Author Topic: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture  (Read 2437 times)

Sandra Craft

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"Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« on: December 30, 2015, 08:17:59 AM »
This isn't something I think about a lot, but it turns up fairly regularly when you read feminist blogs: Baby, it's consensual outside.  In this case, the heartburn is over the rapey-ness of the song "Baby, it's cold outside", originally sung in the frothy romance comedy "Neptune's Daughter".

As Greta Christina points out, this song is all about one person trying to leave and another pressuring them to stay -- a violation of the first person's autonomy and consent.  All of which is true enough, even if there's still room for disagreement about flirting and game-playing in romance.

As far as the movie, and song, go, on one hand I think it would have never occurred to our mothers and grandmothers who first saw "Neptune's Daughter" in 1949 that Esther Williams was in any danger of being raped by Richardo Montalban (much less that Red Skelton was in danger of being raped by Betty Garrett), so is our generation simply over-reacting?


But on the other hand, I remember the shock I got when I watched "Zorba the Greek" as an adult and saw how casually, almost flippantly, real rape was treated in 1964.  And recall that marital rape was legal in the US until (I think) 1975.  Which does suggest a certain amount of under-reaction by earlier generations.

In any case, I'm also on the fence about applying current day morals and standards to another time and, even tho it's only 67 years ago, 1949 really was another time.  I totally agree that no should mean no without grumbling or argument, but in a historical context I think it's just as well to accept that things were different then and be thankful they changed.  If they have. 

Since Greta mentioned it, here is the Lady Gaga/Joseph Gordon-Levitt version:


« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 11:43:28 PM by BooksCatsEtc »
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Sherman Firefly

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 09:37:42 AM »
Can one imagine this being produced 67 years ago? No, I thought not, neither could I. That's how far we have progressed in some countries. We shouldn't get all twisted up about what was done years, decades or millennia ago we should learn from their mistakes and be happy we wouldn't do that sort of thing any more.

[youtube width=700]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ[/youtube]
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Sherman Firefly

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 10:34:29 AM »
Another interesting, and accurate, take on the subject.

[youtube width=600]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEAgXMtcJ0w[/youtube]
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Insoluble

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 02:11:50 PM »
Geez, it's not enough this song caused al-Qaeda, now it's promoting rape culture.

http://protect.expert/ideology-al-qaeda-prof-matthew-ogilvie/
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Sayyid Qutb was a radical Egyptian intellectual. He believed that Western civilization was decadent and promiscuous and the enemy of Islam. (A pivotal moment in forming this belief was apparently his attendance at a Colorado Christian Church social dance, during which “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was played.) He came to believe that authentic Islam had been virtually extinguished and he condemned the leaders of Muslim nations for not enforcing strict Islamic conduct. Qutb also radicalised Islamic ideology by claiming that jihad should be undertaken not only to defend Islam, but to purify it of corrupt influences.

I didn't think it rapey, just ecouraging the woman to do what she wanted to.
(that's the song, I don't follow youtube links)

The copyright holders, I suspect the copyright holders are at the root of it all.

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Recusant

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 11:15:52 PM »
To be honest, I've disagreed with many things that Greta Christina has written over the years, but I think this piece makes valid points in regard to certain questions that trouble modern day society.

However, I do take issue with one thing Christina does in this blog post. I'll take the statement that "No means no" as a given. I completely agree with that, and also agree that the dangerous games that are played by both men and women in which "no doesn't really mean no" can have abhorrent results. The simple fact is that the woman in the original song never says "no"; she is vacillating, and says that she should say "no." Christina's analysis depends on believing that the woman wants to say "no," and Christina basically assumes that the woman in the song has said "no" even if not explicitly. As long as I ignore the actual lyrics and accept Christina's gloss of them, I can agree with the rest of what she says. Just to note: in the "Consensual Outside" version, the woman does explicitly say "no."

ETA: Reviewing the movie version, the woman does say "the answer is no." So my point is shot down.  :)

Still, the song needn't be viewed as malignant. In its context within the old movie, I don't think that it was.

Back in the modern world, I think it's right to place so much importance on the inviolability of "No means no." Given the wide dispersal of that meme, most people are aware of it, and I think both men and women should take it to heart. An implied "no" should suffice as well, in my opinion. People in the real world aren't that honest, though. Ideally, the "flirtatious game" Christina describes around ignoring boundaries should end, but some enjoy playing with fire. So we're back to "No means no." Games should stop when that line is explicitly drawn.

As for whether there is some over-reaction going on, I think there certainly there is. That doesn't invalidate the legitimacy of respecting boundaries. Taking that tack would be like the asshat MRA types who point to extremist statements made by some feminists and use them as a broad brush to justify their position that "feminism is bad, and should be opposed."
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 12:17:21 AM by Recusant »
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Sandra Craft

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 11:42:55 PM »
Who knew stick figures could be so evocative!?  And no, that probably wouldn't have flown in 1949.

One other thing I meant to mention but forgot, was that the line that stands out to me as the most objectionable: "say, what's in this drink?", shows up unaltered in "Baby, it's consensual outside".  I wonder if Greta just missed that, or if there's some non-roofy explanation for it that I don't get.
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 12:35:36 AM »
Recusant that is what safe words are for.
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Recusant

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2015, 12:38:00 AM »
Recusant that is what safe words are for.

People don't always plan things in that sort of detail. If they've got to the point of agreeing on a safe word, they're well beyond the territory I was discussing.
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2015, 12:46:27 AM »
Recusant that is what safe words are for.

People don't always plan things in that sort of detail. If they've got to the point of agreeing on a safe word, they're well beyond the territory I was discussing.

That is S&M 101. You never play about with it until both partners discuss and agree on the parameter otherwise it is rape.

Or no means no unless otherwise discussed.
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2015, 12:49:15 AM »
That is S&M 101. You never play about with it until both partners discuss and agree on the parameter otherwise it is rape.

Or no means no unless otherwise discussed.

Yes to all of the above.
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2015, 01:29:45 AM »
In my early 20's I met up with an old friend and we decided to go to a club that we went to between the ages of 16 and 18 before I left for another city to relive past times. On closing it was the typical people hooking up and I was gone as it had been a long time since I had drinks for a pound a double with a mixer, however I noticed a troll of a guy fingering a girl and it looked all kinds of wrong. She hadn't passed out but clearly couldn't make heads or tale of a situation, her friend was asking me to go back to hers and even though I was wasted I wasn't that drunk and started to question her about the situation, the girl clearly wasn't giving any signs of pleasure or disgust and her mate simply said "it's her fault for getting so drunk", I stepped in pulled the guys hand out of her pants and asked her if she knew what she was doing. She couldn't even string a sentence together so a pushed him away. He started on me but thankfully saying that he had raped her already sent him and his mates on their way.

In this sort of situation I kind of get what Recusant is saying when it comes to the dangerous games bit, the person was equally as drunk as she was and she gave no indication either way, she was moving about as anybody would if their pussy was being rubbed like a scratch card in the hands of a tramp which would have given him some sort of indication that she was into it (even though it would have been incorrect) and the idiocy of alcohol would have been at play. Then there are situations when the person doesn't say anything, it is clearly rape and there are no two ways about it but how is the other person to know especially if alcohol or other drugs are at play. In these cases even though it is easy to classify as rape the chances for it happening have been increased by both parties, and the ability for either party of knowing when it has crossed over into rape is even harder.

In the example of the films it is pretty damn clear she isn't interested in him and he looks like a damn sex pest, at least she kind of looks into it at the end whereas the guy in the second part looks horror struck at the very end.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 12:28:10 PM by Crow »
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2015, 07:37:54 AM »
This whole thing reminds me of the movie Gone with the Wind (1939). There’s a scene in the movie, some call it love, others call it rape. :secrets1: I think it's rape.

I guess this was foreplay in 1939. :tellmemore:
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And the morning after:
Did we miss something between the rape, sorry, the love scene, and her happy face in the morning?  :scratch:

Quote
I'd like to extend my apology for my conduct of last night.
Oh, but, Rhett.
I was very drunk and quite swept off my feet by your charms.
You needn't bother to apologize. Nothing you do surprises me.
I've been thinking, and I believe it would be better for both of us if we admitted we made a mistake and got a divorce.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 07:49:51 AM by Magdalena »

Sherman Firefly

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2015, 08:54:43 AM »
Recusant that is what safe words are for.

People don't always plan things in that sort of detail. If they've got to the point of agreeing on a safe word, they're well beyond the territory I was discussing.
Quite right.
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Sandra Craft

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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2015, 10:39:12 AM »

Did we miss something between the rape, sorry, the love scene, and her happy face in the morning?  :scratch:

I think we're missing the assumption that women are aroused by domineering alpha males who take what they want when they want it.  To be fair, when I was growing up this assumption was reinforced by women more than men.
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Re: "Baby, it's cold outside" and rape culture
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2016, 04:15:50 AM »

Did we miss something between the rape, sorry, the love scene, and her happy face in the morning?  :scratch:

I think we're missing the assumption that women are aroused by domineering alpha males who take what they want when they want it.  To be fair, when I was growing up this assumption was reinforced by women more than men.

Well...yes. The domineering alpha male has been around for a while.  :-\