Singer Chrissie Hynde criticized for victim-blaming rape comments: ‘If you play with fire, you get burnt’
Legendary rock star Chrissie Hynde is under fire for comments she made about rape, saying some victims are at fault when they are attacked.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the lead singer for the Pretenders described being sexually assaulted as a young woman but put the blame on herself saying she was “playing with fire” and was “naive.”
Hynde explained that when she was 21, an Ohio motorcycle gang member promised to take her to a party but took her to a empty house and assaulted her.
“Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can’t f*ck about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges … those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do,” Hynde explained before adding, “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?”
Continuing in that vein, Hynde said women who dress provocatively and get drunk are asking for it.
“If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” she said. “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.”
She continued, “If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*ck me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
According to Sarah Green of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, what Hynde said is very controversial and that her attitude is why so many rapes go unreported.
“It’s because so many are sitting blaming themselves, they are not going to tell a police officer and go through it all again,” Green explained. They are thinking: ‘I’m not sure it’s not my fault. Maybe I should have done this or that.'”
“It’s simply psychological behavior but, of course, it’s missing out the perpetrator. A woman’s behavior does not create an entitlement to assault,” she added.
Hynde, who has a seldom used Twitter account, has not responded to the criticism.
The Pretenders member who now tours as a solo act is currently on a book tour promoting her memoir “Reckless – My Life as a Pretender” due out next week.