It’s Cold Outside, but the Snowflakes are On Facebook

Be honest. If not publicly, at least be honest with yourself.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside is not on your list of favorite holiday songs.

You don’t even know anyone who misses it if they don’t hear it on the holiday playlist. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Gee, the radio station hasn’t played my favorite song, Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”

You aren’t upset about the song because it is a great holiday classic worthy of radio time in 2018.

You are upset because a radio station made a decision to accommodate it’s female listeners at the expense of the patriarchy, and this threatens you.

First, let’s be clear. This is not a 1st Amendment issue. The 1st Amendment protects you from government restriction on speech. The government has done nothing.

This is not a censorship issue. This is a business decision by a radio station to accommodate their customers. The song is still available. If you are that bent out of shape over it, you can download multiple versions of it from Amazon or add it to your Spotify playlist right now.

The radio station did not “cave to political correctness.” It made a business decision to accommodate its customers. See, let me explain how radio works. Radio stations pay a licensing fee for the songs they play. It COSTS THEM MONEY to play music. Unless something is in the public domain, they have to spend money every time they play a song. Radio stations make money on advertising. In order to attract advertisers, they need listeners. Those listeners are their customers, who they need to keep happy so they don’t change the channel. Because listeners that change the channel don’t hear advertising, which means advertisers get lower response rates, which means those advertisers may take their advertising dollars elsewhere.

So, as a business, when your customers are telling you they explicitly don’t want a product, you have a couple of choices. Option one is to say, “Fuck you, female snowflake! I am going to continue playing this rapey song even if it makes you uncomfortable.” And, you know, if your target demographic doesn’t need women, that might be a valid option to take. I’m sure the incel demographic would applaud you.

Option two is to look at your overall demographics and make a business decision. Does it make sense to continue paying for the license for a song that is alienating our customer base and encouraging them to change the channel? And does this song actually attract enough new listeners to justify that loss?”

If I run a restaurant, and the chef prepares this one dish with a really strong odor that has a low demand, and the odor is so strong that it actually drives people away from the restaurant, I stop serving that dish. Sure, the small number of people that ordered that dish might miss it, or they might just order something else. But at least I don’t have people fleeing the restaurant to escape the stench.

In addition, some people have said “Oh, it just now is becoming offensive?” Well, no. The song has always been offensive. Even as a teenage girl decades ago, the song gave me the creeps. But women were not empowered until the last decade to feel the right to bodily autonomy. The term “date rape” didn’t even enter the lexicon until the mid-1970’s, and wasn’t use widely until the mid-1980’s. It was only in the 1990’s that most states removed the exceptions to their rape laws that made it possible to bring criminal charges in the case of marital rape (it was legal in many states up until 1993). And even today, some states treat marital rape as a lesser offense.

So for most of the seventy plus years this song has existed, women did not have an expectation (legal or social) that they had full bodily autonomy. But that has changed. And women now feel empowered to embrace their bodily autonomy. And part of that is feeling free to verbalize what many of us have felt for decades.

One thing I have noticed is a tendency among many (not all–ye gods save me for the guy who is going to whine “NOT ALL MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! in all caps with multiple exclamation points) of those that are flipping out over this matter to also historically question the validity of date rape to begin with. The same demographic losing their minds over this song are also the same ones who downplay the importance of consent, are inclined to blame women when they are assaulted or accuse women of lying. They are the same demographic that talk about “men’s rights” and whine that “you can’t even talk to a woman anymore.”

In short, they oppose the entire notion of female autonomy at their core, and they see this entire episode as an attack on them personally.

The real “snowflakes” are not the people who voiced their opinion to the radio station. EVERY customer at every business has the right to make suggestions, requests, or recommendations. There was no social media movement. No petition. One or more listeners to the radio station contacted the radio station directly and made a request. The radio station made a business decision to honor that request.

If the idea of customers making a recommendation to a business and then having that business respond to those recommendations bothers you, you need to ask yourself why. Because this isn’t a 1st amendment issue. This isn’t a censorship issue. This isn’t a “political correctness” issue. The person or persons who made the initial request to the radio station are not the ones having nervous breakdowns on Facebook or Twitter as if the end of civilization as we know it was coming.

To summarize.

One or more listeners made a request to a radio station.

The radio station took the request under consideration and decided it was a valid point.

The radio station decided that the request was important enough to their listeners to make a formal announcement of the change, since they felt that their actual listeners would want to know.

A bunch of people who aren’t even in the region of the radio station and are in no way impacted by it, the majority of which are men, decided to have a nervous breakdown on social media. Most of them hiding their male anxiety regarding female empowerment behind accusations of snowflakes, political correctness, and making false equivalency and slippery slope arguments to justify their rage in faux intellectual terms.

The controversy is not a radio station making a business decision to not play a song. The controversy is that so many men on social media feel castrated because a song they never really thought about otherwise won’t be played on a radio station they don’t listen to.