Jelly Wrestling returns to Wyverns’ Garden Party

Olly Hudson 17 May 2015

The Wyverns drinking society are set to bring back "jelly wrestling" to their 2015 garden party after it was halted in 2013, following concerns that the practice was sexist. 

In a blog post from the Magdalene male-only drinking society, a spokesperson for the group claimed, "this decision is not part of some cheap ruse to see women get down to their bikinis", clarifying on the Cambridge University 2015 Fresher's Week page that this year's event will be open to "willing participants of any gender or college".

The drinking society is seeking to rebrand the practice as a "sport", declaring: "Summer jelly wrestling shall be hauled from the dark depths of obscurity, no longer tarnished as an alleged cog in the machinations of the patriarchy but placed at the forefront of competitve British sport."

The 2013 petition was launched by Nina de Paula Hanika and gained 1,174 signatures. De Paula Hanika branded the then-women-only practice "sexist, misogynistic and completey inappropriate as entertainment for 2013." 

She also told the BBC that the petition was not "an attempt to judge the women who have taken part in the past, nor ban jelly wrestling itself as an activity". 

"I feel very strongly that women telling other women what to do is wrong, which is why the entire petition statement was directed towards the male organisers of the event."

Student responses to the announcement have so far been mixed. One John's second year told The Cambridge Student, "This is a male dominated space, and while it may be gender neutral, it is – and will be – inevitably sexualised."

They also added: "Magdalene already has a bad reputation for women, given that it was the final college to accept women, and frankly, this reinforces it."

Another Peterhouse fresher was less concerned: "As long as it's all consensual and above board [sic] I think it should be tolerated."

"I'm not saying it should be encouraged though."