Campaign group calls to end 'lad culture'

Campaign group calls to end ‘lad culture’ by forcing ALL male university students to attend ‘masculinity’ workshops after rugby team ‘collected nude snaps of female undergraduates’

  • Say It Loud has launched petition to educate male students ‘through workshops’ 
  • Follows recent scandal at Oxford Brookes University regarding their rugby team 
  • Group claims ‘lad culture’ is damaging to female students and men themselves 

A campaign group has called for an end to ‘lad culture’ by forcing all male university students to be ‘educated through workshops about positive masculinity.’

The petition, launched by Say It Loud – a sexual violence support group started by students at Oxford Brookes University, follows recent claims that a university rugby team had collected and ‘rated’ naked photographs of female students.

Members of Oxford Brookes Union Rugby Football Club were allegedly asked during an online social meeting to gather as many explicit pictures as they could.

Say It Loud claims behaviour such as this ‘is not only damaging to women, but the men themselves,’ adding: ‘With suicide rates of men rising each year due to not feeling like they can be themselves or speak up when things are feeling tough, it is more important than ever to put a stop to lad culture.’ 

The group explained ‘lad culture’ involves ‘young men assuming an anti-intellectual position, shunning sensitivity in favour of drinking, violence, and sexism.’

Campaign group Say It Loud has called for an end to ‘lad culture’ by forcing all male university students to be ‘educated through workshops about positive masculinity.’ Pictured: Oxford Brookes University

The petition, launched by Say It Loud – a sexual violence support group started by students at Oxford Brookes University, follows recent claims that a university rugby team had collected and ‘rated’ naked photographs of female students. Pictured: Claims of the behaviour seen on Instagram

The petition added: ‘It can be incredibly damaging and often results in men not reaching out for support for their mental health, victim-blaming sexual violence victims, toxic masculinity, and men committing sexual crimes.’

Say It Loud gave several examples of what ‘lad culture’ involves, including ‘slut dropping’ – offering to take women home then leaving them miles away from their address – and ‘Going on the pull’.

They also gave ‘hazing’ as an example, which is when teams ask new members to take part in often humiliating acts as part of an initiation. 

The petition, which Say it Loud hopes to present to the Department for Education, comes after several recent scandals involving male students at UK universities.

Oxford Brookes Union Rugby Football Club was investigated in December over claims that players had collected pictures of female students posing nude, which were then ‘rated’ by their team-mates. 

One post, seen by MailOnline, purported to tell one of the women ‘you ranked third’.

Oxford Brookes University last year said it was investigating the claims as ‘a matter of urgency’ while the rugby club said it was also looking into the allegations.

News of the alleged scandal emerged when a rugby club member posted a direct message on an Instagram page called @brookesconfessions, a gossip account for students to confess about what they have been getting up to.

Members of Oxford Brookes Union Rugby Football Club were allegedly asked during an online social meeting to gather as many explicit pictures as they could. Pictured: Stock image

One post (pictured), seen by MailOnline, purported to tell one of the women ‘you ranked third’

The post, which was later deleted, claimed: ‘During lockdown there was a rugby social where everyone had to try and get as many nudes from Brookes girls as possible, then they were shared with everyone and we voted for the best picture.’

The apparent boast prompted fury amongst students, with many taking to social media to make their views clear.

A spokesman for Oxford Brookes University said at the time: ‘The University is aware of allegations currently circulating on social media. 

‘We take such allegations extremely seriously and are investigating them as a matter of urgency.’

In 2018, students at Warwick University were condemned for making racist, antisemitic and misogynistic comments in a Facebook group chat called ‘F*** women, Disrespect them all’.

Eleven students were suspended by the Russell Group university in May that year after they made jokes about raping freshers and used racial slurs in Facebook messages. 

It later emerged that four of those banned were set to return for another academic year – and one even joked he’d ‘do it all again’. 

The university became aware of the Facebook group chat after almost 100 screenshots of the comments came to light.

One member of the group used the term ‘p**i’, while further remarks included ‘love Hitler, hate n****s and jews and Corbyn’. 

The male students joked about raping female students and claimed they would have ‘surprise sex’ with freshers, screenshots of the Facebook chats revealed.

In 2018, students at Warwick University were condemned for making racist, antisemitic and misogynistic comments in a Facebook group chat called ‘F*** women, Disrespect them all’. Pictured: Warwick University 

 Eleven students were suspended by the Russell Group university in May that year after they made jokes about raping freshers and used racial slurs in Facebook messages. Pictured: The messages

One of the students allegedly joked it was ‘fun to just go wild and rape 100 girls’, while another message said: ‘Rape the whole flat to teach them all (a) lesson.’

Warwick University launched a formal investigation, which led to one student being banned from campus for life, and another two students banned for 10 years.

Two more students were required to withdraw from the university for a year with immediate effect and face disciplinary penalties, along with three others.

The case against one student was found to be not proven while two others were cleared of wrongdoing.

It was reported in January 2019 that four of the five students who were originally banned were set to return.  

It comes after research found more than half of students have experienced unwanted sexual advances such as touching, being followed and being forced into sex, the Independent reported.

Despite this, only eight per cent had reported an offence, a survey published by sexual health charity Brook found.

The research also discovered that 53 per cent of those who had these experiences reported the behaviour came from another student. 

Say It Loud set up its petition last week, but is now looking for other ways to approach the problem after receiving less than 60 signatures.  

The group was created to help higher education students suffering from PTSD, anxiety and distress as consequences of sexual violence and trauma.

By December, more than 160 young people, most of whom study at Oxford Brookes, had already contacted the group for advice.

Say It Loud also called on universities, and said not enough is being done to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence and to offer emotional support for victims of sexual violence.

Higher education institutions were also urged to provide safe space for men to come forward and speak openly and honestly about their own mental health, sexuality and difficulties.

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