SQ Magazine

The UK's Leading Independent Youth Culture Publication

COMMENT: Lad culture? Guys, rethink your stereotype

Posted on Thursday, 9 May by

Lad Culture

Are you a real man? Do you ask your girlfriend to make you sandwiches? Did you insist on obedience to the rules of ‘Steak and Blowjob Day’ this year? How about forcing her when she’s not in the mood? Ever been violent towards her? If so, you don’t deserve her. Sorry.

A recent report by the NUS into what we know as ‘lad culture’ suggests that the Western world is on a rocky road to self-destruction when it comes to sexism towards women. It found out that the majority of the 40 women questioned conveyed an alarming sense of “prevailing sexism, ‘laddism’ and a culture of harassment”. Guys, it’s time to rethink your stereotype.

It’s becoming more and more normal for young women to be groped on a night out or to be told that the kitchen is where they belong, and slowly, over time, this sort of treatment is bound to leave us with no self-worth and a lack of confidence.

Too many young women have been subject to an inappropriate grope in a nightclub, or unwanted sexual attention from ‘lads’ only out for one thing. We are too often used as trophies, notches on a bedpost, or stories bragged proudly to friends; this is mistreatment, but is often seen as totally acceptable.

Sexist jokes, commonly found on Facebook pages like the ever-popular ‘Uni Lad’ or ‘The Lad Bible’ are generally laughed at by both sexes. It can be funny to see a picture describing the offside rule for girls using the analogy of shoe shopping, some slightly degrading blonde joke, or reasons why beer is better than a woman, but too much exposure can be extremely detrimental. One of my female friends, Beth Smith explains it well: “We all enjoy a good joke, even a sexist one, but there’s a time and a place – not whole sites dedicated to putting women down.”

It’s becoming more and more normal for young women to be told the kitchen is where they belong.

Long-term exposure to these types of sexist jokes has aided the objectification of women. Times have changed; where once young women were courted by real gentlemen over a number of months who would steal a kiss after a long night of dancing, we see one night stands after a night of excessive drinking, with no attachments or commitments that are often just stories to brag about to friends.

Admittedly guys, some of you are exceptions to the rule – the lesser-spotted ‘Nice Guy’; a rare species, often mistaken for being ‘gay’ or ‘too nice’ and ignored by a some girls. I’ll admit a fault on our part there, but when you’re used to being treated badly, you often get into the habit and routine of it.

Thankfully, at the present time it seems lad culture isn’t a big enough problem for students to take it into consideration when choosing their university. However, if the problem escalates at the rate it is currently, it’s almost guaranteed that women will become downtrodden and second to men – backtracking on years of progress in feminism and women’s rights.

My point is this: for the majority, women do not go to clubs to get harassed by horny ‘lads’ who think they’re God’s gift to the female population, or think they can and will have their pick of girls. We don’t appreciate being told we belong in the kitchen making because that’s all we’re good at. And pretty basically, we don’t take kindly to being treated like the lesser sex. It’s time that the ‘lad culture’ we’re experiencing came to a rapid end and guys started to do the right thing.

We don’t want much! Even though we probably wouldn’t really mind making you a sandwich if you asked, it isn’t our duty to. We’d probably like it if you offered to make us one once in a while too. Show us respect. Girls are not sex objects for you to have your end away with any time you so choose. Change your stereotype and upturn the downward spiral of female mistreatment.

Put away the swag and bring out the sweet!

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Rachel Ledner

Rachel Ledner

Aspirant journalist and 18-year-old student from Eastbourne who has recently finished studying A-Levels at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne.
Rachel Ledner

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