Opinion | No, you cannot host a chav-themed party

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By Elisha Mans, Deputy Opinion Editor

There are so many party themes out there: you could do dress as a thing beginning with a certain letter, you could do dress as your course, you could do dress as a certain decade. Why then is there even a need for a discussion of why a chav-themed party is entirely blind-sighted and unnecessary?

Bristol University is one of the worst Universities in the country in terms of inclusivity of a diversity of backgrounds. We are largely made up of private schooled students or students who grew up in middle-class backgrounds. However, that is no excuse for ignorance, in fact, it should be a glaring sign that we need to wisen up to inequalities in Britain.

And the way to do this is certainly not to wear trackies and cheap jewellery and hold a spliff.

Whilst I am not suggesting that these parties are particularly common, they do occur. And, they are not acceptable.

#Bristruth18359 Heard at wills. “I thought CHAV was like an ethnicity”

Posted by Bristruths on Monday, 21 January 2019

There is an idea that goes for racism and sexism too, which is the thought that you can punch up, that you can make light fun of someone or something as long as they are, in some way, more privileged. This is applicable when it comes to class too – so the saying goes, ‘eat the rich’. Whilst this phrase is often chucked around by middle-class students who actually, compared to many others, may be the rich, it does say something about privilege. Students tend to be a left-wing or even socialist sector of society, but there is little to that if you are then willing to make fun of the people who are oppressed by our unequal system.

If you think that it is funny to dress as a ‘chav’ or a ‘pleb’ then it is probably because you have never experienced poverty or being on the breadline. I am eternally grateful to say that neither have I. But people do experience it. In fact, an estimated 14.3 million people in the UK are in poverty.

The idea of making fun of people who are in the situation where they are struggling to get by is frankly disgusting. To make light of a situation where people cannot afford basic commodities like food, suitable housing and energy is either a sign of extreme ignorance or extreme lack of care.

The people who host these sorts of parties will probably say that I don’t understand banter, that it is just for fun. But there is little fun about dressing up as someone who is under privileged and then stereotype them to be unintelligent or useless.

Making fun of people who are in the situation where they are struggling to get by is frankly disgusting

So, please, if you are hosting a party consider whether you can pick a theme which is inoffensive and light-hearted, rather than one which makes light of oppression. And if you do consider one these parties, please think about the fact that to not participate may be a wise choice; if not for the glaringly obvious social reasons, but because being seen making fun of those less privileged than you, to put it lightly, may not be well regarded by future employers.

Featured Image: Unsplash / Giovanna Gomes


Should some party themes be off-limits? Let us know.

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