Christmas Shopping While Feminist
I feel like the more and more socially aware I become, the harder and harder it is to enjoy anything, because where I used to laugh I now think, “ugh, that’s so ______________” (fill in the blank, misogynist, racist, homophobic, elitist, rape apologist, first world problemish, etc)
As of an hour ago, I realized I can no longer enjoy Christmas.
This weekend Ryan Tyler and I am getting our tree, and we’re getting a real tree which I haven’t had in years so I’m ridiculously excited. I went out Christmas shopping this morning, to pick up just a few gifts, but more so to get things to trim the tree and deck the halls with. I was psyched, and if I was someone who was not a feminist, and not a social justice advocate, and I lived with my head in the sand, this would have been a great kick off to the holiday season. However, I am a feminist, and a social justice advocate, and sadly my head is nowhere near sand, and thus my shopping trip was ruined.
1. The first thing that killed my spirit was that while I was shopping, the Christmas Date Rape Song, also known as “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, came on speakers that play out over the whole store. Nothing says Christmas like coercing a woman to spend the night against her will! The bright side is that they played about 10 seconds of it and then changed songs. Maybe people are starting to complain and people are getting away from playing it? But 10 seconds was enough to put me in a funk. Let’s take a look at the lyrics, shall we?
I really can’t stay - But baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away - But baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been - Been hoping that you’d drop in
So very nice - I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice
My mother will start to worry - Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
My father will be pacing the floor - Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry - Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more - Put some records on while I pour
The neighbors might think - Baby, it’s bad out there
Say, what’s in this drink? - No cabs to be had out there
I wish I knew how - Your eyes are like starlight
To break the spell - I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell
I ought to say no, no, no, sir - Mind if I move in closer?
At least I’m gonna say that I tried - What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
I really can’t stay - Baby don’t hold out
Oh, but it’s cold outside
I simply must go - But, baby, it’s cold outside.
The answer is no - But, baby, it’s cold outside.
This welcome has been - How lucky that you dropped in.
So nice and warm - Look out the window at that storm.
My sister will be suspicious - Gosh, your lips look delicious.
My brother will be there at the door - Waves upon a tropical storm.
My maiden aunt’s mind is vicious - Oh, your lips are delicious.
Maybe just a cigarette more - Never such a blizzard before.
I’ve got to go home - But, baby, you’ll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It’s up to your knees out there
You’ve really been grand - I’m thrilled when you touch my hand
But don’t you see - How can you do this thing to me?
ByThere’s bound to be talk tomorrow - Think of my life long sorrow
At least there will be plenty implied - If you caught pneumonia and died
I really can’t stay - Get over that hold out
Ohhh, baby it’s cold outside
First of all, this woman said she didn’t want to stay 19 times. NINETEEN TIMES! “I’ve got to go home”. “I simply must go”. “My mother will start to worry”. “I really can’t stay”, and so on. And just in case that wasn’t clear, in the second verse she says, wait for it…. “THE ANSWER IS NO”. Second of all, “what’s the sense in hurting my pride?” Really? If your pride rests on someone else’s sexual interest in you, you’re pathetic. And your pride isn’t her responsibility. Fuck you dude. Third, “Say, what’s in this drink?” HELLO!?!? Why is this played on the radio? It’s pretty heavily implied this song is about him lowering her inhibitions through alcohol/rohypnol and coercing her to stay against her will. GAHHHHH
I like this version better:
I really can’t stay- Ok well it was great spending time with you. Let me walk you to the door.
End of song.
And if that doesn’t work, this is a fine rendition as well:
I really can’t stay- but baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away- but baby it’s cold outside
Dude, I’m leaving. Bye (walks to door) - but baby it’s cold outside
Get out of my way before I pepper spray the shit out of your eyes.
End of song
2. The second thing that ruined my warm Christmas spirit was walking past the children’s toys section. I feel like I’m going to pop my top. These pictures are from an article Buzzfeed just posted, but it’s the same in every story in the country, including where I was shopping this morning.
The “girl” laptop has half the functions. Awesome!!
A cleaning trolly… for “girls only”. Yay!
I don’t know what bother me more, that cleaning dishes is a girl’s toy, or science is a boy’s toy. Actually, yes I do. Implying only boys can do science DEFINITELY pisses me off more.
Personally, I like this picture better:
3. Lastly, I left the store and who should be there who wasn’t there when I walked in? None other than the Salvation Army with their red kettles and bell ringers. AHHH! There are thousands of wonderful, reputable non-profits that feed the hungry, clothe the cold, comfort the sick, etc, so why does every store welcome the Salvation Army, an organization known for their anti-gay policies? Most recently, Andrew Craibe, a Salvation Army rep, said gay people being put to death is “part of our belief system”.
My skin started crawling when I thought of all the hate and hurt they’ve put into the world, and yet saw them smiling, ringing their bells, felling good about themselves because they feel like they’ll doing a good deed.
At this point I’m done. I’m gritting my teeth. I’m cranky. Caring too much = holiday cheer GONE!
Apparently it’s impossible to enjoy yourself when you care about humanity and justice because most people you encounter on a daily basis only care about themselves, and their selfish ignorance and penchant for violence, sexism, and homophobia will make you CRAZY, thus ruining your joy. Or maybe that’s just me…