Baby It’s Cold Outside

My large chorus has performed Baby, It’s Cold Outside twice in the past week. A classic holiday tune, it has been called rapey by Millennials online. As in, the guy wants to date-rape his gal with the swell-looking hair.
Baby It’s Cold Outside was written in the 1940’s as a romantic song of seduction. But in the Me, Too era of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Al Franken, the prez, and everybody else accused of sexual harassment (even Dustin Hoffman in this week’s Time magazine), some of the younger generation see the song as a date rape anthem.
I asked the new tenor next to me on the risers if he thought the song was rapey, since he is 24 years old, a millennial.
“Say, what’s in this drink?” said Andrew, pausing for effect. “I rest my case.”
Ah ha! I saw his point.
Later, in the ladies’ locker room, as we were changing out of our chorus outfits, I mentioned it to Stacy, a bonafide Baby Boomer, that the millennials thought the song was rapey.
“What does rapey mean?” she asked.
When Sarah jumped in and explained, Stacy said, “Oh, please! It’s a seduction song, not a rape song.”
Sarah tried to explain about the roofies drug, Rohypnol, and how guys slip it into unsuspecting girls’ drinks to knock them out.
Stacy wasn’t having any of it.
“Tell the millennials to get a life!” Stacy said.
I thought back to my oldest daughter’s college orientation, when the coed leaders told her not to ever set her drink down at a party because a guy might slip something in it and “roofie” her.
“Mom, that should be illegal,” my seventeen year old daughter said, looking at me with horror.
I paused and took in her innocence. Suddenly, leaving her in San Diego and going back to the Bay Area seemed like a foolish thing to do.
“It is illegal,” I said, “but some guys do it anyway and hope they won’t get caught.”
Years later, my younger daughter complained that Blurred Lines, the Robin Thick and Pharrell Williams’ (the Happy guy) song, with the Marvin Gaye beat, was a rapey song.
“The lyrics are you know you want it, you really want it,” she said.
Up to that point, I’d thought of Blurred Lines as a good dance tune. All the local bands covered it that year.
My younger daughter was making me think, as she often did about everything.
My boyfriend back then told an off-color joke, and she overheard him.
“That’s racist, Mom!” she said after he left.
“A lot of white guys in their sixties tell jokes like that,” I said. “It’s a generational thing.”
“It’s not okay!” she said.
“You’re right,” I said, realizing that I was making excuses for bigoted boomers.
Her generation was going to change the world.
I referred to someone as a transvestite.
“It’s transgender, Mom!” she said. “Transvestite is a horrible word!”
“Sorry. When I was your age, it was transvestite,” I said.
Oh, to be sixty and have millennial children! More often than not, what I say is the wrong term, not PC, or just plain stupid to them.
“What kind of cord do I need, again?” I asked my son.
“HDMI,” he said.
“HTML?” I repeated.
“No, Mom,” he said slowly. “You . . . need . . . an . . . HDMI . . . cord . . . to . . . hook . . . your . . . computer . . . to . .. your . . . TV.”
“Oh, right,” I said.
I had to write it down twice before I remembered it.
Times, they are a changing. When all of us Baby Boomers are dead and gone, it will be a whole new world. People won’t eat meat, they will drive electric cars and recycle everything, and no one will never ever sing the song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
It’s just too rapey.

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