“Baby It’s Cold Outside” flap is a microcosm of the mythological “War on Christmas”

The Christmas season doesn’t have to be like “The Purge” for sexual harassment.

I just need to say right at the top: I am not here to wage “War on Christmas”. I don’t even believe there to be one. I look for signs of it every year, but all I see are holiday-themed versions of the same dumb arguments people get into all year long.

I see conservatives standing ever-vigilant for a sign of someone, anyone – anywhere in the country – doing something they disapprove of so they can blast it out across the country as “proof” that “liberals” are coming for Christmas.

Take the recent kerfuffle over “Baby It’s Cold Outside” as an example. This is one rapey Christmas song out of 500 Christmas songs. I’ve always enjoyed the song, personally, and would never think to complain to a radio station about it.

Then again, I’m a dude and have never been sexually harassed. So after hearing that a radio station somewhere in Colorado and another in Cleveland pulled this song off their air due to complaints, I checked out the lyrics.

This entire song consists of a woman insisting she leave a guy’s house, and him not taking no for an answer. She starts out saying six times she has to leave, then asks for “half a drink more” after he refuses. He apparently loads it up with booze or God knows what else leading her to say, “Say what’s in this drink?”

She keeps talking about leaving; he starts talking about her eyes and hair and says, “Mind if I move in closer?”

She says, “Ah, you’re very pushy you know?” to which he responds, “I like to think of it as opportunistic.”

She declines ten more times before he says, “How can you do this to me?”

Now, maybe you disagree with all of this and think I’m crazy. You probably started hearing this song as a kid and liked it. Hearing it now takes you back to a simpler time and puts you in the Christmas spirit. I get it. The feeling of Christmas is something most of us spend all year looking forward to. I’m no different.

All I’m saying is that there should be some room for reasonable minds to disagree on this one particular song. If someone has been assaulted and now this song reminds her of her life’s worst experience and she just wants to get through Christmas without another reminder, I, for one, am willing to grant that wish without yelling from the mountaintop that Christmas is dead.

I also realize this song has a soothing tone which seems like the opposite of predatory, but then think of how abusive encounters tend to begin. Maybe a girl is flirting and the dude thinks he has a chance. He lays on the charm and she refuses politely at first, not wanting to be rude or cause a scene. He’s drunk and doesn’t let it go, and she starts looking around for the exit. What might have started as a misunderstanding only ends in disaster after the music stops.

Consider also that if the past couple years has taught us anythingo, it is that sexual harassment is way more prevalent than most of us non-predator dudes would have guessed. There seem to be a lot of women out there that have had some terrible experiences just now coming into the open.

So if after all of this, you’re the type of person that hears of a few radio stations hitting pause on this one song, and your conclusion is that liberals are ruining Christmas for good Christians everywhere – you might have Christmas exactly backwards.

No one is at war with you. There are just a lot of people out there trying to honor Jesus Christ by living the golden rule: treating others as they’d like to be treated.

Maybe it comes in the form of putting yourself in the shoes of someone who’s been abused, and giving some ground on 1/500th of the Christmas songs. Maybe it comes in the form of saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas because you believe the generosity that is the spirit of Christmas applies to more than just Christmas. You don’t have to believe this; you just have to be okay with people that do.

Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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