Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lad Culture

Another serious post today, this one addresses the growing trend of "lad" culture. It's a problem I've seen take over the minds of almost all the boys in my year and one that continues to anger me every single day. 

I thought that a lad was someone who was witty and occasionally cheeky but good naturedly so. Turns out it is someone who is offensive, objective towards women and makes crude jokes.At least that's what I've gathered from how the so called "lads" in my year behave. A specific example of how lad culture influences their minds negatively is the idea of banter. Again I thought banter was a good natured way of teasing your friend or making witty comments. On the whole, this assumption is correct but I have seen it go way too far, past the point of good nature.

Boys in my year have started to make the claim "there's no such thing as bullying, just banter!" This phrase fills me with so much anger and horror at what my generation has become. This is excusing verbally abusive behaviour as a joke. Of course bullying is real! You can dish out the "hilarious" banter and your victim will laugh along encouraging you with a light hearted smile. But when they get home the words linger, "is that what people really think of me?" It's a horrible way to feel so why inflict it on someone for the sake of "banter"?

Another awful thing I have noticed about lad culture is how women get objectified and only seen as a sum of their body parts. On more than one occasion, I have heard people discussing women in this way, remarking that so and so is hot but her bum lets her down, as if her worth is decreased by the way her body is shaped. I fear this is amplified by the media and how tabloids make it seem okay to comment on some woman's post pregnancy stomach or how they look when popping to the shops. Facebook pages such as "Lad Bible" also amplify these attitudes towards women.

The reason that I'm so worried about this issue is that these influenced people will grow up thinking that this kind of behaviour and attitudes are okay. Think how damaging it will be to have people making offensive comments and having opinions on a woman's worth based on appearances. It worries me deeply and angers me every day. I really hope we can slowly start changing these bad attitudes now before it's too late.

Have a wonderful week!

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