I hope this short post will be the re-kindling of my efforts to write a regular article; sorry to those followers who have missed my missives.
On Monday this week, The Times published an article entitled “Crisis on campus: the rise of the ‘uni lad’” (thanks to Bernadette Nagy for bringing it to my attention). It reminds me of one of my former blog post from October last year that I called “Everyday sexism – university campus misogyny”. In it, after cataloguing serious sexist behaviour, I challenged parents of pre-university students, of which I am one, to investigate the level of sexism at their off-spring’s chosen establishments and include their findings in decision making and final choices. I wonder if anyone did this, as it would certainly have make university administrators “sit up and listen”, if their application numbers reduced.
What is going on at our institutions of higher education and is anything being done to challenge these horrendous macho behaviours? Maybe something is being done, at last.
I just read in the Mail Online that Oxford University will be sending its rugby players on hour-long ‘good lad’ courses in how not to be a misogynist. Participation at this workshops is a condition of their participation in the inter-college cup tournament and comes amid growing intolerance of the pervasive ‘lad culture’. Though a very small step, it is nonetheless a movement in the right direction.
This “Good Lad” initiative was the idea of an Australian Oxford graduate, Dave Llewellyn, who considers himself to be a good guy and think that other like him need help in challenging the status quo of sexism in the colleges. Is there a better place to start than the rugby club, which have notoriously bad reputations. This can be highlighted by Pembroke College rugby club which was suspended in 2013 after an email – entitled ‘Free Pussy’ – was sent out encouraging players to pick a fresher and spike her drink.
Good luck Dave with the initiative and maybe it’s time for other universities to sit up and listen.