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Ched Evans, rape myths and Medusa's gaze: a story of mirrors and windows

  • David Gurnham (a1)

This paper analyses the visualisation of rape and sexual assault in legal and scholarly language. It begins with a critique of the Court of Appeal ruling in R v. Evans (Chedwyn) and its forensic examination of the details of a female rape complainant's consensual sexual activity with other men. The case is analysed in light of a visual metaphor used by Ellison and Munro to describe the removal of popular misconceptions about rape. The paper contextualises that discussion with reference to the idea of the male gaze and its affirmation of a phallocentric cultural and social world in which the objectification of female difference is entrenched. The paper finally challenges that assessment, however, sketching an alternative approach to visual-critical scholarship that embraces interdisciplinarity and a literary sensibility to break (or at least to loosen) the association between the prurient eye of the male voyeur and the criminal justice gaze.

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International Journal of Law in Context
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