Thursday, December 20, 2018

Baby, It's Old Outside

Old Man Winter - Wikimedia Commons

Lately,  I’m hearing the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” all the time, everywhere.  It’s America’s favorite Christmas carol right now.  Why?  Controversy. What’s the controversy? Whose is the controversy?

Should the song be banned because the wolfish guy is cajoling the ingénue to stay the night? We’d be doing a shitload of banning if predatory and deprecatory language towards women in entertainment were at issue.  

For me, it rings back to the burning of the bra media era; some women, for street theater, burned bras and the media chose to emphasize that about the upswell (no pun intended but noted) of Feminism in the 60s and 70s.  It’s a media old boys network trick; focus on the ridiculous and soon the threatening will go away.  Real change is threatening; trivializing that which threatens real change is a good way to make it go away again.  

The MeToo movement has apparently unnerved too many nerves and here we go again; let’s focus on the ridiculous.   A song from the 40’s is the height of controversy over whether the movement has gone too far?  Oh, please, grow up and let’s talk about what matters.

Why, in the 21stcentury, in which space travel will become an ordinary possibility, are so many women beaten, raped and denigrated on a daily basis all over the world? Why do so many of us have horror stories about men behaving badly, injuring us on physical and psychological levels?  

Patriarchal religious laws around the world constrain women and inflict unnecessary hardships or even cruelties on women.  They can’t drive or they have to be invisible in the society.  They are the cause of men’s misdeeds.  Can you believe that shit!

I’ve been incredibly lucky in the men department.  My dad, brother and husband are examples of men who are kind people, so are many of my male friends.  I, as a woman, also endeavor to be first and foremost, a kind person. But, I too have my “MeToo” stories, experiences with men I could have done without.  Multitudes of women have stories of lewd verbal or physical attacks from men; some of us have escaped with a sober sense of how much worse it could have been, some of us are not that lucky and know the worst.

This song would not have ruffled the air waves without producers deciding it’s a good story, a kind of push-back to the extremes of not allowing boys to be boys anymore. Just like, burning your bra, how ridiculous these women are, you see.

What are the real issues? Relationships between men and women need to be balanced by mutual respect, always.  It’s the same as the golden rule; "do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Not rocket science.  If you don’t want to be grabbed by your private parts by a total stranger, or worse, by someone you trusted, then don’t condone in anyway, someone else being so assaulted, either in real life or in entertainment fiction. If you don’t want to be intimidated by a bully into doing or being something that you’re not, then don’t intimidate and bully anyone, in any relationship, ever.

Attitudes have to change and then the songs we like will reflect who we are.  

I understand that it’s scary to see powerful men in high positions fall under the scrutiny of how they treat women.  Look at the morning news shows, so interesting how close to the media’s heart this issue has hit.  That’s real change.  What’s the message; no matter how rich, how bossy or how big your man parts are, you do not ever have permission to grab me by the pussy.  

Perhaps, even individual #1 will someday get that message.

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