In 2013 a number of universities across the UK saw the banning of Page 3 and ‘lads’ magazines to the ‘rate my shag’ Facebook pages.
1 – Page 3 and ‘Lads’ Magazines
Page 3 of The Sun has caused much controversy for years, but now the students have had their say. Students stated that page 3 discriminated women and that selling it on campus promoted gender victimisation. However other students argued that not selling it encouraged press regulation. Kingston University is the latest university to ban the sale of The Sun and 28 other universities have voted to stop selling the tabloid.
Meanwhile at Bournemouth University’s Student Shout Meeting, the issue of selling ‘Lads Mags’ on campus was debated and put to vote – the results are to be revealed in January. Will Bournemouth University join Lancaster and ban magazines such as Zoo and Nuts? The argument to stop selling these magazines was most likely prompted by the current ‘Lose the Lads Mags’ campaign which is ongoing across the country.
2 – Racist Fancy Dress Costumes
The University of Birmingham turned away students last Halloween dressed as Mexicans, Native Americans and film characters such as The Dictator – they said they were taking a stand against discriminatory and racist behavior. The University of Exeter was condemned for it’s tribal theme at the Safer Sex ball in 2012, it has since been banned. But is this behavior really racist or just a bit of fun?
3 – Blurred Lines
Love it or hate one of the most played songs of 2013, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines received tremendous criticism for it’s sexual lyrics and music video. The University of Edinburgh among 20 other UK universities banned it from being played. One blogger branded the tune as a ‘rape song’ and the music video features women dressed provocatively (and even topless in one version). Surely it’s all about interpretation though, right?
4 – ‘Confessions’, ‘Spotted’ and ‘Rate your shag’ Facebook Pages
These anonymous Facebook pages were the ultimate procrastination for students at universities all over the country. Even banning social media isn’t beyond the power of universities. A number of these pages were taken down after female students allegedly complained they were no longer comfortable while studying in the library. NUS launched an investigation into ‘lad culture’ and claimed these Facebook pages and the role of the media has affected sexism at university. But it wasn’t just the guys rating the girls…
5 – Sports Teams
University rugby teams have caused havoc over the last year as Sussex were banned for two years after causing £15,000 worth of damage on tour and Nottingham’s team were banned from playing in a varsity match as a student defecated in a sink during initiations.
Aberystwyth’s cricket team was also banned after players wore t-shirts covered in inappropriate statements such as “Casual rape” and Cardiff’s football team were kicked off after a student made a PowerPoint presentation at a student event, “jokily” promoting date rape and domestic violence.
Lastly the pole dancing society got banned at Swansea because of its links to the sex industry, despite arguments about the fitness benefits.