Basmah Qazi

Should this classic Christmas song be banned? Radio stations pull the plug on yuletide tune

Should this classic Christmas song be banned? Radio stations pull the plug on yuletide tune

It’s one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, but Baby, It’s Cold Outside has come under fire as feminists are demanding for the song to be banned from radio stations claiming the lyrics promote date rape.

Stations in the US and UK have already begun taking it off air as campaigners have slammed the song as inappropriate, and now radio channels in Australia are being pressured into following the same path.

But despite the outrage, many feminists have rejected to take part in the protest as they say those disagreeing with the song need to lighten up.

Originally written in 1944, the Academy Award-winning song has been reproduced by singers such as Michael Bublé and Dean Martin.

The song tells the story of a man who is attempting to get a woman to stay with him and was first featured in the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughterstarring Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban.

A line that is causing offence is: “Say what’s in this drink? No cabs to be had out there,” with those who disagree with the song's message claiming the line implies drink spiking.

Another line that has caused a stir is: “I ought to say no, no, no – Mind if I move in closer?”, which has come under fire for promoting non-consensual sex.

Appearing on UK breakfast show Good Morning Britain, feminist Daisy Buchanan raised the issue by saying: “This is a song about trying to get away from a man and being assaulted. She’s trying to say no.”

But host Piers Morgan wasn’t having any of it, as he refuted the claim by saying: “Radical feminists like you want to suck the joy out of everything and make this look like sexual assault. She gave consent, she stayed. Do you not read the lyrics? She’s flirting with him.”

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Anna Kerr, from Sydney’s Feminist Legal Clinic, says the lyrics of the acclaimed song are “definitely creepy".

“There is even a line that seems to subtly reference the female being drugged by the male,” she said. “Songs that normalise and even celebrate predatory sexual behaviour by men are never OK.”

Agreeing with those sentiments is Jazzlyn Breen, from the University of Sydney Women’s Collective.

“In this day and age, especially in the light of #MeToo movement, I find it really unnerving that people would enjoy listening to content which insinuates the use of date rape drugs,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

But controversial author and sex therapist Bettina Arndt considers the entire controversy to be ridiculous.

“This … ludicrous campaign against a funny, traditional Christmas song is the reason people are turning off feminism,” she said.

“It’s a sweet, light hearted portrayal of a man trying to seduce a woman – nothing more. Why are we taking any notice of this tiny group of narrow-minded, man-hating nut cases who see this as date rape? Ordinary people still enjoy this type of light hearted banter and flirtation and need to stand up against the puritanical feminists.”

People took to Twitter to share their own opinions of the song, with one user saying: “The song Baby It’s Cold Outside is about rape … I’m disturbed.”

But another disagreed, saying: “Christmas songs being offensive and banning them, is bloody ridiculous.”

The Daily Telegraph contacted various radio stations with iHeartRadio saying they will continue to play the song. Triple J, Nova and 2DayFM all declined to comment.

Do you think Baby It’s Cold Outside insinuates date rape? Decide for yourself below:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside song lyrics

I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside)

I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)

This evening has been (Been hoping that you’d dropped in)

So very nice (I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry (Beautiful what’s your hurry?)

My father will be pacing the floor (Listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry (Beautiful please don’t hurry)

Well maybe just a half a drink more (I’ll put some records on while I pour)

The neighbours might think (Baby it’s bad out there)

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) (Why thank you)

I ought to say no, no, no sir (Mind if move in closer?)

At least I’m gonna say that I tried (What’s the sense of hurtin’ my pride?)

I really can’t stay (Baby don’t hold out)

Baby it’s cold outside

Ah, you’re very pushy you know?

I like to think of it as opportunistic

I simply must go (Baby it’s cold outside)

The answer is no (But baby it’s cold outside)

The welcome has been (How lucky that you dropped in)

So nice and warm (Look out the window at that storm)

My sister will be suspicious (Gosh your lips look delicious!)

My brother will be there at the door (Waves upon a tropical shore)

My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious (Gosh your lips are delicious!)

Well maybe just a cigarette more (Never such a blizzard before) (And I don’t even smoke)

I’ve got to get home (Baby you’ll freeze out there)

Say lend me a coat? (It’s up to your knees out there!)

You’ve really been grand (I feel when I touch your hand)

But don’t you see? (How can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (Think of my life long sorrow!)

At least there will be plenty implied (If you caught pneumonia and died!)

I really can’t stay (Get over that old out)

Baby it’s cold

Baby it’s cold outside

Okay fine, just another drink then

That took a lot of convincing!