Internalized sexism and patriarchy are deeply entrenched into American culture. Even the Christmas season is not immune from this plague. As we celebrate the baby Jesus’ courageous entry into our world, sexist songs and rhetoric attempt to make light of sexual entrapment and the complete disregard of female voices and bodies. These choruses fill our homes and serenade us in shopping malls, and our commutes to work. Here is a straightforward dissection of one of the worst.
First, are the lyrics, second, is what is going on in each of their minds as they process.
May you have the courage to feel and grieve the weight of such violence and heartache.
*TRIGGER WARNING: sexual abuse
Baby, It’s Chauvinistic In Here
Woman: I really can’t stay
(I shouldn’t have stayed so long, I should go before it gets any later.)
Man: Baby it’s cold outside
(I’ll figure out a way keep you here.)
Woman: I gotta go away
(I am tired, I want to go home.)
Man: Baby it’s cold outside
(I want you to stay.)
Woman: This evening has been
(I was intrigued–until you interrupted me.)
Man: Been hoping that you’d drop in
(I am interested in you.)
Woman: So very nice
(I have enjoyed your company.)
Man: I’ll hold your hands they’re just like ice.
(I enjoy touching you.)
Woman: My mother will start to worry
(She knows what men like you are after.)
Man: Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
(I would like this is lead to something sexual, maybe I can flatter you into staying.)
Woman: My father will be pacing the floor
(I can tell you are not listening to me; maybe if I talk about my father you will let me leave.)
Man: …Listen to the fireplace roar
(I don’t care what your father thinks, I want to have sex next to this warm fire.)
Woman: So really I’d better scurry
(Please, I really want to leave, I do not want to be sexual with you)
Man: Beautiful, please don’t hurry
(I really want to have sex, even if you don’t.)
Woman: Well maybe just a half a drink more.
(Ok, Ok, since you are not hearing me, I will stay little longer and try to find another way out of this.)
Man: I’ll put some records on while I pour
(You gave an inch, I will take a mile.)
Woman: The neighbors might think
(I am the one who will have to walk out of here tomorrow morning feeling shame and judgement, while you will be congratulated by your friends.)
Man: Baby it’s bad out there
(I may make you feel protected, but I don’t care about you, I care about getting what I want out of you.)
Woman: Say, what’s in this drink?
(Why do I feel so weird? Something’s not right.)
Man: No cabs to be had out there
(You’re stuck here; surrendering is your only option.)
Woman: I wish I knew how
(Part of me wants to stay, I do like the feeling of being desired.)
Man: Your eyes are like starlight now
(I can tell my sweet talk has worn you down.)
Woman: To break this spell.
(It’s confusing to try to protect myself while being belittled and wrestling with my own desire for affection.)
Man: I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
(I will take care of you, see? You’re safe with me.)
Woman: I ought to say no, no, no, sir.
(When I say no, it makes no difference.)
Man: Mind if I move in closer
(Your voice hold no weight with me, I will do what I want.)
Woman: At least I’m gonna say that I tried
(I am already trying to make sense of my guilt and the shame that will be placed onto me if I’m not able to get out of this trap.)
Man: What’s the sense of hurting my pride
(I am profoundly insecure, and seducing you will affirm my masculinity.)
Woman: I really can’t stay
(How did this become about you?)
Man: Baby, don’t hold out
(Why are you being such a prude? Loosen up and have some fun.)
[Both] Oh, but it’s cold outside
Woman: Ah, you’re very pushy you know?
(Do you realize you are being a total creep??)
Man: I like to think of it as opportunistic
(I sense your weakness and plan to exploit you.)
Woman: I simply must go
(Maybe if I say it differently, he will hear me.)
Man: Baby, it’s cold outside
(I don’t care what you are saying.)
Woman: The answer is no
(Stop saying it’s cold outside, I wish you would respect my words.)
Man: Baby, it’s cold outside
(I can tell I am getting to you, your resolve is slipping. I will do whatever it takes to get what I want from you.)
Woman: The welcome has been
(I like feeling wanted…)
Man: How lucky that you dropped in
(This was YOUR idea, remember?)
Woman: So nice and warm
(Part of me wants to stay, yet I feel uneasy since you clearly don’t respect me.)
Man: Look out the window at that storm
(The real danger is out THERE. If you want to be safe, you’d better stay right here where I can keep an eye on you.)
Woman: My sister will be suspicious
(I don’t trust that you have my best interests at heart.)
Man: Gosh your lips look delicious
(You are an object to me.)
Woman: My brother will be there at the door
(If he won’t hear it from me, maybe the thought of confrontation by another man will get his attention?)
Man: Waves upon the tropical shore
(My goal is seduction, no matter what.)
Woman: My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious
(My entire family will hate you! I don’t even know why I am still speaking, you have no decency.)
Man: Gosh your lips are delicious
(This is my right. I will take what is mine.)
Woman: But maybe just a cigarette more
(Damn, this is exhausting, I just want to give up.)
Man: Never such a blizzard before
(It’s not safe for you to go.)
Woman: I’ve gotta get home
(Let me go!)
Man: But, baby, you’d freeze out there
(You are incapable of making sound decisions; don’t trust yourself, trust me.)
Woman: Say, lend me your coat
(Or you could just be a gentlemen instead of continuing to pressure me when I am clearly uncomfortable.)
Man: It’s up to your knees out there
(You’re an idiot, I know what’s best for you.)
Women: You’ve really been grand
(Maybe if I flatter you, you will let me leave?)
Man: I thrill when you touch my hand
(My sexual arousal takes priority over your dignity.)
Woman: But don’t you see?
(Please SEE me! Please hear me! I am asking you for something different!)
Man: How can you do this thing to me?
(You are responsible for the way I sexualize you. You shouldn’t have worn that dress or looked so attractive if you weren’t interested. This is your fault, not mine.)
Woman: There’s bound to be talk tomorrow
(I know exactly what will happen if I give in to you: you will lose respect for me and resent me; you will feel shame for the way you used me, and look for ways to blame and punish me for it.)
Man: Think of my lifelong sorrow
(Stop being so selfish and think about how much your “boundaries” will hurt me.)
Woman: At least there will be plenty implied
(…But if I don’t give in, you will demonize me and make me feel like a prudish tease.)
Man: If you got pneumonia and died
(I’m attempting to control you through fear, is it working? )
Woman: I really can’t stay
(I will try one last time)
Man: Get over that old out
(Get over yourself, you’re staying.)
[Both] Baby it’s cold; Baby it’s cold outside
(I just can’t keep this up.)
(I knew I could wear you down and get what I want.)
Woman: Okay fine, just another drink then
(I give up.)
Man: That took a lot of convincing!
(Yes, you are a tough one, but I got you.)
Baby, It’s Chauvinistic In Here
Let’s no longer make light of this issue, it’s not some fun, silly christmas carol, it’s pure evil and violence against women. If we can look more deeply into the cultural norms that have deadly consequences, we can put an end to a culture that has subjugated and silenced generations of women.
Below are some helpful resources:
Resources and References For those who are affected by Sexual Violence
General Information: Rainn.org
- National Sexual Assault Hotline: National hotline, operated by RAINN, that serves people affected by sexual violence. It automatically routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search your local center here. Hotline: 800.656.HOPE
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center: This site offers a wide variety of information relating to sexual violence including a large legal resource library.
- National Organization for Victim Assistance: Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States as the recognized leader in this noble cause.
- National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence hosts a resource library home of thousands of materials on violence against women and related issues, with particular attention to its intersections with various forms of oppression.
- U.S. Department of Justice: National Sex Offender Public Website: NSOPW is the only U.S. government Website that links public state, territorial, and tribal sex offender registries from one national search site.
- The National Center for Victims of Crime: The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. They are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.
- National Street Harassment Hotline: Created by Stop Street Harassment, Defend Yourself, and operated by RAINN, the National Street Harassment Hotline is a resource for those affected by gender-based street harassment. Support is available in English and Spanish: call 855.897.5910 or chat online.
Child Abuse/Sexual Abuse:
- National Child Abuse Hotline: They can provide local referrals for services. A centralized call center provides the caller with the option of talking to a counselor. They are also connected to a language line that can provide service in over 140 languages. Hotline: 800.4.A.CHILD (422.2253)
- Darkness to Light: They provide crisis intervention and referral services to children or people affected by sexual abuse of children. Hotline calls are automatically routed to a local center. Helpline: 866.FOR.LIGHT (367.5444)
- Cyber Tipline: This Tipline is operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Can be used to communicate information to the authorities about child pornography or child sex trafficking. Hotline: 800.THE.LOST (843.5678)
- National Children’s Alliance: This organization represents the national network of Child Advocacy Centers (CAC). CACs are a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement, mental and physical health practitioners who investigate instances of child physical and sexual abuse. Their website explains the process and has a directory according to geographic location.
- Stop It Now: Provides information to victims and parents/relatives/friends of child sexual abuse. The site also has resources for offender treatment as well as information on recognizing the signs of child sexual abuse. Hotline: 888-PREVENT (773.8368)
- Justice for Children: Provides a full range of advocacy services for abused and neglected children.
Domestic, Dating and Intimate Partner Violence:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: Through this hotline an advocate can provide local direct service resources (safehouse shelters, transportation, casework assistance) and crisis intervention. Interpreter services available in 170 languages. They also partner with the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Center to provide a videophone option. Hotline: 800.799.SAFE
- National Teen Dating Abuse Online Helpline: This online helpline assists teens who are, or may be, in abusive relationships.
- Pathways to Safety International: The center serves abused Americans, mostly women and children, in both civilian and military populations overseas. In addition to providing domestic violence advocacy, safety planning and case management, the center assists victims with relocation, emergency funds for housing and childcare, and funds for payment of legal fees.
- National Coalition against Domestic Violence: The national coalition of Domestic Violence organizations is dedicated to empowering victims and changing society to a zero tolerance policy.
(See also resources on Child Abuse/ Sexual Abuse above)
- Survivors of Incest Anonymous: They provide information on how to find incest survivor support groups in your area and empowers individuals to become survivors and thrivers.
- GirlThrive: Girlthrive Inc. honors teen girls and young women who have survived incest and all sex abuse through thriverships, opportunity and education.
- Stalking Resource Center: The Stalking Resource Center is a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Their website provides statistics on stalking, information on safety planning and other resources.
Survivors with Disabilities:
- Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN): Legal, medical, system advocacy and survivor support services. Video Phone: 202.559.5366
- CAVANET: This organization addresses violence against women, human rights, genocide, and crime victims with disabilities.
- National Disability Rights Network: NDRN members investigate reports of abuse and neglect, and seek systemic change to prevent further incidents; advocate for basic rights; and ensure accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems for individuals with disabilities.
- NotAlone.gov: A government website dedicated to educating students and schools about Title IX and sexual assault.
- Know Your IX: Provides information for students about their Title IX rights in regards to ending sexual violence on campus.
- End Rape on Campus: An advocacy organization dedicated to assisting students file Title IX complaints.
Resources for Male Survivors of Sexual Assault:
- 1in6: Provides educational information and resources for men who’ve been sexually abused or assaulted. Chat with a trained advocate through the national helpline for men, available 24/7. Join a weekly chat-based online support group, facilitated by a counselor. 1in6 also serves loved ones and service providers.
- Jimhopper.com: This site has articles that discuss the effects of child sexual abuse on adult men and their loved ones.
- Malesurvivor.org: This site has information and a therapist search for male survivors of sexual violence.
- GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project: Website, information and hotline for GLBTQ victims of domestic violence and their families. Hotline: 800.832.1901
- the Network la Red: The Network/La Red hotline provides emotional support, information, and safety planning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender folks, as well as folks in the BDSM or Polyamorous communities who are being abused or have been abused by a partner. Support available in English and Spanish. Hotline: 617.742.4911
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: A coalition of programs that document and advocate for victims of anti-LGBT and anti-HIV/AIDS violence/harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, police misconduct and other forms of victimization. Site has a list of local anti-violence programs and publications. Hotline: 212.714.1141
- The Trevor Project: Help and suicide prevention for GBLTQ youth. Hotline: 866.488.7386
- GLBT National Hotline: Call center that refers to over 15,000 resources across the country that support LGBTQ individuals. Hotline: 888.THE.GLNH (843.4564)
- FORGE (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression): Home to the Transgender Sexual Violence Project. Provides services and publishes research for transgender persons experiencing violence and their loved ones.
- Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling: Directory of LGBT-friendly mental health specialists across the United States. Specialists listed are verified members of AGLBTIC, a division of the American Counseling Association.
- National Human Trafficking Resource Center: A national multilingual anti-trafficking hotline. Caller can report a tip; connect with anti-trafficking services in their area; or request training and technical assistance, general information, or specific anti-trafficking resources. Hotline: 888.373.7888
- U.S. Department of Justice Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Complaint Line: Call to report suspected instances of human trafficking or worker exploitation or contact the FBI field office nearest you. Offers foreign language translation services in most languages as well as TTY. After business hours, the complaint line has a message service in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin. Hotline: 888.428.7581
- Safe Helpline: Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text — providing victims with the help they need anytime, anywhere. Hotline: 877.995.5247
- Womenslaw.org: Information about restraining orders and other legal protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- The Laws in Your State: A database of state laws including mandatory reporting, confidentiality laws, HIV/AIDS testing of sexual offenders, termination of rapists’ parental rights, and statutes of limitations for each state.
- Attorney Referral Line: Refers callers to attorneys in their geographic area who can represent them in their pursuit of civil claims and victim restitution. The referral line is not an anonymous service. Their website also gives information about civil lawsuits. Phone: 202.467.8716
- Take Back The Night Foundation: Legal support for survivors in every state. Referrals to counseling, support, legal aid, hospitals, and nearest TBTN Event Holders. Hotline: 866.966.9013
- It Happened to Alexa Foundation: The ‘It Happened to Alexa Foundation’ supports rape survivors through the trauma of the criminal trial, in the hopes that more survivors will go through with the prosecution in order to put these perpetrators behind bars.
- U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division: Call or email to report sexual harassment in housing. 844.380.6178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE): The SANE/SART program offers sensitive, caring, and supportive care following a sexual assault. Their website provides a list of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs in each state. These specialists are registered nurses, who have advanced education in forensic examination of sexual assault victims.
- Healthcare Center Directory: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a Healthcare Center Directory. This directory lists federally funded health centers that provide a variety of services even if the recipient does not have health insurance. Users pay a co-payment based on their income. These health centers generally provide primary care services. Phone: 877.464.4772
- The Center For Disease Control National Prevention Information Network (AIDS/HIV, STI Information): U.S. reference, referral, and distribution service for information on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Hotline: 800.458.5231
- International Association of Forensic Nurses: An international membership organization comprised of forensic nurses working around the world and other professionals who support and complement the work of forensic nursing.
- Start Your Recovery: Substance abuse information that relates to a survivors’s experience with seuxal assault.
- Sidran Traumatic Stress Foundation: The Sidran Institute provides information on traumatic stress (including PTSD), dissociative disorders, and co-occurring issues such as addictions, self-injury, and suicidal behaviors.
- GoodTherapy.org: GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries worldwide who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.
- Psychology Today: Find detailed professional listings for treatment centers in the United States and Canada.
- National Eating Disorder Helpline: Information, crisis and referral hotline for people dealing with eating disorders. Helpline: 800.931.2237
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Provides information and referral services, not counseling. Helpline: 888.950.NAMI (6264)
- Hope Exists After Rape Trauma: The mission of Hope Exists After Rape Trauma (H-E-A-R-T) is to provide HOPE for victims of sexual assault through the provision of essential and therapeutic support, by affecting positive change in laws influencing their lives, and by educating both the public and professionals commissioned to serve victims.
Suicide and Self-Harm:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Provides crisis suicide intervention, self-harm counseling and assistance, and local mental health referrals. Calls are routed to local centers. Hotline: 800.273.TALK (8255) and for the Spanish line call 888.628.9454 or TTY: 800.799.4TTY (4889)
Sexual Assault Prevention:
- National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center: Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this website to be useful to scientists, practitioners, advocates, grassroots organizations, and any other professional or layperson interested in current topics related to violence against women and its prevention.
- Project Respect: Project Respect aims to create discussions and share a positive alternative model of relationships for youth.
- PreventConnect: The goal of PreventConnect is to advance the primary prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence by building a community of practice among people who are engaged in such efforts.
- Campus Outreach Services: Offer information and expertise to schools on sexual violence, diversity, sexual harassment, bullying, hate crimes, healthy relationships, assertiveness, eating disorders, suicide, and related risk issues.
- The Date Safe Project: The DATE SAFE Project, Inc. provides positive how-to skills and helpful insights for addressing verbal consent (asking first), respecting of boundaries, sexual decision-making, bystander intervention, and supporting survivors (opening the door for family and friends).
- Child Help: Speak Up Be Safe: Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe is a newly developed, school-based, child abuse prevention education program that focuses on child safety. It is an evolution of Good Touch Bad Touch.
- Men Can Stop Rape: Men Can Stop Rape seeks to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.
- Cyber Bullying Research Center: A clearinghouse for information regarding cyberbullying.