Karaoke in Japan is quite different from what you find across most of the Western world. Rather than letting wannabe rock stars take to the stage in a crowded bar, most karaoke parlors in Japan offer private rooms for all of their customers, whether singing in a group or taking time alone to do some hitokara. Unfortunately, these closed quarters can lead to some awkward scenarios when single men and women share the mic at office after parties.
Earlier this month My Navi News conducted a short survey of the single women employed by the company. They asked 200 of these working ladies whether or not they’d ever had a man do something at karaoke which really made them want to draw away, and if so, to explain it in detail. The results were quite the eye-opener.
Thankfully, 69.5% had nothing to complain about, but the remaining 30.5% had some insightful and occasionally bizarre stories to tell.
The biggest complaint that women in this survey had was of men who get too into themselves and act exceptionally narcissistic while singing. One woman talks about doing karaoke with a man who would move around violently while belting out his choice tunes and then break out a mirror to check his hair once he was done. That might be expected behavior for J-rockers, but when you’re an office worker, it’s a bit much. Another young lady had to hold herself back when her karaoke companion kept insisting, “I’ve got a great voice, yeah?” It would have seemed a bit rude to reply with, “I’m sorry, but I think you’re tone-deaf,” when he was obviously fishing for compliments.
The next big complaint came with guys putting in multiple songs from the same musical artist. This can be especially bothersome when the person’s artist of choice is some heavy metal screamer or a group that specializes more in dancing than in vocal talent. Hours of girly pop idol tunes can be a turn-off as well – I speak from my own experience when I say that it’s creepy for men to request their favorite AKB48 singles, only to get distracted by the music video of the girls dancing around in their underwear.
The next issue is the mic hog. It feels so unfair to have to pay part of the bill when you never actually got a turn to sing. One lady laments the day she did karaoke with her boss, and the man took up all of their time with old fashioned songs for himself. Even outside of the office, she couldn’t exactly correct him on his karaoke etiquette so just had to sit through it. Another poor woman recalled the time she did karaoke with a man who went so far as to grab the mic out of the hands of whoever had entered the song if it was one that he happened to know. That’s rude and inconsiderate on a multitude of levels.
Of course, the opposite can also be a problem. Some girls didn’t like it when the microphone was forced on them for songs that they hate. There are many people out there who attend karaoke parties for the food and company and don’t really want to sing. A guy may think that he’s being encouraging and inclusive by putting the mic in his lady friends’ hands, but it can come off as overbearing and absolutely embarrassing to the girl if she really doesn’t want to sing.
Using karaoke for sexual harassment
But now come the most uncomfortable of scenarios. Many women in the survey complained about men using karaoke as a vehicle for sexual harassment. Some guys might think it’s cute to lean against a girl’s shoulder or grab the hand of the lady he’s singing alongside, but for a woman who views their relationship as strictly professional, that is not an okay touch. Judging from the reactions of many women, the perfect way to gross a girl out at karaoke would be to force her into a love song, then stare intently into her eyes and replace the lyrics with the girl’s name. Given the right circumstances, that sort of situation could be seen as romantic, but if you’re anything less than already dating, it’s just creepy.
But honestly, the one story that really takes the cake is the man who apparently stripped naked in the presence of a woman his same age when the song he was singing got him really fired up. Now if that’s not sexual harassment, I’m not sure what is.
The bottom line here is that men, and women too for that matter, need to be considerate of their company when going out to karaoke. Share the mic with those who want to sing and try to pick a good variety of songs, so that no one tires of one singer or genre. Feel free to pick the songs you like, but don’t be a mic hog or a show-off. Keep your hands (and other body parts) to yourself, and hopefully everyone can have a good time. Have fun, and try to make your karaoke experience memorable in ways that don’t disturb your peers.
Source: Niconico News
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