by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women and Couples
Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, is someone I grew up listening to.
When “Brass In Pocket” hit the charts, I was all of around 9 or 10 years old, so I didn’t really fully grasp what I was singing along to, but I sure did love the catchy central guitar riff and cheapo, diner-based music video which accompanied it.
I was also drawn to the essential frankness of the song’s sentiment and the clearheaded intent of the lines: “I’m special so special, I gotta have some of your attention – give it to me!”
Whether or not it’s because she’s special, Chrissie Hynde certainly has a lot people’s attention right now, courtesy of some choice words she had about some modern female pop stars being responsible for “a great deal of damage.”
Referring to the phenomenon many have dubbed ‘rape culture,’ Hynde claimed current pop singers are encouraging and “provoking” rape culture through the way they dress and perform.
“It’s provoked by this pornography culture, it’s provoked by pop stars who call themselves feminists,” Hynde said. “Maybe they’re feminists on behalf of prostitutes – but they are no feminists on behalf of music, if they are selling their music by bumping and grinding and wearing their underwear in videos.”
You know, she’s right! Miley Cyrus really should wear waitress uniforms in her videos and sing about desperately needing the attention of a male patron, because clearly that shit is seriously empowering.
Really, Chrissie? The Provocative-Outfits-Invite-Rape Argument?
My cheap shot at a 35 year-old music video aside, part of me is a bit troubled by the implications of Hynde’s recent comments, including the ones in which she puts the full responsibility for being raped many years ago squarely on her own shoulders.
In short, what happened to Hynde was that she met a bunch of guys from an Ohio-based biker gang who promised to take her to a party, but instead took her to an empty house where she was gang-raped.
Here’s how Chrissie goes about figuring this horrific crime perpetrated against her was all, somehow, her fault:
“Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility,” she said. “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.”
Chrissie seems to be implying she should have known she was going to be sexually assaulted, which thereby makes the assault her responsibility, pretty remarkable (and not in a good way) sentiment to hold about sexual assault in this day and age.
Now, I suppose if the guy whose bike she hopped on literally was wearing a badge that said “I heart rape” it does suggest questionable judgment on Chrissie’s part to climb aboard his bike. On the other, far more fundamental hand, one doesn’t get raped unless someone rapes them.
In other words, whether Chrissie was foolish or not, the sick biker fucks who attacked her are – legally, morally, ethically and any other way you choose to parse it – the ones who are ‘fully responsible’ for her rape.
Maybe Just Quit While You’re…. Uh, Not As Far Behind As You Could Be
Chrissie actually took things a step further in her comments, suggesting even if there’s no obvious indication of the abysmally low character of the people around you, as the potential victim, you are still responsible for being assaulted if you don’t dress modestly and avoid public intoxication.
“If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” Chrissie asked rhetorically.
“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,” Chrissie generously conceded. “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 that’s not the worst set of off-the-cuff bad jokes I’ve heard in a while, then I have a couple choice words of my own for Chrissie Hyndes: FUCK OFF.
No, Chrissie; It’s NOT ‘Inviting’ Rape to Wear High Heels and a Miniskirt
It’s one thing to say women should be aware, vigilant and careful about their personal safety, but quite another to say we should have to live in such constant fear that we make daily fashion choices based on the potential for an exigent need to run away at the drop of a hat.
Here’s a one-liner Chrissie might find a thought-provoking counter to her little zingers: Zola Budd ran barefoot in the motherfucking Olympics; you don’t think I could kick off my high heels and do the same for a measly few city blocks, or however long it took to draw useful and helpful attention to my plight?
As I see it, the biker gang which sexually assaulted Chrissie Hynde didn’t do so because their resistance was overcome by some irresistible (and irresponsible) thing she did to ‘tempt’ them; they did so because they were rapist thugs.
Luckily, a basic grasp of the crime statistics relating to sexual assault strongly suggests the vast majority of men – yes, even bikers, frat boys and Senators – are not criminal rapist thugs. Some of them actually can hold an entire conversation (or even dance) with a scantily-clad woman without becoming even slightly inclined to sexual assault her. They might be filled with the desire to fuck her, sure – but because they aren’t total pieces of shit, it’s actually important to them that she wants to have sex with them, too. Crazy, right?
Chrissie Hynde may not think such men exist, but I know for a fact they do, because I’m married to one. And while I do take delight in making fun of him at every opportunity, I’m proud to say the most threatening thing he’ll ever do toward a woman is try to surreptitiously sneak a peek at her butt as she walks by – but only if he thinks I’m not paying attention at the time.
(By the way, dear, just for the record: when other women walk by, where the direction and focus of your eyeballs are concerned, I’m always paying attention.)
As a woman, maybe it’s naïve for me to think I have a certain right to expect the people around me to be decent towards me (or at least not insanely, criminally indecent to me) but there’s a BIG difference between being naïve and being responsible for the criminal acts others perpetrate against you. Frankly, whether or not Chrissie Hynde can see that difference says a lot more about her than it does about Miley Cyrus’ wardrobe.
Having Said All That…. I Still Dig ‘Brass In Pocket,” Big Time.
While I sure as hell disagree with Chrissie Hynde, I also think it would be terribly unfortunate if her comments lead people to look at her with the same sort of revulsion and disgust we really ought to reserve for people like those who attacked her, all those years ago.
In my book, you’re still ‘special,’ Chrissie – and thankfully, you’ll never have to actually work as a waitress, because if you ever did, I think you’d pretty quickly understand why so many of the rest of us preferred stripping….
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