6,000 students respond and 64% are feminists, but not all of them will tell other people they are...
• 83% think feminism has a bad reputation
• More than half of men surveyed think lad culture is not a problem
• A quarter said they would ban the burkha
Over half of feminist students would not ban page 3, our feminism survey can reveal.
64% of students identify as feminists, but only a third would describe themselves as feminists to others.
And one in five women who answered our survey also said they felt pressured to be a feminist.
Nearly 6,000 students filled out the questionnaire, and 64% said that they were feminists.
In a clear divide, 77% of women said they were feminists compared to only 45% of men.
The survey also found:
83% think feminism has a bad reputation
A quarter of women said they had been sexually assaulted at university
51% of men thought lad culture was not a real problem at university
A quarter of respondents said they would BAN women from wearing the burkha in public, as they have been in France
Some feminist students were left unfazed that their movement had a bad reputation.
Flo Perry, a third year Chemistry student at Durham, who debated feminism with controversial ex-UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, said less men could identify as feminists as they “didn’t know what it was like to experience sexism”.
She added: “Of course more women identify as feminists as they feel and experience the need for feminism, while men can only observe it. Men don’t know what it’s like to experience sexism. Maybe some can empathise enough to identify as feminists.
“Same with the Lad culture thing, people only generally see it as a problem if they are victimised by it. Interesting that so many men thought it was a problem. As for people feeling pressured to be feminists – glad I’m doing my job right.”
Sarah George, an English student at Sussex Uni, blamed feminism’s bad reputation on people focusing on the extreme.
She said: “It’s sad but true that the idea that we should all be treated equally regardless of gender has so much stigma around it. I think this is because people focus too much on extreme feminism, or are anxious to confront the obvious inequality between the two sides of the gender binary, because it really shouldn’t still exist, but does.”
Shockingly, 22% of women thought it was not sexist to expect a man to pay the bill. Our survey also revealed almost 40% of feminists thought most men were sexist, compared to just 15% of non-feminists.
George Highton, a first year Ancient History student at Nottingham, said: “I think that 83% of feminists think feminism has a bad reputation is very revealing.
“It’s caused by the fact that so much of feminism is now centres around a very narrow interpretation of how to protect women from ‘lad culture’ and ‘page 3’, rather than actually recognising that women are already seen and capable and equal in Western society.
“The pendulum of sexism has now swung so far the other way that it’s perfectly acceptable for women on tv or in the media to say men are useless or stupid or whatever, but a man can lose his job for saying women don’t understand the off side rule.
“Men experience sexism just as much as women, but it’s seen as acceptable when it’s targeted at men.”
Tor Mackarness, a third year Politics student at Exeter, called feminism self absorbed.
She said: “Feminism has earnt its bad reputation by making women feel pressured, downtrodden and relegating men to the status of nothing more than generic oppressors and members of the non-existent ‘patriarchy’.
“Also according to huffpost 44% of women expect to be paid for on dates, meaning that of the 77% that call themselves feminists a large chunk still want to be paid for, and 39% said they would offer to pay expecting that to be rejected.
“Feminism is basically a movement for self-absorbed and entitled people who want the world without working to get there.”
Banning the Burkha
A quarter of respondents said the burkha should be banned.
A total of 1,352 students would stop women from wearing burkhas in public, as they have been in France.
A spokesperson for the Federation of Islamic Student Socieites (FOSIS) said: “I think it’s a good thing that the majority of students are open minded and tolerant and aware of our multi cultural society. It shows how progressive students are and that should be celebrated.”Of course some students feel it should be banned. It’s a sign of the climate we’re living in and the place of Islam in British society and in particular women. That’s definitely a concern and it’s paramount that people are aware we should all have freedom of expression and that should be protected.”
Flo Perry described the result as scary. She said: “Banning the Burqa is scary to me. The Burqa doesn’t harm anyone. It might make some people feel uncomfortable, well that’s their problem to deal with it. Rather that taking away someone’s freedom to express their religious beliefs.”