Digital Changeling

December 7, 2011

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Or How an Idealized Story Can Train You to Commit Rape

Filed under: Angry,Feminism,Reviews — Eva @ 11:53 pm

I was linked today to this defense of the song Baby It’s Cold Outside by feminist Slay Belle. It’s a well thought out article and if you’ve got the patience to read a few pages go look at it now. If not, the summary is, people have been complaining about one line in the song and Slay Belle thinks that’s silly. She sees the song as a story about how the female lead is being held back by society’s expectations (ie. disapproval of “good” women having sex) and the male lead is giving her the excuses (encouragement to stay, reasons not to leave, etc.) she needs to make the choice to have and enjoy sex. Unfortunately the author has utterly missed the part where this story trains people to commit rape.

The song Baby It’s Cold Outside is creating a myth, a sort of idealized view of a romantic relationship. In this particular myth we’re told the girl resists the boy’s advances, saying no, possibly giving excuses of several sorts, but since the boy is persistent, the girl gives in and they’re happy. The important thing is, she gives in because she really does want to, she’s just worried about what people will say, so she needs to “put up a good fight”.

If a man buys into that pattern of romance, he really should badger and push his girlfriend for sex over and over, no matter how much she says no. Because she wants to have sex underneath, she just can’t admit it, or she won’t be a “good girl.” Now her boyfriend can’t tell sincere no’s from “coy” no’s and may be coercing her into sex (which incidentally is rape). Still he may honestly believe that she doesn’t mean what she says because he’s been taught this false model of how women act by popular culture.

This is the problem that I have with Baby It’s Cold Outside. “You should pressure her because she really does want to, even when she says no” is not a message I find acceptable. No means no and yes means yes. Teaching people that they’re interchangeable if you push is a nasty slippery slope. That slope is exactly where popular culture was standing when Baby It’s Cold Outside was written in 1936.


  1. How absolutely ridiculous. A man pressuring a woman to have sex is nothing new. This has been going on for over 300,000 years. In fact, its what keeps the human race alive. People like you have turned biology into rape. Here’s the fact of the matter. In human relationships, the man usually pursues the woman. The song is about a natural exchange between a man and a woman he is attracted to. Men will always pressure women to have sex. This is no myth. It’s reality. Not only is this acceptable but its normal. Now, if she says no and he forces himself on her, then he has committed the crime of rape. I’m sure this angers you and I’m sure you think I’m some sort of Neanderthal or barbarian. But guess what, I have nature on my side. You have nothing but a bunch of feminist gibberish that turns every woman into a victim of the evil man. That’s life and if you don’t like it fine. Go move into a cave, alone.

    Comment by Matt — December 22, 2011 @ 2:02 am

  2. Oh my gosh! I read your comment today Matt and I was unbelievably thrilled. You’re adorable! :D

    I was having a conversation with someone just last week and he told me that he got the idea of this post but surely no man actually felt that way about women in our modern enlightened age. And then here you are, writing me this sublime description of how you view the issue from the other side.

    Thanks Matt, I’ll cherish this comment always. I feel like it’s Christmas already. :)

    Comment by Eva — December 23, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  3. Matt, I’m disappointed in your post.

    I was reading your post, and nodding along, because I too have channeled my frustration and feelings of entitlement regarding sex into a deep burning anger toward women in general – just like every man in the world has done for the past 300,000 years. But then I got to the point where you violated one of modern society’s central commandments when it comes to civil behavior.

    You asked Eva to guess what, and then you didn’t give her a chance to guess what.

    Dude! What the hell is wrong with you? If you ask someone to guess what, you need to give them a chance to guess what. I mean, you didn’t even phrase it as a question; you just plowed right into the what. This was made all the more jarring by the fact that your post, up until this point, was a masterpiece of critical thought. It was a beacon of reason in these modern times that have been so darkened by the heavy shroud of feminist propaganda. And then you go and screw it up like that.

    Hell, Matt, it’s almost enough to make me ashamed to agree with you.

    Comment by Kels — December 24, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  4. Kels,
    I’m a little confused as to how my wording in this post can possibly “screw it up” as you stated. If I were having a face to face conversation with Eva, I would have the opportunity to pause and let her guess. Since I am writing on a discussion board, I can’t really do that now can I? What would you have me do? Say guess what…….then wait for a response? The fact of the matter is that I summed up my post by stating a valid point. I used a conversational style when wording my conclusion. What I am saying is that the “guess what” was a rhetorical question of sorts. I get the feeling that you were looking for any reason you could find to criticize my thoughts, which makes me wonder whether or not you actually agree with me. I have no problem with disagreement or a good civilized debate, but if your going to do so you should find a better point to argue other than semantics. As for Eva’s response: I appreciate the fact that you think I’m so adorable. The point of my argument is that the issue has nothing to do with the “modern age” versus the way people behaved in the past. Some things are natural and never change. Guess what…………………I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way and it will be no different in 100 years, 200 years, or 1000 years (if the human race is lucky enough to survive that long). Happy new year to you both.

    Comment by Matt — December 28, 2011 @ 3:47 am

  5. It’s ok, Kels, I understand why you’re upset, but I can pause and guess rhetorically to myself in the middle of a comment. It’s kind of a way to make sure I can’t guess wrong, so I should thank Matt for protecting me from myself. ;)

    Matt, I know other people feel the way you do, I appreciate you speaking up for them. I couldn’t possibly have done your point of view justice.

    I hope you have a nice new year too! :)

    Comment by Eva — December 30, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

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