Testimony 113

I am in year 13, and I have been a student at KEGS since year 7. I have always been shocked by the outwardness of my peers when discussing sexual matters. In classes and general discussion, porn was frequently discussed especially in younger years, and I would be asked questions such as “who is your favourite pornstar” or “what porn do you watch” amongst other things. These were unwelcome questions and bred this atmosphere of misogny-fuelled sexual obsession early on amongst the students. I distinctly remember multiple students watching pornography openly and proudly on school trips, and how this made me feel inadequate and like I needed to join in.

A lot of the time when male students insult female teachers, the comments will be sexual, such as calling a teacher a “whore” or some other equivalent degrading language. This behaviour is perpetuated by the fact that for five years every student is male, and they are never properly taught a single time that this is not okay. This was widespread behaviour and it is important to note that this kind of language was not limited to a small group of people.

I feel like a lack of frequent social interaction with girls for such an extended period of time is unfortunately the perfect breeding ground for misogynistic thoughts in a young boy’s mind, even further compounded by the fact that these ideas and opinions were echoed back by other students. If someone disagreed, they could easily be dismissed as a “pussy” (yet another example of misogynistic language in itself).

KEGS needs to take some responsibility for this. We have received no sexual education at all that I remember, except for a small, lazily put together PSHE lesson about HIV and AIDS. Even this felt strange and homophobic since the focus was on homosexual couples. Not a single time do I remember being taught about consent, but I am lucky to have good parents who have taught me of its importance. I regret to think that most of my sexual “education” came from internet pornography, and this still has obvious lasting mental effects on me to this day.

I really feel horrible reading all the testimonies from female students at KEGS, since I personally had no idea what has been going on. I have to say that I am not surprised in the slightest however, given the circumstances I just mentioned. The rape culture at KEGS makes me regret most of my teenage years and I feel like a worse person for experiencing it. I really hope that the writers of these testimonies can find some sort of happiness and peace.

On a somewhat separate note, I myself have experienced sexual harassment during my time at KEGS sixth form. I am not a confident person in the slightest, and so this is difficult for me to discuss.

At a party I managed to get blackout drunk very quickly, after which I was quickly taken advantage of by a girl there. She brought me upstairs and touched me in front of everyone there despite me barely being able to move at that point. Luckily we did not end up having sex, but that was because I was practically unconscious and so I could not respond in any meaningful way. The worst part about this to me is that in the morning the other people there told me they theorised I was gay because “[I] couldn’t get hard”, and that this was apparently planned by her from the moment we met. I feel disgusting that I was speaking to her not knowing this.

Since this is one of the only times I had spoken and properly interacted with a girl since primary school, I had no idea for a long time that this wasn’t a positive experience, and my mental health has been far worse because of it. For this same reason I fell victim to further sexual harassment that is probably too identifiable for me to mention here.

The single most damning and lasting effect that all of these things have had on me as an internal male student growing up at KEGS is that my perception of women is twisted in an unhealthily sexual way that feels depressing and hopeless. I sincerely wish that a day eventually comes where I can come to terms with all of this and stop thinking about women in the way that I do. It is truly regrettable.

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