Fuck Cambridge lad culture – tits, bevs and banter belong in the past

Let’s bury lad culture with the ghost of first term

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Expect a substantial amount of reverse snobbery and a mandatory attack on the fragility of masculinity. I am sorry.

Although only a term into Cambridge, the presence of lad culture is strong. Be it at rugby beers or in the queue to Cindies, the “lads” have descended. Let’s reflect on life in first term as an absolute bloody lad.

Hugo is 18 and studying first year Classics at Clare College. Harrow Boarding school was a jolly good start but a little insulated and distinctly lacking in arse and titties. His best pal Tarquin (old family friend) spent many of his early years getting beaten the shit out of at Eton.

Each are keen to add to their stockpile of fines by being gross and disrespectful to women. Cambridge isn’t short of opportunity to assert your masculinity, so work what your birthright gave ya boys and get cracking.

A VK a day keeps the LAD doctor away

A VK a day keeps the LAD doctor away

‘O to wine, (sort of) dine and intensely pursue some 69. Dearest swaps, shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate.’

If I were to dispel a seed of wisdom, it would be that chanting really loudly indicates dominance. Women love it. It reminds them of all that Christian Grey whips and chains shit. Let your booming Received Pronunciation shake the slimy walls of Sesame. And willy windmills are definitely funny. They show off your genitals, which makes girls think of sex. Nice.

Chances to transmute from Hugo the Third to Hugo the Lad don’t begin and end at swaps. Get lost in the paradoxical homoeroticism of rugby initiations, the ultimate emblem of all things laddish. There does feel something a little counter-intuitive about chanting homophobic slurs whilst sitting in a room playing soggy biscuit. Just go with it; it’s like being back at boy’s school.

The terrifying threat of “down it or you’re gay” becomes quite interesting if the rumours about being dared to drink each other’s semen are true (no homo though guys.)

Wikipedia defines “lad culture” as “a generally middle-class figure espousing attitudes conventionally (though not necessarily correctly) attributed to the working classes”.”

With the desperate fetishisation of state-school, full-bursary status absolutely rampant, you can see the logic of insecure big-dog bourgeois boys looking to identify as a “lad” based on their own alien conception of commonplace masculinity. 

If a picture isn't taken did you really down it though?

If a picture isn’t taken did you really down it though?

Take this semi-fictional account.

“Ya so Tarquin called some fatty a whale outside Life and it was so jokes man, then like Cuthburt, Tobias and I got absolutely bloody lashed on jaegers and started chanting slaaaaaaag at some fit Medwards girls – God it was fucking whiffy banter man – huge night lads back in bed by 12 ready to do it all again in the morning!”

Whilst jumped up private school protein shake boys pursuing appropriation of the cheeky half-a-chicken-at-nandos banterous lad aesthetic retains definite comedic qualities, in reality “lad culture” is humourless, grating and can just about ruin nights out for the rest of us.

“Lad culture” fundamentally privileges a very narrow form of hyper-masculinity which gains power through degradation. Rape jokes, sexual harassment and chanting “faggot” face immunity from trial on the defence “it was just banter!”

Call me frigid but getting groped in the queue to Cindies is objectively very unfunny.

A lifetime of entitlement doesn’t always complement sexual etiquette. Insecurities aren’t best solved by shouting sexist and homophobic abuse. I for one much prefer trust fund hipsters and rich white boy roadmen. For Lent term, I suggest Hugo and Tarquin try growing a beard or cop themselves a ralphy.

Let’s leave lad culture in Michaelmas guys.