There are things we’d all like to mandate when we become king. For me they include banning the designated hitter rule in baseball and imposing the death penalty for driving slowly in the passing lane. You know, the “keep right except to pass, or die” law.
And to discourage random acts of violence in shopping malls I would ban the playing of Christmas music until three days before Christmas. There’s only so many times the human brain can handle “Jingle Bell Rock” without suffering an aneurysm.
I thought I was alone in my quest to take the fun out of the season. But leave it to the unchecked overreach of the #MeToo movement to make even me look festive and romantic.
KOSI radio in Denver plays only Christmas music seemingly from Labor Day on. And caving into the prudes who have perverted #MeToo to sanitize the world of romance, KOSI stopped playing the seasonal classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” because it was an obvious celebration of date rape.
Written in 1944, this duet song is about enticing a woman to stay the evening as she coyly teases her pursuer that she really must leave. Under our new revisionist regime, which is hell-bent on purging nuance and seduction from our already sterile lives, we are to be re-educated about this song. After all she sings “the answer is no.”
But wait. Doesn’t she also sing in response to his flirtations, “maybe just a half a drink more,” and “maybe just a cigarette more?” Could it be (gasp) that the lady actually wishes to stay?
I’m sure the song would have been an even bigger hit in 1944 if it was written as the #MeToo-ers wished, with the man serenading her, “Would you like to stay and have respectful consensual sex? If so, please sign this consent agreement before, not after, I pour you a drink. My neighbor is a notary.”
Obvious disclaimer here: Date rape is wrong, awful and criminal. Of course no means no, and the #MeToo movement has been too long in coming. The benefits of #MeToo are immense. But we have to stop being fearful of talking about the costs of the movement when it spins out of control. This can include false accusations on one end of the spectrum, and blindness to tone on the other.
Or, we can keep barreling down the road of reactionary censorship, scrubbing art and entertainment Mao-style, and crushing the very human enjoyment of romance, playfulness, and yes, seduction.What’s next on the chopping block?
How about Rod Stewart’s 1976 ode to getting an underage virgin drunk for sex in “Tonight’s the Night?” He sings to her, “Let me pour you a good long drink … Don’t say a word my virgin child … tonight’s the night.”
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines?” “Good girl…I know you want it…But you’re an animal…Baby, it’s in your nature…Just let me liberate you.”
Long after Frank Sinatra celebrated empty one-night stands with “Strangers in the Night,” Meghan Trainor sang about an obvious booze-fueled sexual encounter in “Walkashame,” “Well please don’t judge, it was mad late…I had a lot to drink…We all make mistakes in the drunk world…He kissed me and he called me his babe…Asked me to stay.”
This poor victim was plied with alcohol and now is being shamed as she is forced to do the “walk of shame” the morning after the act. But just like the lady in “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” she was “asked to stay.” I can’t help but suspect that maybe, just maybe, the lady wanted to stay the night. But I guess we’ll never know. So, we best play it safe.
Of course we won’t officially “ban” this or any song. We’ll just make it clear that anyone who likes songs like these is a misogynist, indifferent to sexual assault. Likely a Trump voter.
Fortunately, the listeners of KOSI have acumen for divining assault from romance. They pressured KOSI to reinstate “Baby It’s Cold Outside” to their playlist.
It will be played after 10:00 at night and after a parental warning: “The following song is intended for mature audiences only and contains imagery that some hyper-sensitive buzzkills may find offensive. Please get a life and maybe don’t sue us.”
Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.