Talk:Baby, It's Cold Outside

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Date Rape Controversy[edit]

I deleted this (added by somebody from an IP address only), as it belongs here on the discussion page:

"It should be noted, however, that a few commentaries in online blogs do not constitute a controversy. Substantive critical analysis on this point remains to be done."

Snoopyjc (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:46, 17 January 2011 (UTC).

I wrote this, and my point was that this "date rape controversy" shouldn't be a part of an encyclopedic entry on the song. There is no controversy, yet. There are only a few people who blogged about it, based on ad hoch reactions to what they heard in the song (yes, she asks what is in the drink, but any serious examination would observe that, given the time period of the song, she's asking what kind of alchohol and mixes are in it, not if it has some kind of drug, such as Rohipnal). Adding this so-called "controversy" to the standard wikipedia entry compromises the whole purpose of wikipedia, which is to post sound factual information about specific subjects. Really, the "date-rape controversy" should be a part of the discussion, until serious study has been made of the meanings in the song. Until then, it is no more appropriate to post this statement as part of the regular entry than it would be to post the notion that the moon landing was faked as part of the regular encyclopedic entry on NASA. There needs to be some serious study to support this "controversy" before it should be a part of the standard entry.

Please consider moving the date rape controversy to this section until there is something substantial to make it worthy of being a part of the standard entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I will be putting the "Date Rape Controversy" section back in based on these references:

May I also recommend mr that you create an account in order to edit wikipedia!

Snoopyjc (talk) 03:33, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

There is no Controversy on "Baby it cold outside" 1. they're opinions not fact. 2.Anita Sarkeesian claimed that it date rape, but don't provide any proof. mich (talk) 17:09, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

If every controversy was completely based on facts there wouldn't be any controversy it would be facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Two of the sources already used talk about the date rape controversy in their very titles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fireproof88 (talkcontribs) 22:26, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

The lyrics "how can you do this thing to me" are victim blaming. But, that's my personal synthesis. Timeraner (talk) 01:05, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The existence of a controversy was acknowledged in a recent South Park episode. Do not delete this section of the article entirely. Timeraner (talk) 08:03, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

A satire piece is not recognition of the existence of a controversy. Support the contention by a reliable source, and it can be maintained. ScrapIronIV (talk) 03:33, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
It was addressed by [1]; George Ouzounian [2]; [3]; and TMZ [4]. WP:RS#Biased_or_opinionated_sources says "Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject." Timeraner (talk) 12:12, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

What was removed from the article: ″In recent years, there has been criticism of the song, stemming from a modernistic reading of the wolf/mouse dynamic as being sexually predatory.[1][2][3] While traditionally interpreted as the mouse wanting to stay and putting up only token protests for the sake of appearance,[4] some commentators perceive the lyrics as the "mouse" as genuinely wanting to leave but being stopped by the "wolf" being coercive in his pleading. These readers cite certain lines as being questionable, including "I simply must go", "The answer is no", "I've got to go home".[5] There is also the line "Hey, what's in this drink", which is seen as implicative of alcohol affecting the "mouse's" judgement or that they have been drugged.[6][7] However, many movies,[which?] at the time the song was written, used a similar line to refer to someone behaving in a different manner than they expected and blaming it on the alcohol.[neutrality is disputed][4]Timeraner (talk) 12:25, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

Already discussed ad nauseum. Propagandist sources trying to create a controversy are not acceptable to define a controversy which does not exist. "Bitch Magazine" and Cracked are not RS, they are satire or propaganda. Wikipedia is not a forum to promote an agenda. ScrapIronIV (talk) 19:47, 13 January 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ "8 Romantic Songs You Didn't Know Were About Rape". Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "'SOUTH PARK' Takes on Bill Cosby ... BABY THERE'S AN ASSAULT OUTSIDE". TMZ. Retrieved 28 December 2014.  line feed character in |title= at position 13 (help)
  3. ^ ""Baby It's Cold Outside" Isn't About Date Rape!". Salon_(website). Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Belle, Slay (6 December 2010). "Listening While Feminist: In Defense of "Baby It's Cold Outside"". Persephone Magazine. 
  5. ^ Wallace, Kelsey (December 6, 2011). Is She and Him Gender-Swapped "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Any Less Rape-y Than the Original? Bitch Media.
  6. ^ Deusner, Stephen (December 10, 2012). "Is "Baby, It's Cold Outside" a date-rape anthem?". Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Christmas songs that illustrate the worst in humanity by George Ouzounian

Additional sources[edit]

This is a widely discussed and widely help opinion regarding the song. It should not be excluded. That being said, I personally think the rape interpretation is overplayed, and doesn't account for changes in language (and courting) over the last 50 years, but it is undoubtedly notable. I am restoring the content

Gaijin42 (talk) 19:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps we can find some mainstream sources for this? Currently, the sources are specifically from a single propagandist perspective. Perhaps if it were in a separate section, and not generically within "Lyrics" it would not give the theory "mainstream" weight. Simply restoring it with the biased sources is unwarranted. Somehow, it appears that editors are taking issue that I have performed the same restoration as others before me, when there was never a consensus to include the biased material in the first place. I will offer a proposed wording and section in a bit - assuming that it will be met with open minds. ScrapIronIV (talk) 20:06, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Similar content has been in the article for over a year. [5] Mic, Wapo, Federalist, Salon, all mainstream articles. As to your accusations of bias. Per WP:BIASED (and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Bias_in_sources) "Wikipedia articles are required to present a neutral point of view. However, reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject." and Per WP:NPOV "As a general rule, do not remove sourced information from the encyclopedia solely on the grounds that it seems biased." and "[articles should be written to include] representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic.". This is clearly a widely held pov and should not be excluded. Find sources to the contrary and we will also include the counterargument (several are listed above). Pretending that this controversy doesn't exist is not encyclopedic. Gaijin42 (talk) 20:12, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough. I will be more than happy with inclusion, assuming we work together here on the talk page to create a balanced representation of it. Just so we are working from the same page, I trust we will limit the inclusion of specific propagandist sites, blogs and satire pieces, and stick to the more mainstream sources? ScrapIronIV (talk) 20:19, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
The satire bits should not be included, except as to show the extent of the meme. "Propaganda" sites is your determination. Because they are writing from a feminist POV or whatever is not a cause to exclude them (read WP:BIASED again). Blogs it would depend. If they are some random wordpress, I agree. Others (huffpo) are more notable and often considered RS. As this is not a BLP and we are specifically discussing opinions of the song, the bar for what is a valid opinion is fairly low.Gaijin42 (talk) 20:26, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, looking through multiple blogs, I can actually see why this is becoming an issue. I have been looking at the history of the song, and not the history of the performances of it. It was written as a song of courtship, and has lots of great opportunities for interaction between singers and lots of room for interpretation. If you ever see the two versions originally presented in Neptune's Daughter, you will laugh and enjoy the flirtatious play between Montalban and Williams - and will love when it is turned upside-down on the following scene with Garrett and Skelton. But it seems in recent years some performances have intentionally made it as creepy as possible. There is even a version that seems to include an actual kidnapping. It's not the song; it's the performance.
So, it is not unlike Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" where it can be clean, or merely suggestive, or downright raunchy depending on the performance. The question comes down to this: Do we merely allude to the controversy, without interpretation, and keep it low key - or do we allow it to be explored? My thought is that we do mention it as previously agreed, but keep from any meaningful interpretation of the lyrics. Something like this:
  • In recent years, there has been criticism of the song, stemming from modern performances of the wolf/mouse dynamic as being sexually predatory. While traditionally interpreted as the mouse wanting to stay and putting up only token protests for the sake of appearance, some commentators perceive the lyrics as the "mouse" as genuinely wanting to leave but being stopped by the "wolf" being coercive in his pleading.
This way, we leave out the idea of it being a "date rape anthem" and do not need to attribute a particular interpretation to a specific perspective. The reference to use in this case, which seems to cover both sides without specific partiality, is the article. We also do not open the door to controversies over date rape drugs as part of a 70 year old lyrics, which does not hold much water historically. What do you think? ScrapIronIV (talk) 20:57, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I support the sources explicitly and implicitly stating this song is about date rape. Timeraner (talk) 21:04, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I opened a discussion on the reliability of sources: Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Controversy of Baby It's Cold Outside. Timeraner (talk) 21:04, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think its a good start, but too short for the amount of coverage this has received (WP:WEIGHT). per WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV we actually need to attribute the particular interpretations to particular perspectives. The concept of "something in the drink" does not rely on modern pharmacology. The concept of a slipping someone a mickey is from the 1890s and has been in popular use since the 10's and '20s. Beyond drugs, just an unusually strong drink is also a reasonable interpretation (eg Jungle juice). There is a reasonable counter argument to the date rape interpretation (changes in language, changes in "playing hard to get", etc) We should discuss those. But the "rapey" interpretation is becoming the standard one. Maybe thats unfair to judge the song by modern standards. But wikipedia doesn't care about "fair" it cares about whats WP:Verifiable. This certainly qualifies. Heres a recent parody (showing the pervasivness of the interpretation) Gaijin42 (talk) 21:07, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I understand, and will await your counter proposal. My only issue with the WP:WEIGHT argument is that the coverage is based solely on blogs and editorials, and is not historically significant. Certainly, if the issue of date rape is included, then the sources need to be identified in the text as "liberal" and/or "feminist" in the text, as per WP:BIASED ScrapIronIV (talk) 21:30, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Moved to Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/Noticeboard#Controversy of Baby It's Cold Outside after receiving input that sources are RS. I agree that further elaboration of the interpretations are necessary, let's collaborate on a rewrite at the noticeboard. Timeraner (talk) 21:39, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
I think its better to workshop it here, NPOV is best for pulling in input, but we don't want to fork discussion. Also any uninvolved editors will be looking for the discussion here rather than there. Gaijin42 (talk) 21:51, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Because Glen Beck is well known as a liberal feminist? Wapo? mic? I get it that you disagree with the argument. but trying to impeach everyone who holds it by calling it propaganda or biased is a fallacy. Something along the lines of No true Scotsman ("No unbiased sources disagree with me"). Here are some additional sources

Gaijin42 (talk) 21:51, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Actually, I was merely saying that the sources which attest to it being a "date rape anthem" are liberal and/or feminist. I was making no such assertion to Glen Beck, or WaPo, or Federalist. I have no problem referring to the more traditional interpretations as Conservative. If we are going down the road to include Bitch Magazine, Cracked and The Daily Beast, they should be specified as such - Feminist, Satirical, and Liberal. I am trying to work with you here, and will do so in good faith. ScrapIronIV (talk) 21:59, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Gaijin42 (talk) 22:01, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Song is rapey[edit]

This song is so rapey, I can't believe it's not mentioned anywhere in this article. You only have to hear it once to realize it's about a guy trying to get a woman drunk so that she does't go home (even though she wants to). Newjerseyliz (talk) 17:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your absolutely fantastic and unsourced opinion. May I suggest actually reading the lyrics in the context of the time in which they were written? Havensfire (talk) 19:37, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

Date Rape Controversy 2[edit]

I deleted the sentence stating that the song was originally viewed as liberating for women. There is no evidence this song was ever viewed this way (at least by women) and no citation is provided establishing this. There is actually strong evidence to the contrary -- that this song has always been viewed as a creepy date rape song, at least to the women singing it -- because the only two edits done to the song by women in the 50 years from 1949 to 1999 either modified the date rape line (Skeeter Davis in 1969) or completely eliminated the entire creepy date rape portions of the song (Mae West in 1957). In fact, it can be said that even the June Carter Cash version in 1949 can be seen as a comedic take on the date rape aspects of the song, with Carter Cash being kept by not just one man, but two men on both sides of her, and the song lyrics being modified by Carter Cash to say things like, "Give me a key to that door!"

The reference to the Mae West "debut" of the song was taken down because, first of all, the actual reference cites a blog arguing how Bette Midler is similar to Mae West and has nothing to do with Baby It's Cold Outside; second, there is no evidence this is the first time this song was "debuted" on a TV show, and third, if one "use of the song in popular culture" is allowed, I think all "popular culture" examples should be allowed, not what the personal preference of one Wikipedia editor thinks is important.H. Nicole Young (talk) 20:58, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

FYI, you're supposed to comment at the end of a talk page section, not the beginning. The comments should flow in chronological order, unless you're responding to a specific comment. (Which can't be the case here.) It makes for an especially confusing read when you add it to the top of a 5+ year old discussion... Sergecross73 msg me 15:50, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I have moved this to its own section. It wasvery confusing where it was at and really didn't pertain to that section. -- GB fan 16:28, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
H. Nicole Young, just to clear up some obvious confusion on your part, I did not remove most of the popular because it was my personal preference. I removed all the popular culture references that did not have any references that showed they were unreferenced. I also left in the versions that said they charted somewhere even if they did not have a reference. I am not against having additional popular culture references added, we just need to have reliable sources that show what is significant about them. Just because they happened doesn't mean they belong in the article. The references to verify the information that I removed were for the most part just youtube videos that verified they happened. -- GB fan 16:42, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Additional deletions made: The picture referring to this song as being presented as "Music for the Children" taken down as inappropriate. The paragraph under the heading "Lyrics" describing the "modern" controversy and the lyrical meaning of wolves and mice taken down as the only two references cited (one of which claims it's a Salon article from 2014 when it's really a Gloss article from 2012) only discuss how creepy it is that this song was included in the kid movie "Elf" and don't mention anything about mice and wolves. The sentence mentioning the male/female roles were reversed in Neptune's Daughter taken down as repetitive (this is mentioned in Publications). The sentence saying Loesser won the Academy Award taken down as repetitive (this is mentioned in Publications). The himself/herself he/she split gender language was changed to simply "herself" and "she" since there is no evidence Loesser intended gender neutrality when writing the parts for "wolf" and "mouse", writing the part of the mouse specifically for his wife (a female). The only times the gender roles are reversed, including the original role reversal in Neptune's Daughter, are for comedic effect and are equivalent to men dressing in drag for comedic effect. H. Nicole Young (talk) 05:32, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Steyn's Song of the Week[edit]

Why was the link "Baby, It's Cold Outside" at Steyn's Song of the Week deleted? The Edit summary says "Not a useful external link. (TW)", but the link provides plenty of useful info about the song that would be hard to find anywhere else. Wnmyers (talk) 18:37, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

Mark Steyn does not appear to be a recognized expert on music lyrics. His blog falls into #11 in WP:LINKSTOAVOID. His opinion of the song is not an important resource for the article. The blog does not provide a unique resource that contains info that is beyond what would be in a featured article. - GB fan 01:16, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

He has written three books on music and known many songwriters personally. If writing three books doesn't make him an expert, what does? Also, did you read his linked article? There is quite a bit there that is not in the wikipedia article. Wnmyers (talk) 07:20, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

He had written three books on musical theater, that does not make him a recognized expert on music lyrics, it doesn't even make him a recognized expert on musical theater. Knowing songwriters doors not make anyone an expert. If you think he is a recognized expert on music lyrics, you should be able to find reliable sources that have quoted his opinions on music lyrics. I have read his blog that you linked and it does have opinions that are not in the article. That does not mean they belong in the article. People write things about subjects all the time and most never belong in an encyclopedia article on that subject. - GB fan 12:18, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure why he has to be an expert on "music lyrics". This article is not about "music lyrics". It is about a song written by a musical theater songwriter and first publicly appeared in a movie. Steyn was a theater and film critic for various newspapers. It seems to me if that and writing three books on musical theater doesn't make him an expert, then there are no experts. But if someone quoting him is that important to you, here is a recent article: Wnmyers (talk) 19:45, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

The blog is not about musical theater it is about the lyrics of a song. It doesn't look like the two of us are going to agree. If you want either you or I can ask for a third opinion. - GB fan 20:45, 25 February 2017 (UTC)
Although I understand your objection to using a bloggy resource, I've got to agree with Wnmyers here. This song was written by someone known for writing music for theater and movies, and the song itself became famous in a movie. Steyn seems to have written on that topic (music in theater/movies) a number of times, and therefore it seems reasonable that his opinion could be useful to a reader. --Krelnik (talk) 14:39, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Looking at the guideline on external links, it does appear to meet the basic criteria under What to link. I do not see this link falling into any of the three criteria in What can normally be linked. It also does not appear to fit any of the criteria in Links to be considered. So now we are left with Links normally to be avoided. #11 is the one that I think applies here.

Blogs, personal web pages and most fansites (negative ones included), except those written by a recognized authority. (This exception for blogs, etc., controlled by recognized authorities is meant to be very limited; as a minimum standard, recognized authorities who are individuals always meet Wikipedia's notability criteria for people.)

This is a blog and they are normally avoided unless we are saying Mark Steyn, a former musical theater critic now political commentator, is a recognized authority in the field. Anyone can write books about any subject that does not make them a recognized authority. Recognized authorities are people who write about a subject and then other reliable sources use their writings to further their discussion of the subject. In the one article presented that Steyn is quoted it is not his opinions that are being used but an actual fact. His interpretation or critical commentary of the show is not quoted or used to further the discussion of the show. I do not see anything that suggests he is a recognized expert in musical theater or in interpreting lyrics of a song or rewrite of the song. If it is a good resource to provide content for the article why are we not using it as a source rather than an external link? - GB fan 11:55, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

This has become more trouble than it is worth. I figured that if someone was reading this Wikipedia article, then they might be interested in reading an article by some who knew what he was talking about. If someone wants to edit the page using Steyn as a source, then I would welcome it. But I also understand why people don't want to edit Wikipedia.Wnmyers (talk) 22:17, 5 March 2017 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── GB fan per WP:SPS his work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third party publications. The article is discussing the song, and focuses most of its time on comparing it to other musical theatre numbers and theatre people. This is not science or politics and there are no exceptional claims being made. I support its restoration. ResultingConstant (talk) 21:20, 29 November 2017 (UTC)

Since he has published (not selfpublished) stuff like Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now, this is not a terrible inclusion. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:15, 30 November 2017 (UTC)
And according to Publishers Weekly, Steyn has "encyclopedic knowledge". [6] Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 08:19, 30 November 2017 (UTC)


ScrapIronIV, about your revert here [7]. IMO, my version reads better. "one of the singers attempts to convince a guest"? Then what is the second singer doing? "One of the singers attempts to convince the other" is logical. Also, a singer isn´t performed. A song, duet, role or part is performed. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:58, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

"In which a host attempts to convince a guest" could also work. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:59, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

Recently added and removed Zach Braff[edit]

Not sure it´s worth it, but it´s sourcable: hollywoodreporter HuPo Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:53, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

controversy (again)[edit]

In the context of The Weinstein Effect, the song is getting analyzed again. Might be time for expansion of the section, as there are a number of RS now. (Some of the below are this year, others are from the prior years). There is way too much coverage of this issue to get away with two sentences.

In addition to being repeatedly parodied/covered in a way that obviously references this controversy

ResultingConstant (talk) 20:40, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

This is in addition to the bunch of sources discussed in the section above. ResultingConstant (talk) 20:42, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
This Snopes article provides a number of references for the historical views of the song and the evolution of the "date rape" interpretation. Looks like the earliest instance is a 2004 National Post article that was used as satire. The Snopes page could be useful for finding sources to build out that section, should it be added in the future. -Thunderforge (talk) 00:59, 24 December 2017 (UTC)
Added Snopes as WP:EL. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:58, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

List made into table[edit]

Vmavanti and anyone interested. IMO this [8] was not an improvement, the un-tabled list was better. At least some of the comment is worth keeping, and the ability to sort by a random performer is problematic. Opinions? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 18:50, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

The table makes it more obvious that sources are needed for every line. People are more likely to tack on unsourced information to a list than to a table.Vmavanti (talk) 19:26, 10 May 2018 (UTC)
Trivial comments shouldn't be tacked on to Wikipedia articles. Song pages attract this kind of junk, as though the article were a bar game where everyone shouts out something they remember. If there are substantive comments to be made about a song, they should be entered in the body of the article with citations from reliable sources. The table's open spaces reveal how much work needs to be done. Wikipedia discourages adding unsourced material of any kind.Vmavanti (talk) 20:31, 10 May 2018 (UTC)