Opinion: I Am A Crewdater – Don’t Call Me Vulnerable

The Pembroke Rugby Club email was nasty, but crewdating is not misogynistic argues Stephanie Cherrill

Stephanie Cherrill was last year’s Social Secretary of the Corpus Christi Women’s Boat Club, this is her view. 

It’s usually worth ignoring national opinion pieces on Oxford, but any one referring to Oxford as “a training ground for misogyny” deserves a response.

Let’s get straight to the point.  Much of the discussion of PembrokeRugbyClub-gate has suffered from the same misunderstanding: that women are picked for crewdates like apples from a tree.  

Corpus Crewdate

Women are not “picked” for crewdates.  As Social Secretary for Corpus Boat Club last year, I sent requests for dates.  I’d ask when everyone was available, people would sign up if their friends were going, and we’d have a good night out.

There are plenty of women I know who don’t enjoy crewdates, and that’s absolutely fine. The food can be below-par, sometimes the other crew will be boring and their sconcing crap.

But crewdates can be by their very nature a much safer way to have a night out – you’re guaranteed to have 10ish people of your team with you most of the night.

Seniors are expected to walk home and look after anyone who seems at risk – fresher or not. If someone’s harassing you then you’ve friends there to tell them to fuck off.

On a typical night out, I don’t feel nearly as safe as I do on a crewdate.

That email was disgusting and Pembroke Rugby Club’s response insincere. There’s an easy way for the women of Oxford to show their disapproval– don’t crewdate them! They sound like a bunch of creeps!

But please let’s not print opinion pieces painting anyone who plays rugby or has a penis as sinister rapists.

It’s reductive, and marginalises women who enjoy being respected for their opinions as well as going out, drinking, eating curry and having a dance.

Agree or disagree with Stephanie?  We want your say, however long, short or outrageous. Get in touch by emailing [email protected].