Like most adult humans capable of basic thought and feeling, I too heard about the uniLAD controversy and was appalled. I was so appalled I called up Plymouth University, harbourer of Jamie Street, 'CEO and TechLad' of the rape-trivialising web-cesspit, to ask what exactly they would be doing about the cretin. I was disappointed to receive a very half hearted answer:
"While this website has no affiliation to Plymouth University - any student activity, extracurricular or otherwise, which brings the university into disrepute is a disciplinary matter and we will be taking appropriate action."
Unless somewhere buried amongst Plymouth University's constitution is the right to discipline certain deplorable students with a water cannon, the only just measure to be taken here is expulsion. The site, led by Partridge and five other troglodytes of various institutions, caused a furore this week when it released an article condoning rape, providing the rapist shouted "surprise". In the same article it stated that contrary to the rest of the nation's belief, the 15% rape report rate could be celebrated as 'good odds' whilst the rest of the site relished in degrading, sexually objectifying vocabulary, with women regularly described as "sluts" and "gash".
Aside from the rape jokes, a rookie mistake from the team who clearly missed some of their Chauvinism-101 lectures, the tone of the website is nothing new. It is simply insipid misogyny packaged up as comedy. It's what magazines like Nuts and Zoo are founded upon. However it's the university context of this scenario that is most alarming. With UniLAD receiving 8,000 hits a day and boasting 70,000 facebook fans, it is becoming increasingly impossible to ignore the permeation of 'lad culture', to flippantly dismiss it as 'builder chat' or something equally redundant.
The readers and writers of uniLAD are young graduates, who theoretically speaking could go on to be our nation's lawyers, doctors, journalists and politicians. What are the ramifications of this kind of culture being allowed to flourish at such a critical point in the development of the next generation? But hey, luckily, nowadays a degree is completely worthless any way so thank fuck for that.
Whilst I hope that Plymouth University do expel the likes of Jamie Street I have a sinking feeling this may not be the case. It makes me wonder, had the site employed a racist rhetoric rather than a sexist one (although I did spot a little bit of homophobia in one article - wouldn't want you to think the writers weren't liberal with their bigotry) would we have heard by now that Plymouth had terminated their relationship with Street.
It begs the question - is sexism seen as more palatable than discrimination on grounds of race or sexuality? Why, when a woman is heckled on the grounds of her biology, do we not perceive it (and prosecute it) as a hate crime as we would someone heckled for the colour of their skin? Perhaps because if we see it like that, we'll realise that simply saying sorry just isn't good enough.
CORRECTION: We apologise for previously describing Street as "creator". We have now amended the description to "CEO".