A talented Minnesota-based couple has redone the popular Christmas song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to emphasize the importance of consent.
The classic holiday duet has long been a point of contention as critics have argued that the male singer does not respect the woman's choice to end the night. In fact, critics contend that the song’s lyrics describe a date rape and showcase a lack of consent, especially with lyrics such as:
My mother will start to worry / Hey beautiful, what’s your hurry?
At least I’m going to say that I tried / What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
So singer-songwriters Lydia Liza, 22, and Josiah Lemanski, 25, have rewritten the lyrics so the male vocalist respects the woman’s desire to leave the night.
“I’ve always had a big problem with the song. It’s so aggressive and inappropriate,” Lemanski told CNN.
Liza added that the song concludes without one knowing if the woman ever did get to leave the party.
“You never figure out if she gets to go home. You never figure out if there was something in her drink. It just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth,” she said.
In the couple’s new, reimagined version of the song, all of Liza’s questions and qualms are answered, including what’s in her drink (Pomegranate La Croix).
“I really can’t stay / Baby I’m fine with that,” the new song opens.
It also includes the line sung by Lemanski, “You reserve the right to say no.”
“Emphasizing consent is one of the causes that I’ve always really been behind because I don’t think I can think of one friend of mine who’s a woman who hasn’t been in dangerous situations with men,” Liza said. “I’ve always cared about this so much.”
Liza told CNN that she and Lemanski penned the song in just an hour and recorded it in 15 minutes last week.
The artistic duo have also received a lot of positive feedback from the song, which they uploaded to SoundCloud, Liza said. The pair hope to raise awareness about the importance of consent, including on college campuses, according to CNN.
“It’s not just a rare thing. It happens all the time, everywhere. Every day,” Lemanski said. “And I’m afraid for my sister. And I’m afraid for my friends.”
“I hope that this song gets people thinking about it,” he added.
Liza agreed and said she hopes the song will encourage people to “donate to charity or do some volunteer work at shelters or sexual assault centers.”
“Like, if you think about this and you think it’s a problem, definitely step out of your comfort zone and do something and help someone,” she said.
You can listen to the original song below and read the new lyrics in full at CNN here.