Pretenders star, Chrissie Hynde has copped a lot of flack in the UK overnight for saying that women who dress provocatively are to blame if they are attacked.
Hynde, now 63, was interviewed by The Sunday Times Magazine in what reads as quite a heartwrenching feature about her life and sexual violence. She blamed herself for being put in the position to be forced to perform sexual acts under the threat of violence at the humble age of 21.
The Sunday Times magazine told the story that when Chrissie was 21 an Ohio motorcycle gang member promised to take her to a party but instead took her to an empty house. Chrissie was clear that she lays full blame at her own feet for putting herself in this situation.
She said: “Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can’t f*** about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges … those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do. …Those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do. You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive. If you play with fire you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it?”
Hynde, whilst opening up about her own story in an emotional way, has caused outrage to be aimed at her from activists across the world because she believes that women play a role in the situation.
“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. If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*** me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
“If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” she said.
“If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*** me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
Hynde’s comments have caused a stir on Twitter, as well as comment from a range of victim support charities.
The singer’s comments were condemned by the head of the charity Victim Support, who said victims should not blame themselves.
Lucy Hastings, Charity Director for Victim Support in the UK said: “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.
Chrissie Hynde’s comments about rape are horrible. Is it a generational thing? (tw rape obviously) http://t.co/MFOTGVc3YF
— Anna Spargo-Ryan (@annaspargoryan) August 30, 2015
I do feel bad for Chrissie Hynde—blaming herself for her own sexual assault—but it’s irresponsible to take that blame and extrapolate it.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) August 30, 2015
— Annie (@Dennisisamenace) August 30, 2015
Chrissie Hynde makes a good point, I should be able to leave the keys in my car without it being stolen but I cant
— Model Citizen (@MrCoxsure) August 30, 2015
I predict much wailing and hand-wringing today as the perpetually-offended read Chrissie Hynde’s interview in The Sunday Times. Good for her
— The Saint (@PaulRea26757994) August 30, 2015