It’s amazing how these two words are seldom heard between Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 25: Merry Christmas! We have become such a politically-sensitized country that even though this is the Christmas season, those words don’t radiate out of people’s mouths readily. Especially when you’re out shopping.
The stores want your money, but they don’t want to put up the decorations. Why? Because for some people who are not Christians, this season doesn’t apply to them. My response? Get over it! What makes this country great is our ability to be tolerant of other religions. Even though I’m not Jewish, if a friend asked, I would join in a Hanukkah celebration. The same thing with Ramadan. It is the sharing in celebration of those events with others that makes us unique.
This year, one of the hottest controversies has been over the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” It wasn’t a song I heard often during the Christmas season growing up. My Christmas music repertoire was limited to the usual “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “O Holy Night,” etc. I first heard the song last year during the Christmas season because of a co-worker who was listening to Christmas music all day long. It was one of the songs in the lineup played repeatedly — two or three times during an eight-hour period.
When I first heard the song, I did imagine people getting upset with the lyrics. However the imagery for me was not of a weak woman unable to fend off the advances of a man. Instead, the images of strong women I’d seen on television came to mind — women like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Women like Lois Lane in the Superman series, succeeding in what was then a predominantly man’s world. Strong women, like Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley. These were women who would never be seen as damsels in distress and who never played the “weaker-sex card.”
I grew up watching the women’s movement come to the forefront. Women burned their bras and said we were no longer the helpless, demure, dainty creatures who couldn’t do the same things as men. My view of the Women’s Liberation Movement was that women should be given the same opportunities as men without our sex being seen as the handicap. We can take on any challenge we so desire.
However, there are others who saw the song as a sexual assault. Give me a break! It makes me wonder what the point of the Women’s Liberation Movement was if, in the end, we get these wimpy women who act as if they are incapable of saying no and getting their point across! And in a case of irony, there is vintage video of the song being sung with the roles reversed.
I wish the same people who complained about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” would put the same sort of energy into protesting some of the rap music that denigrates women. But that would be too much like right!
In the meantime, Merry Christmas!