Millie Hurst | Contributing Writer | 6 days ago

Freshers Wore T-Shirts With Offensive Messages On Them

Sheffield Uni Students Wore 'Rape Is A Myth' T-Shirts To Freshers' Pub Crawl

The Debrief: It's not 'banter,' it's a persistent rape culture that has to be stopped

You’ve probably been to a similar event: it was one of those pub crawls in which students are let loose with one free plain white T-shirt each and a load of Sharpies. Usually, all of the fun ensues, and you get a Freshers’ Week souvenir that fills you with fuzzy nostalgia years later.

But at this Freshers’ Week event in Sheffield, some of the things written on their T-shirts weren’t just fun night out banter, and had much more of an awkward comment from your Uncle at Christmas dinner vibe. Actually, no. They were worse.

The group of Freshers wore messages including: ‘consent is a myth’, ‘rape is not a crime’, ‘she CAN be asking for it’, ‘Maddie is in my cupboard’ ‘I touch kids’ and ‘rape me’. 

It was the North vs Midlands vs South Freshers Bar Crawl organised by EatMyDisco Events, attended by hundreds of students from University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam. The group of students made up of five male students and one female student were refused drinks at Tiger Works, a bar in the city centre because of what was drunkenly scribbled on their backs. 

They were also made to leave, with other students on the night out insisting that the bouncers escort them outside. 

Second-year Marketing Communications and Advertising student, Matt Milner told The Tab: ‘Everyone was looking at them and dead-eyeing them, my group of 10 people moved away because it was ruining the night seeing such disrespectful stuff.’

A spokesperson for EatMyDisco said: ‘We cannot control what individuals write on their T-shirts but naturally deplore any controversial statements or slogans which might cause offence.

‘If the individuals involved can be identified to us we will do everything we can to ensure they are banned from all future bar crawls.’

It’s another demonstration of the fact that rape culture persists under the guise of lad culture and banter. Consent at university is still a hugely muddy area. 

From points systems based on the perceived attractive levels of girls or how far things go, to the highly flawed notion that ‘It’s not rape if you shout banter’, university nights out indicate how much the severity of our society’s rape culture problem still persists. 

You may also be interested in:

Why Is The Issue Of Consent At University So Difficult To Grasp?

Banter Is Just A Way Of Silencing Rape Culture On Student Campuses 

Let’s Explain, Once And For All, Why We Should Be Blaming Perpetrators, Not Victims, For Rape And Sexual Assault


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