The Politicizing of the Holidays
Updated: Dec 12, 2018
The holiday season is finally here! It’s that time of year when the lights start to go up and the food starts cooking. I believe it is safe to say that no matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or even none of those, the mood of everybody becomes just a little lighter during the season of giving. We smile more, we sing louder, and we wish these times never end. One important detail that is vital to remember about the holiday season is the music that comes with it.
The music is what makes this holiday season as cheerful as we want it to be. If you ever find yourself in my car, you will hear favorites such as “Jingle Bells” and “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” traditional songs such as, “White Christmas” and “Oh Holy Night,” and even contemporary songs such as “Grown-Up Christmas List” and “Last Christmas.” There are so many different songs with different meanings that are decades old. As the world evolves, that also means that people have evolved as well. We are analyzing more, and often times we find things from olden days under present-day scrutiny. The perfect example is the holiday classic song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years, it is no secret that the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been under serious fire for suggesting sexual harassment and rape innuendos. Many radio stations across the country have announced they have pulled the song off of the air. This comes as no surprise with the rising of many movements such as #MeToo and Time’s Up, there have been more proactive steps of accountability put in place to the protect women who have been harassed in the past but were afraid to speak up. However, this scrutiny comes as a surprise to others who are fans of the 1944 Oscar-winning song. With lyrics such as, “I simply must go…Baby, it’s cold outside…The answer is no….But baby it’s cold outside,” many radio DJs and others have banned the song off the radio waves and even off of their holiday playlist.
I have no opinion, on the appropriateness of this song. Granted, America in 1944 was a totally different America than 2018, but I can certainly understand people’s frustration and concern over the song. What about the others, however? “Santa Baby” suggests gold-digging. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” suggests infidelity. “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” suggests insurance fraud.
Am I going overboard yet? Imagine how fans of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” must feel.
I am in no way validating or condoning the message of rape at all. However, that song had a romantic intent behind it and during those times, sex was not as prevalent as it is now. Instead of focusing on past songs and issues, we have larger to address, such as how the music now sends clear messages that disrespect not only women but the LGBTQQIA communities. If we are going to start condemning one song, make sure we condemn them all.
The holiday season is the one (and probably the only) time that we see people come together, no matter the race, gender, political ideology, or sexual orientation. We live in such tumultuous times now where everything is politicized, that is can sometimes be hard to just sit back to smell the roses because they are hidden behind the thorns of racism and political corruption. For the sanity of us all, we must learn to leave politics and ideologies at the door—until January 1.
I hope all of you remain safe out there and enjoy a politics-free season! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!