Evidence of Harm
The issue at the Ancients is not an isolated incidence, but a symptom of an ongoing structural issue.
Members of the GUU have attracted public attention on repeated occasions for their attitudes towards women and persist in annually celebrating the men who voted against admitting women into the Union in 1980. [http://glasgowguardian.co.uk/2012/12/07/lamb-still-on-the-menu/]
Many female students at the University of Glasgow have experienced unpleasant interactions with the GUU Board Members. Everyday Sexism at GUU is a Facebook group that has been set-up so that women can anonymously share their experiences of sexism within the GUU. Many of the comments posted on the petition reveal the sheer volume of women who empathise with the concerns of this campaign. Among the signatures on the petition, there is a plethora of personal experiences of sexual harassment and sexist abuse from members of the GUU.
We have also had reports from female employees at the GUU who could hear GUU members chanting their “rape song” whilst the women were working their shift alone.
Rape appears to be a favourite topic for mockery for some GUU members. This photo shows one member advising a fresher to “paint yourself black and sneak up on them in the dark on Bank Street…”
New research published by NUS reveals that that 50 per cent of study participants identified “prevailing sexism, ‘laddism’ and a culture of harassment” at their universities.
For many participants, ‘lad culture’ had been significant in relation to their personal life. Many reported misogynist jokes and ‘banter’ circulating in their friendship groups which made them feel uncomfortable, and pressures to engage in profuse sexual relationships which made it difficult to establish and maintain commitments. Stories of sexual harassment and molestation were common, and there were also accounts of sexual violence.