Sunday, 21 September 2014

will sexist behaviour at universities ever end?

A recent survey carried out by NUS has found that more than half of female students identify “prevailing sexism, ‘laddism’ and a culture of harassment” at their universities. In a new era where feminist movements are rife across the country, with women’s organisations such as the Everyday Sexism Project highlighting the inappropriate and often, horrendous experiences that females endure on a daily basis, when will the grotesque ‘lad culture’ that swarms UK universities, begin its demise?

Now I'm not going to lie, I do indulge in the Daily Mail's sidebar of shame, 1) to see how beaut Kim K is looking that day, and have a quick cry into my cup of tea and 2) to see what inane celebrity drivel they have on offer that day, however when I clicked onto the website yesterday, the 'report' at the top of the page filled me with so much anger that I just had to write on here and let it aalll out...

In the article, which was reporting on lad culture at universities, it was shocking, and perhaps somewhat telling to find that the publication, amidst attempts to condemn vulgar and sexist behaviour, had actually found professionals that were not only excusing it, but blaming it, on females.

The quote reads:

'young men who attend them(universities such as Oxford, Cambridge etc) are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with being in direct competition with empowered young women in an ever-competitive world..' and finished it off with, 'this behaviour is a way of putting women back in their place. They are using sex and sexism to say, 'this is our turf - get off it'


So girls remember, the next time you are groped in a nightclub, are leered at or catcalled on the street, or are touched inappropriately, it's your fault because you aren't obeying men's orders of staying in the kitchen. The next time you're called a slag, a whore or bitch, don't be offended, and GOD, get a sense of humour, because it's only 'banter'. The next time you say 'no', yet he keeps on persisting, just do what he says because he's a little bit scared and a little bit intimidated of you because damn it, you might actually be just as clever as him...

Why are females always blamed for males sexist behaviour? Our skirts are too short, our tops are too low and we 'ask' for it by maybe wanting to dress up nicely. We live in a society where 'don't leave your drinks unattended' is instilled into us instead of being told 'don't drug people'; a society where if a poor girl gets raped, the first question entering some people's heads is, 'ah but how much had she had to drink?'. In a message written to the Everyday Sexism Project recently, the student heard a halls rep saying: ‘Getting spiked is lucky, it means someone really wants to get with you.’ Wow girls, bet you’re feeling so lucky hey!

Sexism is so disgustingly rife that many people don't even notice it anymore. We just accept it. The Sam Pepper video that was published last night was one of the most disgusting things I've seen in a long time. What has made men think that they have ownership over women's bodies, and the right to TOUCH us whenever and wherever they want too?

Girls - we are not slabs of meat, put on this earth for men's pleasure and we are certainly not at fault for wanting more from our lives than cooking, cleaning and breeding. The sooner men accept that we are career driven, empowered and strong, are not at university to be 'put back in our place', and deserve respect, the better. Don't put yourself in situations where you are uncomfortable just because it's been classed as banter for 'the lads', treat yourself with the class, respect and dignity that you deserve.

Boys - the next time you leer and shout obscenities at a girl, the next time you force yourself on a girl who is saying no, think about if that was your sister, your friend or even your mum - don't be part of a culture that denigrates, instead of respects, women.

Charlotte x


  1. Charlotte I'm glad you wrote this post. I think more women should speak about such thing and not sit quitely knowing that day to day horrasment happens everywhere.

    1. thank you - it's a v important issue that shouldn't be kept quiet or brushed aside xx


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