A once-creepy song now sounds SO much better.
The 1944 Christmas song “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser may have seemed innocent at the time it was written, but looking back and studying the lyrics brings to light an unsettling realization.
In the duet, a male attempts to convince his female companion to stay the night — despite her repeated insistence on leaving. Some of the lines sung by the woman include, “The answer is no” and “Say, what’s in this drink,” to which the man replies, “How can you do this thing to me?” and “What’s the sense in hurting my pride.”
The male’s coercive rebuttals to the woman’s insistence on leaving is troubling and creepy.
In today’s time, such behavior from a guy would signal some HUGE red flags. Sadly, this decades-old popular holiday song is a piss-poor example of how consent should work.
Lydia Liza, 22, and Josiah Lemanski, 25, a couple from Minneapolis, noticed the uncomfortable nature of the holiday song and decided to change it for the better, so they performed a new rendition of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” to make the old classic more consent-friendly — and less, well, rape-y.
Their rendition has became a viral hit.
In our society, where news headlines are far too often repeating similar stories of males assaulting a woman’s right to say “no,” Liza and Lemanski’s revised version of the classic song speaks to the importance of respecting a woman’s (or a man's) choice.
Some of the lyrics in the new rendition include, “You reserve the right to say no” and “Baby, I’m fine with that.” These new lyrics show that the male in the song respects the female’s choice, and he accepts her decision to leave.
The original version of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” is problematic because it shows that a man’s refusal to take “no” as an answer is okay and possibly even romantic. In reality, behavior like that is alarming and unpleasant. In fact, the line "Say, what's in this drink?" sounds pretty suspicious to anyone who has ever heard about date rape.
No one wants to have another person try to convince them to change their mind about a choice they made for their own body.
Consent needs to be openly given and respected in every situation, and people should feel comfortable saying “no” whenever they want; just as they should feel comfortable saying "yes" whenever they want.
Refusing to take "no" for an answer does not count as consent.
"We started thinking of the open-ended questions that song has. ... You never figure out if she gets to go home," Liza says in an interview with CNN. "You never figure out if there was something in her drink. It just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth."
Lemanski also called the song "aggressive and inappropriate." They both hope that this new rendition of the song will bring light to sexual assault and consent, and encourage people to step up and take action.
So take a listen to their song in the video above, and who knows?! Maybe they'll make a whole album's worth of powerful new, re-made music. We sure hope so!