First They Came For Dean Martin, And I Did Nothing. Then They Came For Sebastian The Crab…

 

Apparently more radio stations are considering banning Frank Loesser’s classic winter seduction song “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after one Ohio station did so in response to social justice warrior lobbying. This is where progressiveness is heading: are Americans really unaware of this? Well, if the public and society want a restrictive culture in which political and ideological viewpoints are advanced using censorship, social media bullying, boycotts and indoctrination, that’s their choice, but someone other than me should at least keep reminding them that they are embracing totalitarianism in all but name. I don’t even like the damn song, but this is one more bad slippery slope that slides away from liberty.

Now the Tigertones, an all-male Princeton University a cappella group, has capitulated to similar attacks on  “Kiss the Girl,”  a song from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Students complained that the song and their performance of it promoted misogyny and “toxic masculinity” and violated the principle of consent. In the movie, one of my favorite of the old fashioned Disney non-computer animated films, the character Sebastian the Crab and a chorus of creatures try to give subliminal support to shy Prince Eric, who is in a romantic setting with ex-mermaid Ariel, rendered mute by a bad trade with the Sea-Hag, in which she gained legs at the cost of her voice. Only true love’s kiss can restore her ability to talk (and sing), but Eric is hestitant.Here’s the song:

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

“[It’s] more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute,” sophomore Noa Wollstein wrote in the Daily Princetonian :

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

The criticism of the performance bit has some validity. The criticism of the song itself has none.

From nightclub acts to interactive theatrical performances, pulling  audience members into a song, skit or other performance genre is a practice that is centuries old. The performer has an obligation not to abuse or make the “volunteer” feel humiliated or uncomfortable, but there is no issue of consent. Audiences consent by buying a ticket. Still, I would never stage a bit where an audience couple was urged, pushed, bullied or shamed to do something to each other, even a kiss on the cheek. It’s not a huge breach of ethics or abuse of power, but the staging crosses an ethical  line. The troupe is wise to dump it.

The song itself, however, is beyond reproach. Given that she is temporarily mute, Ariel could not signal consent more clearly. There is nothing in the song that suggests that  “masculinity is contingent on domination of women.” The song embodies the real life dilemma when a man knows that the time is right to move a relationship to the next level, but hesitates out of fear of rejection, a fear that #MeToo has only exacerbated—except now there is the added fear that “the girl” will appear before a Senate committee thirty years layer and accuse the man of being a sexual predator.

As someone who always, always, clutched in that situation, resulting in either the woman involved kissing me or later asking, “What the hell were you waiting for, you big weenie?,” I wish some singing crabs had been on hand to steel my resolve many times. I would have had a happier youth.

17 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Romance and Relationships

17 responses to “First They Came For Dean Martin, And I Did Nothing. Then They Came For Sebastian The Crab…

  1. adimagejim

    I recall vividly playing a forced game of duck duck smooch at dance marathon at Syracuse University in the old Manley Field House in the mid-80s. Again, kissing on the cheek only. It was hilarious and awkward by design. No one was harmed emotionally or physically in the playing of the game. (Also didn’t hurt an undergrad I thought to be hot chose me for the game.)

    Lighten up people.

    • adimagejim wrote, “I recall vividly playing a forced game of duck duck smooch at dance marathon at Syracuse University in the old Manley Field House in the mid-80s.”

      What would the snowflakes think of spin the bottle? We used to “play” that in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. Oh the horror!

      adimagejim wrote, “Lighten up people.”

      Yup, snowflakes snowflaking hard (#Michael West) again and as long as we continue to enable them they will get worse.

      • Other Bill

        Good point. You don’t think Noa Wollstein isn’t thrilled beyond description that she’s nailed her first SJW scalp to the wall in her dorm room at Princeton? She’ll be blogging from Brooklyn in no time, may even get a job at the NYT or as an SNL writer. A career has been launched. You go girl.

  2. JP

    After reading your final thoughts it reminded me of my early dating life. I spent 9 months doing everything I could to avoid my first girlfriend. I didn’t really want one, and I especially didn’t want to be “dating” the girl I was with, but social pressure led me to say yes. But gosh darn that girl was determined. Finally, after months, she cornered me one day against my locker, threw me against it and planted one on my lips. Afterwords, she handed me a note and said the tootles. The note said we were through.

    The second girl, I was a girl I actually wanted to date. We broke up after a month. A month after that, when we started talking again, I asked her why she dumped me. She said it was because I hadn’t kissed her yet. So I decided at that moment I was going to and got my first make out session.

    I met my wife in college while I was dating another girl. Me and the girl I was dating were outside the student center, and my future wife and this other girl who I knew were walking by. We exchanged hellos when the third girl asked what we were doing. The girl I was dating said, we are fighting. We were not fighting, we were telling jokes, so I knew she was telling a joke. So when they asked what was going on, I said the first random thing that had popped in my head, “She is mad I have not kissed her yet.” So the very first words my wife said to me besides hello were “I am mad you haven’t kissed me yet either.” Doing the only sensible thing, I stood up and kissed her on the cheek.

    Everyone thinks it is a romantic story of fate and destiny, but I learned last year as I was sharing it, she just said it to break the tension. Either way, we will celebrate our anniversary on the 16th.

    I feel for my eight-year-old son. He is like me in so many ways and like all boys will have to navigate the unspoken rules of kissing. Like the first two girls, they were waiting on me to do something. The girls didn’t want to ask nor make the first move. I’m betting most don’t. But man if they don’t want it, Times up has taught us you will be in a lot of trouble. He is still kind of young, but I have tried to teach him respect, morals, and ethics to make him a better person. I’m afraid something stupid is going to ruin his life.

  3. dragin_dragon

    I never knew whether to kiss a date goodnight or not. Solved the problem by learning to kiss hands.

  4. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the social justice warrior cult has already won the hearts and minds of the general population and “we” are being controlled by fear, it’s a form of society controlling terrorism. We, as a society, have been complacent and it’s now our job to openly and very vocally fight back against this social terrorism and to turn the tides.

  5. Mark Putnam

    Oh no!!! Soon the movie Elf will be banned.

  6. Cynical John

    It seems to me that I remember when an unwanted kiss or attempted kiss by a male was met with a slap across the face from the female. I guess such a scenario today would result in a charge of sexual assault and a counter-charge of assault and battery. Let’s just make every damn thing a crime and throw it all into the courts, which obviously have nothing else to do.

  7. A.M. Golden

    In the context of the movie, Ariel is desperate for him to kiss her because she’s only got three days before she loses her newfound humanness forever and becomes the wilted algae possession of Ursula. So, in other words, her eyes say, “Yes”.

  8. “singing crabs”

    It’s a shame that we don’t have Carson to do Carnac anymore.

  9. Other Bill

    Isn’t a kiss just a kiss?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.