Dapper Laughs and LAD Culture: Two of the same?
Having read so much indignation about Dapper Laughs recently on my Twitter feed, I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. I took it upon myself to […]
Having read so much indignation about Dapper Laughs recently on my Twitter feed, I decided to find out what all the fuss was about. I took it upon myself to watch an episode from his TV show, ‘Dapper Laughs: On the Pull’.
Before explaining exactly why Dapper Laughs and his show go too far, let me start by saying that in spite of my outrage at this show, I like to partake in LAD culture (yes, ‘LAD’ has to be capitalised), but maybe not in the way you think. It seems that there are two narratives to it.
For the most part, I do it in the parodying way: excessively using words such as banter, convincing friends to down their drinks in spite of my own inability to do it, mocking LAD culture myself, playing near-obsessive levels of FIFA, reciting offensive jokes from Sickipedia and despising anything sold by Topman.
Perhaps my definition of LAD culture and banter differs from the other one, propagated by media recently, associated with university rugby teams that make freshers lick turds, boys who are egged on to shag fat girls for a laugh, hyper-masculinity and rape humour.
Without a doubt, ‘LAD’ and ‘banter’ are becoming dirty words and rightly so when they are used to justify this sort of behaviour. The image of Richard Keys attempting to defend his remarks by saying ‘It was just banter’ springs to mind.
One incident which really brought the matter to a head was when Dapper Laughs’ show was banned from performing at Cardiff University’s Students’ Union following a petition. This decision was made on the grounds of his content being “incompatible with the Students’ Union’s policy on lad culture”.
Having watched the first episode of his show, this is a conclusion which makes perfect sense to me. In his show, women are truly objectified. Again, ‘objectify’ has become a buzzword, which has lost a lot of its meaning, but what I mean is that Dapper Laughs completely belittled all women by portraying them as though they were mere goals; things to be conquered, with which “you can get your sausage battered”, to use his words.
Clearly, a Students’ Union, whose mandate it is to promote equality and to ensure students are treated with respect, cannot condone such a show. Yes, of course there are shows which give tips about dating, but ‘Dapper Laughs: On the Pull’ really is something else.
It has little to do with helping men gain confidence to approach women and a lot to do with humiliating the people the show is supposed to be helping and the “moist” female population. Even ignoring its horrible message, it wasn’t actually funny.
ITV proceeded to axe the show- and rightfully so. It is inappropriate for national television; it is a show giving genuine advice to the people who write in asking for help. Advice encouraging LADs to act this way, to treat women as targets, not as human beings. Even boys who have absolutely no confidence with ladies could tell you that not only is that the wrong approach to winning women’s hearts, it’s fundamentally immoral.
Arguably, the problem lies in that LADkind finds it hard to tell the difference at times. If Dapper Laughs were a character or a parody, perhaps it would be acceptable. As with characters like David Brent- we could all laugh at how misguided this chap is. Some of us could laugh with him, while others laugh at him.
Most of us can laugh at the bleakest situations but only because we know what is a joke and what is sincere; because we know where to draw the line. Dapper Laughs, it appears, crossed that line and was being increasingly rewarded with TV shows, Twitter followers, tours and promotional material.
The bottom line of this is that Dapper Laughs isn’t a character, he is sincere and we shouldn’t be fooled by being told otherwise.
I believe I speak for the majority of guys here when I say that we know that it isn’t acceptable to behave in the manner Dapper Laughs does; shows like this won’t make us start behaving this way. But even so, do we want to continue being tarred with the same brush as clowns like Dapper Laughs?
Perhaps we need a clearer discourse on it, but for me at least, Dapper Laughs is in no way representative of my interpretation of LAD culture.
Does Dapper Laughs represent ‘lad culture’ or distort it? Comment below with your views.