What a career she’s launched!

Drinking societies are an archaic institution that have existed for centuries at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Steeped in exclusivity and privilege, these clubs are where public schoolboys prepare themselves for the echelons of power. Former members of the Bullingdon Club, a drinking society based at Oxford University, include the prime minister David Cameron, chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne and London mayor Boris Johnson. It was recently alleged that Cameron had inserted a private part of his anatomy into a dead pig as part of an initiation ritual at Oxford’s Piers Gaveston drinking society in the late 1980s. Such tales of debauchery would almost seem funny if one ignored its function: to cement the succession of power and influence in Britain among a narrow elite.

University-based drinking societies are the perfect training ground for young boys seeking entry to the old boys’ club. The existence of drinking societies is the antithesis of equality, and widening inclusion and access to Oxbridge. Women are locked out of them, and later effectively excluded from proportional representation in heavily male-skewed professions (law, politics, finance, etc), which are dominated by the elites that have been established at university.

Give it 40 years and she can have a gardening column like Germaine Greer.

Women’s drinking societies emulate the lewd behaviour of the male equivalent but without access to men’s bodies. They are not an example of equality, but of collaboration and cooperation in an objectified and degraded role. If a woman drinks to intoxication, engages in sexist banter and ritual humiliation, then she is held to earn the status of “one of the boys”. In fact she is simply capitulating to the boys’ ideal of a disposable lust-object.

Wonder if her hedge fund boyfriend gets much legover?

and one in five women is sexually assaulted on American campuses.


31 thoughts on “What a career she’s launched!”

  1. She isn’t original. She’s tail coating what students hav been borishly been alleging for years.

    Must try harder next time. Maybe use that expertise in law and fgm instead of fighting worn battles no real people care about

  2. Not being funny, but how are the societies described here different to a regular pub?

    Ok- the class of drinker is different, but the whole “arcane initiation rites” and “bizarre rules” schtick doesn’t seem different in principle to the pub etiquette we all learned from our dad’s around the ages of 16 to 20.
    Been bought a drink, buy one back. Never dodge your round- stay longer than you intended to avoid accidentally stiffing fellow drinkers. Perform well in the rules, provide good chat and further social avenues (and maybe employment ones too) open. Don’t boast, listen well (even if you think the guy talking is dull), and learn restraint in all manners.
    It’s all very very similar, just with a different set of drinkers.

    Or is she simply objecting to the posh/male/wealthy?

  3. “but without access to men’s bodies.”

    Oh, I don’t know. She should get out a bit more. Try a hen night in Newcastle.

  4. Germaine Greer, under the pseudonym Rose Blight had a rather good gardening column 40 years ago in Private Eye.

  5. The Guardian have found a right one here.

    Is there a subject which she won’t, in time, stick her prudish and intolerant nose into? Private clubs, indeed! Shocking!

    “Such tales of debauchery would almost seem funny if one ignored its function”

    No, that is only the function if you are a paranoid Leftist.

    She exhibits all the classic signs of the moralist fanatic. Forget the balls about “cementing power”: someone, somewhere is enjoying themselves, men are enjoying themselves without heed for her and she is fucked off.

  6. Not really my thing, but I can imagine this new photo stirring a few loins.

    She looks like she could impose some “discipline” on those posh drinkers, and the pay would be excellent.

  7. Sounds like fun to me.

    If Oxford and Cambridge needed to advertise, her headline is all they need. They’ll be queuing around the block.

  8. The existence of drinking societies is the antithesis of equality, and widening inclusion and access to Oxbridge. Women are locked out of them…

    British women should be drinking to excess more?!!!

  9. Getting a right shoeing in the comments. In fact, I can’t remember an article she has written there which hasn’t had the mob jeering at her.

    How quickly she has fitted in!

  10. Yeah Proudman’s a moron, but she’s a rank amateur really. This is what you call quality work:

    Chrissy Keenan, a UCLA senior, is the president of Bruin Consent Coalition, a campus group that works to raise awareness regarding sexual assault on campus. “When people know of me but they don’t really know the work, they hear the term ‘feminist’ or ‘sexual-violence prevention,’ they think, ‘super-extreme, bra-burning feminism,’” she explains, which often puts people on the defensive.

    Keenan herself, though, sometimes finds it hard not to go on the offensive. She’s so used to laying down the nitty-gritty details of consent that she’s been known to open romantic interactions with a spiel that feels straight out of a student handbook.

    She animatedly tells a story about a recent Tinder rendezvous: “One time, I agreed to meet with this guy at 8 or 9 at night. Before we met, I said to him, ‘This is the work I do, I know the chief of police … so, don’t try and get creepy; I know all my rights.’ And five minutes later, he was like, ‘Actually, I’m really not OK with how you just assume I’m a bad guy. And I get very bad vibes from that, so we shouldn’t hang out anymore.’”

    “I was in a rage. He was a total fuckboy about consent,” she said.


  11. This is my favourite line in the Proudman piece:

    While the names of male drinking societies are resonant with power and prestige (the Epics, the Caesareans, the Stoics), those of women echo the highly sexualised status to which they are restricted (the Harlots, the Strumpettes, the Hoes, the Wenches).

    So who comes up with these names?

  12. I was invited along to such a club in Cambridge once. It was full of silly young asses who couldn’t hold their drink. I did not return.

    P.S. It seems that she doesn’t know what an echelon is.

  13. I can’t help thinking that the world would be a better place for us and her if one, or maybe two, of Ms Proudman’s orifices were sewn up shut.

  14. “Wonder if her hedge fund boyfriend gets much legover?”

    I’d love to know what’s going on there. Got the sort of boyfriend who can pay your bills, but you’re an SJW? Odds that he’s currently seeking out a new woman?

  15. While the names of male drinking societies are resonant with power and prestige (the Epics, the Caesareans, the Stoics)

    Not one of them is resonant with power and prestige. One is obviously a joke (Epics), another is named after a medical procedure (for Gods sake, please don’t say she thought it was named after Caesar…) and the final one…can she show her workings for this statement?

  16. Of course, by being able to afford to take three years off in your twenties to piss about doing Sociology, and at Cambridge to boot, as well as having a gig in the Guardian means she is vastly more privileged than 99% of the males in this country, let alone the females.

    Her preaching on the subject of privilege does rather stick in the craw.

  17. “Wonder if her hedge fund boyfriend gets much legover?”

    My guess is that she’s deeply submissive in the bedroom.

  18. Interested

    That link from the New Yawker is one of the funniest things I have ever read!As for Proudperson – the new Lindy West only thin…..

  19. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘[One] in five women is sexually assaulted on American campuses’.

    Let’s look into this with our friend Google.

    Ballpark figure for female students in US universities and higher education was 15 million in 2012. So taking that figure as read that means that 300,000 of them are ‘sexually assaulted’ every year.

    To take a point of comparison, in 2011 it was reported that 400,000 women were raped annually in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using the population stats for the DRC (with a gender ration for the state that is roughly 1:1 according to the figures I’ve seen) that’s a one in ten rate for this country afflicted by a civil war, where the various factions use sexual violence as a means of subjugating and terrorising their enemies.


    How exactly do you define ‘sexual assault’, Charlotte? I wouldn’t include making a comment along the lines of ‘nice photo’ now, would it?

  20. “How exactly do you define ‘sexual assault’, Charlotte?”

    Someone saying “I like your apples, Charlotte”?

  21. Bloke in Costa Rica

    “the Stoics”. For fuck’s sake. I’m sure the Pythons tried to include Epictetus in the Philosopher’s Song, but it’s a bugger to rhyme. Or it could be she’s an ignorant arse.

  22. Philip Scott Thomas

    Well, hell.

    If it weren’t for English drinking clubs like the Anacreontic Society there would no songs like ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’ and hence no un-singable American national anthem.

    That’s not necessarily a bad thing, mind…

  23. “Women are invited to events as objects of sexual desire – to be consumed and jettisoned. Women attend because it enhances their social capital, and nonconformity could be social suicide.”

    Know it fucking wouldn’t! It would mean you’re in a different social scene. These lads are students on the lash and yet somehow they don’t seem to be the ones who need to bloody well grow up.

  24. Apparently, John Stonehouse (sometime MP) was rather miffed not to be let in to the Apostles. So he set up a drinking club called The Epistles…. 🙂

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