At the beginning of the academic year sports clubs and societies do all they can to get new members to join.
The London School of Economics’ men’s rugby club, however, have crossed the line from ‘banter’ to downright unacceptable sexism and homophobia. During the university’s Fresher’s Fair, a seven page leaflet was handed out referring to women as “sloppy birds”, “beast-like” and “trollops”, as well as condemning “homosexual debauchery”. The leaflet was removed for the second day of the fair, although the team continued to recruit freshers.
Read part of the leaflet here
— Bad Housekeeping (@bad_housekeeper) October 3, 2014
The women’s team quickly released a statement not only condemning their male colleagues but also highlighting the fact that the media had ignored their presence.
Many publications had stated that the rugby team had handed out the misogynistic leaflet, failing to differentiate between the male and female counterparts.
— LSE Women's Rugby (@lseau_wrfc) October 6, 2014
The ‘lad culture’ scandal isn’t a surprise for many. It keeps growing, becoming evermore disgusting. The problem has got so bad that the NUS have held summits on the issue. ‘Lad culture’ has been defined by the NUS “as a group or ‘pack’ mentality residing in activities such as sport and heavy alcohol consumption”. They have gone as far as to stress that the banter that is thrown around by ‘lads’ is “often sexist, misogynist, and homophobic”. The tweet below by the popular website, TheLADBible, is an example of the ongoing issue.
— TheLADBible (@TheLadBible) October 9, 2014
The LSE rugby team have released an apology and admitted that the leaflet contained “offensive and stigmatising language”. However, not one individual was willing to take the blame for the leaflet and the apology came too little too late. After receiving complaints and an online petition for the team to be suspended from competitions, the LSE Student’s Union has disbanded the men’s rugby team and, as a further ‘punishment’, the team have to attend workshops on the negative effects of ‘banter’.
Featured image: Umezo Kamata via Wikipedia