The Privilege of Christmas Carols

shutterstock_222571633It’s that holly, jolly time of year again when the festive patriarchy and cultural majority rises up and celebrates itself for its good-spirited, happy camaraderie. A time when we sing in hearty chorus, celebrating the triumphs and tribulations overcome by our favorite heroes, chipper and forward-looking, pulling themselves up by their red-and-green-striped bootstraps.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas carols. Aside from gorging myself on butter-filled, bad-for-me, you’ll-never-get-into-Self-magazine cookies, they’re my favorite part of the holidays. But where are all the lady-centric songs?

We can’t really fault the religious hymns for being about a guy. According to all the churches, God had a Son and we will sing about Him on Christmas when He was born.

Then there are our favorite secular-ish good guys. We’ve got Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a quirky little fellow who’s just a bit different, but uses his unique traits as selling points until the establishment is forced to recognize his value. Nice job, Rudolph! That’s how you do it all by yourself, see? No one in a position of power readily gave you a boost or anything.

And who could forget Frosty the Snowman, a jolly pile of man-snow who basically just does whatever the heck he wants. Eff the police, am I right, Frosty? Law enforcement will obviously understand you’re just a silly, happy-hearted bloke with a penchant for goodwill and a blind spot for stoplights.

Seems women are underrepresented in this realm, like so many others, save for a few tunes like “Santa, Baby.” Let’s see what it would look like if the vast majority of women were represented in that song:

Santa Baby:

Santa baby, just looking for a moderate raise, these days;
Been a good employee, Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a comfortable maternity leave;
I’ll sign up for the care; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the work I’ve done;
Think of all the money that I haven’t won;
Next year I could be just as good… if you lift the ceiling up to the sun

Santa baby, I want to trot and not be told that I’m hot;
I should smile some more; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, I’d really like some child support…
In court… that would help out our kids, Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with the money, not for me;
Then call your kids on the line, Santa cutie,
and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree with health care decisions made for me by me;
I really do believe in you;
Let’s see if you believe in me…

Santa baby, and don’t call me a slut or a whore, for sure…
when you’re drugging my drink; Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight!

Boy, I can feel the patriarchy collectively holding hands and belting that out. Or not. I guess everything is just that much more fun when you’re a cheeky holiday hero out for a laugh, telling a heartwarming tale that could happen to *almost* anyone. Don’t listen to me. Go blast those carols, I know I will. I hate ruining Christmas. Maybe next year the world will change enough so I won’t have to.

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Image via Shutterstock

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Darlena Cunha is a former TV producer turned freelance journalist and mom. She blogs daily at Parent Win and writes for TIME magazine, The Washington Post and The Atlantic among others. She’s been published in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Wired, plus many more. You can find her on Twitter @parentwin.