james dunn

Lily-livered universities

What nonsense that one of our leading universities has caved into protesters objecting to boys in a college singing bawdy songs. How is it possible that our top ABC current affairs programme made this story their lead item earlier this week?

I wrote in The Australian about this ludicrous story, commenting on how alarming it was to see the outraged ABC reporter grilling James Dunn, a big burly country boy who’s now treasurer of Baxter College at the University of NSW. The shame-faced boy was forced to acknowledge that even last year he was involved in the College’s annual Boys Night Out activities where they chanted “appalling” songs.

When furious students began protesting about these “disgusting songs which glorify rape,” he saw the light. “I’m condemning my own actions at this time,” he blushingly disclosed.

And the lyrics of the song The 7.30 Report described as “hideous”?

“I wish that all the ladies were buns in the oven

And if I was a baker

I’d cream them by the dozen”

Crude? Yes, bawdy and lusty but also a typical drinking song, the type of vulgar sexual ditty that has been part of our culture since well before Chaucer’s time. I vividly remember the girls at Ascham School romping through a performance of the Canterbury Tales which include the memorable lines:

And prively he caughte hire by the queynte,

And seyde, ‘Y-wis, but if ich have my wille,

For derne love of thee, lemman, I spille.’

Not so very different. But then, these female fascists would probably like to ban Chaucer too. The Baxter drinking song speaks not of rape but of men’s desire for sex – an urge which some feminist lobby groups appear to regard as thoroughly reprehensible. Here’s Jocelyn Dracakis, Student Rep on the UNSW Council: “It shows lyrics that glorify acts of rape. ..It’s completely revolting that this kind of behaviour has been allowed to take place in the college.”

Amazingly amongst the lyrics sung by students and replayed on The 7.30 Report was this little gem: “I’d like to tickle their clitoris.”

Rape culture? On the contrary. Isn’t this exactly what we women have long been asking for?

The most depressing aspect of this whole affair is the lobbyists have persuaded the university administration to cave in to their strident demands that such songs be verboten. The University released a statement saying it was “appalled by the sexist and demeaning attitudes and behaviours” and had “taken steps to ensure that incidents of this kind do not occur again.”

Surely our intellectual elite should have the guts to stand up to these crazy grievance mongers. Ok, young men’s right to sing a dirty ditty isn’t actually a noble cause. But there are important issues at stake in the inability of university authorities to withstand such silly, vexatious campaigns.

One Response to Lily-livered universities

  1. John Whitehouse April 17, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Agree totally with you. Increasingly poor habit of the ABC to highlight trivial stories when they should be pursuing much more important subjects, Al-Jazeera leaves then for dead in this regard.