Photo: Wikimedia

Our Little Vegas

Caroline talks about how to some golfers catcalling and giving girls other unwanted attention is just ‘part of the package’ of coming to St Andrews.

It’s odd even beginning to compare our dear, quaint St Andrews to the City of Sin. For each light-strung Eiffel Tower miniature or flamboyant casino lobby, we offer equal attractions in the form of a multitude of tartan shops, a crumbling cathedral and not to mention the 24-hour South Street Bakery Vending Machine.

But if you take a walk down Market Street late on a Saturday night during Golf Season, you’ll see a glimpse of what might connect us to the pulsing hub of Las Vegas: large groups of men roaming the streets in search of entertainment and distraction. Who needs sequined entertainers walking the strip when you have St. Andrews’s secret weapon – our Old Course. ‘The Home of Golf’ which boasts 45,000 rounds being played every year.

Photo: Max Pixel

Let me preface this by clarifying a few things. I absolutely adore the golfers that I encounter here in my day to day life. Each time I see them, I am reminded of how lucky I am to be here, living everyday in a town that people travel far and work hard to experience. Many people in my hometown, family, friends – even my dentist – tell me either how special their golfing trips to St Andrews was, or how they wish they could go. However, in my time here I have noticed the unfortunate by-product of so many who come here to get away, the few who think this is their Las Vegas and what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…

Each of my friends who I’ve spoken to about this has come back with the same story: the harassment for the vast majority that they’ve experienced in St Andrews has been from out-of-town visitors; most of whom are groups of men out on the town after a day on the course. Whether this takes the form of catcalling, yelling, making rude comments to girls passing by, or in some cases reaching out and grabbing them, there is definitely a precedent. Friends of mine have been relentlessly heckled, both on the street and in the establishments open to the town. One of my friends, who was wearing baggy jeans and a turtleneck on a night out, heard that “red-heads are sluts, you know” along with other wording too graphic to repeat here. Out with my friends last year in a bar, we were approached by an older man from out of town who was here for golf with his mates. He asked us if we could all pair up with each of his friends and “just talk to them” – don’t worry, he told us, “they all had wives”. In addition to his obvious advances, we were made to feel like we were ‘part of the package’ of their boys’ holiday.

All they were doing that night was just staying in St Andrews.

To these people, the town is a place to escape whatever problems homelife is posing, to ‘relive their youth’, even when it comes at other’s expense. For them, above all, the town provides anonymity, for however they decide to use it, and students, primarily female, are the ones affected.

Photo: Flickr

It’s ironic how for students, the town gives anything but anonymity. But for us this works to our advantage when our close-knit, sometimes even tribal, community jumps to our defense when someone tries to claim ownership over us, through objectification or harassment.

To us, St. Andrews represents a plethora of environments: it’s our place of study, our place to party; it’s where our best friends live, it’s the stage where all of our dramas, loves and tears are playing out during these brief four years. It’s where we’re all leaning, whether it’s political theory or how to share dish-duty. It is, hopefully, a safe place for us, where we’re stumbling around, trying to figure out how to begin our journey of independence and adulthood.

No matter who we share it with sometimes, it has been this way for over 400 years, and will continue to be so.

Comments

comments

30 thoughts on “Our Little Vegas

  1. Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site?

    The account helped me a appropriate deal. I were tiny bit
    familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid clear idea

  2. Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  3. Hello there, I discovered your site by way of Google whilst looking for a comparable subject, your web site got here up, it appears to be like great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  4. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your
    stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it.

    You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise.
    I can not wait to read far more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful website.

  5. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  6. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your site,
    how can i subscribe for a weblog web site? The account aided me a appropriate deal.
    I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided shiny clear idea

    my web-site tracfone 2022

  7. Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to revisit yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  8. I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

  9. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I really believed you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

  10. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your web page.

  11. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE STAND