There is only one word I can use to describe how I felt when I read about two current ‘Lads Night Out’ games that up until this week I’d never heard of… SICK. Yep that pretty much sums it up I felt sick. Then I felt disappointed, confused and lastly I moved on to angry, fuming actually would be a better description. For those of you luck enough to have not read about this, you have two options, click off this article, walk away, remain blissful and unaware at yet another horrific consequent of our fat shaming society; or alternatively read on and join me in utter dismay. Fat Girl Rodeo is essentially played by idiotic lads on a night out…
“Grab “fat” woman in a club, and hang on to her yelling “yee-hah”, until they throw you off, or you dance up close to them, “acting nice,” aka pretending to be a normal human being, then whisper that they are “a minger”, and try to hang on for as long as you can. There is apparently a variety of this “game” which involves telling a girl or woman you are going to rape her, and then, yes, you guessed right, hanging on to her for as long as you can.” (Independent)
I’m reading your slightly perplexed expression now, it is not April 1st and this is no joke. Fat discrimination is the last remaining acceptable form of abuse of discrimination of its kind. While we have gone PC crazy over race and religion to bully and abuse someone because of their appearance or physicality is not only acceptable it is seen now apparently as some jovial high jinx prank. Well I don’t know about you but I’m not laughing.
A variation of this game also involves having sex with a fat girl as a means of scoring points or holding onto a girl in a club, whispering you’re going to rape her and seeing how long you can hold on for. Yes again, not funny is it?
But where did these men, sorry I mean boys a. Learn this behaviour and b. think in anyway shape or form it was acceptable?
If a similar game was played based on race, ethnicity or religion, arrests would be made, laws would be quoted and court sessions would be held, but if threats and demeaning behaviour is shown to a woman based on physicality alone, this apparently acceptable. The fact that this story broke just after International Woman’s Day was even more painful. It appears with every tip toe forward, young, idiotic, males are waiting to attempt to slam women back down.
Fat remains the last laugh and the portrayal of plus size women remains a platform for jokes from comedians, script writers and weekly magazines and their evil hoops of horror – it feels that it is little wonder that these boys believe that their torture game is a good laugh and a level playing field. As society have we really taught them any differently? Have we presented enough acceptable varying body shapes or told other women let alone men that there is not one perfect look or size? When as women we put each other down so much that the learnt behaviour is fat is bad it’s ok to take the mick?
The one thing that always makes me form a quizzical look though and perhaps I only think like this because I’m a girl not boy, don’t they ever think…
“Imagine if someone said that to my sister or my mother? How would I feel then? Would those same lads still laugh, if it was their sisters bullied and humiliated?”
I’d like to think that the publicity that this received would deter a few, but I can’t imagine these lads were intelligent enough to read a newspaper so they will carry on. But if it happens to you, report them for intimidation to the floor manager of whatever bar or club they are in, if a threat is made ensure you don’t keep it to yourself. It is only by standing up to these lowly creatures and ensuring they are dealt with will they ever learn that their behaviour is not funny and not ok.