No one knows her name.
She’s had to change it at least five times, and each time, someone’s found out and she has to run again.
But we all know his; it’s in every newspaper, on the radio at breakfast time, all over Twitter. And not in a good way, but still.
He’s calling it.
He came, he conquered, she vanished.
If the awful, bleak, mutually assured destruction – she briefly destroys his career, he destroys her indefinitely – of the Ched Evans case has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t only talk about rape with shame, but we also talk about women and sex with shame.
Rape is not always rape in the clear-cut way we need it to be. It’s not always a forceful, violent attack, with a psycho villain in a hood with a knife, sometimes it’s a lot of alcohol, a series of bad half-decisions and someone who takes advantage and then runs off down the fire escape of a hotel.
But hey – you don’t choose your rapist.
Sometimes it’s a complicated maze of conscouisness and consent. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of a few blurred lines.
Oh wait. Wasn’t that a song, last year? A couple of young men, high on their own hotness, and a parade of endless naked women?
“You know you want it. Good girl.”
The blurred lines between very drunk and too drunk to remember, the blurred lines between conscious and semi-conscious, between a yes and a not saying no.
Whatever happened that night, she was very drunk. His mate got chatting to her and text him on the way back to the hotel to tell him, “I’ve got a bird.” Like she was something he’s got at a takeaway, except that she is, becuase she fell and he was there to pick her up.
Whatever happened, his friend took her, unsteady on her feet and ‘clearly intoxicated’ to a hotel room.
Whatever happened later, Ched Evans lied to the hotel staff to get into that same room.
Whatever happened, he left her, alone and presumably unaware, in a hotel room in a name that wasn’t hers’, and escaped down the fire exit because he didn’t want to face the shame of leaving through the front door.
Her shame and her distress is irrelevent. Not his problem. And then later, his problem, but not his fault.
Whatever he did or didn’t do to her, he treated her like she was a piece of meat, a nameless conquest who was unlikely to object.
He won’t say sorry. Only to his girlfriend, for cheating on her.
(“Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you.”)
And for now, he can’t play Premiership Football, and she can’t have a name. He’s lost money and time, she hasn’t seen her family in a year. He might get a reaction from the fans, she spends Christmas alone.
(“No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey
Cause now you winning.”)
No means no, but sometimes other things need to mean no, too.
Sex is not a right, ever, even if you are arrogant enought to think it should be.
(“Not many women can refuse this pimpin”)
We need to stop talking about Ched Evans and singing to Robin Thicke, and start talking about all those tiny, infinate blurry lines; about consent, and respect, and sex without shame. We need to talk about those nameless girls, those women silenced by shame and a society that thinks you know you want it. Good girl.