Enjoy your favorite problematic holiday song with these feminist remixes.

Raise your hand if you love the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" but also find it creepy.

Since Frank Loesser wrote the song in 1944, famous people have been clamoring to cover it — from Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. (separately of course, not as a duet, though that would've been something) to Zooey Deschanel and Will Ferrell in the Christmas classic "Elf."
It's not hard to imagine why. The tune is super catchy.
Through 1940's eyes, the lyrics may have all the warmth and romance that you'd want in a holiday classic, telling the story about a woman saying she has to leave a man's house while he begs her to stay, saying, "Baby, it's cold outside."
Think a little deeper though, and the lyrics sound pretty darn sinister, with the man at the very least pressuring the woman to stay and outright ignoring her protests, "I ought to say no, no, no, sir/Mind if I move in closer," at the very worst, straight up roofie-ing her, "Say what's in this drink/No cabs to be had out there."
In an age where discussions about consensual sex are at the forefront, it's common to find thinkpieces debating the song's feminist credentials, whether it's 2012 or just last year.

GIF via "Elf."

The good news is that now we have some alternative versions of the song, in the form of amazing feminist remixes.

There's this version by YouTube user caseymh2010, which is from 2013, but has started making the rounds again as the holiday season approaches.
In the updated version, the lyrics start out the same as the original:

"I really can't stay/But, baby, it's cold outside. I've got to go away/But, baby, it's cold outside. This evening has been/Been hoping that you'd drop in ..."


Then, instead of the man answering, "I'll hold your hands, they're just like ice," when the woman sings, "so very nice," he sings a friendly warning:
Rather than trying to coerce the woman into staying, the man supports her decision to leave, and wishes her safe travels.
Other lyrics from the man combine to show that he'll only move forward with the evening if she wants to, singing "Saying yes is your right" and "We've got consent, and that's enough.”
This updated version also addresses the woman's concern in the original lyrics that she'll be judged for staying the night, as implied by "there's bound to be talk tomorrow."
At one point, the female singer uses a lyric straight out of the original, "at least there will be plenty implied," but in this version, the man, instead of ignoring her concern, sings this sex-positive response:
This song reflects the fact women may still be judged for having sex, but the man models a response showing that neither of them should feel any shame for having had sex or even just "staying the night."

Then there's another parody of the song from 2014 that lasts only 11 glorious seconds.

"I really can't stay," this woman sings. "It's totally fine. I'll call you a cab," the man replies.

If you don't want to watch a 40-second video, this Facebook post models a similar conversation:

Lots of people love "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Given how catchy it is, it's hard to blame anyone for wanting to enjoy it without thinking too deeply about certain ingrained stereotypes that it promotes.
It's also great, however, that these progressive alternatives exist. As someone who finds it hard to separate art from a bad creator, or from a bad message, these reimaginings make "Baby, It's Cold Outside" even more enjoyable.
And it gives me hope for humanity — that messages of consent are catching on.
True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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