Hey, Dean, you callin’ an Uber?

I’m worried again. A couple of years ago I yelled at a couple of Brit psychologists for screwing up a generation of children with some foolishness about how believing in Santa was a ticket to years of therapy. And maybe a dim IQ and sexual dysfunction. According to those two, you’d better be ready to soldier on by the time you’re six.

But here we are again. This time it’s holiday music and the almost pathological need to find sexual threats in songs from the 40s and 50s. Forget the cultural context; it’s off with their heads.

Last year it was the boozy slurred rendition of Baby, It’s Cold Outside that took it on the neck. How dare this drunk guy try to talk a gal into a pajama party at his place? Does it count if they’re both singing at each other? Somewhere between the snow storm and the suggestion of some snogging Dean became the epitome of the violent sexual predator. What just happened here?

And how is it this sensitive guy, John Legend, who never ever thought about trying to talk someone into the sack, dared to rewrite the lyrics to suggest calling a cab or an Uber instead of inviting your date to spend the night? And what happens, John, if the ride can’t make it? You got a Plan B? Oh, and it’s 1959.

I’m thinking if we’re going down this rabbit hole looking to rewrite history to justify some of our over-heated sensibilities and pearl clutching, we really ought to think about what Mom was doing with Santa under the mistletoe and what Eartha Kitt had in mind when she was purring about Santa Baby hurrying down the chimney tonight. I’m seeing two women with something other than eggnog on their minds.

And while we’re at it, how about a little surgery on those sugary holiday movies. The ones where the lonely 20-something who just broke up with her sweetheart/lost her job in the big city/inherited the haunted ancestral pile/moved back to the dead end town where everyone knows everyone else’s business and there’s one diner and a dishy mechanic/carpenter/manly man who makes eyes at her and is outrageously suggestive? And how does this newly launched female react? C’mon. You know what’s going to happen by the time the credits roll.

There’s a chasm between what went on in music and cinema in the world that was the 30s, 40s and 50s and us. You can’t selectively yank lyrics or movie plots and apply today’s standards. There’s a lot of anger out there among women. Anger that’s come from realizing what a crap deal women have gotten. Maybe anger at realizing we let it happen and maybe some more anger just for the sake of being pissed off at a target. But anger isn’t the most focused emotion and neither is selectively winking at some behaviors while condemning others. I think we need to hold Eartha and that mommy with the roving eye to the same standard as Dean.

I’ll leave it to others to decipher, dissect, and ponder. I just want to know I can turn on the car radio some time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and listen to Dean try to schmooze his date with the same line he’s been using since 1959.



About Phyllis Alberici

Hanging a few lanterns in the darkness. Let me know how it's going.
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