Baby, It's Cold Outside -- Demand CBC End Censorship & Bias, and Funding Be Cut Until It Does

The CBC, which receives government funding, has decided to censor a well-loved song, which has long been part of Canadian holiday tradition, by removing it from playlists.

Please sign the petition, and contact your MP and the PMO, to demand that:

CBC censorship and bias in all forms end immediately;

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" be restored immediately to the CBC's playlist; and

funding to the CBC be cut until such time as these demands are met.

...

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a duet between a couple, two consenting adults, inclined to spend a cold, snowy night together (after already spending time alone together during more socially acceptable, and less noticeable, hours), with one party considering the reactions of others, and the other offering plausible excuses for staying. In the end, the excuse that "it's cold outside" is enough, and is sung in harmony by the couple. The relative weakness of the excuse speaks to their mutual desire to remain together.

It is simply a back and forth between a couple impacted by social expectations versus their own mutual romantic desires.

There is nothing nefarious going on.

The song perfectly encapsulates the mores of the time (still shared by some today), when women especially were expected to show sexual restraint, despite their personal desires.

The CBC has the ability to educate those ignorant to the meaning of the lyrics. It could resist the influence of ideologues. Instead it has chosen to censor, lamely citing "times we live in" as though that was remotely a valid excuse. This is completely unacceptable.

It could also, especially in light of the times, educate regarding the dangers of censorship in a democratic society, the necessity of free speech, the importance of history and critical thinking, etc. Its bias makes this unlikely.

The CBC does not have a mandate to censor long-enjoyed musical traditions because of the ideologies of some Canadians who seek to impose their interpretations and world views upon others. Weight ought first to be given to tradition, especially in this case.

Intelligence needs to be given weight as well: the song in question contains a line to the effect of, "At least I'm going to say that I tried [to restrain myself from doing something I, personally, wanted to do, out of consideration for the expectations and values of others]." This line indicates that the person in question knows what they ("they" being used because that part of the duet is sometimes sung by a woman, sometimes a man) want, which is to stay and continue to interact, and has prepared for themselves an excuse to others they feel is necessary for doing exactly what they are personally inclined to do (which, again, is to stay and enjoy whatever form of romance, or perhaps even platonic interaction, they want with the other singer).

The societal expectation of restraint, the concern about what others might think, versus the natural desires of an individual, can be seen again in other lyrics. Like many today use alcohol as an excuse when they "hook-up" with another person, the singer gives themselves another excuse for choosing to stay using an expression of the era (which doesn't really mean that they think alcohol was put in their drink. The couple may have already been consentually drinking alcohol already. "What's in my drink" was a saying at the time, used as an excuse for behaviour they wanted to engage in anyway).

*Even if you ignore the meaning of the expression, the singer still chooses to continue to remain with the other person, even after articulating that there may be something in their newly-received drink (which could eventually affect levels of restraint).*

The singer also references being under a spell. A spell relieves an individual of negative societal judgement for their enjoyed behaviour. The use of that word effectively indicates what the singer is personally feeling towards the other (the experience of romantic attraction and love has often been likened to being under a spell) why they continue to stay.

The other singer outright asks the one choosing to show restraint if it's okay to move in closer. That directly contradicts the (mis)interpretation of the song as being "rapey."

It is perfectly normal for two people to not be completely decided at precisely the same time about how far to take a personal interaction, or to be decided but wish to make a socially-acceptable or mandated show of restraint.

Just because there may be ignorance about the meaning, at time the song was written, of the saying, "what's in this drink?" (it does not mean the person actually thinks a drink has been spiked), and ludicrous notions among a loud minority about how interpersonal/romantic interactions must unfold, does not mean a government-supported entity has the right to censor.

The CBC could offer instead an intelligent article or commentary discussing the meaning of the song within the context of the period in which it was written, which would dispel misinterpretations, generate discussion, and acknowledge respectfully how someone ignorant of history and posessing a certain world view might think they were doing the right thing by demanding it not be played. It could point out the authoritative demand to censor this song according to the ignorance and/or beliefs of some is contrary to the interests and values of a democracy. Censorship is not an acceptable path for an entity receiving government support.

Let politicians and the CBC know that censorship is absolutely not to be tolerated, that free speech is paramount, and that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" must immediately be restored to the CBC's playlist.



...

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a duet between a couple, two consenting adults, inclined to spend a cold, snowy night together (after already spending time alone together during more socially acceptable, and less noticeable, hours), with one party considering the reactions of others, and the other offering plausible excuses for staying. In the end, the excuse that "it's cold outside" is enough, and is sung in harmony by the couple. The relative weakness of the excuse speaks to their mutual desire to remain together.

It is simply a back and forth between a couple impacted by social expectations versus their own mutual romantic desires.

There is nothing nefarious going on.

The song perfectly encapsulates the mores of the time (still shared by some today), when women especially were expected to show sexual restraint, despite their personal desires.

The CBC has the ability to educate those ignorant to the meaning of the lyrics. Instead it has chosen to censor. This is completely unacceptable.

It could also, especially in light of the times, educate regarding the dangers of censorship in a democratic society, the necessity of free speech, the importance of history and critical thinking, etc. Its bias makes this unlikely.

The CBC does not have a mandate to censor long-enjoyed musical traditions because of the ideologies of some Canadians who seek to impose their interpretations and world views upon others. Weight ought first to be given to tradition, especially in this case.

Intelligence, even moreso, needs to be given weight as well: the song in question contains a line to the effect of, "At least I'm going to say that I tried [to restrain myself from doing something I, personally, wanted to do, out of consideration for the expectations and values of others]." This line indicates that the person in question knows what they ("they" being used because that part of the duet is sometimes sung by a woman, sometimes a man) want, which is to stay and continue to interact, and has prepared for themselves an excuse to others they feel is necessary for doing exactly what they are personally inclined to do (which, again, is to stay and enjoy whatever form of romance, or perhaps even platonic interaction, they want with the other singer).

The societal expectation of restraint, the concern about what others might think, versus the natural desires of an individual, can be seen again in other lyrics. Like many today use alcohol as an excuse when they "hook-up" with another person, the singer gives themselves another excuse for choosing to stay using an expression of the era (which doesn't really mean that they think alcohol was put in their drink. The couple may have already been consentually drinking alcohol already. "What's in my drink" was a saying at the time, used as an excuse for behaviour they wanted to engage in anyway).

*Even if you ignore the meaning of the expression, the singer still chooses to continue to remain with the other person, even after articulating that there may be something in their newly-received drink (which could eventually affect levels of restraint).*

The singer also references being under a spell. A spell relieves an individual of negative societal judgement for their enjoyed behaviour. The use of that word effectively indicates what the singer is personally feeling towards the other (the experience of romantic attraction and love has often been likened to being under a spell) why they continue to stay.

The other singer outright asks the one choosing to show restraint if it's okay to move in closer. That directly contradicts the (mis)interpretation of the song as being "rapey."

It is perfectly normal for two people to not be completely decided at precisely the same time about how far to take a personal interaction, or to be decided but wish to make a socially-acceptable or mandated show of restraint.

Just because there may be ignorance about the meaning, at time the song was written, of the saying, "what's in this drink?" (it does not mean the person actually thinks a drink has been spiked), and ludicrous notions among a loud minority about how interpersonal/romantic interactions must unfold, does not mean a government-supported entity has the right to censor.

The CBC could offer instead an intelligent article or commentary discussing the meaning of the song within the context of the period in which it was written, which would dispel misinterpretations, generate discussion, and acknowledge respectfully how someone ignorant of history and posessing a certain world view might think they were doing the right thing by demanding it not be played. It could point out the authoritative demand to censor this song according to the ignorance and/or beliefs of some is contrary to the interests and values of a democracy. Censorship is not an acceptable path for an entity receiving government support.

Let politicians and the CBC know that censorship is absolutely not to be tolerated, that free speech is paramount, and that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" must immediately be restored to the CBC's playlist.

Update #1yesterday
CBC Radio has returned the song.
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