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Woman claims popular Disney song promotes sexual assault; college band stops performing it

A woman is claiming that a popular Disney song is promoting sexual assault because it does not specifically ask for consent. Of course, she's talking about the song 'Kiss the Girl' from the movie "The Little Mermaid" and now a college acapella group has stopped singing the song.

The movie "The Little Mermaid" was released on November 13, 1989 and in 2018 it is considered offensive.


An all-guys acapella music group at Princeton University will no longer perform the song 'Kiss the Girl' from the Disney movie "The Little Mermaid" after Noa Wollstein penned an article suggesting that the song and group's performance promotes sexual assault because it lacks consent.


We're talking about a Disney song that was sung by an animated crab to a cartoon man who was falling in love with a magical mermaid. Somehow this was turned into a matter of sexual assault because if the man leans in to give the mermaid a kiss, then that's void of consent and she should probably press charges on him if she can find a lawyer and police station in the sea.

The acapella group known as the Tigertones would typically perform this song and have members of the audience on stage. The members of the audience would dance and play along with the group. The culmination of the performance is often an innocent kiss on the cheek, which the members of the audience can obviously decline if they wish. The members of the audience can also decline to perform in the act if they are uncomfortable. No one is forced to do anything during the show.

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The performance is quite innocent and everyone appears to have fun. It's fun, energetic, and looks to be a great time.

Watch the performance on video below. After the video is an excerpt from Wollstein's article condemning the song and the performance.

Even when gently crooned by an animated crab, the song “Kiss The Girl,” from the Disney hit “The Little Mermaid,” is more misogynistic and dismissive of consent than cute. By performing the song multiple times each semester, the Tigertones elevate it to an offensive and violating ritual.

No matter how “great the tradition,” this canonical Tigertones tune should be struck from their repertoire. 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.

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.rn

Removed from its cushioning context of mermaids, magic, and PG ratings, the message comes across as even more jarring. Lyrics such as, “It’s possible she wants you too/There’s one way to ask her/It don’t take a word, not a single word/Go on and kiss the girl, kiss the girl,” and “she won’t say a word/Until you kiss that girl,” unambiguously encourage men to make physical advances on women without obtaining their clear consent.rn

The song launches a heteronormative attack on women’s right to oppose the romantic and sexual liberties taken by men, further inundating the listener with themes of toxic masculinity.

In trying to motivate Eric to kiss Ariel, the crab, Sebastian, makes use of lines such as, “Looks like the boy’s too shy,” “Don't be scared,” and “It’s such a shame, too bad/You’re gonna miss the girl.”rn

rnSuch expressions imply that not using aggressive physical action to secure Ariel’s sexual submission makes Eric weak — an irrefutable scaredy-cat.

Applied outside of the realm of the movie, these statements suggest that masculinity is contingent on domination of women. This attitude can catalyze violent tendencies toward, and assault against, women.

Is that a good reason for the band to stop their tradition of performing this song and including the audience who cheers for them?

As printed on the article this originated from, "Noa Wollstein is a sophomore from Plainview, N.Y. She can be reached at noaw@princeton.edu."

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