Back in 1949, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” won an Academy Award; in 2016, it made it big again, this time because Minneapolis singer-songwriter Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski found the lyrics to Frank Loesser’s 1944 classic song provocative–and, apparently, they weren’t alone.
While The Huffington Post‘s Jenna Amatulli called it ” a really screwed-up tune,” The Daily Beast went so far as to describe it as “Everyone’s Favorite Date-Rape Holiday Classic.” Along those same lines, Urban Dictionary lists it under the “Christmas Date-Rape Song” heading.
And so, while many just mindlessly sing along when it pops up on Christmastime radio, Liza and Lemanski dissected its lyrics and then wrote their own version. It put them on the map, so to speak, and earned them the regard of like-minded folks.
But perhaps it would be more effective to target today’s music than a 72-year-old classic. After all, the airwaves are filled nowadays with with songs titlled “F*ck and Run,” “How Many Licks,” and the like.” Along those same lines is the first stanza of Ciara’s “Body Party” which goes like this:
“My body is your party, baby
Nobody’s invited but you baby
I can do it slow now, tell me what you want
Baby put your phone down, you should turn it off
Cause tonight is going down, tell your boys is going down
We in the zone now, don’t stop…”
And those words are actually comparatively tame.
Indeed,”A Feminist Analysis of Popular Music: Power Over, Objectification of, and Violence Against Women,” concluded that, “Lyrics often contain demeaning messages of men in power over women, sex as a top priority for males, the objectification of women, sexual violence against women, women being defined by having a man, and women not valuing themselves.”
Though still shocking, it can’t be a total surprise that, back in 2014, the CDC reported that about 20% of women had been raped during their lifetimes, and 44% of them had experienced some sort of sexual violence during their lifetimes.
Meanwhile, it’s been reported that about 79% of R&B, 78% of rap, 53% of pop, 37% of rock, and 36% of country music videos make sexual reference–with adolescents the most vulnerable.
It’s obvious, then, that the current state of music, coupled with the sexual fare coming out of Hollywood and so prominently displayed on TV shows and ads, has contributed to a society turned toxic. In fact, not only has there been an uptick in date rape, about 50% of high schoolers have had intercourse, and some about 9,600,000 of our young folks get an STI every year.
And lest I forget, America is now #1 in the world for teen pregnancies.