Ah, the Ched Evans debate. Causing people everywhere to shout their mouths off (be patient, I shall be joining them in a minute), whether it be in defence of the man or if you just want to tell everyone what a vile arse-biscuit he is. Nick Conrad is one such person. On Monday the BBC Radio Norfolk DJ (well, there’s one reason not to take the guy seriously) held a debate on whether the former Sheffield United player should be able to return to the club after being convicted of rape, a crime which he has shown no remorse for whatsoever. Conrad attempted to persuade his listeners that if a woman says no and a man persists, then this is an abhorrent action. Unfortunately, he had preceded and then followed this comment with remarks such as this:
“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. And it’s the old adage about if you yank a dog’s tail 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.”
Conrad also went on to talk about how ‘man-hating’ feminists had ‘hijacked’ the Evans debate (to be fair, he did say the use of the word ‘hijack’ was extreme) and referred to ‘grey areas’ of rape.
Being the outspoken gobshite I am, I had a number of thoughts on this issue. Firstly, as has been stated in many opinion pieces in British newspapers on the subject, Conrad’s views on sex and sexuality are long, long, long out of date and, to put it bluntly, fucking bollocks. A woman needs to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire? I think women have been aware, since the beginning of fucking time. The same as we have been aware of our own, which is just as strong, just as potent, sometimes just as all-consuming as a man’s sexual desire. We just don’t feel the need to bloody parade it around so much. Hell, I’m female and I’ve yet to have a boyfriend who can keep up with me in the bedroom. Conrad makes the mistake of thinking that if a man is horny, the only way of resolving the matter is get to his end away there and then, with the person who ignited the horniness. Bullshit. Take a cold shower. Watch some porn and beat off. Visit a prostitute. There are other options.
Conrad also seems to be of the presumption that if a woman teases a man, then he has automatic rights to her body. Sorry pal, but it’s no-go there, either. Yes, a minority of women are prick-teases, leading a man into thinking he’s going to have sex with her. But you forget one very important thing: teasing a man is not illegal; rape is. Just because a woman makes a man think he’s going to have sex does not give him the entitlement to have it. I’m not saying she’s morally correct; I think it’s a shitty thing to do. But one immoral action does not make an illegal one right. Still having problems controlling your libido? Think about this: Peter Sutcliffe didn’t feel he could stop himself murdering women because he was on a mission from God. Does that absolve him?
There is also the mistaken belief that rape is about desire. Rape is not about desire. It is a vile, violent act with the intent of dominating the person being violated, whether it be a woman or a man. It is a repulsive act perpetrated by individuals who believe it is their right to have control over someone else. Conrad’s comments make it sound like every man has the capacity to be like this. They don’t. Most men have the ability to keep their sex drives in check and to actually have respect for other human beings. Most men know that if a woman says no, at any point, whether it be in the bar or in bed with the man, then it means no. In rape, there are no grey areas.
And then we come to the ‘feminist’ argument. Feminists have been getting a bad wrap in the news of late, what with the Ched Evans and Dr Matt Taylor debates. According to some downright disgusting dickwads that call themselves supporters of Ched Evans, Jessica Ennis deserves to be raped herself, just because she opposes his return to Sheffield United. Which just shows how fucking seriously the crime of rape is taken by some sad, pathetic excuses of human beings. But Jessica Ennis is one extreme example. If you look at a lot of news stories where women have spoken out against bad treatment against them, there is often a comeback of ‘those bloody feminists’. Well, we’re so fucking sorry for not wanting to have our human rights violated. But that’s beside the point. In the case of Nick Conrad, he should not have even brought up feminists. Rape is not a feminist issue. It is not even a women’s issue. It is an issue for all of society to contend with, regardless of gender.
People have obviously complained about Conrad’s comments and have called for his sacking from the radio station. A bit harsh, considering he has obviously realised what a numpty he’s been and has since apologised. I actually feel sorry for Conrad. Having listened to the show, he doesn’t seem to be a bad sort. And let’s face it, his views are shared by many people. This does not, however, make it right for him to think it. But we can’t blame him. We are living in a society that likes to attack individual people for their views when actually the rest of society is not that much fucking better. We live in a society where a very small percentage of rape cases lead to conviction, and that’s only the ones that are reported and taken to court: I don’t even want to think about the number which aren’t. We live in a society where people think that if a woman is drunk, or is wearing a skirt which is considered a shade too short, or if she is openly flirtatious, then she only has herself to blame if she is raped. Nick Conrad is not the one to blame here. Society is.