Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Why Nick Ross really is a nightmare when it comes to rape victims

Ross remarks on rape...File photo dated 13/1/2002 of broadcaster Nick Ross who was forced to defend himself today over controversial remarks suggesting "rape isn't always rape". PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday May 26, 2013. The former Crimewatch presenter made the comments in his new book, serialised in the Mail on Sunday, in which he claimed half of all women who have had penetrative sex unwillingly do not think they were raped. See PA story MEDIA Ross. Photo credit should read: Yui Mo/PA Wire ...a

It's every woman's worst nightmare – to be walking home late at night when Nick Ross leaps unprovoked out of the shadows and starts shouting his mouth off about rape.

Under the guise of exploding PC myths in his new book Crime, Ross rattles on like a bar-room bore about how society has "gone too far" and "rape isn't always rape".

Clearing his throat, the former Crimewatch presenter asks: "Since it almost always involves a male assailant, rape is one of the defining issues for radical feminism ... Rape victims were once treated appallingly, as though it was all their fault, but have we now gone too far the other way?"

Uh oh. Watch your head, it's that old swinging pendulum again. In what way too far? Ross is clear: "For some it is even heresy to suggest that victims should ever be held responsible at all."

What is this fascination of working out the exact percentage of how much a woman is "responsible" for her own rape? Still, on he goes: "Not even in the licentious days of Charles II in the 17th century was it acceptable for women to dress as provocatively as they have done in Western culture since the 1960s."

It's been a while since we've heard that hoary old chestnut.

But for the non-historians among us, Ross hammers the message home with weird and insulting analogies: "We have come to acknowledge it is foolish to leave laptops on the back seat of a car. We would laugh at a bank that stored sacks of cash by the front door."

So, ladies, you know what to do. Don't leave yourself in the back of a car. Jump in the nearest vault and phone G4. Or leap – tight skirt permitting – into your time machine and go back to the 1850s. Or just get that one-way ticket to Saudi Arabia.

Anything – just don't expect men to be able to control themselves.

Oh, and remember real-life Nick Rosses are rare boys indeed. Don't have nightmares, do sleep well.

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