Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Baby, it's cold outside

Dear Hannah,

One thing that seems to have escaped feminists' notice in the controversy over Baby, it's cold outside is that the song is a duet.  Perhaps never in the history of rape or music has anyone ever toured with their rapist for the express purpose of singing about being raped.  And this is for two reasons.  The first is that singing about it would be painful for the woman; and the second is that it would be dangerous for the man.

What feminists have completely mistaken about the entire thing (aside from the fact that it was written by Frank Loesser to perform with his wife at parties) is that the no expressed by the woman in the song was obviously given with a smile and wink.   These days no is taken by our leftists as a statement forged in iron; as though when a woman said it she meant it with every ounce in her heart -- as though she was so dull and so blank that there was only one thing there on her one-track  mind.

But what we know about women (as well as our men) is that they are far too complex to mean only no and yes in any situation where they want to do multiple things.  They say these yes's and no's as a kind of decision, like the balance between looking respectable and parents' expectations and breaking a schedule and fear of disease and horror of pregnancy and an interest in making others happy and the dance of false modesty and shyness about being naked and the overwhelming power of sexual desire finally urged us in a direction -- not as any kind of a final say, but as a temporary agreement with oneself: that for the moment, the scales had tipped to one side -- and that they might easily (and we always hope eventually) be tipped to another*.

In this case, the weapon in the man's court is persuasion.  He knows she's attracted to him in one way or another (which is why they've gone on a date); and he knows that the end result of all of this dating and dancing and tiptoeing around the obvious is that both of them are going to get closer, and, if everything goes well, eventually get naked.  And she knows it too, because that is the point of all romance.  And if he has any brains and any balls and any charm he's going to try and persuade her to be his -- wholly, unreservedly, and carnally.  He knows there are lots of little forces in her vying for control, and he wants to lend his aid to some of them while downplaying the dangers of others.  He wants to tip the scales.  In any other age this singing and asking and caressing and drinking and smiling and winking would be just known as wooing.  In the current one it's known as raping.  In any other age it would be known as persuasion.  In this one it is condemned as coercion.

Coercion, of course, is not what the song is about.  And if this proves anything about our feminists, it isn't only that their understanding of nuance borders on the autistic.  And it isn't only that they believe women are too cowardly to walk out of a door when nobody is forcing them to stay in it, or that they are too stupid to know the difference between asking and taking, or too irresponsible to believe that women who are under the influence of alcohol are also under the influence of themselves.  It's that they honestly believe a woman's decision is so final and so totally infallible that to persuade her is the same thing as raping her.  I remind the reader that this is the same woman who should be able to walk down the street topless and sleep with whoever she wants -- unless the man has any influence in the decision, in which case we are supposed to believe she's been violated.

That many feminists believe women and men have the same brains when scientists and casual observers know that they don't; that they fight to spread their legs at any time and are surprised when anyone thinks that they will; that they believe women and men are equally strong while constantly playing the victim; or that nobody is ugly and everyone is sexually attractive, should be enough to convince us that feminists are less reasonable than animals.  But if there are any of them listening -- if there is someone out there who honestly wants women to be safe and happy and live in a world where their no is taken seriously, then I have one piece of advice that I would give to my daughter.

If a woman has made a mistake and left herself alone with any man she doesn't approve, she ought to be brave and leave his advances immediately.  And if he won't let her escape and he takes advantage of her, she needs to break his nose before leaving the door.  She has to prove to the world that she said no and he said yes and she insisted no and he got his way and she was so against it that she left him a mark that couldn't be confused for anything else (claw marks on the back will not work, for obvious reasons).  A black eye or a broken nose is a defense of womankind -- that they'll let everyone know they mean no when they mean it; and that men deserve a fair trial based on something greater than hearsay.   Give rapists hell, and then let us men hang them.  But first let us know when we're dealing with actual rapists.  Leave your mark.  Make it a doozy.

Your father,

*The regret many of us have experienced after sex, and occasionally the desire to get away from our recently spent partners, can be attributed to one side of the scale being removed entirely.  Suddenly without weight in a particular direction, we find the balance drastically upset, and without the urge to procreate, we're left with all the reasons we shouldn't -- a horrible end to any sexual encounter, and the reason people who are easy often find themselves regretful.

It must be remembered that Amnon wanted his sister Tamar to the point of being sick about it, and after he forced himself upon her, he was left with not only the shame of discovery, but with the potential for serious punishment.  He was left with nothing more than a hatred for her.  The second the act was over, so was his affection.

**What I haven't mentioned about Baby it's cold outside, and what has passed apparently unnoticed by our modern-day "moralists" is that nowhere in the song is nakedness or spending the night mentioned.  Sex may be the end of a romance, but it is not necessarily the end of this romance; and it was certainly not the end of all romances in the 40's -- a time when two members of the opposite sex could still be shamed for even being alone together.  We have a difficult time imagining our grandparents singing it if it was, even though on both sides of my family, my grandpa impregnated my grandma before anyone was wed.

Much has already been written about how the invention of cars changed the way we do romance, much like the invention of the internet ruined romance in general; so we will only remark on the fact that before the 1950's and the widespread use of the automobile, people were not often left alone together on dates.  Maxim Gorky, the revolutionary Russian socialist, after escaping Tsarist Russia in 1905 and fleeing to the United States, had his overwhelmingly popular speaking tour ended and his bags left out of his hotel room (in cosmopolitan New York, of all places), simply because his wife had been left behind in Russia, and the woman he was traveling with was his girlfriend.  Mark Twain (whose original upstanding business idea was the massive importation of cocaine) refused to introduce him any longer as a speaker; angry protesters shut down all his public appearances; newspapers accused him of trying to spread anarchy to the U.S.; and dozens of celebrities who had been happily seen with him before the scandal were suddenly embarrassed to be associated with him at all.

This of course is only one example; and (as I have already written) this puritanical approach to sexuality was not entirely accepted by European aristocrats.  But it is enough to convince us that unlike today, and much more like the majority of human history across the entirety of the civilized globe, women have not been so interested in spreading their legs so easily and almost mechanically.  And the immense amount of shame associated with sleeping around, coupled with the fear of illegitimate pregnancy and the general likelihood of dying from something as horrible as syphilis, contributed to a culture where people were not only generally against free sex, but a world in which many were terrified of being associated with it.  The effects of this policy to this day are clear, and as Pope Francis has recently made obvious, measurable across nearly the whole of society.  The side of my family that impregnates without marriage is poor and uneducated.  The side which marries first is middle-class and literate.  Free sex is practiced in Africa -- so much so that the Maasai don't even have a word for virginity.  But who really wants to be an African? 


  1. Jeremy,
    Just found your Letters to Hanna blog today. What a wonderful collection of philosophica, ethical, political and cultural commentary.
    I love the photo of you and your daughter. Looks like it was taken crossing Puget Sound on a ferry with Whidby Island in the distance.

  2. Hi! I have found your blog today,anf it's awesome!I love it♥