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Prince Charming is nowhere to be found in our toxic sexual landscape

3 13 0
05.05.2019

Well done to Judge Jim Tindal for sentencing Australian-born former Worcestershire cricketer, Alex Hepburn, 23, to five years for rape, summing up the case in the strongest condemnatory terms. While Hepburn’s girlfriend has been criticised for supporting him, she didn’t rape anyone, so let’s stay focused on what he did. After the victim had consensual sex with Hepburn’s teammate, Joe Clarke (who then left and passed out elsewhere), she woke up to find Hepburn assaulting her. That poor young woman – how sickening.

That was rape, but let’s use this space to deal with Hepburn’s repellent but otherwise perfectly legal behaviour elsewhere. In the same week that saw outrage over rape victims being forced to hand over mobile phones for evidence, there emerged Hepburn’s WhatsApp messages to Clarke about their sexual conquest scoring game. “Always been me dragging the birds back. You raping them.” “Oi, last night was my 60th.” “Get them blind and then back to mine.” Some might be inclined to shrug this off: just loutish locker-room posturing, from a young braggart – fairly standard, especially these days? But that’s the problem. Youthful bravado is one thing, an entrenched culture of sexual........

© The Guardian