'I pulled her plug and watched her choke' LSE sportswomen publish open letter against sexism
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Sportswomen from LSE's Athletic Union have released an open letter calling out sexism by the Athletic Union's men's clubs. The open letter, which has been republished by the Athletic Union, says there has been "a year of unpunished misogynistic behaviour". It cited offensive chants allegedly sung at the recent Men's Rugby varsity match as the latest example of such behaviour, one of which allegedly included the lines: "She has a tracheotomy/ There's another hole for me.../ Just last week for a joke,/ I pulled her plug and watched her choke." The open letter further alleges that "numerous counts of sexual assault, both verbal and physical," have taken place throughout the year, and that club members and executives have not punished the perpetrators despite being aware of their actions. It ends with a call to action demanding that executives of the AU's men's clubs to tackle sexism and be held accountable for their members' actions. Both the LSE Athletic Union and LSE Students' Union have expressed their support for the open letter. A formal response issued by LSE Students' Union Executive Committee said that they "fully condemn the abhorrent culture of discrimination of all kinds (sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism and racism) that has been reported in some AU men’s clubs and among members both on and off campus." The Union also assured students that complaints would be taken seriously, and said it would amend its codes of conduct and campaign for a zero-tolerance policy to discrimination to eliminate discriminatory behaviour. An LSE spokesperson said: "We are deeply concerned by the allegations made in the open letter. We urge any students who have experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment or violence to report it through LSE's dedicated channel: Report It Stop It, or through the School’s Whistleblowing service, so such incidents can be fully investigated. Students affected can also access face-to-face support as appropriate.” Lead Image credit: Basher Eyre via Geograph (cc-by-sa/2.0)
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