The Gorillas in the jungle are those buff rugby lads. Gorillas are big and intimidating. They spend a lot of time in the gym. They go around in packs. Their diet consists of a lot of protein and beer.
Gorillas bring so much accolade to the jungle that no one holds them accountable for their behaviour..
Some charge down the hallways, barging through anyone they see, chanting sexist, homophobic and racist slurs.
Some would brag about how they were getting with the girls two years below them.
Others would comment on people’s weight in front of the whole school.
I remember being in class and there were two Gorillas galumphing outside the window, then they proceeded to flash my teacher.
Their initiations for their newest members of their gorilla tribes were infamous. Some of these would involve cruel dares, dares set up to intentionally hurt others. Similar to Sphynx cat, they spread nudes like they were a funny meme they found on facebook.
All these acts were justified as boys will be boys. However I don’t believe that’s an excuse, I believe it is a dated cop out. I saw that all it took was one bad Gorilla and the rest would follow.
It can be disheartening to watch, as you see this idiotic behaviour go unpunished by authorities; yet when in school if my skirt was a centimetre above my knee I would get told off.
Schools around Ireland at the moment, are banning girls from wearing leggings during PE. They say the reasoning behind this ban, is due to the pandemic. However I see this as a pathetic excuse. The reason leggings are being banned in schools is because of the unnecessary comments that are made by boys regarding the way they look on a girls body, or it makes the male PE teacher uncomfortable.
How about we teach boys from a young age that commenting on a girl’s ass publicly is predatory behaviour and it is wrong. I think that might help the problem rather than banning leggings. By educating we make progress. It’s typical Ireland, let’s sweep the problem under the rug until it becomes an issue.
Like the behaviour exhibited by the Gorillas, they swept the behaviour under the rug because too many fees and trophies were on the line. It is the toxic masculinity embedded into the jungle’s culture. It sometimes feels impossible to undo this way of thinking. When you try to call the behaviour out, you are labelled the snitch, the person who doesn’t understand ‘having the craic’. So I know why some good Gorillas didn’t call out the bad ones. However they went along with it submissively laughing, therefore they are equally accountable.
Times are changing. I’m grateful to be growing up in the era of the ‘Me Too’ campaign and many more influential feminist movements. All it takes is one brave person to say no, enough is enough and be the Gorilla who doesn’t go along with the tribe.