I deem Ched Evans’ case curious as the crime he apparently committed has highlighted an issue, which is chilling for people concerned with the ideas of this case and those who see no debate in rape. In summary many supporters of the outcome claim his causation within it can justify the sentence and treatment he has received. We have witnessed this in the past months given by the Media, Football Clubs & personnel and judgement of the general public. Some may question this point, of highlighting the demonisation of his Character, asking why this worries people as he is a convicted rapist. For most people debating such a crime is not something you can discuss. Whilst the other “controversial” side either argues the case was confusing and unfair or they tackle the argument beyond the immediate case, attempting to refute accusations of rape apology and extreme claims such as any man in defence of Ched Evans is just as guilty as he is as they are accepting rape culture.
The whole situation shares such a divided stance since rape is a crime that we can all understand the severity of – and I feel this is only fuelling a passion against each opposing party. This divide of opinion overlooks the point, that a woman felt wronged and her convicted abuser still feels and claims innocence. Within reason the ideas surrounding this whole scenario which I feel can and must be understood in order for us to progressively discuss unwanted occurrences like this in our Society could work to the benefit of us all. Not only protecting ourselves by advocating proper conduct in respect of others and or alienating those who seemingly do not understand. Claiming all Feminists are blinded by hate for men – idiotically offering sweeping statements, making men feel like rapists in what appears to many of us as questionable scenarios and so on. Hence in this article I shall present my ideas, not proposing fact but opening discussion in hope of achieving a healthy insight of many relevant perspectives concerning rape and this case.
Do men like Ched Evans deserve our sympathy?
Well, that depends. “You apologist” – I am honestly just pointing out, it depends. Certainly after reading the case I sympathised with him for a moment. It appears that the liability for sexual intercourse to be considered rape is a thin line of consent you cannot always identify, as a man and a woman. Arguably he was idiotic to even partake in such a gathering. I see such an action as a result of you personally, unless a moment of madness or intoxication. Respect concerning another is important, you are not entitled to handling another. To go out of your way to entertain a sexual meeting without knowing someone involved, witnessing her in whatever state and overlooking the idea of consent, also whilst being in a relationship maybe highlights a lack of respect for women on Evans’ part. Nevertheless his attitude is not why I am writing this. Understandably the sympathy people are voicing will be confusing to those who simply find him guilty, I will try and explain where it comes from. As a man in this current climate of social awareness, especially concerning the opposite sex, witnessing advocates define what can be considered rape is personally alarming. On one hand it definitely should not be as nobody should commit such a crime, but the other is the fear of uncertainty. This raises the question, why should you be uncertain of what can be considered rape? It also suggests that these considerations being proposed could conflict with moments in the past of those who are uncertain.
The countless sexual encounters amidst new Laws concerning rape alongside the unpredictability of people in terms of how they felt about the situation, unsure whether they regret it – and if this regret is enough to diminish the original consent to sex invites this uncertainty to dwell on the minds of those who almost have no say in the matter after the action. I have witnessed this myself, been in scenarios where me and my partner at the time have by no means been sober but we waited to ensure ourselves we wanted this, and it seems a lot of people’s response to such in brief is Blurred Lines. I wrote a bit concerning this a while ago (http://issuu.com/theurbanrevolution/docs/issue5_-_august_2013), and in summary this short contribution of mine regarding the topic of misogyny highlights the sexual persuasiveness we have become accustomed to as an enticing or commendable way to approach someone. Rape, or rather I should say forceful intercourse or whatever you want to call it, is seen as a fetish for some. I have met people who state the idea of it excites them and they would be willing to role-play such a scenario. Each to their own, I understand the deviance or rather realness of sexual preference and the depth of pornography. Another more recent example is 50 Shades Of Grey, I am not into erotica – yet I gathered from observing the aftermath of readers and reviews that this book captures this coerciveness as empowering, some readers aspiring to be involved in similar romance and or sexual domination. This could be a reach and I am not trying to preach against these behaviours or stories yet glorifying and trivialising these methods plays with that line of consent despite the intention mostly being not to harm.
Hence this approach to a partner with intention to engage in anything more than the usual has become more intimidating than ever for me. Maybe this is the way it should be, as I personally believe encroaching on the space of another is a breach of some natural rights we have as beings. It is not hard to ensure consent, coerciveness and unnecessarily convincing for me is another way of masking doubts which most of the time remains. There is still that thin line – which as I said you cannot really identify. I do not think Ched Evans identified what he was doing as wrong by consent, hence his demand for innocence. Even a refusal to acknowledge wrong doing, many convinced that apologetic behaviour would see him duly forgiven. Contrasting it with the malicious assaults we identify as rape some attempt to weigh the seriousness considering how it all occurred. That being said how do you convince a man he is in the wrong when he is now an infamous criminal, who cannot attempt to get a job without media coverage and someone identifying him as a rapist whilst he believes he is innocent? Understanding the disgust we mostly share of rapists the thought of being considered one myself welcomes an unfathomable despair. Although, I say again, Ched Evans actions were daft and he should have considered her intoxication, despite some of the case experts claiming at the time the effects of it should not have impaired her judgement to the extent of not remembering by that time. We must do more to confirm what we want.
So how does this bring about sympathy?
I cannot help but feel the idea of leering eyes, calculating every sentence in the article which leans toward apologist behaviour in support of those who commit it. That is not the case or intention. Although we have heard of a situation involving a woman who felt wronged by a man and claimed she was raped in order to see him suffer. Jailed and brought to justice the man managed to avoid the false pretense. Personally I would rather be a Mass Murderer than a Rapist, the stigma attached to it is less – I’ll fall into mental mystery and character assassination instead of sheer unshakeable disgust. That considered this crime should not be used as a weapon, the case above associates Ched Evans with the worst men. Me pointing this out is not attempting to take away from the victim and restore the respect for Evans but highlighting the seriousness we have ascribed to this offence, identifying the truly immoral and maybe segregating them from the unknowingly guilty. I feel with terms like rapist it carries so much stigma which is definitely understandable by the crime. However to the uninformed about specific cases this carries the same implication that effects the convicted like Evans, who I now see in the wrong but feel harsh in associating him with others. So I want to throw out a question poll alongside another article about a convicted rapist. Should there be different considerations for the crime?
I am no Student of Law, so I do not know if there already is. But like with physical or mental harm, battery, assault, threatening, ABH, GBH and so on – we understand the difference in level of it all hence we do not sweep it under one idea but several with different considerations for the sentencing. In this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3131895/Rapist-released-halfway-sentence-went-attack-three-parole-including-two-schoolgirls-raped-boys-with.html – a serial rapist who carried out half a sentence for it before was released, maybe with no rehabilitation as he went on to commit a string of offences and sexual assaults. This is revolting, and I read elsewhere he is eligible for parole in 8 years. My fear is that such people cannot be rehabilitated, and understandably the frustration of this rotating system even calls for men like this to be put down. So a question I want to ask is, what you guys believe in regarding rape. Considering the case of Ched Evans if you understood it, other scenarios, and a general outlook on the punishments:
Should there be difference sentences and names for rape to segregate stigma?
Should we offer compulsory rehabilitation and education in Schools regarding rape?
How does it even get to this stage?
There is a variety of ways rape occurs, I cannot tell you them all but I see an angle at which emits the idea of sexual dominance. Sexual deviance surrounds us. Hinted and imprinted within the mind throughout life, until you find yourself sexually out of control and enticed to the extent one overlooks – I assume, did all these digs of being sexualised encourage us to be so willing to commit such a crime or is it simply an unreasonable trait of Humanity. I mean, from the childlike humourous persistance of Johnny Bravo, to the suaveness of James Bond, who was recently described as a misogynist by his own actor. The never ending sexual heated pictures, gifs and vines. Realising people as sexual beings instead of Human beings with feelings and a mind. The effort to impose yourself on someone so confidently to get what you want, willing to over step the mark, and the weight of the effect of rape on that person who may be too fearful to report or consider it in such a way. How many people have you convinced to sleep with you by the guile of game, have you ever questioned if they feel ashamed? Should we be denying that paranoia, even asking that question of our previous partner? We must do better, and take away from the idea of entitlement by teaching proper conduct regarding others. Why can’t we have a discussion about sex without some standard of getting it being met? Safety is a priority, ensuring you have entire authority to really handle someone in such a way is a way to protect both of you.