While TWICE’s “Yes or Yes” has been achieving extraordinary success, it has also sparked some controversy with some claiming that it “promotes rape culture”.
TWICE’s comeback song, “Yes or Yes” talks about a woman who is trying to win over a man’s heart. In the lyrics, the woman gives the man the choice “yes or yes”, which some have understood as “disregarding consent” and hence, “promotion of rape culture”.
“Don’t know what you’ll choose, so I prepared these options. Choose only one of the two: Yes or Yes.” ㅡ TWICE’s “Yes or Yes”
According to the view of one netizen, TWICE’s new song “dismisses the importance of consent, promotes emotional manipulation/coercion and promotes rape culture.” The person, who asserts that she is a survivor, clearly expressed that she was personally offended by “Yes or Yes”.
It’s 2018 and Twice is literally out here singing a song that dismisses the importance of consent, promotes emotional manipulation/coercion, and promotes rape culture. As a survivor, I’m personally disgusted and upset. Twice and JYP crossed a horrible line. pic.twitter.com/d0f843c00i
— Ambrose Spellman Stan (@SUICldad) November 5, 2018
Other netizens have also agreed with this opinion, indicating that the lyrics to the song seemed inappropriate and had personally offended them in some way.
I like twice but please….consider the context of these two very different songs
Dope is about rejecting the status quo, the notion that you’re not good enough, & rejecting the society that rejects you
Yes or yes is about disregarding consent & personally I find it unsettling https://t.co/xvC87pBv5k
— sak 🌈 arsd 📌 (@doraemonyoongi) November 5, 2018
On the other hand, many netizens also disagreed with this view of the song and provided their own take on the issue.
there is nothing remotely sexual about yes or yes so for people to say theyre promoting rape culture is idiotic and illogical and thats all im gonna say about that
— ㅋㅈㅁㅋ (@iljinah) November 5, 2018
like look into the lyrics, in interpreted them as just wanting someone to say yes but not necessarily forcing them into anything the whole ‘i respect your choice but reject your rejection’ to me means i accept the answer but im not happy about it
— ell (@lastlvoes) November 5, 2018
Twitter user @PaboBear cited the importance of the historical and cultural context when considering issues like consent in a relationship. It should be noted, however, that while many may not perceive the lyrics to be predatory because of “how power works in a relationship”, it is more than possible for women to be in the position of power in a relationship (and to abuse that power).
it is not perceived as predatory from a woman bc of the historical/cultural context of how power works in a relationship
So this stretch that Twice contributes to rape culture lacks any legs, pls try again.
— Sheren (샤론) (@PaboBear) November 5, 2018
Still other fans have pointed to the fact that the group’s title tracks have followed a “push-and-pull”-type theme pattern and, when looked upon as part of a series, “Yes or Yes” is TWICE’s first attempt at a “taking an initiative” type theme. Considering this narrative, the lyrics may be understood as an example of feminine “empowerment” (as TWICE’s Mina mentioned in an interview about the song).
Mina: The song is about a Woman who says what she wants [Doesn't hold it in]
The song itself: "I respect your choice but reject rejection"
Which translates to:
"I respect your choice but I wont lose hope"
The lyrics throughout the entire song: The choice is up to you
— Sara (@wonderfulsone) November 5, 2018
Finally, ONCEs have pointed to the fact that there are no instances of TWICE “forcing” themselves on a man in the music video (in fact, there are no male characters in the MV at all) as evidence that the song does not promote the rape culture or a narrative of coercion.
Regardless of the intentions of the song’s producers, or the ongoing debates regarding the song’s various interpretations, TWICE’s new album remains a hot topic among their fans worldwide.