Sometimes, anger and disbelief can only be articulated sufficiently through intense, overwrought sarcasm. In other news, praise be for Ched Evans, Patron Saint of Women everywhere.
Remember Ched Evans? Convicted and then cleared of rape, Ched Evans? Apparently he was also a footballer and has recently resigned for Sheffield United. Well he’s back in the angry public eye having expressed his opinion on women’s safety despite zero women, ever, giving a single fuck what he has to say on the matter.
Having been found guilty and then innocent of the rape of a teenage woman deemed too drunk to consent, it’s illegal to call Ched Evans a rapist. So I won’t. However I will call him a misogynist prick.
And here’s why. During the second trial, Evans admitted having sex with the woman who consequently accused him of rape. The nineteen year old had met and returned to the hotel of Evans‘ teammate Clayton McDonald, who apparently invited him to join them. As the grim details of the case unfolded, Evans admitted not having spoken to the woman before, during or after the incident – consent apparently being given through McDonald. During this time, two friends who had arrived at the hotel with Evans were outside watching and trying to film the incident through a window. An Officer and a Gentleman this is not.
The incident ended when McDonald left the room and Evans “realised” he was cheating on his girlfriend. A man only too happy to have sex with a drunk woman without any prior conversation or introduction, immediately after his friend, felt uncomfortable with being left alone in her presence. Only then did he feel he was doing something wrong or unethical though not, importantly, illegal – perhaps it’s not cheating if you have an audience? Perhaps his sexual interest actually lay in McDonald, with whom he admitted having previously had a threesome in 2009? Who knows? Personally, I’d be perfectly happy never to hear any details of Evans’ motives, ethics or opinions ever again.
But here’s the thing. Evans was convicted and later cleared of rape. He has returned to professional football with a £10,000 per week pay cheque. His girlfriend and now mother of his child is still with him. His guilt has been cleared.
But the facts remain that he treated a young woman repulsively. No, two young women, because his girlfriend can’t be disregarded in this despite her choice to stay with him after admitting his infidelity in the most public forum. But that’s not all.
Having experienced the trauma of two rape trials and imprisonment, Evans spoke out about sexual crime – not to warn rapists of the consequences of their actions, but to warn women that they are “putting themselves in danger” by drinking too much.
Evans told reporters:
“I also think that women need to be made aware of the dangers they can put themselves in because there are genuine rapists out there who prey on girls who have been drinking.“
Hold the fucking phone.
We’re in danger? Women are putting themselves at risk? Well why didn’t anyone say so? Jesus, you’d think this is the kind of shit we girls would natter to each other about in the ladies or at sleepovers or over cocktails while drink ourselves into vulnerability. How is this totally new information? I am a 28 year old woman, why has no one ever consistently warned me for nearly three decades that I may be putting myself at risk by drinking too much? By wearing revealing clothes? Or a school uniform? By walking alone at night? Or during the day? I mean, surely the Daily Mail should do something about this??
Thank the lord for Ched Evans, Patron Saint of women everywhere, for selflessly advocating for our safety and educating us on consent.
Speaking of consent… No.
No Ched Evans. You do not get to tell women how they may or may not be putting themselves at the risk of rape or sexual assault or harassment. You, who claim to have been victimised by the police and the press, who used the previous sexual history of the young woman against her to prove your innocence – a young woman, who incidentally, has had to move repeatedly to escape the hounding of Evans’ fans after her name was revealed on the internet. You do not get to pontificate about the danger women put themselves in when they drink too much. The only thing that puts women at a greater risk of being raped is rapists.
And if two rape trials and two and half years in prison don’t teach you that, I don’t know what the hell will. Who knows what he hoped to achieve by this public service announcement but it only reinforces the facts – that Ched Evans has no respect for women, no comprehension of what women endure in a society which objectifies, sexualises and then blames them, and no understanding of the danger his words pose to perpetuating that misogyny and the rape culture it has created.