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Footballer's plight

NameNotFound's column

Published time: April 24, 2012 07:33

­Life sucks in a bad way if you happen to live in Britain.

Disclaimer: Only if you are a man of virile age. Being rich and hot-looking makes it worse.

Just ask Ched Evans. The Sheffield United footballer who was all that just a year ago but is now on his way to spend 5 years behind bars for rape.

Rape? Wait, who said "rape"?

The jury, who found Evans guilty said so.

For those who’ve managed to miss the big story that’s rocked Britain during the past few days, let us give you a quick recap. A drunken girl sleeps with two boys. In the morning she discovers that she can't find her purse and goes to the police to report it. The girl says she remembers downing a few shots but she can't remember how she got into the hotel room she woke up in. Police easily find a man who rented the room and his friend – Evans. Both men admit sleeping with the girl but say it was consensual. Never-you-mind says the Crown, and prosecutes them both for statutory rape.

Again. For those who are a little thick and did not get it. The two boys tell the police, "Yes, we had sex with her – but with the girl's consent." Girl says, "I don't remember anything." The Big Momma of the state gets itself involved and says "then it was statutory rape – done."

No allegations of physical force. No coercion – in other words, the two men were not the ones who drank with the girl.

Yet Evans is found guilty.

The most unfathomable, totally making no sense thing about the whole story is the fact that Evans' co-accused, another pro-footballer by the name of Clayton McDonald, was found not guilty.

­

"Too drunk to consent"

­You can think whatever you like about the moral standing of the three people involved – aged 19, 23 and 24 respectively ( i.e. old enough to be called grown-up but not mature enough to think, it seems, from the gory details of their night out).

But the last time we checked there was no statute against getting pissed drunk and having a drunken romp. Not in Britain at least.

Because if there were, too many lads to count could be accused of statutory rape after many a pint on a Saturday night.

And yes – do throw a stone in our direction you, who never woke up in an odd bed trying to remember how you got there – and with whom.

So why the heck does the Crown get itself involved and why does the jury deliver a verdict that stuns the whole male half of the country and way beyond?

The less likely reason is because the accused was indeed a golden boy with a 3-million-pound contract waiting and movie star looks. Nobody likes the rich and the successful, but just a few really hate them enough to wreck their lives.

The lads had it coming because they are, well, young men.

Society for cutting up men

­We live in 2012 when men increasingly have no rights.  All the while small but extremely noisy groups appropriate the rights to speak on behalf of women.

  • "Evans Rape Apologists Are A Disgrace To Humanity"
  • "Rape culture is alive and kicking"
  • "Rape convictions in this country are far too low"

­What is this, a call to arms? No – just headlines in some of Britain's newspapers. Does it sound vengeful to you as much as it sounds to us?

They don't have to all be like Valerie Solanas or Eva Lundgren. Some even permit the male species to exist in some defanged form. But too many a woman thinks that somehow men are a source of unfairness and trouble in the world.

The ideas of "Society for Cutting Up Men" are alive and well, kicking. These days primarily in the form of men being guilty as charged.

Asking for equal pay and equal rights is one thing. To hold a grudge against modern men because for generations the male human species was oppressing the female one is another.

When we say “oppressing” we actually mean it – the laws of the land were outright unfair even some hundred years ago, customs were even worse. Should it follow that now it's somehow a woman's turn to exact revenge on men as some defective sub-species, "a disgrace to humanity"?

And who stands to win? Surely not the 19-year-old girl in Evans' story – whose name cannot be named for legal reasons – but whose identity and pictures are freely available on the Internet thanks to social networks.

­

Kill them all, the lord will recognise his own

­Thankfully, nobody slaughters men physically just yet. But when it comes to dealing with gender-related crimes, the radical mentality of Abbot Arnaud might as well be used as a motto.

Alleged rape? Lock him up. Domestic abuse? Lock him up. Alleged sexual harassment at work? Fire him, make him pay damages (and yes,  lock him up if possible).

The police force, prosecutors, judges might have more men than women in their ranks, but it counts for little.

Everyone in the force knows that it could be extremely detrimental to one's career to ignore any complaint of that type – and neither should a complaint be ignored, we agree.

But in today’s society, law enforcement exists not to establish the truth but to isolate the alleged abuser – guilty or innocent matters not.

It's not openly spoken about outside the male locker room – again, for the fear of repercussions. But it does exist and it's getting worse by the year.

Women have nothing to celebrate either. The real rapists and serial wife batterers should be investigated and prosecuted. The problem is, it's so much easier to catch a "rapist" who never thought he was one, than to stalk, catch and prove the guilt of a real sexual predator, especially with the underfunded law enforcement that – like all of us – lives in the age of austerity.

Meanwhile, lads, take our good advice. In documentary film production, every step you take you cover with signed "release forms" – essentially, a written consent to appear in that documentary.

You might as well have a few pre-written on you before you head out to that local pub of yours on Saturday.

­The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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