Ched Evans: blame Operation Yewtree for the hysterical trolls
Janie Turner looks at why Ched Evens is riding high on the news cycle. Ched Evan is, the convicted rapidt looking to return to professional football:
The forces used to stymie Evans’s return to football are extrajudicial, unfair and counter to the principle of rehabilitation of offenders. But this is not mob rule. Evans is simply unfortunate to have committed his crime at a moment when attitudes to rape and sexual violence have undergone a sudden, profound shift.
There is a thesis to be written about how our national consciousness was changed by the official reports and Operation Yewtree trials that followed Jimmy Savile’s death. Week after week, we were battered with revelations about the depravity of celebrated men. Avuncular stars, whose TV shows we loved as kids, who our mums would have trusted to take us out in their Rollers…
Being bombarded by these trials and reminded of an era when rape was brushed over, when copping a feel was a boss’s right, has, I believe, affected many British women. It not only made them angry; it made them bold. No longer would they let men, especially famous ones, act with impunity…
Ched was not the first. He just got soaked when the weather changed. Football is famous for young men who believe their wealth and status gives them licence to be sexual predators. What Evans did in a hotel room with his friend Clayton McDonald, who was cleared, was a “roasting”: several such footballer gang-bang/gang-rapes have come close to prosecution before.
Roasting has a modus operandi: find a drunk submissive girl (“I got a bird,” McDonald texted Evans, who rushed round with mates to video it); take turns to have sex with her; discard without care. If the FA won’t ban convicted rapists, maybe the tale of Ched Evans, the clubless pariah, who wasn’t even saved by his girlfriend’s daddy’s giant chequebook, might make them think twice.
So much for the climate. But the crime remains the same. What’s changed is the online petitioners are trolling Ched Evans, using his notoriety to prove their worth. The worrying thing is that the fevered and hysterical tone of reporting on the matter stymie debate and enforces a single view.