You know I have a thick skin -- I love making fun of virtue signaling, regressive feminism, whiny little babies, and social justice warriors.
But I canNOT stand the disgusting rape song that is "Baby, It's Cold Outside." When it comes on, I literally wait outside until the song is over.
Like, okay, yeah, it's an old song, so presumably, maybe the girl was saying no with her mouth, but yes with her eyes, and apparently, therefore, it is totally up to the guy to decide if she really means no or not due to "societal expectations" of the time, blah blah blah.
I feel like the only way you can have that opinion is if you've had the "privilege" of never having to scream NO in someone's face because they wouldn't stop trying to kiss you.
You might also argue that the song was meant to be critical and subversive... If that's the case, the songwriter failed astoundingly. Nothing about any of it sounds critical. It just sounds... cute.
But certainly from a modern perspective, this song should make you gag.
Men should be better than that. If you want to manipulate or force someone into unwanted sex with you, you are disgusting. If you're "socially awkward," then go develop some social skills -- they are skills, after all, and there's nothing I hate more than someone who complains they're bad at running when all they ever do is sit on the couch. (See also: How to Know Exactly When (and When NOT) to Kiss a Girl.)
Women should try to be better than that, too.
Feminine passivity is bad. Assertiveness is good. I've discussed this several times. In Today's Women Feel Less Control Over Their Bodies Than Their Grandmas Did... Because of Smartphones, I wrote:
In How NOT To Be The Girl From 'Cat Person,' I wrote:
Men are actively, intentionally taught that "violating a woman's space" is one of the many ways they can manipulate you into unwanted sexual contact.
So... let's consider the case of Baby, It's Cold Outside. Say instead of a respectful, worthwhile man like the one in Lydia Liza & Josiah Lemanski's cover, Baby, It's Cold Outside (consent):
You end up getting cornered by a dude who wants to "gray rape" you.
"I really can't stay," you tell him.
He grabs your arm and yanks you back onto the couch and says, "Baby, it's cold outside."
"Get your hand off of me, and don't ever grab me like that again."
"This evening has been so very nice," you tell him.
He paws at your shoulders and tries to, like, crawl on top of you and says, "I was hoping you'd drop in -- I'll hold your hands, they feel like ice."
"Wow, you really can't take a hint. I am not interested in you. Let go of my hand."
My mother will start to worry, my father will be pacing the floor, you tell him.
He rips your expensive hat off your head, snatches your purse out of your hand, and whines, "Beautiful, what's your hurry? Listen to the fireplace roar."
"My hurry is, I said I wanted to go home. So back off and give me back my hat and purse."
So really I'd better scurry, you tell him.
Yanking your coat off your body, he whines again, "Beautiful, please don't hurry."
YOU DO NOT SAY:
Maybe just a half a drink more.
INSTEAD, YOU SAY:
Back. Off. I told you five times. I am leaving now. Goodnight.
The neighbors might think... I highly doubt you would actually say this, since it's not 1940 anymore. But even if the reason you're not interested is because you're worried what people will say, that is fine. You don't owe anyone an explanation for why you don't want to have sex with them. It can be religious. It can be because you find the person fat, acne-ridden, stupid, creepy, or otherwise repulsive. It can be because you're worried about your reputation or you don't want STDs. It can be for literally any reason in the world. It does not matter what your reason is. It is YOUR body, and therefore YOUR choice.
But, for the sake of argument, let's just say you said that.
"Baby, it's bad out there," he says, ignoring the fact that you clearly feel uncomfortable and want to go home.
Are you suggesting I don't know how to drive? That is so obnoxious. Get out of my way. I'm leaving. I'm not kidding.
Say, what's in this drink? is another thing you would not ask.
If you're not sure what's in the drink, dump it. If you're about to drive, don't accept the drink. If you say you don't want another drink and he pours you one anyway, that is his fault. Do not drink it. He is being manipulative at best. At worst, he is trying to rape you. There is no room for "politeness" here.
No cabs to be had out there, he lies.
Good, because my mother/friend/boyfriend is coming to pick me up. Either way, I'm leaving now. BYE.
(I once walked five miles home in the middle of the night because I couldn't get a cab. It was a long way to walk at that hour, but it was totally worth it. I would rather be tired and uncomfortable for two hours than be sexually assaulted. This guy has made it clear: this situation is not safe. Statistically, you're not going to get raped by some stranger hiding in a dark alley. You're going to get raped by the guy in this song -- a friend, date, coworker, friend of a friend, or other non-stranger.)
"I wish I knew how to break this spell," you say.
He grabs you by the waist without asking, then yanks off your hat -- again! -- all while repeating some ridiculous line he read on an incel forum (proof that this man is a stupid idiot -- if a line like this worked, the person who posted it obviously wouldn't be an incel anymore), "Your eyes are like starlight now, I'll take your hat, your hair looks swell."
"I told you not to touch me again. Give me back my hat, or I am calling security."
"I ought to say no, no, no -- at least I'm gonna say that I tried," you say, aloud or to yourself, as this handsy, aggressive creep touches you and removes an item of your clothing without your consent again.
The pervert, thinking he's smooth, I guess, says, "Mind if I move in closer? What's the sense in hurting my pride?"
Yes, I mind. I've made that clear with my words and body language. And, frankly, I don't give a shit about hurting your pride. You are acting like a rapist. THAT is what you should feel embarrassed about.
You say, AGAIN, "I really can't stay."
He says, "Baby, don't hold out."
"LET GO OF MY ARM. SERIOUSLY. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
"I simply must go -- the answer is no," you tell him for the 20th time.
The pervert just keeps saying, "But baby, it's cold outside."
"SERIOUSLY, NO MEANS NO.
"This welcome has been so nice and warm," you say, reaching for the door.
The creep aggressively grabs your arm and uses his body to block the exit. "Look out the window at the storm," he commands, as he closes the curtains so there won't be any witnesses when you take his ass to court.
"It is a shame the night ended this way. I liked you at first -- but you've made it so I never want to see you again. Get your hands off me. Get out of my way. I am leaving.
"My sister will be suspicious, My brother will be there at the door," you say. I totally get why you're using hedging language to get out of this situation. You're terrified at this point. This guy clearly wants to gray rape, or flat-out rape, you, and you are understandably terrified.
He says, "Actually it's no suspicion," because he doesn't give a fuck about your body, your mental health, your dignity, or your bodily autonomy. That's the thing you need to realize. No excuse you give is going to matter. Stop trying to "be polite." It is time to scream in his face.
"Oh, maybe just a cigarette more," you say. You have tried repeatedly to escape from this creep, and he is physically preventing you from leaving. You are terrified at this point, and perhaps have gone into your version of survival mode. There is no "right" way to react in this situation, and I don't blame you for making this concession. I am just so sorry this is happening to you.
WHAT HE NEEDS TO KNOW IS, this is not enthusiastic consent. She won't want to see you again. Ever. You may think you're "making progress" with her... but seriously. She will never want to see you again.
"I've got to go home -- say, lend me your coat," you say.
He puts his hand on your leg. Again. Even though you've repeatedly told him not to. Then he whines, "Baby, you'll freeze out there. It's up to your knees out there."
FOR THE LAST TIME, STOP TOUCHING ME. And keep your fucking coat -- I would rather freeze out there than stay here and get raped.
"You've really been grand," is what you normally tell a guy at the end of a date or conversation... but you're not going to say it to this creep. He hasn't been grand. He's been disrespectful, and he deserves no kind words from you. Only reason to utter something like this is to keep yourself safe.
"I'm feeling you touch my hand," he says, when you forcefully remove his hand from your thigh.
Yes. I tried asking, and you wouldn't get your hands off of me. So I got rid of them myself. Touch me with that hand again, and you will lose it.
"How can you do this to me?" the pervert whines. But, girl. YOU ARE NOT DOING SHIT TO HIM. HE IS THE ONE WHO IS SEXUALLY ASSAULTING YOU. HIS FEELINGS DO NOT MATTER MORE THAN YOURS. YOU DON'T OWE THIS MAN ANYTHING, EVEN IF YOU ORDERED THE PRIME RIB AND THE LOBSTER. IF YOU WANT TO HAVE SEXUAL CONTACT WITH HIM, GO FOR IT. IF YOU DON'T, HE HAS NO RIGHT TO BE ANGRY WITH YOU FOR NOT DESIRING HIM SEXUALLY. PLEASE, PLEASE STOP THINKING YOU "OWE" HIM. PLEASE, STOP WORRYING HE WILL GET MAD OR STOP LIKING YOU. DO YOU REALLY EVEN WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH THIS DEHUMANIZING PIECE OF SHIT? ESCAPE FROM THIS SITUATION -- THEN WARN YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THIS GUY.
"There's bound to be talk tomorrow! If you don't stop this RIGHT NOW, I am telling EVERYONE."
"If you caught pneumonia and died," he says as he shoves you back onto the couch.
"Right now, I'm much more worried about what will happen to me if I stay here than if I go out into the cold. I am leaving now. Goodnight."
"Get over that hold out," he urges, panting pervertedly.
"Seriously? What the fuck is WRONG with you? Get AWAY from me."
There. I fixed it for you.
Men, don't be the man in this song.
Women, don't be the woman in this song.
I love Christmas -- it is the greatest holiday ever. I'm looking forward to presents, family time, Bananagrams, and bokeh photography...
But I will also be pleased when I don't have to hear this song again for 11 months.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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