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.