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.
And now THEY’RE BACK.
I put on my Marigolds and my gasmask and clicked the link, and was immediately presented with the following disclaimer:
CONTENT WARNING: 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.
Several 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.
1. ‘Content 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.
As 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 anonymous’.
2. ‘These pages are designed for ADULTS only’ – Again, purely subjective, but deeply troubling when you consider what this suggested about how the lads 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.
Do 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 changes.
3. ‘[This 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.
4. ‘If you are under the age of 18 or easily offended’: Referring back to the point regarding age-appropriateness not being the same as inoffensive, and also 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’.
Far 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.
Game on, lads. We’ve got our jolly hockey sticks.