UK

Ched Evans Rape Row Sparks Further Fury After BBC Presenter Tells Women To 'Keep Their Knickers On'

19/11/2014 12:20 GMT | Updated 19/11/2014 12:59 GMT

The BBC has had to issue a grovelling apology after a radio presenter said women should "keep their knickers on" while discussing convicted rapist and footballer Ched Evans.

Nick Conrad, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, made the comments in a live debate about the former Sheffield United striker, who has provoked an outcry after returning to train with the club.

Mr Conrad said: "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire that when you're in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there's a huge amount of energy in the male body, there's a huge amount of will and intent, and it's very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.

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Ched Evans

"And it's the old adage about if you yank a dog's tale then don't be surprised when it bites you.

"Or you can't keep snakes in the garden and think they'll only bite your neighbours."

He went on to suggest feminists had "hijacked" or "jumped on" the debate and appear to be "anti-men".

"The onus has to be on the men and the men have to be condemned if a woman says no and they persist then that's absolutely abhorrent," he added.

nick conrad

"But they then (feminists) in their fury against men and masculinity they actually forget to stop and say if you tease, if you jump into bed naked with a man if you give him all the signals and then he acts upon them then you are partially responsible."

He concluded his comments saying: "What I'm trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals he'll wish to act upon them and if you don't wish to give out the wrong signals it's best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him. Does that make sense?"

His comments provoked a furious response from listeners, who likened the Norfolk presenter to Alan Partridge.

Jessica Asato, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, joined calls on Twitter for Mr Conrad to apologise on air.

She added: "Comments by BBC Norfolk presenter are demeaning and crass towards women."

Katie Russell, spokeswoman for Rape Crisis England and Wales, said: "This episode is yet another example of how the current debate around convicted rapist Ched Evans' potential return to professional football has highlighted a range of much broader, problematic issues.

"It makes clear that there are still a number of pervasive and harmful myths around sexual violence in our society, as well as a lot of sexism.

"The idea that men's sexual desires render them incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, or of respecting another person's right to choose what happens to their body, is unfounded, outdated and offensive to men.

"The idea that women should take responsibility for men's sexuality is equally insulting to both men and women and, in this context, fails to put the blame for sexual violence squarely where it belongs, that is solely and entirely with its perpetrator."

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She added that such myths contribute to an environment in which, while 85,000 women and 10,000 men are raped in England and Wales every year, only 15% of them currently choose to report to the police.

"We know that high up among the reasons for this incredibly low reporting rate are survivors' fear of not being believed or of being blamed for what has happened to them," she said.

"People in the public eye making ignorant comments such as these only compounds those fears."

A BBC Radio Norfolk spokesman told the Eastern Daily Press there had been no formal complaints.

But he added: "As part of a wide ranging discussion where Nick invited the listeners to talk frankly about the Ched Evans case, he made it clear that rape is an abhorrent act.

"BBC management has made it clear to Nick that some of his comments were very ill-judged and he has apologised for any offence that may have been caused."

Ched Evans Prison Release