“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Is About Date Rape (December Doomfest #4)

Slandering Christmas pop songs is sort of my hobby. I have an issue with Christmas music being played from Halloween through to New Year’s Eve, and that issue is stop it. Stop. Stop it, no. No. Stop.

I am not a Grinch. I like Christmas (I like Christ, so it’s sort of a given) and I like singing. I like hymns, and some of the older, more simplistic carols, when played in moderation. If you play Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg, I will absolutely start weeping. But sweet creation, I HATE that little drummer boy song so. Hard. I hate it. It drives me up the wall. So does White Christmas. And It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. Oh my gosh, I could probably become a serial killer to a soundtrack of the trillion Sleigh Ride covers in existence. Christmas pop is something that I just. Can’t. Do.

No part of me wants Mariah Carey or Paul McCartney or Wham or, good god, even the Beach Boys, ANYONE singing those 20 same songs over and over for two months.

That said, even the songs that I can tolerate are often super, super weird. And even though people are always really defensive about it, I secretly enjoy pointing out how unreasonable, nonsensical, or downright scary some of the most popular Chistmas songs are.

Like, if you listen to the lyrics of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” it’s definitely a cautionary tale about date rape, guys. I’m serious. It’s pretty obvious. It reads like an after school special.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
or “How Bad Things Happen To Teenagers Who Lie To Their Parents And Drink Beer”

Donna, sixteen, insecure, impressionable, has had her eyes on the bad boy from school. Rick, 18, smooth talker, one-track mind, reputation, isn’t one to say no, or to take it for an answer. He offers to give her a ride home when school let’s our early because of the impending blizzard. She knows she shouldn’t but, she thinks, who will know? 

Except that Rick takes her to his place, not hers, and his parents aren’t home. “Just come in for a minute,” he says, “I wanna show you that one band…” and she can’t resist. He’s soooo cool, she thinks. He offers her a beer, and she’s curious, feels rebellious. She takes the second one, too.

And then the snow starts to really come down. Donna bites her lip. “I really can’t stay…” she says. Rick puts his arm around her waist, leads her to the couch, smirks down at her, “Nah, baby,” he croons, shaking his head, “It’s too cold outside.”

Donna tries to excuse herself, “My mother will start to worry…” But Rick isn’t having it, just pulls her closer to say, “Beautiful, what’s your hurry?” and she leans away when he tries to kiss her. “My father,” she says pointedly, “will be pacing the floor.”

But Rick convinces her to have just a half a drink more

Next thing you know, Donna’s trying to blink the fog in her eyes and swallow the weird cotton taste in her mouth when the ugly truth begins to dawn on her soggy mind, and she manages to slur out, “hey…what’s in this drink?!” just as Rick assures her that there are “No cabs to be had out there.” His meaning is suddenly clear – there is no escape.

Later, Donna will say that she tried. Rick will say it was a matter of pride. Donna explicitly said, “The answer is no.”

But Rick just told her to, “Get over that hold out.”

And that’s how I ruined your favorite Christmas song.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look atAll I Want For Christmas Is You,” and dissect how the speaker’s desires are 1) contradictory, 2) not feasible, and 3) laden with passive aggressive subtext.

I’m not even sorry.

Check out the other contributors to December Doomfest! Nick, Brian, Sean, David (joining Dec. 22, link will post then) and Matt. Comments, questions, and retweeted posts are our writery salvation, so don’t be shy – we’d all love to hear from you.

About allofalanah

i dont like capital letters or normal punctuation. But I suppose I'll use them sometimes, if I must.
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One Response to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Is About Date Rape (December Doomfest #4)

  1. Brian says:

    Well said, I am definitely in agreement over this perspective. I appreciate the narrative of the subtext behind the song. Definitely about date rape. “I simply misspoke, the answer is no.”

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