‘Lad Culture’ Is The Worst

I feel like we can attribute the lack of progress we have made in this country in issues such as gender equality, race and sexuality to the social idea that is ‘Lad Culture’.

If you live in the UK, you probably already know the type of person I’m referring to when I say ‘lad’. Purely as a stereotype for illustration purposes, let me explain for those who aren’t familiar with this type of person: They can usually be found in either a popular nightclub or a gym. They are confrontational and often intimidating. They wear tight t-shirts and walk with a swagger. But I’m not here to criticise their dress sense. ‘Lad’ is more of a state of mind, and one that has become and excuse for all manor of horrible thoughts and actions.

When I was young I went to a state school which was full of chavs (young ‘lads’). I’m now 25 and I realise that this group of young troublemakers was a pre-cursor to the adult lads that I see today. In school they would tell racist and/or sexist jokes, in adult life they’re causing racially incited violence and disrespecting women by inappropriately groping them in clubs or abusing them in relationships – all under the protective umbrella of “banter”. Their views towards gay people are often horrific and archaic. Lads are not only allowed to get away with this behavior due to their numbers as a culture, but they believe that this behaviour is OK. That they aren’t doing anything wrong. This is the heart of the problem – Saying someone is “such a lad” is pretty much a compliment to a lot of men in this country.

When we have a group of people who are intimidating, large in number, quick to anger and often physically large (due to their warped view that bigger muscles make you more important as a person), how do you stand up for what is right? Standing up to a lad that you encounter on a night out who is being racist/sexist/homophobic is obviously the right thing to do, but when they are only going to beat the living crap out of you for doing it, and then walk away laughing about it with their other lad-mates, is this actually making any difference or is it just empowering them in their false sense of status and superiority? For them, if they can beat you physically in a fight, they are all-round the better person. We need to take this culture down, but confrontation is not the way to do it.

The fact that things such as ‘lads mags’ and newspapers such as The Sun that flaunt pictures of naked women in order to sell copies is a large part of the problem. It is allowing lads to think that it’s ‘OK’ to treat women as objects to be physically objectified. The term ‘lads mags’ also goes towards reinforcing ‘lads’ as a group of people in our society with a collective view and opinion about these sensitive issues. I even know some girlfriends who brush off the fact that their boyfriends buy these magazines because ‘boys will be boys’. I don’t think they realise the impact it’s having.

Football is, unfortunately, inherent in lad culture. I don’t think that everyone who enjoys football is a ‘lad’, but I also know that there are no lads who don’t enjoy football. About once a month you hear of a player being shouted racist insults at from the crowd. Football chants are terrible too – often using a cocktail of racism, sexism and homophobia to in some way immaculate and dehumanise the opposing team and their fans. By having this dehumanising group mentality, the lads in the crowds think it’s totally fine.

When lads get older, they get worse. They get stuck in their ways, having immovable opinions on women, people of a different sexual opinion to themselves and people of a different colour or creed to them too. They become harder and harder to reason with as their morally unformed opinions haven’t been challenged as they have grown up and are now cemented in their mind. We need to stop ‘lad culture’ now so that the next generation of adult men don’t turn out the same.

It’s not a case of “Women shouldn’t let their boyfriends/husbands do these kinds of things.” and it’s also not a case of “Well, the good men in this country should stand up to the bad lads whenever they see something they don’t believe is right, shouldn’t they?” Instead, I think that it’s something for us all as a society to deal with. I think the first step is for us to recognise that ‘lad culture’ is wrong and harmful to the growth of this country as a whole. As other countries and societies become more and more accepting of people of different races, gender identities and sexual preference, we don’t want to be seen as ‘that old nation who are socially stuck in the 1960s’.

We don’t want to become irrelevant as a nation. We need to fix this. ‘Lads’ need to go.



  1. Hi Nic

    I’m so happy i found an article like this written by a male. I have similar views to you regarding the disgusting prevalence of the so called ‘lad culture’. I came across this article because i felt so distraught after a very recent episode of lad culture. I normally try my best to avoid these kinds of lads, but i have to admit, i find it very hard in the UK and in particular the north west of England. Personally, i find Manchester to be one of the major havens for the low human traits that come under the umbrella heading of ‘lad culture’. So, without much further ado, i’ll tell you of my experience. I’m a straight male who lives in the northwest btw.
    I went out for a leaving drink, as one of the girls at work was heading to pastures a new. Unfortunately, we have one of these ‘lads’ working in out office. He is constantly trying to act very macho and put on a deep voice, as if any non deep tone to his voice might suddenly turn him into a female.He is in a senior position, which makes it all the worse. He portrays some of those very strange traits that only these ‘lads’ portray. The funny thing is they are so homophobic yet alot of there behaviors and culture towards there ‘buddies’ is very homoerotic and it makes one think what’s REALLY going on under that repressed macho veneer!!! This particular ‘lad’ is always going on about how ‘his gfs have meant nothing when it comes to his mates and beer’..Okaaay, why don’t you just ask your ‘mates’ if they want to be your bf then!!?? He constantly displays overly affectionate gestures as do his male ‘lad mates when drunk towards each other. I have seriously seen them hold each other in homoerotic embraces, let there bodies rub closer, there faces virtually touching etc.It’s the complete opposite when they are sober. It’s as if the macho veneer dissolves and all there repressed desires come forth when drunk. ANYWAY, i digress a bit, so we were sat down having a drink and the filth that acme out of there mouth, that they thought was OK, e.g how they loved lesbian porn, and if the girls from OUR OFFICE could do a lesbian act for them because it’s what all girls did , how football was more important than family. We then went into a gay area in Manchester, which THEY all agreed to. They apparently go there with mates regular as it is a mixed gay area. The amount of homophobic comments were unbelievable! Comments like ‘lads, make sure you don’t drop anything’. ‘too many shit stabbers around tonight’ etc. The final straw of this debased British ‘lads culture was when they started making racial innuendos towards an Indian girl who was with us, saying things like ‘so do you ever use a curry shampoo?’ etc .At that point i had to leave , before my anger got too much and a scene was created.

    This is a real problem in the UK esp in northern England, with it being more working class, The scary thing is these males are in organisations at all levels and bring this evil with them and lace the organisation with it.

    Be nice to hear from you Nic. email me on fennel@hotmail.co.uk



Leave a comment...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s