"Baby It's Cold Outside" -- Holiday Song? Rapey?

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Let's settle this once and for all.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
It is a holiday song; it is not rapey 26
It is a holiday song; it is rapey 25
It is not a holiday song; it is not rapey 13
It is not a holiday song; it is rapey 8


Alfre, Lord Woodard (Eric H.), Monday, 23 December 2013 23:08 (five years ago) link

you know what would really settle this, is a gawker or buzzfeed 'article' about how creepy this song is

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Monday, 23 December 2013 23:11 (five years ago) link

this song is a beating

rip van wanko, Monday, 23 December 2013 23:16 (five years ago) link

I remember that time I took a Women's Studies 101 class and had no concept of the social mores of mid-century of America.

Your Favorite Album in the Cutout Bin, Monday, 23 December 2013 23:19 (five years ago) link

To His Coy Mistress: Rapey?

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Monday, 23 December 2013 23:23 (five years ago) link

it is a standard that is sung by many people and as such can be played both ways

if you're happy and you know it, it's false consciousness (c sharp major), Monday, 23 December 2013 23:29 (five years ago) link

Whether it's a holiday song or not is incidental, but it is wicked rapey.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 23 December 2013 23:39 (five years ago) link

flirty, morelike.

how's life, Monday, 23 December 2013 23:44 (five years ago) link

What if I acknowledge that is probably is a bit rapey, but won't acknowledge "rapey" as being a word?

MarkoP, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:52 (five years ago) link

thought this was easily the highlight of snl the other night - http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/baby-its-cold-outside/n44614/

balls, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 00:53 (five years ago) link

I love this song, hate the word "rapey."

Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:22 (five years ago) link

^ otm

Mmm yes hello (crüt), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:34 (five years ago) link

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/7c/aa/e0/7caae0115523c6b3cfc4b9848c24e1f3.jpg

Snowman wants to get cozy
(building around the corner has this on their stoop.)

ian, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:20 (five years ago) link

I love this song, hate the word "rapey."

― Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:22 (14 hours ago) Permalink

^ otm

― Mmm yes hello (crüt), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 01:34 (14 hours ago) Permalink

yes, please let this word die with 2013

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:21 (five years ago) link

I did vote for it as best Xmas song ever. Obviously morally speaking it is one rung below hitler.

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:25 (five years ago) link

Kinda curious as to what prompts the hatred of the word "rapey" but to ask why would probably bring down clusterfuck, right?

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:27 (five years ago) link

My 1st exposure to this song was the tom Jones cerys Matthews version and my instinctive reaction was UGH no means no tom Jones u fucking creep, but that's tom Jones

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:31 (five years ago) link

xp
(1) trivializing to actual rape
(2) implies that there's this middle-ground "rape-ish" category that's not rape but rape-like
(3) just generally smacks of awful blogspeak

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:32 (five years ago) link

I love that this was just a throwaway number for performing to houseguests for about five years, before Loesser thought to record it properly

Ismael Klata, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:33 (five years ago) link

OK, gotcha. Thanks for the reply, Hurting.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:34 (five years ago) link

i roofied your driiiiink

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:39 (five years ago) link

Dean Martin version works

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:41 (five years ago) link

really guys, sometimes "Don't go" is not a fucking felony

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:42 (five years ago) link

ty

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:43 (five years ago) link

This song did inspire one of the great album titles - Baby, It's Cold Inside by The Fun Years

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:43 (five years ago) link

Xp well that's the prob with the word "rapey", like I wouldn't draw any equivalence w rape necessarily but persistently not taking no for an answer comes off as fuckin douchey (if its tom jones)

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:46 (five years ago) link

Michael Buble is the litmus test

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:48 (five years ago) link

Bauble is always douchey no

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:49 (five years ago) link

Syria, kinda genocidey

tbd (Eazy), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:49 (five years ago) link

yeah it's true, dude could make jingle bells sound gross

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:51 (five years ago) link

Xp well that's the prob with the word "rapey", like I wouldn't draw any equivalence w rape necessarily but persistently not taking no for an answer comes off as fuckin douchey (if its tom jones)

― sad banta (wins), Tuesday, December 24, 2013 11:46 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Honestly I think whether the person "not taking no for an answer" is being "douchey" or "rapey" or "persistent" is a call for the person saying no to make, not you.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:56 (five years ago) link

i.e. in each respective situation

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:57 (five years ago) link

It's one of those rare duets, maybe less rare in musicals than pop music, where the two singers are actually arguing or at least opposing each other.

tbd (Eazy), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 16:58 (five years ago) link

Hurting these are fictional ppl I get to make the call

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:01 (five years ago) link

And maybe it comes down to how its played, I will lol forever at that movie where dude spends the entire running time wheedling to get doris day to put out, because doris day is awesome

sad banta (wins), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:04 (five years ago) link

'lol baby it's cold outside is rapey' is kinda the xmas carol version of 'lol my fave xmas movie is die hard'

balls, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:05 (five years ago) link

1) It's not a "Holiday Song" by any stretch of the imagination. It's a winter song, and the only holiday in it is the slow cooption of anything and everything wintery by Winter Consumerfest.

2) "Rapey". Although I can understand the problems with this specific word, I do think that there is the need for a non-dismissive, non-cutesy, non-trivialising word for saying "things which are not (yet) rape in a legal or moral sense, but are still: similar to rape; contributing to rape culture; or disregarding consent and agency in a way which indicates rape is a distinct possibility."

With this song, written as words on a page, it is almost impossible to tell whether it is "rapey" or not. So much depends on the context (is this an artefact of 1950s morality, or a modern re-reading of something which was then innocent but is now not innocent, or an entirely modern setting which is completely suspect) and the delivery. I have certainly heard versions where it's almost entirely clear to the listener that both parties are engaging in mutually consensual flirtation. I've heard versions where I pretty much want to call the cops to report a rape in progress. Language has changed since the song was written ("Roofies in the drink" is an almost entirely modern construction) and social mores have changed to the point where I'm not even sure *I* can get into the mindset of the woman ("mouse"?) in the song.

However, the whole process of examining the song, the ambivalent lyrics, pouring over every ambiguous line with a microscope to determine if she really is "totally up for it and just being coy because women in the 1950s are not allowed to express sexual desire" or "being drugged or pressured into sex" due clues in their tone and body language - that *process* makes me feel very uncomfortable, and to me, feels "rapey" in the "sustaining or contributing to rape culture" sense. I am prepared to accept that there may be a totally innocent, flirty 1950s reading of the song, where "what's in this drink?" just means "is this vermouth or gin?" But sorting through the reactions of a woman who says "I said no" one moment and "what is this magic spell..." the next and trying to work out consent from those cues, as opposed to just asking "are you into it?" - that is exactly describing rape culture. So I'm voting "rapey".

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:17 (five years ago) link

yep this is my least favorite christmas controversy for like 6 years running now

Wendy Carlos Williams (jjjusten), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:24 (five years ago) link

intersting

From the Album No Baby for You! (Matt P), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:25 (five years ago) link

This is the first Christmas anyone has even asked me the question.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:26 (five years ago) link

I think the fact that the girl at the end cheerfully says "baby it's cold outside," (i.e. "ok, I'll stay,") makes it pretty obvious that the song is not "rapey," not to mention that most of her protests are like "what will the neighbors think" kind of stuff. Even having to read it this closely to make the point makes me die inside a little.

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:31 (five years ago) link

die hard is a fine christmas movie.

how's life, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:32 (five years ago) link

Taking an ILX question at face value, and answering it seriously, when everyone else is ~so over~ ever having to think about the issue ever again, what on earth was I thinking.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:36 (five years ago) link

Just kidding! I missed you guys.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:37 (five years ago) link

Actually, no, I think reading Godel Escher Bach is starting to look a hell of a lot more appealing right now, yes, I really am bored enough to try and catch up the chapter I missed yesterday.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:38 (five years ago) link

All winter songs become holiday songs by association xxxxpost

Sir Lord Baltimora (Myonga Vön Bontee), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:40 (five years ago) link

hey i cant help it that i am apparently at the cutting edge of "people finding things to complain about" culture

Wendy Carlos Williams (jjjusten), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:41 (five years ago) link

generally agree with bb above. i don't know this song, don't have a problem with "rapey" unless men are using it (something "the lady doth protest too much" about it) and feel like it's good shorthand for gendered power dynamics because it actually has some leverage in territory that usually doesn't and gets attention, get annoyed when other men get annoyed at "rapey" and huff about "the legal definition of rape" rmde

From the Album No Baby for You! (Matt P), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:41 (five years ago) link

you know what? dudes getting reactionary and butthurt about this stuff is sooo fucking lame. you all should man up and find something constructive to do with your time.

From the Album No Baby for You! (Matt P), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:42 (five years ago) link

Oh noes, I am a Cis-Het dude being made to think about rape for the whole sixth time in my life, DEAR GOD MAKE IT STOP. Why don't they ever shut up.

The Manics: Very Welsh, Much Working Class, So cialist (Branwell Bell), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 17:47 (five years ago) link

I think you may have completely missed the point/punchline of that post

brigadier pudding (DJP), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 21:24 (two weeks ago) link

I did.

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 21:49 (two weeks ago) link

Fully on board making that Ray Charles song a new holiday classic, FTR.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

Hey, Crystals, be afraid.

clemenza, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 22:43 (two weeks ago) link

Also, I enjoy calling it "La Quoi" to fellow Minnesotans.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 22:44 (two weeks ago) link

once worked with a dude that actually pronounced it with a hard "ex" on the end.

didn't make sense at all, as he was actually fairly well adjusted and an otherwise reasonable person.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

TBH Van Go is equally close to the 'correct' Dutch pronunciation than the standard British Van Goff.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 23:44 (two weeks ago) link

Uhm, no... Take it from this Dutch person: it's not. Van Goff - however wrong - is way closer than "Van Go".

Le Bateau Ivre, Tuesday, 29 October 2019 23:46 (two weeks ago) link

Apparently the BBC actually recommends Van Gokh which I think is even closer to the Dutch pronunciation, at least based on dodgy online pronunciation resources I found.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Tuesday, 29 October 2019 23:48 (two weeks ago) link

"rhymes with Loch Lomond" is how Scottish writer Grant Morrison taught me to pronounce it in a Doctor Who comic in 1987

now let's play big lunch take little lunch (sic), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:00 (two weeks ago) link

The BBC can't even pronounce the Dutch word 'van' right (which should be easy, but they didn't get it right w/ their most famous 'Van' person, Ruud *van* Nistelrooij (and the got the surname pretty ok! Which is so vexing), let alone Gogh. Make of that what you will.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:00 (two weeks ago) link

xp That's not bad at all. Van Gogh rhymes w/ Loch.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Like a Arab etc

No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:06 (two weeks ago) link

Anyway, I might take issue with the pronunciation of "La Croix" but I have been exposed to francophone pronunciations of "Pachelbel" and "Pinetrail" (by someone from France) over the past week and I'm not sure whether Americans have anything to worry about.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 00:11 (two weeks ago) link

There’s nothing “wrong” with regional pronunciation changes, btw

dracula et son fils (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 01:32 (two weeks ago) link

OTM, which I think means that I'd be within my rights to pronounce "La Croix" like "la croix" if I ever have a reason to talk about it.

No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 01:57 (two weeks ago) link

It’s within your rights to use the source-language pronunciation of a loanword, but you may get funny looks in the borrowing-language community.

dracula et son fils (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 02:20 (two weeks ago) link

'O Canada' every morning in school = years of conditioning in how to say 'la croix'.

jmm, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 02:38 (two weeks ago) link

i've never heard this song once in my entire life

billstevejim, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 05:52 (two weeks ago) link

Anyway, I might take issue with the pronunciation of "La Croix" but I have been exposed to francophone pronunciations of "Pachelbel" and "Pinetrail" (by someone from France) over the past week and I'm not sure whether Americans have anything to worry about.

'Tupperware' is my personal favourite:

https://forvo.com/search/Tupperware/fr/

Incidentally (re: 'Pinetrail'), a 'pine' is a dick.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 08:55 (two weeks ago) link

people who ask for a 'Bom-BAR-dee-ey' beer in the pub

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 10:51 (two weeks ago) link

This conversation is not a holiday conversation.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 12:18 (two weeks ago) link

if I could snap my fingers and have everything associated with this song erased from the planet I would

sorry John Legend

frogbs, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 12:23 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry straight America, it's not a very charming song.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 12:56 (two weeks ago) link

from here on out, everytime somebody says they've never heard the song I am posting the Ray Charles/Betty Carter YouTube. Their version is a good song! It is absolutely problematic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5Rbkcxiibw

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:26 (two weeks ago) link

The Times recommends this version with Ms Piggy ad Nureyev which the description calls "Miss Piggy Geting(sic) Lucky in the Steam Room"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EJ1SBAO1HU

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:40 (two weeks ago) link

also via the NYT story, here's a crazy detail about the song's role in the "inspiration of Al Qaeda":
https://qz.com/1491525/baby-its-cold-outside-and-the-rise-of-islamic-fundamentalism

“The dance hall convulsed to the tunes on the gramophone and was full of bounding feet and seductive legs,” Qutb wrote later. “Arms circled waists, lips met lips, chests met chests, and the atmosphere was full of passion.”

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:43 (two weeks ago) link

Wow @ "Tupperware"

No language just sound (Sund4r), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:44 (two weeks ago) link

That Ray Charles/Betty Carter version is actually a good example of the song being performed as a "playful" exchange between two equals, and not at all like she is being coerced or otherwise stuck on the weaker side of a power dynamic.

dracula et son fils (morrisp), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:48 (two weeks ago) link

Love the German: Too-pah-Vaw-ray

jmm, Wednesday, 30 October 2019 18:56 (two weeks ago) link

that Ray Charles/Betty Carter rendition is wonderful, its a shame to discover that this song did 9/11

“Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 30 October 2019 19:03 (two weeks ago) link

https://i.imgur.com/pi8ssLF.jpg

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:04 (one week ago) link

Holiday Song? Killy?

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:08 (one week ago) link

there should be more psychotic Christmas songs

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:09 (one week ago) link

city sidewalks, bloody sidewalks

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:09 (one week ago) link

this is Satan's big day

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:10 (one week ago) link

xxxp That meme would also work well with an iconic Duvall/Nicholson still from The Shining.

quinn morgendorffer stan account (morrisp), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:11 (one week ago) link

there should be more psychotic Christmas songs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz5kHC0g9HQ

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:15 (one week ago) link

Simply... having... a murderous Christmastime

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:16 (one week ago) link

Last Christmas
I cut out your heart

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:21 (one week ago) link

Jingle Hell

Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Friday, 8 November 2019 19:26 (one week ago) link

All I want for Christmas is your two front teeth

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:14 (one week ago) link

I fell for you last Christmas
When I saw you from afar
I'd like to cut your boobs off
And keep them in a jar.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:16 (one week ago) link

silent night, deadly night has nothing on that album cover

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 8 November 2019 20:32 (one week ago) link

I saw Mommy disemboweling Santa Claus...

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 8 November 2019 22:01 (one week ago) link

she didn't hear me creep down the stairs to take a peek
and now I'm really fucked up and I can't get back to sleep

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Friday, 8 November 2019 22:07 (one week ago) link

I fixed #BabyItsColdOutside.
In this version she ignores his entreaties to stay and heads on out. Turns out there WERE no cabs to be had out there, it WAS up to her knees out there, and her frozen body is found the next day.

Everybody happy now?

— Just Bill (@WilliamAder) November 4, 2019

No language just sound (Sund4r), Saturday, 9 November 2019 05:00 (one week ago) link

Ted Bundy possibly

Jordan Pickford LOLverdrive (Neanderthal), Saturday, 9 November 2019 05:02 (one week ago) link

xp No offense, I'm happy now.

temporarily embarrassed thousandaire (Eric H.), Saturday, 9 November 2019 14:44 (one week ago) link


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