When they go after ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ you know #MeToo has gone mad

Dump the eggnog and strip the lights from the Hanukkah bush, because the #MeToo movement is coming for holiday fun. #MeToo, which started out as a righteous campaign to stamp out sexual harassment and predation, has gone stark raving bonkers.

Its latest target: the innocent, consensual kiss underneath the mistletoe and a beloved duet that celebrates it.

The charming ditty, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” is all about heterosexual flirtation and attempted seduction. Penned by Frank Loesser in 1944, it’s been covered by the likes of Bing Crosby, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé, among many others. It was even sung, harmlessly, by Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel in the 2003 Yuletide movie “Elf.”

The basic conceit is that, on a cold wintry night — we’re never told which holiday it is — a man implores his beloved to stay inside with him. “Baby, it’s cold outside,” he says. But she insists: “I really can’t stay.”

Now the feminist Grinches claim the song is an artifact of “rape culture”: sexually deviant, suggestive of physical coercion and downright harmful. Time to ban it!

An online campaign to get the song pulled from the airwaves, shopping malls and possibly your home went mainstream last year, thanks to the journalist Mary Nahorniak. She wrote a deadly serious piece in USA Today headlined “Let ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ Fade Away With 2017.”

“In the original score, the male part is written as a ‘wolf’ and the woman as a ‘mouse’ — that speaks volumes about male predatory behavior,” Nahorniak claimed. “Many women know what it’s like to feel trapped by a man, whether emotionally or physically. In those situations, it doesn’t matter how it began or why she wants to leave, it only matters that she wants to go, now.”

The song didn’t fade away in 2017. But last week, as the air turned frigid and the cultural temperature with it, radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 in Cleveland, Ohio, yanked the song in response to a listener complaint. The station plays Christmas-y music exclusively during the season that includes Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

A WDOK host acknowledged that radio honchos bowed to perceived public pressure in the age of #MeToo.

“People might say, ‘Oh, enough with that #MeToo,’ ” the host, who goes by Desiray, told CNN, “but if you really put that aside and listen to the lyrics, it’s not something I would want my daughter to be in that kind of a situation.”

She added: “The tune might be catchy, but let’s maybe not promote that sort of an idea.”

Another host, Glenn Anderson, wrote on the radio station’s Web site: “The world we live in is extra-sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place.”

All the fuss over a tune makes me dizzy. I think “Baby” could be interpreted, not as promoting sexual assault, but as one woman’s victorious resistance to a man’s desire.
Lighten up, people, it’s actually cute.

At one point, the woman sings, “Say, what’s in this drink?” which has been interpreted by the joyless sisterhood as a reference, not to club soda, or even to bourbon, but to roofies.

Give me a break.

Despite the strenuous efforts of the guy in the song, the lady in question doesn’t allow herself to become a victim — something that men and women must learn to do in the real world. Is that really “rapey,” as the kids say?

Or is it an example of good, old-fashioned girl power? Not every woman is powerless, and not every man is a budding pervert. If only the younger generation of Americans could learn to be confident and strong, not powerless and weak. Meanwhile, this Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa), keep singing! It might help keep you warm.

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