Lad culture is a black mark on university life
Being 'one of the lads' isn't all harmless banter, says Hazel Morgan
Wednesday 21 November 2012
Our time at university is important for many reasons, whether because it’s where we find our friends for life or realise our career ambitions, it’s the place where we come into our own as adults. As we develop emotionally and socially as young people, what could be more damaging than an environment dominated by gender stereotypes, the pressure to act recklessly and the sweeping dominance of 'lads'?
Whereas lad culture is seen by many people as harmless fun amongst young male students, I see it as a pressure group creating the myth that time at university should be spent in a certain way. Students should be having 'top banter' and going 'on the lash'. This focus on flaunting heterosexual conquests and the pressure to behave in certain ways alienates not only men who feel pressure to fit in but also female students. There is misogynistic behaviour, where a girl is seen as a number out of ten depending on how fit she is. The modern student is living in a world defined by pictures of objectified women, directions on how to get laid, and why you should down as many Jägerbombs as possible on a night out.
To anyone who maintains that lad culture is just a joke, I would direct them to the odious UniLad.com or the new social trend University Confessions. Lad culture is embodied by these sites, where offensive, bigoted comments are dismissed as banter. UniLad, for instance, is a site that 'started with a group of lads telling tales of drinking and fornication', with articles on subjects like How to get a regular booty call, and advice that runs as follows: 'think about this mathematical statistic: 85 per cent of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds'. Can comments like this really be dismissed as just having a laugh?
These issues are to some extent being addressed by the increasing media attention on how much young people are drinking at university and by gender movements such as The Everyday Sexism Project. However, I think a lot more needs to be done beginning with universities recognising that lad culture is a problem that young people are having to deal with in day to day life.
Although some people could argue that a young person is always going to be put under pressure, the specific trend of lads is particularly worrying as it implies a 'normal' student goes out every night and sleeps around. What is most worrying is that many students really do just see laddish behaviour as something amusing. It needs to be made clear that it has much wider - and scarier - connotations than just harmless banter between a couple of UniLads. We are at university to build a future not condone a culture that demeans both men and women.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...
£95 - £105 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Plymouth i...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are currently...