Chrissie Hynde Draws Criticism for Suggesting Rape Victims Can Be Responsible for Their Own Assault
Chrissie Hynde has provoked an outcry by suggesting that a rape victim's own behavior can make them partly responsible for their own assault.
Hynde's remarks came during an interview with the Sunday Times (via the BBC) during which she recounted her own sexual assault, which is one of the many personal stories shared in her upcoming memoir, Reckless. Looking back, Hynde blames the attack on what she deems her own irresponsible behavior, telling the Times, "If I'm walking around in my underwear and I'm drunk, who else's fault can it be?"
She went on to try and clarify her position, adding that she was high when she was abducted and raped by a biker gang at age 21. "Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. If I'm walking around and I'm very modestly dressed and I'm keeping to myself and someone attacks me, then I'd say that's his fault. But if I'm being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who's already unhinged — don't do that. Come on! That's just common sense. I don't think I am saying anything controversial, am I?"
The Pretenders leader has weighed in on women's wardrobes before, recently suggesting that scantily clad pop singers were "porn stars trying to make records" and arguing, "The artist is in control of what they’re doing. You can always tell anyone to f— off. If they’re under pressure to get their kit off, maybe they should just be making porn films. Maybe they’re in the wrong game."
Hynde's Sunday Times interview, which also found her advising women that "if you don't want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so you can't run from him," definitely proved controversial for a number of readers, many of whom have taken to social media to express their disappointment with reactions running the gamut from sadness to outrage. The overall tone of the commentary, however, was essentially summed up by Guardian reporter Hadley Freeman, who managed to fit compassion for Hynde as well as her detractors into a single tweet.
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