On Saturday in response to the verdict of the Ched Evans trial, the front cover on The Sun lead with the headline “he may be cleared of rape, but as a slimeball who treats women like dirt, Evans is GUILTY”. Really good to see that contains page 3 and has ran front pages on if celebrities have gained weight feels that it can give lectures on treatment of women. Similarly, it is great that the famously feminist Republican Party who don’t even feel that women have the right to choosing whether they have children or not feel that they are the best placed to condemn Trump.
People like The Sun and the Republican establishment hide behind the stereo-typically offensive people like Trump and Evans because it helps them feel better by the fact they encourage sexism at every point. The Sun objectifies women on nearly every page along with much of the press, while The Republicans don’t make any effort to reduce the wage gap and are seemingly determined to bring women’s rights back to the 1960s. The biggest problem about the situation within the Ched Evans trial is that it unfortunately alienates many people who do technically believe in feminism, away from the idea of it.
Yes, the way Evans treats women is disgusting, but the evidence always produced at least reasonable doubt to the charge of rape. People who consider themselves feminists like myself should be less angry with Evans, but more angry with trial as a whole, as it undermines thousands of legitimate claims of rape in today’s society. I know far too many people who believe feminism is man hating rather than the equality of gender. This also crosses into the accusations of sexual assaults against Trump, how many people will claim that it’s all made up for some to make money. This subject was dealt with brilliantly recently on channel 4s National Treasure, about the trial of an aging comedian accused of numerous cases of sexual assault.
As a male feminist myself times like these leads myself to ask my own questions. Am I contributing to sexism when I comment on if I find a girl attractive or watch pornography, or is that expressing sexuality? Does this self awareness make me a better or worse person? Are some people only pro or anti feminist when it suits them, is when it comes to arrangements for paying for meals while dating?
These may all be abstract questions of a man with too much time on his hands. However one thing which may reduce the amount who behave like Trump or Evans in wider society is for institutions like The Sun and the Republican Party not to just be fair-weather feminists and stop it’s double standard behaviour which has helped maintain misogynistic attitudes in modern society.
Update: This article has been fact checked by @RamplingJack