Unilad.com, a British site for male students, has temporarily shut down after publishing a piece that encouraged rape. “If the girl you’ve taken for a drink… won’t spread for your head, think about this mathematical statistic,” they wrote, “85% of rape cases go unreported. That seems to be fairly good odds.” Under the subsequent apology (“We took things too far”) some of the site’s 8,000 daily visitors left their own comments. “Nobody minds a bit of casual rape banter,” wrote Daena. “Rape only happens because lasses can’t handle the banter,” said Adam. “[This apology is] Proof women don’t understand freedom of speech and banter,” added Andy.
From Eva Wiseman in today’s Observer, who also says:
I wasn’t shocked by the Uni Lad piece – not as shocked as many of the men I know, who reeled with offence. I was offended by their insistence it was comedy (no), sure, but I wasn’t shocked. I wasn’t shocked because this is what the internet looks like, often. Online, especially, say, under a comedy YouTube video, or comment piece about street harassment, Uni Lad-style banter thrives. I wasn’t shocked, but I was oddly troubled – it made me think about how confusing it must be to be an 18-year-old boy, frantically trying to stay afloat in a lido of banter, where everything’s a laugh and what you say is hardly ever what you think, reasserting your sexuality every 10 minutes as if refreshing a screen.