As part of the Headingley Festival of Ideas 2014 Leeds Salon premiers a short documentary, followed by a discussion, examining the recent high-profile campaign by Leeds’ students against ‘Tequila Night’ at the Mezz Club
The 1990s saw the rise in ‘lads mags’, lap dancing clubs, and the boom of on-line porn, leading to the creation of what has become known as ‘lad culture’. Students have created popular websites such as ‘Uni Lad’ and ‘Lad Bible’ which focus on sex, drinking, football and ‘being a lad’.
Lad culture has been blamed for promoting a sexist and degrading attitude to women, leading to sexual assault and harassment, and being a barrier to healthy relationships between the sexes.
In response, the last decade has seen the formation of activist groups such as Object and Feminista, who have run high profile campaigns such as ‘Lose the Lads Mags’ and ‘No More Page Three’, backed by student unions and the NUS, which has commissioned a report into lad culture.
Student theme parties, pub crawls, and club nights have also sparked outrage and captured media attention. In Leeds, a promotional video for ‘Violate a Fresher’ night at Mezz Club led to outrage on-line. TequilaUK, the club promoter, was accused of promoting sexual violence against women. Student protests calling for Mezz Club to stop hosting Tequila Night led to a police investigation and a licence hearing.
This documentary examines the campaign against Tequila Night and features the views of those involved in the campaign, as well as Leeds students about their experiences of Tequila Night and asks: is there a problem with ‘lad culture’?