Look at this hunk of a man Dean Martin. Yeah, he's your culprit.
Since it's December, Christmas music is playing on the radio all the time. One of the songs I hear all the time is called ”Baby It's Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser. Check out the Dean Martin version, which seems to be played the most.
Let me sum up why the song is is memorable:
  • It has harmonies between a male and female singer.
  • It was written 75 years ago, and I hear it every year.
  • It is entirely about a man trying to keep a woman from leaving.
The last point bugs me the most. While the song does not specifically state that sexual assault is occurring (some people think it is), the lyrics imply foul behavior. Here are some statistics from the song:
  • The woman says that she needs to leave nine times.
  • The woman gives six reasons why she needs to leave.
  • The man changes the subject twelve times.
I'm not particularly conservative, but the song may send the wrong signals. One response is particularly bad. The woman asks, “say what's in this drink,” and the man replies, “no cabs to be had out there.” From that response, it seems like the man is trying to get the woman drunk or drugged.

Whenever I listen to this song, I wonder how many cases of sexual assault occur after a scenario similar to that in the song. When a woman says no multiple times (even in jest), but finally agrees, is that considered rape? Does the continuous questioning count as coercion? My intuition leads me to believe that the answer is no, since consent is given and at the end of the day, any happenings are conducted willfully between both partners.

What do you think?

by Kevin Teng