Nick Conrad: BBC Norfolk presenter says women 'should keep their knickers on' during Ched Evans debate

Radio DJ is slammed for claiming 'it is very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm' 

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The Independent Online

A BBC radio presenter has been forced to apologise after he said women should "keep their knickers on" to avoid giving men "the wrong signals" during a debate over convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Nick Conrad, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, made the comments during a live discussion about the footballer's case.

Evans, 25, was released from prison last month after serving half of a five-year jail term for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room. He continues to protest his innocence and has been allowed to train with his old club again.

During the discussion Conrad suggested women are "partially responsible" if they "jump into bed naked with a man [and] give him all the signals and then he acts upon them".

He argued women should be “more aware” of men’s sexual desires and claimed: “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”.

It is “very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm”, he continued.

"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 must be condemned if a woman says no and they persist then that's absolutely abhorrent," he added.

"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."

Conrad wrapped up his argument by 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?"

A BBC Radio Norfolk spokesman told the Eastern Daily Press there had been no formal complaints by Tuesday evening and said Conrad made it clear during the debate that rape is an "abhorrent act".

However, he said BBC management has advised Conrad that some of his comments were very ill-judged. "He has apologised for any offence that may have been caused," the spokesperson added.

Katie Russell, a spokesperson for Rape Crisis, condemned Conrad's remarks, which she says show "there are still a number of pervasive and harmful myths around sexual violence in our society".

She said: "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 as well as women.

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