Great going, kid

[cw: sexual coercion implied]

me: Hm. There’s this musical soundtrack that I want to listen to but find difficult to focus on if I’m not doing anything else, and I keep getting bored at work… I’ll listen to it while I’m at work.

me: *listening to the soundtrack at work* Wow, this is great stuff.  What good songwriting.  I want to recommend this to my coworkers.  I want to see this musical in person with my fami–

soundtrack: *plays a song about a man cheating on his wife*

me: Ok nevermind. This is awkward.

me: *gets a case of the Sicks from listening to it*

me @ myself: heh. Sure this is a little gross, but there’s no reason to feel anxious about it. It’s just a fictional character making a mistake and having flaws, like they’re supposed to. You’ve never even been cheated on, so having this strong of a reaction to it doesn’t even make sense. Pull yourself together, loser. It’s not that big of a deal. This doesn’t add up. Why do you get like this?

myself @ me, later: Hey genius, considering that the song emphasizes the line “I don’t know how to say no to this” in a sexual context, even though the character doesn’t mean it That Way it’s really obvious how that could inspire a negative reaction from you given your personal history.

me: Oh… Right… Yeah, that’d about do it.

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6 responses to “Great going, kid

  • mintythings

    Yeah. I had to make a conscious effort to Not Think About It That Way when I listened to that song.

    • Coyote

      Oh, you know the one I mean? Sorry to hear about that, but the same time, it’s a relief to know there was someone else in the same boat. Or at least a boat that’s near kin.

  • Hezekiah the (meta)pianycist

    I have had this kind of delayed reaction about other songs.

  • queenieofaces

    I’ve recently been thinking a lot about how so much of the time “I can’t say no” is framed as a self-control issue rather than…literally not being able to say no. Which makes it harder to explain cases where you were literally physically incapable of saying no. That’s probably something to write about at some point.
    (Also, for the record, that’s my least favorite song from the musical! And my girlfriend’s least favorite song. So.)

  • Sciatrix

    Also my least favorite song! Although for me, my problem is that I keep going “Well why on earth did you feel like you couldn’t say no? You had to know this was a terrible political idea, why was this remotely tempting.” Because cheating and/or making terrible personal decisions because you’re super sexually or emotionally attracted to another person is something I have absolutely no way to relate to on a gut level, so it’s something I find it hard to be empathetic about. (That doesn’t mean I can’t be empathetic about it, but I have to consciously reason through why I’m being empathetic instead of being able to remotely identify with the situation.) I’m pretty sure my partner’s least favorite songs, which have to do with the dueling, come from a similar place.

    The way you and Queenie are framing it as… winding up in the ‘freeze’ option of fight/flight/freeze? Makes a lot more sense and I have way more sympathy for that one. I don’t think this particular musical intended the song to be read that way, but as Queenie points out the way that incidents like this are so frequently framed as being about self control rather than freezing up is…. a form of rape culture and assault culture that I hadn’t previously considered. Food for thought.

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