Baby It’s Offensive Outside! (Deconstructing a Complaint)

The fake offense of the season has been around the song, Baby It’s Cold Outside, a song from 1944, popularized in 1949’s Neptune’s Daughter (in which Ricardo Montalbán sung it.)  Bing Crosby’s version is the famous one.

Yes, this is 70 years old.  It is a flirtatious song; both people are flirting.  In an era where being alone with a man was an ostracizable offense (something today’s feminists should be celebrating has changed), she’s playing with reasons to leave, and he’s playing with reasons she should stay.  There’s no pressure, no force, no blocking.

The world is more sensitive to harassment in the #metoo era, but this still isn’t very close to a line.  And yet some agitators throw attacks rather than explain why they feel threatened.

Dissecting an Emotional Attack

The central problem is that their reason for banning this song is emotional, not necessarily logical.  But you can still use a logical approach to counter it.

Using BICO (Baby It’s Cold Outside) as an illustrative example, start with…

This approach applies to a wide variety of arguments and complaints.  Essentially it is looking for inconsistencies in the definition, in whom the complainer claims to represent, in the application of cultural norms and in the background of the agitator.

What have I left off?

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