- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 9, 2015

Oxford University Rugby players will not be allowed to compete in the biggest rugby tournament of the season unless they participate in an anti-misogyny workshop as part of a university attempt to combat sexist “lad culture” on campus.

This is the first time that the workshops have been mandated as a condition to participate in sports and activists say they hope to introduce similar conditions for involvement in other sports, The Telegraph Oxford-University-sends-rugby-players-to-anti-sexism-classes.html” target=”_blank”>reported Saturday.

Every Oxford college rugby team had to sign up for the hour-long worships in order to play in this year’s Cupper knockout tournament.

The “good lad” courses include discussions about sexual harassment, consent, “lad banter” and team initiation ceremonies, according to The Telegraph.

Oxford graduate and rugby player Dave Llewellyn, 27, is the architect of the classes and said he came up with the idea after he got fed up with the level of rude behavior in the locker room.

He told The Telegraph that many of the jokes and songs affiliated with the sport promoted sexist attitudes, which made women feel uncomfortable and could increase the risk of sexual violence.

“There were so many examples,” Mr. Lllewellyn said, the newspaper reported. “It was all in jest but it all pointed to some deep-seated attitudes. I realized that singing about all those women you’re going to conquer, those were not my values. Everyone has a friend or knows someone who has been made to feel uncomfortable [as a result of sexism]. But there was nowhere for guys like me and my friends, men who think of themselves as good guys, with good principles, to engage in the conversation.”

The announcement comes after a slew of sexual assault incidents were reported at Oxford.

Two weeks ago, and Oxford University student published an open letter to the 17-year-old boy who assaulted her as she was walking home, The Telegraph reported.

In 2013, an Oxford University college rugby team sparked outrage after its social secretary sent an email telling players to invite a female freshman for a night out and spike her wine with “a substance of your choice.”


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