Trigger warning: This post discusses rape apologism. It also quotes Brendan O’Neill.
We all know by now that Brendan O’Neill is a weeping syphilitic chode. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that his latest chancre-ooze pertains to the Ched Evans case and he is wrong wrong and wrong again.
Now, there’s a pleasant surprise in the article–if, by pleasant surprise you were expecting someone to shit into your mouth when they merely piss in your eyes–Brendan O’Neill doesn’t just come out and say “I HATE WOMEN I HATE WOMEN I HATE WOMEN” (or some variant thereof; the chode is a known rape apologist). Instead, he chooses to focus largely on anonymity of survivors in rape cases. Naturally, he’s against that, comparing it to being exactly the same as people tweeting about the Ryan Giggs superinjunction.
Anyone who is above penes-wider-than-they-are-long-so-infected-with-the-Great-Pox-they-drip-pus-everywhere in the evolutionary scale will recognise that a footballer trying to cover up the fact he put his dick somewhere he shouldn’t is rather different from throwing the survivor of a traumatic crime into a torrent of the abuse inherent in rape apologism. Brendan O’Neill, of course, isn’t.
His first two arguments for abolishing anonymity in rape cases are the standard ones which system justifiers will trot out to appear reasonable, and are essentially cramming the tongue deep into the ringpiece of archaic statutes. They are therefore too tedious to repeat. What is more interesting is chode-face’s final argument:
And thirdly, and worst of all, having anonymity for rape complainants contributes to the idea that women who have been raped have something to be ashamed of. It actually adds to the stigma attached to being a rape victim.
[irrelevant example snipped]
But women who have been raped have nothing whatsoever to be ashamed of. They are simply victims of a terrible crime, not stigmatised individuals whose names must never be spoken in polite conversation. The women’s rights activists who defend anonymity for rape complainants are giving credence to the idea that rape victims must be treated as uniquely damaged individuals who must remain hidden behind a permanent veil of anonymity.
Brendan O’Neill is concern-trolling, pretending to have the interests of women firmly at heart. Nadine Dorries often utilises a similar approach when she claims to be “pro-woman” rather than “pro-life”.
And it is entirely false. Anonymity in rape cases is an option, and, given the reaction towards women who have the misfortune of being raped by someone well-liked, it is an option many choose to hold on to. It enables survivors to report their rapes without the fear of abuse and humiliation. There is a stigma surrounding rape, but that is absolutely nothing to do with anonymity for the proportionally microscopic number of cases that make it to court; it is everything to do with rape apologism and rape culture.
Couching the position in false concern is at best completely misguided, and, being familiar with O’Neill’s drippings, more likely highly disingenuous. To remove this protection for survivors would serve only rapists, who can sleep a little safer in the knowledge that people will be less likely to report and their cheerleaders will tear any who do to shreds.