Pity poor Tom Beardsworth, Oxford university student who penned a rather amusing piece on how to date posh girls in the Oxford student newspaper "Cherwell":
"If she does brave it and travels north to see you, be sensitive. As she disembarks the train, refrain from mocking her attire (wellingtons and a ski jacket – 'but I thought it'd be freezing') and instead congratulate her on having made it thus far."Tom, a PPE student who went to a Manchester grammar school and who therefore is in a good position to know what he's writing about, duly created the mother of all furores with professionally outraged women blasting the alleged slights against their sisters. I wonder what the reaction would have been if he'd written it from the other perspective - advising posh girls on how to date a hard-up northern boy.
The usual suspects were out with their rent-a-quotes:
Sarah Pine, 20, the women's officer of the student union, said: "Treating women like objects that lack any autonomy in who they date or sleep with is outdated and boring. If this article is trying to be funny, the author needs to realise his audience won't be impressed with such irrelevant stereotypes about women."Well, Sarah, we must congratulate you on perpetuating the stereotype of OUSU women's officers. I rather think that Tom was trying to entertain rather than impress, and from the excerpts in the DT he seemed to be doing a good job. I note that you too are a PPE student - perhaps you were jealous that someone two years younger could write better than you?
The editors of "Cherwell" didn't really help the cause of journalism, promptly and spinelessly rolling over and withdrawing the piece:
In a statement the editors of Cherwell said they were "very sorry" if offence had been taken, adding the piece was intended as satire of sexist dating guides found in the mainstream media. They did not wish to create a poor impression of the university for new students, they added.If I were a self-respecting student looking at this ugly affair, it wouldn't be Tom's piece that gave me a poor impression of the university.
I took the liberty of Googling Ms. Pine and located her OUSU Women's Officer manifesto:
We need to maintain string links with organisations engaged with social justice across Oxford... I will make links with the Oxford Feminist Network... founded an open feminist group... Wadham LGBTQ officer...Tell you what, Tom, why not write your next article on how to date a radical feminist? If you're going to go down in flames anyway, you might as well do it with style.