Toxic masculinity, Wellington College and social media


Wellington College investigating students’ social media posts

Wellington College has started an investigation after two students posted offensive comments on social media relating to rape and consent.

The two students described having sex with intoxicated, passed-out women in their posts to a closed Facebook group, with some of the comments “liked” by other students.

One of the comments, which were believed to have been posted on Sunday night, said: “If you don’t take advantage of a drunk girl, you’re not a true WC boy.”

The comments were also seen by other students who were so concerned about them, they notified parents.

Wellington College principal Roger Moses said he was notified by a member of the public and the school was investigating.

Macho posturing and toxic masculinity have collided at Wellington College.

It’s important to note that there were only a few of these voices and other students alerted parents, it would be wrong to write off all students there, and I think it would be wrong to crucify these two students with national media attention.

You want these young men to learn a lesson here, you don’t want to damage and brand them for life.

Calling for leniency however isn’t easy, especially when one of them is effectively boasting about raping drunk girls.

The horror of the damage of rape culture and toxic masculinity on women is an ever expanding horizon.

The day to day sexism, the gender pay gap, the double standards, the lack of justice when it comes to sexual assaults and the domestic violence rates all conspire to create an ongoing civil war against women.

I think for many men, they look back on some of their previous interactions with women and see how their own head-spaces were clouded by the sort of toxic masculinity these Wellington College students have exhibited and this past behaviour makes for a peer group too privately guilty to take any leadership.

We are a nation of fatherless children with boys and men unable to articulate emotion beyond anger.

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Our ever growing prison population and suicide rates are proof of that.


  1. There’s a certain sort of ‘haw haw haw’ jeering laugh, utterly devoid of humour, that is heard in groups of boys. Little boys.

    Why do bigger blokes do this? Give them this derisory way of dealing with other boys who might be less able at some things. Is it about ‘toughening them up’?

    Blokes are softies, most of them. More so than girls, based on observation. (Watch a bloke with a baby or toddler. Pure tender. Special.)

    You say, “We are a nation of fatherless children with boys and men unable to articulate emotion beyond anger.”

    You also needed to add that there are too many creeps about to make it safe for decent men to befriend and mentor. Too few examples of loving partnerships and protection without dominance.

    It does no good to rail about ‘feminazis’ and how women have taken over education, etc and on.

    C’mon, blokes. If you can’t manage a spine to get yourself above the sandbags – at least try for a bit of stiff cartilage in the dorsal region. And free up your hearts. We need them.

    ‘If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much’ you maybe, might or perhaps could make a beneficial improvement to so many parts of life and living.

  2. I got annoyed enough when I saw a version of this on their website and wrote and complained.

    …the Library is hosting lunchtime Soapbox sessions … The topic for the first session was “#Ponytailgate – who is the victim?”

    When it’s becomes a matter of debate about who was the victim then there is something seriously wrong with the thought processes at the school.

    I couldn’t find the original webpage but it survives in a newsletter, page 16

    (On the upside, all the wgn coll men I do know are the best of men.)

  3. Coeducation helps young people to sort out myths and develop understanding.

    Those who send their kids to single sex schools are fearful of what

    • If I had a son the last place I would send them is a boys high school. They are truly horrendous places where bullying is the default setting for human interaction.

    • This is true for boys, but often not for girls.

      Girls actually do better in single sex schools.

      I came from an abusive home, the girls school I went to was my haven where previously the co-ed school I attended was also abusive.

      So for the benefit of boys we’re asking some girls to be sacrificed. I’m not buying that.

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