Rose McGowan & Rain Dove: ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ promotes sexual assault

Rose McGowan (left) and Rain Dove have created a modern interpretation of the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside.

Actor Rose McGowan and non-binary model Rain Dove have teamed up to re-enact a modern version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” illustrating how, in a modern context, the controversial song’s lyrics are suggestive of gaslighting and sexual harassment.

In the video, Dove’s character can be seen attempting to persuade McGowan, who plays the woman in the song, to stay over at their place, according to the 1944 track’s lyrics.

As the narrative continues, Dove becomes increasingly persistent in their attempts to stop McGowan leaving, despite her saying she wants to leave and repeatedly telling them “no.”

At the end of the video, Dove forces themselves on McGowan, who looks uncomfortable, and kisses her on the side of her lips.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” written by Frank Lesser, was released in 1944 and became a worldwide hit when it was featured in the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter. 

At the time of its release, the song was considered by many as having a relatively progressive view towards women and their role in society..

However, the song has faced criticism in the 21st century, with lyrics from the woman’s perspective—such as “I ought to say, no, no, no sir,” and “What’s in this drink?”—considered tantamount to sexual harassment and even date rape in the modern era.

Rain Dove and Rose McGowan show why “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is problematic in the modern era

Dove uploaded the YouTube video on their channel on Thursday (December 20).

The non-binary model, who is in a relationship with McGowan, also released a video of the couple discussing the song’s meaning.

In October 2017, McGowan alleged she had been raped by disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, saying that Amazon Studios dropped her show after she made a complaint.

Her allegations were key to inspiring the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

“Even though Frank Lesser may have felt the song was progressive at the time in which he wrote it—it wouldn’t be considered appropriate today to be so persistent after someone says no.”

—Rain Dove

“We decided to make a video reflecting a scene in which many believe the song represents in modern day,” Dove wrote in the description for the video.

“Even though Frank Lesser may have felt the song was progressive at the time in which he wrote it—it wouldn’t be considered appropriate today to be so persistent after someone says no.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate for a person to be grabbed, even if their partner believes :well they want to stay anyway I can tell. If it weren’t for society’s thinking of them… they would stay.”

Fans praise Rain Dove and Rose McGowan for showing the track’s controversial meaning

Watch the video below:

Fans have praised Dove and McGowan’s video for highlighting the song’s problematic lyrics.

“This is an outstanding interpretation with a message,” one person commented.

“Initially when you listen to the original song, these concepts are hidden by the music and now you’ve brought them to life.

“Wow! Lyrics have meaning and these words were and always have been torture as a young woman. No means no, f*ck misogyny!”

Another YouTube user wrote: “Great job. One time I watched the original clip from Neptune’s Daughter muted and the clip takes on an entirely different feeling when you’re focusing on body language without the distraction of a catchy tune.

“When the pithy song is absent, the essence shifts — the energy starts to become more sinister and you develop a sense of sympathy and worry for the two characters who’re experiencing the misfortune of being pawed at and blocked while trying to leave.”

And a third person said: “Yo this is crazy because it’s evident, but it’s so masked by the music. Love how it was transferred into what it actually means.”