Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Here I thought shows like Versailles and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey were violating the bounds of decency. But I have now been told that the height of depravity can be found in an Esther Williams movie, Neptune's Daughter, and encapsulated in the song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." I have been informed that underneath the coyness and silly slapstick humor it is really a song about date rape. So I listened to it several times and watched the video in the context of the film. I never imagined that Ricardo Montauban was playing a would-be rapist and that Esther was allowing him to ply her with drink so he could exercise his nefarious intentions. I always innocently thought the film was a romantic comedy, the highlight of which was Esther dancing in the water.

Seriously, there must be a zillion songs that are more provocative and more about date rape and loss of virtue than "Baby, It's Cold Outside". I know from having watched just about every Esther Williams movie in the world that nobody is raped and nobody has sex outside of marriage, not in any of her films. Esther Williams movies had basically the same plot. They were fun and flirtatious but nobody got raped and as far as sex goes there was some kissing but that's all. Nobody had rape in mind. For one thing, when film was made when there was a strict code under the Legion of Decency about how sexuality was depicted in film. In fact, it was forbidden to show married people in bed together and even Desi and Lucy, who were married in real life, had to be shown with twin beds. So the film and song in question are leagues away from being about rape.  I really wish that people who want to demonize songs from the 1950's would focus on the very real harm caused by rap, porn, drugs, slutty fashions, violent films, and the overall disintegration of the moral and cultural fabric of our society.

Yes, the song is flirtatious. Yes, we do not want our teenage daughters sitting around at night drinking, especially not with amorous men. Although in the film, Esther is not a teen but a mature young lady. When a lady was out with a man she knew to be a gentleman, she could relax a little, knowing that he would not take advantage of her. In the film, Esther's character wants to leave because she fears for her reputation if she stays too long alone with a man at night, which would not even be a consideration nowadays. She also may fear giving in to her own feelings, that is, giving into temptation, and going "too far." It is why then, as now, people trying to live a life of virtue avoid what Catholics call "near occasions of sin." So it is a question of temptation, but not one of rape. Our time is so corrupt that people see flirting and immediately think of the bedroom. But there used to be such a thing as courtship which saved the consummation until the wedding night. It was a different world then; many couples, especially those from a religious background, waited until they were married. How sad our culture has become. 



Viola said...

This is just ridiculous, Elena. Who thought this up? What a prime example of PC going crazy! This sounds like an interesting film.
No doubt, many more people will be watching it now!

julygirl said...

I never hear any complaints about the vulgarity of songs by Beyoncé and many of the current entertainers and recording stars. Recently, out of interest, I surfed through some of the MTV channels and was bowled over by the crude language and suggestive gestures. So the negative and judgmental comments made about any of the 1940's music is ludicrous.

Viola said...

I agree, JulyGirl. I was horrified by some of Beyonce's lyrics!
I notice that some people like this song because they think that Esther's character decides to stay, which means that she is willing to be a 'bad' girl! I can only watch the clip of the song, unfortunately.