Durham college rugby club lambasted for 'It's not rape if...' drinking game

But incoming club captain apologises and agrees to partnership with campus feminist socie

Alex Finnis@AlexFinnis
Friday 01 November 2013 14:10
Durham Cathedral Square
Durham Cathedral Square

A Durham college rugby club has been condemned for playing a drinking game about rape.

Members of St Cuthbert’s Society’s club were caught playing the game, which involved them providing an ending to the sentence: “It’s not rape if…”.

Flo Perry, a member of the University’s feminist society, saw the incident in the student bar and branded it “the nasty side of lad culture”.

In a column for The Durham Tab, she wrote: “Every decent human being knows there is only one answer to this question – ‘it’s not rape if… it’s between two consenting adults’ – any other ending of this sentence encourages rape culture.”

The rugby club has previous form for making light of rape. It was banned from taking part in competitive matches last year after members dressed up as Jimmy Savile and his victims for a “current affairs” social.

Ms Perry said she messaged some of the club members to get their side of the story, but received no replies.

“I even bumped into one of the boys who looked decidedly shifty, declined to comment and walked away giggling,” she said.

However, the club has a new captain, Samuel Cuthbert, who was not involved in the incident – and indeed was abroad when it happened. He has since sent an email to FemSoc apologising on the club’s behalf.

“‘It’s not rape if…’ is neither funny nor is it permissible and it is for this reason that I wholeheartedly apologise,” he said.

And heart-warmingly, FemSoc and the rugby club have agreed to start working together at future events to promote the feminist cause.

Mr Cuthbert said in his email: “We would very much like to initiate a relationship between our two societies, not only to demonstrate our belief in the importance of the work you do but to help you do it, too.

“We wonder if you may need extra help at upcoming events or talks and, if so, we urge you to contact us as we will no doubt be able to help!”

• This article has been updated to make clear that Samuel Cuthbert, the incoming rugby club captain, was not involved in the drinking game incident. 18/3/15

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