Since Ched Evan’s rape conviction was overturned something has struck me. Something remarkable.
Men are THRILLED. Not just thrilled, they’re championing him as a hero. They’re determined to force women to agree it was the right choice. They’re aggressively arguing against women who speak against his behaviour. They’re hashtagging IAmChed.
Ched Evans. The Men’s Hero.
Ched Evans is legally not guilty of rape. So what is he guilty of? He’s guilty of cheating on his fiancee. He is guilty of having sex with a teenage girl who was too intoxicated to speak. He is guilty of entering the hotel room in the dark where his friend was having sex with her, having sex with her himself, then leaving without speaking to her before, during or after. He is guilty of having his friends film the incident outside the hotel window without her knowledge. He is guilty of having sex with her without caring whether or not she wanted him to. He is guilty of using a woman as a sexual object for his own gratification. He is guilty of having sex with a heavily intoxicated teenager.
So, he might not be a rapist, but he’s a terrible person.
So why are men so caught up in a frenzy?
Because they aren’t lying. They are Ched.
They’re men who think if a woman gets drunk she deserves what she gets. They’re men who think if a woman gets drunk they have a right to violate her body. They’re men who have been accused of taking advantage of drunken women in the past and now feel validated.
They’re men who believe their desire to fuck a woman is worth more than a woman’s desire not to be fucked. They’re men who believe women are liars and not to be trusted. They’re men who believe woman are sluts and slags and slappers.
They’re men who, if they had the chance, would have done the same thing. They’re men who are jealous. They’re men who want to get a chance in the future. They’re men who now know it’s okay to target drunk and vulnerable women who are too intoxicated to consent.
They’re men who are happy that sex without consent no longer constitutes rape.
Do you know what I want to say to them?
Fuck you every time you pretend to be disgusted by Donald Trump whilst you secretly admire him.
Fuck you every time you encounter a drunk woman and think it’s her own fault if someone rapes her.
Fuck you every time you hear that a woman has been abused and you suspect she’s lying.
Fuck you every time your sister or daughter or wife gets offended by things you say offhand but doesn’t bother arguing because they won’t get anywhere.
Fuck you every time you get drunk and feel safe.
Fuck you every time you assume the person you’re having sex with wants it, without bothering to ask.
Fuck you every time a gay man checks you out and you feel violated.
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.
YOU are the reason we don’t come forward. YOU are the reason so many men get away with it. YOU are the reason the women in your life don’t trust you.
YOU are the reason we feel ashamed and disgusted with ourselves, rather than with the men who abuse us.
This isn’t about celebrating an innocent man walking free.
You don’t celebrate when convicted murderers are found innocent. You don’t hound and abuse the families of their accusers. You don’t abuse and fight against those who speak out against the murder itself.
This is about celebrating the validation of every disgusting thought, desire or choice you’ve ever made.
You are Ched. And I hope the women in your life find out fast. Because that makes you dangerous.
If you have any thoughts, please let me know. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and you can find my details on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, as well as links to the books I’ve written and Podcasts I speak on at www.sirenstories.co.uk