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'Rape Culture' or 'Lads Banter' ?


Happytolearn

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I read this article in the UK Independent. It refers to a website unilad.com (University Lad) and its use of language when referring to women/fellow female students. The author of the Independent article clearly links the articles on unilad.com to a broader 'rape culture' in which women are subjectified, pursued, disrespected and, on the upper end of the scale, victims of sexual and physical abuse. After reading some of the site's content it's hard to see the language as anything but offensive.

Sites like Uni Lad only act to support our everyday rape culture - Comment - Voices - The Independent

Uni Lad - Home

The site describes its origins:

It started with a group of lads telling tales of drinking and fornication, and what started as a hand book of decent stories turned into a website where the best stories and advice were published for other lads to read and laugh at.

The word spread fairly quickly and now, two years on, Uni Lad has found its feet and it is entertaining thousands of beer drinking, footy watching and banter loving lads all over the country.


I understand the adage 'it's not funny until someone is offended' - but what is the line between harmless banter and language that perpetuates harmful behaviour? Is unilad simply entertaining the average joe - or sexualising, objectifying and dehumanising females.
 

ruserious

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Lads Banter - It happens all the time in groups of young males. Just bravado being let out, better like that than in some other way...
 

Happytolearn

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Lads Banter - It happens all the time in groups of young males. Just bravado being let out, better like that than in some other way...
I understand that the vast majority of cases are just bravado - the author of the independent article feels the use of language is part of a culture in which women feel subjectified and (at best) disrespected. Is she being too sensitive? I'm not fully decided
 

ruserious

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I understand that the vast majority of cases are just bravado - the author of the independent article feels the use of language is part of a culture in which women feel subjectified and (at best) disrespected. Is she being too sensitive? I'm not fully decided
It's rife in male groups. It mostly isn't meant, but it's just part of that laddish banter.
 

Happytolearn

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It's rife in male groups. It mostly isn't meant, but it's just part of that laddish banter.
I'm just trying to decide would the majority of my female friends join in the laugh or feel genuinely offended/threatened by the site's content. Surely it's important to consider this?
 

ruserious

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I'm just trying to decide would the majority of my female friends join in the laugh or feel genuinely offended/threatened by the site's content. Surely it's important to consider this?
Some would some wouldn't. The site reflects reality anywho.
 

Happytolearn

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Fair enough - I don't want to speak for women here .. but I reckon there are many who would find that quite depressing.
 

Happytolearn

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Can it be both?
Perhaps - just Rape is a pretty emotive word - it's kind of sits in the opposite camp to Banter - they don't go hand in hand for me. Does the language feed the culture of abuse or is it harmless?
 

truthisfree

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It's just banter to the vast majority who would never consider rape and as for the other tiny percent who would, well....I wouldn't think they rely on banter to commit a crime.
 

Protestant/Catholic=Irish

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I'm just trying to decide would the majority of my female friends join in the laugh or feel genuinely offended/threatened by the site's content. Surely it's important to consider this?
It depends. If your friends get offended by the word "cĂșnt" then they'll have to toughen up anyway.

Most girls hate Uni Lad/Lad Bible. But the Lass Bible is grand. Basically, it's fine to rip the piss out of men but not them.
 

blokesbloke

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It depends on what the site says, really. If it seems to contain confessions of actual rapes or assaults then that's very disturbing whether it's true or not.

If it's tales of sexual prowess and how many shags they've had, it seems fairly harmless to me, provided no names are given.

I wouldn't like to be named or even hinted at on such a site though. I don't believe in kiss and tell!

Still I'd say society is rapidly changing and whilst I'm not much of a fan of such behaviour, the rise of the "ladette" means many women behave in exactly the same way.

That's absolutely their right, though I confess I find it a bit of a sad use of the new equality between the sexes, but hey, that's up to them.

However,if they're going to behave that way then they can hardly complain when men do it.

I do feel some women feel entitled to behave in this way but then still be treated differently as a woman when it suits them.

If you want to behave in a boorish way accept the social consequences - male or female.
 

Mercurial

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Perhaps - just Rape is a pretty emotive word - it's kind of sits in the opposite camp to Banter - they don't go hand in hand for me. Does the language feed the culture of abuse or is it harmless?
I think it's perceived as banter, but that it's not harmless.
 

Asparagus

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I understand that the vast majority of cases are just bravado - the author of the independent article feels the use of language is part of a culture in which women feel subjectified and (at best) disrespected. Is she being too sensitive? I'm not fully decided
Banter is more about males emotional regulating and jostling for social position.
It enables males to interact with each other.

Are women objectified - yes and no. The language is on the surface coarse and provocative but for a gender that doesn't have meaningful personal dialogue it is a way of talking about particular issues.
I.e. guys who talk about the girls they conquered may be actually communicating a message about lonliness.
They can't say that.
Other guys use shocking language about women but when you step back they are communicating from fear.

The Liberals would have us all hand our genitals in at the door - we are different. We need different things. Girls need BFFs and long tear stained conversations whereas men need bravado and fraternal approval.

Women shouldn't be privy to male banter - usually men never talk like that in front of women they know but may act the maggot in front of randoms.
And men should NEVER have to endure conversations about "Feelings"
 

Mercurial

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Banter is more about males emotional regulating and jostling for social position.
It enables males to interact with each other.

Are women objectified - yes and no. The language is on the surface coarse and provocative but for a gender that doesn't have meaningful personal dialogue it is a way of talking about particular issues.
I.e. guys who talk about the girls they conquered may be actually communicating a message about lonliness.
They can't say that.
Other guys use shocking language about women but when you step back they are communicating from fear.

The Liberals would have us all hand our genitals in at the door - we are different. We need different things. Girls need BFFs and long tear stained conversations whereas men need bravado and fraternal approval.

Women shouldn't be privy to male banter - usually men never talk like that in front of women they know but may act the maggot in front of randoms.
And men should NEVER have to endure conversations about "Feelings"
Or here's a crazy idea - learn how to communicate without using language that degrades women.

You don't have to cut your balls off in order to respect women.
 

gerhard dengler

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I haven't looked at the site referenced in the OP.

Personally speaking I find the so called "banter" as described in the OP disquieting.

Played sport throughout my teens, twenties and early 30's, so I'm pretty used to an all male team environment and it is seldom that I heard any banter along the lines detailed in the OP.

There was plenty of talk by fellas about how they were chasing women, in my day for sure.
Little detail about the success or otherwise of their escapades though. Which leads me to think that a lot of it was hot air, which is harmless.

Me thinks that site in the OP is populated by key board warrior/fantasists

edited for spelling correction
 
Last edited:

kvran

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Still I'd say society is rapidly changing and whilst I'm not much of a fan of such behaviour, the rise of the "ladette" means many women behave in exactly the same way.

That's absolutely their right, though I confess I find it a bit of a sad use of the new equality between the sexes, but hey, that's up to them.
I was just thinking about that, if the role were reversed and you had site run by women talking about men like that what would the reaction be.

I think of that girl in America who slept with a load of jocks and then wrote about it (as far as I remember it wasn't intended to be widely shared but got leaked) The abuse she got was horrific.

I get how you don't like the idea of ladettes but if everyone was sexualised the same way I think peoples behavior would change quickly. Yes women judge men but never as bluntly, publically or cruelly as men judge women. Go look up words for ugly women, ugly men and sexual promiscuous people, hundreds more female words than male.

I hate doing the "As a" but as a gay man, I am often annoyed how men aren't sexualised in popular culture. Game of Thrones being the most notable at the moment. Some fine looking fellas but they are never displayed in the same way women are and that's repeated across popular culture.

That said before I get attacked for being some radical feminist, I accept people will conform to gender roles but I don't think those who deviate from those should be criticized for it. Effeminate men and masculine women aren't a social harm.

A personal anecdote I was in a cafe on a university campus a couple weeks ago and head a student tell his friend the girl he was with last night was a dog (as in dog ugly, not bestiality). I hadn't heard a women talked about like that since I was in secondary school but did make me think that I've never heard women talk about a man like that in public.
 

kvran

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[video=youtube;A3UidFxqaqM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3UidFxqaqM[/video]

Somewhat relevant
 

Asparagus

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Or here's a crazy idea - learn how to communicate without using language that degrades women.

You don't have to cut your balls off in order to respect women.
Its not a disrespect. Like i said.

But sure your seemingly well dug into this Liberal nonsense so lets all just stop millennia of male group behaviour.

immediately.

Can we legislate for it - maybe making banter a hate crime?
 

southwestkerry

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Aug 20, 2008
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I do not want to sound out off touch but the kind off website in question and the talk associated with it I find infuriating.
That from some one who well on occasion have a dig at modern day feminists.
SWK
 
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