Is there a link between ‘Lad Culture’ and sexual violence against women in the UK?

Amelia Morris

Abstract


This dissertation will question whether lad culture has impacted upon attitudes towards sexual violence against women. In order to research this topic, I will conduct several interviews and focus groups with females between the ages of 17-22 who may have experienced lad culture. I will also run a focus group with a group of typical ‘lads’ to get an unbiased view of the subject. Finally, I will analyse the discourse and images within popular ‘lad’ magazines such as ‘Nuts’ and ‘Zoo’ along with social media websites like ‘The Uni Lad’ and ‘The Lad Bible.’ Despite post-feminist scholars suggesting that ‘lad culture’ can be a form of empowerment for women, my argument will state that ‘laddism’ represent women as dehumanized sex objects. Therefore, ‘lad culture’ conditions men to view women as items to be ‘conquered’ and thus trivializes and normalises sexual violence and harassment. Likewise, women who are not deemed ‘fit’ by lads face ridicule and dehumanization within magazines and websites, often leading to sexually or physically violent threats. Furthermore, the dissertation will argue that women who react to sexist and derogatory comments face negative backlash and are accused of “not getting the joke” or being “uptight.” Overall, the dissertation concludes that laddism negatively represents women and attempts to justify and trivialize sexual violence against women.


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References


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