I was just minding my own business, casually reading the paper on my morning commute, when sexism was served up to me right on platform number 2, hours before the watershed.
Metro was reporting that a BBC radio presenter by the name of Nick Conrad had descended a few rungs on the evolutionary chain, and advised women to ‘keep their knickers on’ if they wished to avoid rape. Wow! If only the 85,000 women in England and Wales who are raped every year had been given that advise, so many poor rape convicts would be roaming free.
The caveman, I mean commentator, went further; suggesting that the poor male gender simply cannot help themselves when faced with the fairer sex: “it’s very difficult for many men to say “no” when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.” Those poor rapists, taunted by female beauty at every turn.
The disease of victim blaming is not confined to the airwaves. Football ex-con Ched Evans has been granted his freedom, whilst the woman he has been convicted of raping has been forced into hiding, due to torrents of abuse from fans of her attacker.
The victim has changed her identity at least once after persistent persecution on social media, whilst the rehiring of the former golden boy is discussed by the sporting world. So, criminals must be forgiven whilst victims must don new names to escape the angry mob, really?
Even the female celebrity falls victim to the misogynistic undercurrent, persecuted for sharing intimate photos with lovers and imagining that their private missives will remain so. ‘If you don’t want the world to see, turn off the camera’ preach the angry hoards, forgetting all human rights in their judgement of the feminine.
Murderers are not excused for being baited by their antagonist former comrades (‘but magistrate, he swore at me, I had to shoot him’), and the victims of theft are not judged for parading their wealth before the impoverished (‘if you don’t want it taken, don’t let me see it stupid!).
However it has become commonplace to blame rape victims for their suffering. They wore a skirt too short, a top too low, were a little too flirty or simply out too late.
And now Nick Conrad has gone a step further and claimed that we verbally taunt men into sex crimes. How long before each female is gagged bound and covered to avoid antagonising those sweet little potential rapists who just can’t help themselves?
No. It’s not us, it’s you. If you can’t control the equipment I hear castration is amazingly affective, whatever a girl wears.
It’s our body and should be able to say, wear and do whatever we want whenever we want (barring psychopathic tendencies, etc,.) without fear of abuse. Our body, our rules. Neanderthals need not apply.
Oh and the sting in the tale of the story? Nick Conrad has a baby daughter. I have two words for the potentially provocative infant: Good luck!
Written by Hannah Cooper (MA Journalism student of Birkbeck College)