Lads: Banter Rights
The Tab: a franchise of tabloid student news websites, started up at Cambridge University before establishing ‘branches’ at other universities such as Durham, Leeds and Exeter. It runs features on the best Cambridge ‘totty’ and informs us which university is the top uni for ‘totty’. The Durham Tab ran a story on the ‘most outrageous students in the country’, complete with a photograph of two sterling, scholarly chaps licking a woman’s nipples. When one Lancaster student criticised the Tab on its Lancaster Facebook page, the administrator of the page deemed him a “poof” who is “probably shit at football.” The headline of an article in the Bristol Tab, written by Tom Robbins, who is a man, bellows; “FEMINISTS: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG”, before setting the record straight and telling us that equality has been achieved because rape is illegal now. All in all, it seems to spend a lot of time defending and justifying laddishness.
It therefore comes as no surpirse to me that Jack Rivlin, who founded this franchise of detritus catalogues, has written an article in the Daily Telegraph, in which he gets dreadfully upset about a recent NUS report on the effects of laddish culture on women.
Its papal levels of grace start with the headline: “The prudes of the NUS hate boozy, popular ‘lads’. So what do they do? Smear them as rapists.” So, right away we know what the problem with the ‘enemy’ is. Prudes; people who are unreceptive of forthright sexual behaviour, and unwilling to engage in it. Now, my understanding of feminism is about as comprehensive as my understanding of the Karma Sutra, but even Jim Davidson would fail not to see that Rivlin is essentially dismissing women made to feel intimidated as uptight Mary Whitehouse types who don’t ‘get’ the ‘banter’.
[Read the rest: scan.lusu]