Lad Culture: Where Do We Draw the Line?


By Georgie Clark – Reporter

Can you recall an incident at university, after a long night out and one too many, where somebody made you feel a bit uncomfortable? Was it a catcall as you were walking home? Or a sweaty grope as you queued to get your jacket? If you can, you probably thought very little of it and were probably even less likely to have told someone.

Incidents like this are so ridiculously common that they have even been given their own category to fall drunkenly into: lad culture. There is immense pressure at university, among both boys and girls, to drink to excess and behave outlandishly.

The more outrageous the scenario the better, really. As a female, if you do happen to be touched up, followed home for a bit or shouted at, it falls on you to ‘take the banter’. It’s just a joke, isn’t it? If I kick off I’ll look like a massive prude.

This unwritten rule that demands all girls ignore and laugh off what is basically just sexual harassment is what universities are failing to eradicate. Comedians like Dapper Laughs are teaching the teenage boys of today that it’s okay to treat girls as objects – a notion that will generally set us back as a society about 100 years.

Universities should consider taking it upon themselves to educate both boys and girls that instances where either party feels even slightly uncomfortable are not okay. These kind of ‘jokes’ should not just be laughed off because where is the line? When does a joke become a crime? On the streets of most university nights out, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know.

When the tables are turned, girls are just as bad: screeching at boys to take their shirts off after one sambuca too many. Girls can do whatever boys can, meaning litres of alcohol are consumed between groups of four or five simply to be able to upload a photo to Instagram with the hashtag ‘lads’. If universities could do their bit and enlighten students on jokes remaining jokes and not taking this booming culture too far, the inevitable call of a night out would be far more welcoming.

1 Comment on Lad Culture: Where Do We Draw the Line?

  1. One of these again…

    1. If you’re aiming this at both guys and girls here. Stop calling it ‘Lad’ culture. It doesn’t portray that it’s a unisex problem.

    2. Drinking in excess at university is nothing new and having the university step in will do nothing to change that. We’re young adults with money. if people want to drink, they’ll drink. If you don’t want to drink, stand by your word and if you feel peer pressured into it, find more none drinkers and hang out with them. Don’t blast people for enjoying themselves.

    3. These cat calls, wolf whistles, groping etc are not new either. Hell, it’s getting a lot better I’d say. And this is coming from a guy who was spiked in freshers fortnight. The majority of the problem lies outside of university with locals I’ve noticed. Any ‘lad’ from the university I know, would intervene if a girl was made uncomfortable.

    The real fix, is advice people to speak out and to act together. If someone is being a creep tell them they’re creeping you out, and if they don’t take the hint, tell someone who can do something about it or avoid the situation by cold shoulder and walk off, there isn’t a lot more you can do… But where do we draw the line?

    Stop drawing lines and enjoy yourself. This isn’t a new issue nor is it a university problem, it’s a nationwide/worldwide issue called sexism. It’s gradually straightening itself out.
    As for drinking, I’m an adult, all of us are. Please stop judging myself and others for our lifestyle choices.

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