Saturday 23 September 2017

Patricia Casey: Rites of passage should not inflict cruelty or humiliation

Ever hear the one about the frat brat prank where students let three pigs from a nearby farm on to campus. They wrote 1, 2 and 4 on the pigs' backs. The pigs were retrieved and returned to the farm very quickly but the authorities spent weeks looking for number 3.

My mother often told me the story of a local boy who dressed up as a girl to play in the local camogie match and was only discovered to be male when his wig fell off during the match.

Both of these are reminders of harmless fun that does not hurt or offend anybody or anything (apart from inconveniencing the pigs and perhaps the college authorities!). Any serious punishment, apart from a reprimand, meted out to these, would be greeted with possible annoyance and even derision.

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