Princeton Tigertones, an all-male acapella group at Ivy League college, Princeton University, will no longer perform a rendition of a popular Disney song during their concerts because some audience members, including a feminist who wrote an article about it, find it “uncomfortable”.
According to the Inside Higher Ed, the group’s rendition of Disney’s ‘Kiss the Girl’, which was played in The Little Mermaid, consists of the group inviting a random girl from the audience to join them on the stage as they sing “playfully dance with her for a bit.”
As the song draws close to the end, the group also invites a male member of the audience on the stage. After grooming the man, the group would push the two closer to each other and ask them to kiss.
As the report reads, the random pairs typically comply “with a peck on the cheek, sometimes briefly on the lips.”
While the entire scene appears harmless to the majority of the audience, some people pointed out that it isn’t appropriate.
Noa Wollstein, a sophomore, wrote an article for the Daily Princetonian and publicly asked the acapella group to stop performing the act while saying it is “more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute.”
“Its lyrics raise some serious issues. The premise of the song, originally sung in the Disney film The Little Mermaid, is that the male Prince Eric, on a date with the beautiful female Ariel, should kiss her without asking for a single word to affirm her consent,” Noa wrote.
“Despite the fact that an evil sea-witch cursed Ariel’s voice away, making verbal consent impossible, the song is clearly problematic from the get-go.”
Additionally, the student claims that removing the magic and mermaids from the context makes the lyrics even more problematic. She continued to cite the ‘offensive’ lyrics such as “It’s possible she wants you too/There’s one way to ask her/It doesn’t take a word, not a single word/Go on and kiss the girl, kiss the girl.”
According to Noa, who believes that clear consent can only be expressed through verbal affirmation, the Disney song in question “launches a heteronormative attack on women’s right to oppose the romantic and sexual liberties taken by men” while encouraging “toxic masculinity.”
After the release of her article, plenty of feminists backed up Noa’s claims. Not everyone, however, was convinced.
As critics of her opinion pointed out, Ariel wanted to kiss Eric which is why she signed a contract with the evil witch to get the prince to kiss her in the first place.
Nevertheless, the acapella group decided to oblige and get rid of the act that they’ve been performing for years.
“Our group is always striving to impart joy and positivity through our music, and we take very seriously any indication that we fall short of this goal,” Wesley Brown, the Tigertones’ president, wrote.
“For that reason, we want to make sure that all audience members feel encouraged to reach out to the group and initiate a dialogue if they ever feel that any aspect of our show is upsetting or offensive.
Our repertoire, traditions, and the group as a whole are constantly evolving, and thus we value this opportunity to ensure a more comfortable performance environment moving forward.”
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