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Playtime is over as UniLad oversteps the mark

By Joe Fenn

“85 per cent of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds.”
-Unilad.com

According to Unilad.com, if you are a rapist, the odds are definitely stacked in your favour. You have less than a one in six chance of your crime being reported, and even if it is, your chances of being prosecuted are still only around one in three. Personally, I am not a rapist. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to go along trying my luck the more romantic, consensual way, despite the fact that, according to this website and its clever creators, rape is now both funny and acceptable.


This is the story of Unilad.com; a group of ‘lads’ from Plymouth University’s misguided and unimpressive voyage into the realms of internet comedy which has been temporarily derailed after they were accused of condoning rape. The closing line of ‘Sexual Mathematics’, the article which spurred the outrage, read: ‘Unilad does not condone rape without saying “surprise”’. The clue is in the word ‘without’ and its loaded implication that rape might be advocated, with a certain level of conditionality.

The site is, for now, offline. After writers much more adept in humor than the Unilad ‘lads’ brought the article into the public eye through Twitter, the site and its authors were attacked from every angle and now all that can be found at Unilad.com is an exceptionally poorly written apology explaining that they ‘went too far’ and will be ‘cleaning up their act’ before the site is put back on line. The countdown to re-launch, at the time of writing, stands at 6 days, 5 hours and 40 minutes. Some would say this is too short, potentially by an infinity.
But not me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy or interest for Unilad and I find the whole ‘lad’ culture abhorrent. Anything that self-identifies as being part of ‘lad’ culture is more than likely particularly embarrassing; boys will be boys and men will be men, but lads will invariably be pricks. ‘Lad’ describes to me a foolish, shouting, insulting swine whose presence is never desired by anyone except other ‘lads’. Yet I can’t bring myself to condemn them.

You see, ‘lads’ are, above all, idiots. One Sarah McAlpine, in a Tweeted response to the offending article, described lad culture with the apt imagery of a ‘willy-waving contest’ between ‘infantile men’, and she was right on the money. The whole culture is centered on idiocy; offense for offense’s sake, drinking more than you are capable of, fighting like horny gorillas outside clubs at five in the morning. It’s just inane, and I say let the inane keep it. The longer they carry on, the more they embarrass themselves.

As for the website, well you can’t censor the web, can you? Attempts to do so by the US government caused outrage across the world in the past few weeks. So just avoid the website. I have no interest in going on it and I can’t imagine anyone I would enjoy spending my time with would either. ‘Lads’ are fools and Unilad is the outlet for numerous fools’ weak expressions, so let them keep it. If you are prepared to sacrifice your own dignity and the respect of others for the sake of a few idiotic guffaws, you’re welcome to do so, but you can be sure that I won’t be joining you.

 

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