The story of Ched Evans, the rapist footballer, continues to find its way into the news as yet more foul behaviour is unearthed. The survivor of this rape was named by rape apologists and bombarded with vitriol and death threats, all because there continues to be a culture which supports rapists.
The survivor has been forced to leave the country due to the shit she has been getting, which is, ultimately, the endgame for rape apologists. They want rapists to continue to go on raping, and part of this entails making it as awful as possible for survivors to come forward. Meanwhile, a prominent rape apologist remains unrepentant, refusing to acknowledge that naming and smearing a survivor of rape was wrong, and that paying compensation was the “last thing” she wanted to do, putting it behind such horrors as genocide, war, poverty, and, you know, being raped, to name but a few things that paying compensation to a rape survivor you smeared and hounded out of the country is worse than.
This is a grotesque picture of what rape apologism does and the sort of people who engage in this to a stronger-than-average degree.
And of course Twitter and Facebook are being blamed for this, particularly by the Star and Telegraph, but this is missing the point entirely. That was just the medium through which this viciousness occurred. We don’t see people queuing up to ban conversations when a death threat occurs verbally, nor do we see vociferous calls for regulation of the postal service if someone receives a vicious letter.
The fact is, this shit was always there, and unless the root problem–rape culture–is tackled, it will continue to be there. One can close down Twitter, and they’ll continue to perpetuate their beliefs in words, and in deeds, and they’ll keep on writing shit that contributes to it in newspaper columns and the powerful will use the legal system to keep survivors silent.
Because that is the problem. There’s a culture that defends rapists, and it’s not going anywhere unless it’s challenged.
What we need to talk about is not “how should Twitter be regulated, and how shall we punish people?” but, rather, “why do some people defend rapists? Why do some people defend rapists so vociferously that they hound survivors out of the country? What can we do to overturn this culture of violence?”
I continue to be alarmed and disgusted by some of the shit that I see, some of the things people believe and the lengths they’ll go to keep rapists raping. This is why I want to attack the cause rather than the symptoms.