As I was cleaning out the septic tank at the
weekend, it occurred to me that I hadn’t checked for the ongoing bacterial growth of 'website for rape and banter' UniLad in a while. This
sewer of smut has been off the interwebs for an extended hiatus while
the writers and editors sit in silence and reflect
on how much their content (and in particular their infamous thoughts on sexual consent, not forgetting the word 'slag' replacing 'woman' and the advice that not many rapes lead to prosecutions so you might as well 'give it a go' with those 'fairly good odds') has offended. In reality, though, they were probably sitting
around sharing banterous stories, drinking Stella and watching Beavis
and Butthead re-runs.
I put on my Marigolds and my gasmask and clicked the link, and was immediately presented with the following disclaimer:
You are about to enter a website that may contain content of an adult
nature. These pages are designed for ADULTS only and may include
pictures and materials that some viewers may find offensive. If you are
under the age of 18 or are easily offended please
leave the website now.
key phrases that leap out from this disclaimer show how woefully UniLad
failed to understand the backlash it received following what I’ll call
‘Fairly-Good-Odds-gate’. So let’s
take a little look at those in detail.
of an adult nature’ – fair play to the lads for acknowledging that a
vivid description of one of your members shagging a girl so hard she smashes
her head into a wall is NOT suitable for the under-12s. (Aside from the
fact that in your case, the word ‘adult’ is purely an official term and
implies nothing about your maturity levels.) And when I duly clicked
past the disclaimer, I found the most prominent article tastefully entitled
‘Want the gash? You better spend some cash!’ The underlying ‘hooker’
subtext of this article implied by the title alone? Certainly not
testament to womankind or suitable reading material for youth of either
gender, no matter how lad-tastic the title is.
a side note, the first line of said article is ‘My main tip is to start
with the chinos and go from there.’ So it’s not like you’re missing
anything particularly illuminating. And,
tellingly, it’s written by a 'female writer who chooses to remain
pages are designed for ADULTS only’ - Again, purely subjective, but
deeply troubling when you consider what this suggested about how the
justify themselves. They see themselves as adults, and for adults it is
acceptable to read, and write, content that condones rape, assault,
misogyny and abuse of the disabled (some gems from UniLad 1.0), whereas
for children it is not. What this statement
basically implies is this sort of content is acceptable behaviour for adults.
they instead mean that the content we find behind the disclaimer is not
suitable for children because children will not see it as ‘banter’, and
will only see it as the vile, hateful
and shoddy writing that it is? Is this disclaimer really just
encouraging the parents, siblings and conscientious friends of the
UniLad writing crew to close your eyes and pretend it’s not happening?
It’s an ambiguous enough statement to allow this to be the
case. So keep a close eye on the page to see if the content actually
page] may include pictures and material that some viewers may find
offensive’ – First off, there were offensive PICTURES on their site
before? And I MISSED them?! Sigh, sadface. Note the ambiguous word ‘material’, implying
that there may be other delights than writing to offend us with. A
banter-filled podcast, perhaps? Fingers fully crossed.
you are under the age of 18 or easily offended’: Referring back to
the point regarding age-appropriateness not being the same as inoffensive,
a sly dig at the thousands of people who objected to their content on
reasonable grounds. Are you easily offended by a bunch of students
encouraging their readers to rape women in order to get their rocks off?
Yes? Then you have the mentality of a child. And
you probably ‘can’t get any’.
from being a positive sign for change, all this disclaimer shows is
UniLad’s total misunderstanding of why they caused offence, and shows,
worryingly, that they don’t seem to want
to do much about it. But since the site’s current post count remains in
single digits, and there’s a whole lot of blank advertising space,
we’ll be keeping an eye on this one to be (we hope) proved wrong. Hilariously, they've set themselves up a homepage poll that asks 'Are you glad we're back?' and 55% so far have answered 'No', so I'm guessing current readership isn't quite so sympathetic as it was before.
on, lads. We’ve got our jolly hockey sticks.