[Trigger warning for mentions of rape and sexual assault.]
Chrissie Hynde, singer for The Pretenders, is speaking out about rape and sexual assault, both in terms of her personal experience and the experiences of many other victims. And it appears that in her opinion, rape can be the fault of the victim, provided the circumstances.
In a new interview with the Sunday Times, Hynde speaks of a time she was sexually assaulted by a member of a biker gang. She says that the assault could have been avoided had she not interacted with this individual in the first place.
However you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can’t fuck about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges … those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do.
It’s problematic that Hynde is so willing to admit fault in this act, when she clearly alludes that her attacker was a perpetrator of rape culture. It’s even more problematic that she says most women can avoid abuse by not inviting attention, whether that’s through choice of dress or choice of action.
If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?
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. You know, if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him.
Sorry, what? Don’t hear high heels in case you have to run from a rapist?!
If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and fuck me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?
It’s pretty safe to say Hynde’s comments are more than controversial, inspiring response pieces from a number of outlets outside of The Mary Sue, many citizen responses over Twitter and other social mediums, and even the following statement from Victims Support, an “independent charity for victims of crime in England and Wales” (via The Guardian):
Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered – regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable. They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack – often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions. It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organizations so they can get the help and support they need.
(image via 3 song photography/Shutterstock.com)
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