Christ Church College all-female drinking society “The Spritzers” describes itself on as “Ch Ch Chunderbirds are go”. Male and female teams’ ratings are duly exchanged after a night out.The Spritzers wrote of “The Stanford Gentlemen”: “We were surprised that they kept up with our sconces and true-to-form wildness given that this is their first crew date […] would def do again.” And when asked, they are adamant that feminism and crewdating are compatible.Max Jaderberg, one of the co-founders, said: “There really is space for crewdating while being a feminist […] but it just depends on who you are crewdating.
” Another female Oxford finalist says that crewdates can typify and exclude males too: “I think that some of my male friends have felt excluded from social situations, due to not being invited to be part of a crewdating society - I think that it was partly a 'clique' issue, but seeing as some were perhaps perceived to be less 'laddish' (i.e.Side effects may include vomiting, the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, and failing academically.” Miserably unsurprising are the stories of sexist behaviour that seem to be ingrained in crewdates.This echoes research released last month by the University of Sussex on the effect of “lad culture” on women in UK universities – a “ ‘pack culture’ evident in activities such as sport and heavy alcohol consumption, and ‘banter’, which was often sexist, misogynistic and homophobic.” On – a social network for organising crewdates at Oxford and Durham, set up by three graduates – one male team from Oxford wrote that the girls they were dating offered, “good chat, good looks, and some f**king brutal sconces […] Emboldened, we set off with hope in our hearts and fetherlite condoms in our pockets.” But are we right to complain about hotbeds of sexism, and is it all just a jolly jape? Can we call ourselves feminists whilst putting ourselves into situations where “lad culture” thrives?What is needed is to use that normalisation to the benefit healthy goals.Have the banter challenge sexism, rape jokes, victim blaming, and misogyny.” Challenging the banter can be tricky though.
As one current second-year English student put it: “One of my friends went on a crew date where the boys had been given a series of tasks beforehand that they were to keep secret from the girls.