The other day, Welsh international footballer Ched Evans raped a teenager. His friend, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald had sex with her.
Is there any difference between the terms, seeing that both men claimed it was consensual? Does it make any difference that she was drunk at the time, and that she has no memory at all of what happened, perhaps because one or more of her drinks (allegedly wine, double vodkas with lemonade and a Sambuca shot) had been spiked?
The Court held that Evans was guilty of rape, and sentenced him to five years in prison; McDonald was deemed ‘not guilty’ of rape.
Sheffield United player Connor Brown sought to ‘defend’ his friend by calling the victim ‘a money-grabbing little tramp’. He then went on to use bad English and worse words in his Twitter account to insult the girl, but later removed his posts.
The aura of the rich, the powerful, the handsome, the popular, and those who consider themselves above the law, sometimes translates into these wannabe studs (correctly) thinking they can pick and choose women for sex. Some go even further and expect the women to think they are being done a favour, and, hence, no type of compensation to her would be due.
This, essentially, means that any girl who decides to complain – or, heaven forbid – press charges later, will automatically be branded a bitch, a liar, or a gold-digger, and sometimes all three at once.
Consider, for a moment, the current crisis assailing the American Secret Service.
About 11 Secret Service agents brought prostitutes back to their rooms while they were preparing the venue for President Obama’s arrival for the Summit of the Americas. Although such doings are illegal, the police in the area have some ‘tolerance zones’ – which apparently are both in the concrete and in the abstract.
However, as it happened, one of the women refused to leave the premises after 7.00am, as is the praxis. But she had a reason; she had not been paid adequately for services rendered. And this is, basically, what lit the fuse that exploded the bomb that blew the story open.
There will always be teachers who will try to din into students’ minds that ‘sluts’ (read a girl who has sex before she is married, with one person or more) are merely fornicators with a more modern name.
There will always be people like Albert Locher, the Sacramento County District Attorney, who actually arrest rape victims to make sure they are present to testify against their aggressors.
But the worst thing of all is that there are a whole slew of myths, masquerading as reasons, why many people do not accept that rape would have happened.
We are asked to believe that it’s not rape if the woman: didn’t put up a fight; had been with another man twenty-four hours before or after the attack; had no signs of violence on her body; has an active sex life; is a prostitute ‘anyway’; is old, and ugly, and might not otherwise have had sex; is a lesbian; is young and attractive, and therefore a temptation; did not know what was happening anyway; ordered, tempted or dared the man to have sex; uses birth-control; was dating the man; was dressed indecently; was drinking to make herself lose her inhibitions; was not supposed to be where she was; or went to his place of her own volition.
Moreover, if “her no obviously meant yes”; if the sex was consensual, and / or the man used a prophylactic; or of the act happened in her house or a neutral place, we are supposed to think that the woman is crying wolf as well as rape.
These conditions nicely cover just about any situation, do they not?
As far as I am concerned, a “slut” is someone who uses sex-related accusations to lie about a man for her own ends – when no sex at all would have taken place.
Yet it remains a sad fact of life that in most countries, sex crimes are treated differently from other types of crimes.
If you sell stolen goods, you are guilty of that. If you help someone hide a murdered body, you are an accessory after the fact. In a nutshell, if you aid and abet someone in a crime, you have to pay the penalty.
Just because someone entices you to commit murder, fraud, theft, or perjury, you do not just play along willy-nilly. Whether the issue involves stealing a car for joy-riding, beating up someone, robbing a house, doing drugs, or jumping off a cliff, it cuts no ice to tell the judge that “peer pressure” made you comply.
Yet sex between consenting adults is sometimes considered all right; especially if it is the word of one person ‘with a reputation’ against an abuser who may or may not be in collusion with other witnesses.
Incidentally, most women who have had unwanted sexual relations, inclusive of rape, usually go home to scrub themselves physically clean from their emotional trauma.
This, too, may count against them – because they are ‘supposed’ to hie off for an examination that would document evidence of any kind available.