‘Lad culture’ common at KU

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Have you ever experienced sexism while at university? A new River survey reveals that 75 per cent of KU students have.

Cerys Traylor

A recent survey by The River has found that 75 per cent of KU students have experienced ‘lad culture’ at university with sexism and offensive language portrayed as ‘banter’.

Some students have revealed that they have been subject to “wolf whistles and groping in clubs” while others defend this behaviour and have argued that “banter is just having fun and messing with other people”.

“It damages women”

One student said: “It damages women and oppresses them even further. ‘Lads’ say it’s harmless and a bit of fun, but whenever a woman objects they are called a bitch. Women will never be equal to men as long as this behaviour is acceptable.”

When asked whether sexism is still rife in universities, 60 per cent of students expressed that sexism is still an issue.

A female KU student said: “‘Lads’ think if they want a woman on a night out, they can just get one, there have been numerous times when I have been out and got chatted up by a man, but when I have turned them down they get hostile and rude.”

Women empowered?

However, numerous students have disagreed that sexism is a problem at university and many believe that women are being empowered rather than put down but that “men are constantly vilified and blamed”.

KUSU’s women’s officer, Megan Denise Smith has revealed that Kingston University are keen to prevent ‘lad culture’ and have developed a media campaign alongside the Feminist Society in order to do so.

She said: “We will attempt to combat lad culture and banter, and on a broader level, rape and sexual violence. Kingston Council is keen on using our campaign in the community and we are hoping to get it on campus as soon as we can.”

‘Lad culture’ on nights out

A separate survey by NUS has shown that female students within the UK feel that they are subject to ‘laddish’ behaviour and sexual harassment especially at university.

The report showed student nights out and sports teams at university to be filled with ‘lad culture’ along with a “pack mentality” where the use of sexist and homophobic language is normal.

NUS Women’s Officer Kelly Temple, said: “The study found a worrying prevalence of ‘lad culture’ and the report will make uncomfortable reading for many of us. Lad culture is a problem that needs to be urgently addressed.”

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