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Lad Culture: Is There a Need for Such a Fuss?

13/05/2013 15:06 BST | Updated 09/07/2013 10:12 BST
Alamy

A simple Google of the term 'lad culture' throws up hundreds of articles. Some slamming sites such as UniLad and LadBible for their sexist, derogatory posts about women, others discussing the need for an NUS summit on these LADs and some recognising how the rise in feminists and feminism societies at universities are increasing in a backlash to the boys.

As an 18 year old female fresher, I'm one of the minority writing about this supposed new craze for rating women out of 10, mocking their parking skills and making jokes about women and kitchens, who has first hand experience of 'uniLADS'.

And I just do not understand the big fuss about lad culture.

Yes, it objectifies women. Yes, it encourages guys at uni to go out sleeping with everything that moves. And yes, it can be very, very sexist.

But is this not behaviour that has been prominent in young men for a long time? Yet now, because the internet makes it possible for this wayward group of society to share a photo of a car crashed down some stairs with the caption 'SillyWENCH' or publish tales of drunken exploits on to a website that receives thousands of hits a day, the world has noticed. And is very offended.

Now before the females of the world turn their backs on me, and expel me from the sisterhood of womankind, I am not condoning this behaviour, and I am definitely not encouraging it.

Mainly because I have experienced the horrible side of lad culture, as many girls at university have, first hand. In fact, as a fat girl, the trouble from these self-crowned LADs is worse. I can almost guarantee on a night out I will be approached by one of them, who is trying to pull me as a joke. But LADs don't seem to understand girls know exactly what they are up to, as one poor fellow found out last week. Whilst in earshot of me he said to his mate "That one fat enough?" and upon confirmation proceeded to grind on me. The whole affair was stopped by a clean bop on his nose from me, and fits of laughter from his mates.

As a girl, at university you will get your bum groped in clubs, or hear a nearby group of lads discussing ratings and pulling tactics before creeping in on your group like sharks.

Of course, this is not something girls should just sit back and take and the girls who protest against sites like UniLad and Lad Bible and try to prevent the misogyny they spread, are definitely the women I admire most.

Yet girls themselves are not a completely innocent party when it comes to partaking in lad culture. There is Lad Bible's rival Lass Bible, which shares photos of guys in very little clothing and posts slamming their counterparts of the opposite sex. Just like the boys' site.

And living in an all female flat, whilst studying a predominately female course, I have had conversations with my own friends about it being a boy's job to change a light bulb, or flirting with members of the male population who don't usually get approached by females just to get a free drink, and shock horror we may even be guilty of rating the odd boy out of ten. In fact a favourite game in crowded places is "who would you sleep with if you had to?"

So it is not only the boys at fault here.

Lad culture is what it is. Hilarious to the few, offensive to the many. It always has existed, and it always will exist. Just as those protesting against it always will.