Monday, 17 October 2016

Calling time on Kaye

I suppose it's no surprise that I am, yet again, shocked by Radio Scotland's tame shock-jock. After all, that's what shock-jock's are employed for: to whip up anger by espousing and promoting disgusting views. But this morning, in actively encouraging and providing a platform for rape apologists, she's gone too far.

Full disclosure: I know virtually nothing about the Ched Evans case. I wasn't a witness, I wasn't in court, and I have avoided reading about it. But, as far as I understand it, the following are facts:

  1. A woman went with a man to an hotel room, locked the door, had sex with him, and subsequently fell asleep;
  2. Ched Evans, the accused, fraudulently obtained a key to the room, entered the room, and had sex with the woman;
  3. No-one claims that the woman knew Evans, or had invited him into the room, or was aware that he might enter the room.

I do not know whether the woman consented to sex with Evans. I do not know whether what happened in that room was rape. But I can infer a number of things.

  1. When one goes into an hotel room and locks the door one has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
  2. The woman reported rape to the police the following morning;
  3. Obtaining a key to someone else's room in an hotel by deceit implies a dishonest purpose.

The question of rape is a pretty simple one: did the woman consent to having sex with Evans on this occasion, or did she not?

Whether she had consented to have sex with other men on other occasions is completely irrelevant. Just because you sometimes order an Indian takeaway doesn't entitle the staff of the Tandoori restaurant down the street to break into your house at the dead of night and force feed you Vindaloo.

Whether she was drunk is equally irrelevant. Just because a man is drunk doesn't entitle a woman to break into his house in the dead of night and cut his testicles off.

This is all really very simple. Cutting someone's testicles off is a crime. Raping someone is a crime. Getting drunk is not a crime. Sleeping in a locked hotel room is not a crime.

Yet all through the programme, Ms Adams used language to denigrate the alleged victim - 'not exactly a virgin' while praising the alleged rapist - 'a promising young footballer'. She invited callers to discuss the alleged state of inebriation of the woman. She invited onto the programme as a guest Mike Buchanan, a man who describes himself as 'leader of the Justice for Men and Boys Party', in the sure and certain knowledge that he would be incendiary - which, of course, he was.

This is not, of course, the first time that Kaye Adams has provided a platform for misogyny and hate speech. She's a shock-jock, that's her schtick, it's what she does. But in the welter of misogyny and rape apology so ably documented by Vonny Moyes this morning, it's one time too many.

So here's my complaint to the BBC Trust.

Unacceptable bias towards rape apologists

On Kaye Adams phone in this morning many derogatory and defamatory comments have been made about the person and character of the alleged victim in the recent Ched Evans rape case in Wales. The presenter herself described the alleged victim as 'not exactly a virgin', while an invited guest, Mike Buchanan, justified rape on the basis that the alleged victim should not have been drunk.

This is unacceptable. The law of rape does not exist to protect virgins. It exists to protect all women, whatever their state of inebriation and whatever their sexual history, against unwanted sex.

Ms Adams described Mr Evans as 'a promising young footballer whose life is now in tatters'

What of the alleged victim? Is her life not also in tatters? Did this programme, in which a BBC employee further traduced her reputation and led others on to do so, not further injure her? This is so far beyond what is acceptable for a publicly funded, public service broadcaster that I am rendered almost speechless.

I recommend you take Kaye Adams programme off air immediately, and replace it tomorrow with an hour-long abject apology.
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