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Old 12-05-2018, 09:21 AM
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Default Princeton a capella group scraps ‘Kiss the Girl’ after consent debat


Princeton a capella group scraps ‘Kiss the Girl’ after consent debate
By Natalie O'Neill
December 4, 2018 | 3:51pm | Updated December 4, 2018 | 10:46pm

Ariel in "The Little Mermaid" ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy

An all-male Princeton University a cappella group will no longer perform a song from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” because some students there complained that the performance promotes misogyny and “toxic masculinity” and violates consent.

The singers, known as the Tigertones, have for years performed the song “Kiss the Girl” by picking a man and a woman from the audience and encouraging them to smooch on the cheek, according to Inside Higher Ed.

In the animated movie, the tune is crooned by a Rastafarian crab to encourage a prince to kiss a mermaid — and features the lyrics, “My oh my/ Looks like the boy’s too shy/ Ain’t gonna kiss the girl.”

But some audience members were offended by the “misogynistic” and “non-consensual” tone of the performance, including one student, who slammed it in an opinion piece.

“[It’s] more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute,” sophomore (((Noa Wollstein))) wrote in the Daily Princetonian on Nov. 26. “By performing the song multiple times each semester, the Tigertones elevate it to an offensive and violating ritual,” the piece, titled “Dear Tigertones, please stop singing ‘Kiss the Girl,’” proclaims.

The song makes Prince Eric sound like a pansy for not busting a move on Ariel, Wollstein wrote.

“Such expressions imply that not using aggressive physical action to secure Ariel’s sexual submission makes Eric weak — an irrefutable scaredy-cat,” it adds. “These statements suggest that masculinity is contingent on domination of women. This attitude can catalyze violent tendencies toward, and assault against, women.”

On Friday, the president of the Tigertones, Wesley Brown, announced the group would scrap the song from its set list — and apologized for making students feel “uncomfortable.”

“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,” Brown wrote in the Princetonian “Our repertoire, traditions, and group as a whole are constantly evolving, and thus we value this opportunity to ensure a more comfortable performance environment moving forward.”

But Tony Huerta, president of the Contemporary A Cappella Society, said ending tradition wasn’t necessary.

He suggested planting two consenting volunteers in the audience to make the kiss part of the performance.

“Make it part of the show,” Huerta said, according to Inside Higher Ed. “The audience doesn’t need to know that it was planned. Then it’s entertainment — without hurt feelings.”
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