘no,’ it means ‘no’ and you should stop right there.”
However, a poll on the station’s Facebook page produced drastically different results. Many listeners were actually upset with the station for removing the song.
Many have simply interpreted the song as a conversation between lovers, where a woman is just concerned about the opinion of others.
One listener wrote in the comments of the poll:
You have that song all wrong. It is a love song, a conversation between a couple. He would like her to stay and she wants to go home. It is a conversation that probably happens a lot. This is total nonsense and you guys should be ashamed of your selves.
This interpretation may not be far-fetched. During the time the song was written, women were held to different standards. As Fox 8 reports, it was frowned upon for an unmarried woman to stay the night with a man even if she wanted to.
Some listeners even said they are no longer going to listen to the station for removing the song.
One Facebook user wrote:
Goodbye to one of my favorite radio stations. I know it won’t hurt you cuz I won’t be tuning in anymore…but I have to wonder how many loyal listener will leave now…because of a bunch of bleeding heart “me whatever it is’ I get it about trying to be more against songs about violence, against women and men. Women don’t have a monopoly when it comes to abuse. Then you better start banning every other song that’s played on the radio right now,( not just Christmas song which “Baby it’s cold outside is not one of them( the songs that use rape and violence in almost all their lyrics and they aren’t being banned..hell half the time, you can’t understand what their saying anyway, but point being you start banning music , then you better be ready to back it up and ban it all then Hitler!….?
Despite the #MeToo movement, Star 102 personality Desiray says the song is still inappropriate.
According to Fox 8, she says:
“People might say, ‘oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation. The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”
Many listeners questioned what songs would be deemed inappropriate in the future. Others asked why similar action hasn’t been taken against other “offensive” songs. The station has not yet responded.