London: An Oxford University student publication, which was meant to be a light-hearted guide to help working-class boys date ‘posh girls’, has been withdrawn and its publishers forced to apologise after attracting criticism from those who failed to see the funny side.
Cherwell, the 92-year old student newspaper whose alumni include Rupert Murdoch, Evelyn Waugh and Peter Mandelson, published the six-point guide on the ‘challenge’ of courting classmates from privileged backgrounds.
Its author, Tom Beardsworth, 18, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, insisted that the article was a well-intended joke but was met with accusations of ‘misogyny’ by the University’s women’s campaign.
The guide was published in the “interests of averting mutual befuddlement”, and offered advice on meeting a woman’s affluent parents and friends, how to discuss politics, and how to handle foreign travel, sexual intercourse and “getting dumped”.
When it comes to sex, Beardsworth, who is reading Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Brasenose College warned ‘posh girls’ are not naive.
“She’ll have had a lot of it; way more than you. Do not believe any assertions to the contrary - she is massaging your fragile ego,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“Posh Girls lose their virginity at 15, often to the same floppy-haired bloke (remember, they share everything). She duly worked her way through the Eton rugby team before re-eloping with the same floppy-haired w----r on her gap year in Phuket.
“Mercilessly, most of her past conquests will be at Oxford and you won’t be able to bust a move in Park End [a popular student nightclub] without bumping into one of them. Aesthetically he is a beautiful man: taller, broader, and handsomer than you will ever be.
“Posh Girls, ‘practically sisters’ since their years together in the boarding house, tell each other everything. Consequently they know more about your sex life than you do.
“Relations between you and them will therefore embody all the warmth and intimacy of a court room,” he said.
Crucially, young men of modest means should avoid discussing politics if they wish their romance to succeed. Many wealthy young women “profess ignorance” about current affairs.
And while her parents are likely to be “lovely” and treat the new suitor to dinner, drinks and theatre trips, Mr Beardsworth warned his readers not to expect their girlfriends to be so relaxed on their home turf.
He also warned that being dumped “will happen”.
“Prepare for the inevitable eventuality. Take it on the chin. This was always her plan. You weren’t dumped, just duped,” he said,
While the essay, which was published online, was described as vividly accurate by some students, it was branded as ‘misogynistic’, ‘pathetic’ and ‘not tremendously clever’ by others.
It has now been removed from the website.
“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,” Sarah Pine, the women’s officer of the student union, said.