A radio station in Ohio has decided to keep “Baby It’s Cold Outside” off the airwaves this festive season, over concerns the lyrics may promote date rape.
Star 102 Cleveland declared the classic holiday tune to be too inappropriate for the #MeToo era – with lyrics such as “say what’s in the drink”, pushing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” over today’s acceptable limits. After some listeners complained, the station pulled it from its playlist.
Glen Anderson, one of the station’s host, blogged about how she didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad until she read them:
While reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong. 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.
Another host, Desiray, said the decision wasn’t up to them, but to their listeners:
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.
Despite Desiray’s claim it was the listeners who would make the call, a poll on their Facebook page showed that 94% of them wanted them to keep playing the song.
However, others demanded the song still be taken off the airwaves, no matter the original context. Cleveland Rape Crisis President and CEO Sondra Miller told Fox News that the song was indicative of the “rape culture” in which we supposedly all live:
I think it’s taking a 2018 lens on a song that was written a very long time ago. 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.