The story this morning on the front page of the SMH about the students at an all male college of Sydney University and their proud “pro-rape”culture was horrifying. But it was also not altogether surprising. The colleges at Sydney University seem to be mostly continuations of the elite private schools – students from the city whose parents can afford to give them the college experience, and students from the country who could afford boarding school. And those schools have long been the kind of places that inculcate a sense of superiority in their students – they are deserving of their place at the top of the pile. The extension of that, in the male college, to feeling entitled to whatever they want from the nearby women isn’t that big a leap. Mary at Hoyden about Town (who has been there) describes the culture and what it looks like from the inside.
My personal reaction, though, was to revisit my thinking about single sex schools. I’ve posted before that I don’t want to send my boys to a boys’ school. And that’s partly been because I worry that boys deprived of female company for six years might be too nervous or shy to talk to women as the real human beings they are. But that’s not the worst thing that could happen. After six years with boys as their main peer group (particularly if they are boys with a sense of entitlement), they might think that women are subhuman objects who are only there for male pleasure.
Also, go and read fuckpoliteness’ rant – much more eloquent about the sense of entitlement that is all over this story.