Monday, August 31, 2015

Chrissie Hynde's comments suggesting women can be to blame if they're raped spark chorus of outrage


Hynde performs with The Pretenders in 1981.HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Hynde performs with The Pretenders in 1981.

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Rocker Chrissie Hynde’s discordant comments suggesting women may be to blame if they’re raped has led to a chorus of outrage. The Pretenders singer struck a sour note in an interview with London’s The Sunday Times in which she said she takes “full responsibility” for her own rape 42 years ago, back when she was just a 21-year-old student at Kent State University in Ohio. “You know if you don't want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so you can't run from him," Hynde, who was promoting her new autobiography, “Reckless,” told the Times. “If you’re wearing something that
says ‘Come and f--- me’, you’d better be good on your feet,” she continued. Hynde opened up about the traumatic experience in which she was sexually assaulted by members of a biker gang while she was high on drugs. “Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility,” she told the Times. “You can’t f--- about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges,” Hynde added. “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.” Calling herself “naive” at the time of her own rape, the older, supposedly wiser Hynde kept up with her head-scratching argument. "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,” said Hynde. “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." Not surprisingly, the “blame the victim” refrain drew outrage on social media after the interview went online: Rape advocates slammed Hynde for a “dangerous” message that could discourage other survivors from coming forward. ““This feeling of self-blame, described by Chrissie Hynde, can often prevent survivors from coming forward and getting the support that they deserve,” a spokeswoman for the sexual assault prevention advocacy group, RAINN, said in a statement. “Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a sexual assault, a victim is never to blame. The responsibility always lies solely with the perpetrator, no matter what.”

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