Chrissie Hynde to her fellow rape survivors: ‘You have to take responsibility’

Chrissie Hynde
Trigger warning: this post may be disturbing
Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde made some remarks in a new interview with The Sunday Times that angered a lot of people. Hynde is currently promoting her memoir, Reckless: The Life Of A Pretender. In the book, she writes about her experience at age 21 when she was raped by an Ohio motorcycle gang. Chrissie says she was lured to an empty house by the members, who told her there was a wild party to be had. Instead, they forced her to engage in sexual acts.

Chrissie deserves empathy as a rape survivor, but she used her Times interview to talk about how she takes “full responsibility” for what the men did to her. Here’s how Chrissie sees her experience now, and she extends her thoughts to all rape victims:

“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 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.”

[From Sunday Times]

Sigh. Part of me thinks jumping on Chrissie serves no purpose, since she is a rape survivor. However, the “don’t wear this” crowd will also take her statements and run with them. Chrissie also discounts the experience of every other rape victim with these statements. If she needed to accept responsibility on her own end to cope, that’s her own business. She has, after all, lived for decades with what these men did to her. But it feels like Chrissie’s words will also work real harm to ending rape culture in our society.

Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde

Photos courtesy of WENN

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324 Responses to “Chrissie Hynde to her fellow rape survivors: ‘You have to take responsibility’”

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  1. Mia4S says:

    Someone reminded me of a quote when they read this story, “for some it’s easier to blame themselves than to accept that they were truly powerless.”

    She needs help, a lot of it.

    • Emily C. says:

      This.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      That was my thought, too. It gives her a feeling of having some control, of being able to stop it from ever happening again. It’s so illogical and fear-based. She does need help. But I’ll save my sympathy for the 17 year old girl who hears this after being raped and now blames herself because her skirt was short.

      • OhDear says:

        Yeah, I do feel for her, but as someone who a lot of people consider to be a role model, it’s a very dangerous and harmful thing to say.

      • Kitten says:

        I agree with you, OhDear. 100%

      • meme says:

        Chrissie said nothing about a short skirt. She said being “lairy” “putting it about” and “being provocative”. I understand exactly what she is saying and some of you have skewed her comments to serve your own agendas.

      • Algernon says:

        @ meme

        “If I’m walking around and I’m very modestly dressed”, Implying that if you’re immodestly dressed, ie short skirts, etc, it is somehow your fault. We’re not twisting her words, she said them.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @meme, I don’t think I’m twisting her words at all, or that wasn’t my intention. How do you define “modestly dressed” or “being provocative” in your dress? To me, the length of your skirt or the lowness of your top would fall into that category or modesty vs. immodesty. She’s victim blaming, and I think you don’t want to see that because you like her. She can blame herself all she wants, but don’t tell other rape victims it was their fault for being “lairy.” That’s not what rape is about. Her comments are insulting to both men and women, and she should think before she speaks on such a painful topic.

      • L says:

        @meme
        I said this down thread, but ‘provocative’ is all in the eye of the beholder. I was wearing a turtleneck, cardigan, and khakis and was covered from chin to toe. If being ‘modest’ was all it took to keep from being raped that no one wearing a burka or dressing like the duggars would ever be assaulted.

        If all it took was magically wearing X or not wearing Y to keep from being raped-people would have done it millennium ago.

      • meme says:

        @Algernon … I doubt Ms. Hynde is referring to mini skirts. I think she is referring to girls/women who walk around with their tits falling out of their clothes and their asses barely covered. I am NOT saying a women/girl deserves to be raped because she’s dressed like that, though I don’t understand why a woman/girl dressed like that would go with a stranger or a drunken frat party or anything similar to that. We live in a dangerous world where terrible things happen. I think Ms. Hynde’s real message is BE CAREFUL and AWARE.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @meme
        No, her message is in her own words. “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” No mention of the man having ANY responsibility for his own choice to rape. But if she’s modestly dressed, keeping to herself, then she would concede that it’s the man’s fault. You are translating what she said into something more palatable. But she said what she said, and it was disgusting.

      • Algernon says:

        @ meme

        If that’s what she meant, then she worded it extremely poorly because it sounds like she’s saying if you dress a certain way, you’re asking for it. And while *you* may not understand a woman dressing certain ways, it’s not for you or anyone else to dictate how others dress. I have lost a lot of weight in the last few years and it turns out I have a fantastic rack and a great bum. I’ve discovered a love of tops that show off my decollete and pants that emphasize my tush. Being proud of my body in no way invites assault.

      • Mytbean says:

        It saddens me that this mentality still exists at all. But I do understand why the lines are blurred for people.

        Cinnabon is not responsible for what i do with my fork. They ARE, however intentionally responsible for my craving.

        The difference is, it’s a partnership. They want me to buy their rolls. When the store is closed, I’m not out breaking into bake shops at night knocking down sheets of rolls just because I have the insatiable desire combined with resentment that I’m expected to wait for them.

        Sometimes I think there needs to be an otc drug for testosterone inhibition…

      • Tiffany :) says:

        If dressing modestly would stop these crimes, the Duggar girls wouldn’t have had any problems.
        But they did.
        Because predators are predators and they way their victims dress has nothing to do with the fact that they are predators.

      • meme says:

        @ Algernon … I never stated I wanted to dictate what any one wears. I personally don’t understand women who walk around with their lady bits practically falling out and NO, that does not = wearing a low cut top or wearing tight jeans to show off your butt. The world will always have some sick demented people in it and people need to be aware of that, especially women.

        @gnat … I am fully aware “modestly” dressed women get raped also.

        I didn’t realize I had to spell it out so explicity … if you go alone to a drunk frat party wearing nothing but a thong, bad things will happen.

      • Reeely?? says:

        The bar culture is rife with rape. When I was 21 I had one drink and couldn’t walk. I went back to the bar the next day to speak to the doorman who saw me carried home by friends. He laughed and said “oh the bartender gave you a “legspreader”. I had to ask 3x to explain because that was apparently a real term for putting too many shots in a cocktail- for the purpose of rape. I personally stopped drinking in bars along with the “ruffie” epidemic. I have to say, I took personal responsibility by not participating in a male dominated atmosphere.
        What other choice done have? Protest the bar? Demand to watch a bartender?

      • Anon33 says:

        Meme: so what happens when you’re in a relationship and you tell your partner you don’t want to have sex and he forces it on you? By holding you down and forcing your legs open? When you’re wearing sweatpants and haven’t evened showered that day? Whose fault is it then?

        You have problems.

      • Lee1 says:

        @meme
        There is a difference though between what you are saying and what Chrissy said. Are there precautions we can take to help minimize our vulnerability? Sure. That absolutely does not guarantee our safety as anyone in any context can be raped. I also don’t think women should be responsible for altering our behaviour in order to protect ourselves and instead the focus should be on altering the behaviour of rapists. But of course we can try to avoid situations that put us at increased risk. Unfortunately, what Chrissy said doesn’t read that way to most of us. What she said is that if you DON’T avoid those risky situations, you are the one specifically at fault for the negative outcome.

        What you are saying is that you can lock your car to help reduce the risk it gets stolen. What Chrissy said is that if you don’t lock your car, you are the sole responsible party if it does get stolen. (“Who else’s fault can it be?” to quote her directly.) There is a difference there.

      • FLORC says:

        I get the naive part, but it’s just part of the issue. Why there’s almost no blame directed to the attacker still bothers me. I went to a party and was handed a drink by a then trusted friend. We all get told to always watch our drinks so that’s some blame i’ll accept. By this logic I should never trust and always have that paranoid guard up. It’s a bad damaging message that was poorly phrased.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @meme: You may not be saying that women who dress that way ‘deserve’ to be raped, but you’re still saying that clothing is a determining factor in whether or not it will happen. That’s the problem. Those ‘sick demented people’ will rape whether their victim is wearing tiny hotpants and a bralette, sweats and a t-shirt, a hijab, or a full on burka.

      • Algernon says:

        @ meme

        Personal responsibility is important (in all areas of life), but when it comes to committing a crime it’s the sole responsibility of the person who commits that crime. Even if someone did go drunk to a frat party in a thong, it’s on everyone else to not commit a crime and assault her. As Lee1 said, you can lock your car door, but at the end of the day if your car is stolen, that’s on the thief, not you.

      • teacakes says:

        and worst of all, “cool” women like Chrissie saying stuff like this is every bit as toxic and reinforcing of rape culture than some Duggars saying it. The Duggars can be dismissed as crazies and child molesters but Chrissie Hynde was an icon of cool to a generation of supposedly progressive listeners, and things like this just promote hipster sexism.

        I feel awful that she was victimised and adopted this mentality to deal with it, but her spreading her views is going to do way more damage to innocent victims. (and yes, I have been “lairy” after a few too many shots in uni in a short dress but that is NOT an free pass to rape me, or any other girl in a similar situation).

      • Carolyn says:

        Chrissy isn’t saying that at all – I don’t think she accepts being raped – but she accepts that she put herself into that situation and she was not capable of avoiding what happened. She isn’t giving the men license to rape her. She’s accepting the responsibility that she could have prevented this. By not being so messed up and walking around naked in a full house of equally messed up men. No one wants to be or deserves to be raped, but we do set ourselves up to be in a bad place at a bad time. Maybe we shouldn’t place so much importance on what the naked human body looks like – so that things like running around in your underwear is just not that big of a deal. BUT – society has. Society has created this shame game. Don’t say that Chrissy needs help and has no idea what she’s saying. She’s lived through this and been able to move forward and look at it in different perspectives in order to move forward.

      • LadidahBaby says:

        Exactly GNAT–Hynde has, however inadvertently, interpreted her own harrowing experience in a public way that will likely cause tremendous damage to other rape victims, both in how they may now doubt themselves and in how others will likely doubt them–add to that the awful fact that there are men who will now use this statement of hers as a kind of license to do damage to women who happen to be dressed in a certain way, or who have a free style of behavior. No matter how a woman presents herself, the point is that SHE is presenting that person and SHE has (or should have) complete control over the people with whom she shares her body. God, this was such an unfortunate public pronouncement on the part of Chrissie Hynde. And the damage it will do can never be tallied.

      • Trillion says:

        If a man gets drunk and is lured into a warehouse and sodomized, do you think anybody would even raise questions about his behavior or dress?

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      @Mia4S: Thankyou so very much for posting that quote. That is exactly how I’ve felt about my sexual assault for over 10 years. I was assaulted by a former bf (and fellow soldier) when he gave me a ride home after I’d had a few drinks. I slut-shamed myself and made excuses for him for years and years, because…I don’t know. Because I guess I didn’t want to admit to being so helpless. I was in the military–I was supposed to be strong and independent and he was supposed to be my friend and comrade. So I convinced myself that by being flirty and tipsy I gave him an opportunity he wouldn’t have otherwise taken. I’ve always known I wasn’t being fair to myself or other women that had experiences like mine. Your quote has really opened my eyes and taken such a weight off my shoulders. IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

      • Lindy79 says:

        IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

        This, so much this. I’m so sorry this happened to you, firstly, and sorry that you had that weight on you, that you felt in any way responsible for this being done to you for so long, secondly.

      • jenn12 says:

        It never was your fault. Never. Sometimes, we are in situations beyond our control, but the only thing that causes rape is rapists. Period.

      • Mia4S says:

        @Scarlett Vixen, I’m speechless. I am so sorry it happened to you. I wish you peace and healing. You have already taken a much bigger step than I fear Ms. Hynde could ever hope to, and I truly believe you will be the better for it.

      • Shaz says:

        There is never an excuse for rape. Ever. Pedophiles will blame children and say they were provocative, and then children will blame themselves. It is the same kind of nonsense to say a grown woman encouraged rape by her attire. The blame is solely on the attacker. A person may take precautions that make them feel safer, but they are never to blame for what has happened. Chrissie is clearly trying to feel safer by imagining that she did something wrong, and then terrifying events followed. I’m sure she doesn’t realize the damage her words can do, but she needs to, and soon.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        You are correct, it wasn’t your fault.

        Hugs.

      • FLORC says:

        Nothing but cyber hugs and well wishes for you Scarlet.

        You ere under an influence. And at that point the other person should have realized they’d be exploiting your lack of clear thinking. Your inability of choice.
        I hope you’ve found consistent peace over this.

    • hmmm says:

      That was my first thought as well. It’s easier to reconcile the cognitive dissonance of the trauma with self blame than the idea that she was abjectly at the mercy of brutes, utterly vulnerable, utterly powerless, essentially a rag doll. It seems to be a default setting for people who have been abused. Better to think that one always has agency, that the world is always within one’s control.

      I wonder if she’s had any therapy because she certainly needs it. I wonder what her relationships with men have been like. I wonder what she’s passed onto her children. It’s all so, so very sad.

    • lucy2 says:

      I think that quote fits this situation quite well.
      I feel very sorry for what happened to her, AND that she has carried any guilt for it, because no matter what, it wasn’t her fault. But it hurts to hear her say those things publicly, and know others might believe her and blame themselves too.

    • Keaton says:

      Yes! This was my first thought after reading this. Thank you

    • MoxyLady007 says:

      I have two amazing little boys. And shit like this makes me furious. Men aren’t wild animals. They have self control. They are human beings. Hold them to an fing higher standard than you would a rabid dog who bites someone just because. This bullshit hurts women and it hurts men. Rape is never ok. No matter what you are wearing. No one has the right to another persons body just because. Stop making it harder to raise good men with this bullshit rape culture. Ugh.

      • Betsy says:

        +1, right down to the two boys! As little boys they have control over themselves (for the most part); they damn sure better have control over their behavior and respect other people’s bodily integrity.

      • MC2 says:

        +1000! Thank you! I am also raing two boys who are caring, sensitive & I’m trying to teach them to speak up or act if they witness an injustice. People acting like they can’t control themselves if they see a naked woman, a boob falling out of a shirt or a drunk woman who is vulnerable is disturbing to say the least. My boys are not animals, they have self control & they are raised to take responsibility for their own actions NOT “well you had no choice after your hormones took over because of what she was wearing.” This talk is so dangerous to women & demeaning to men.

    • Fee says:

      I get what she meant to say…at least how I interpret. Yes we should be able to act, dress and be how ever we want without the danger of being raped. No is No. I do not think she is at fault but they’re are dangers that we as women must take into account. We cannot depend on another person understanding no, we take precautions to be safer. Now, an example of a frat party, 1 girl walks in in a tiny bikini, does body shots, kisses guys, end of night gets raped, another girl dresses modestly sexy and she gets raped too. Who is too blame? The rapists of course! But u do not need to put yourself in a position where you have to depend on some deranged predator to use common sense. The movie with The accused, Foster played a woman who was drunk and provocative, then gang raped while screaming no. They knew wth they were doing, they raped her plain and simple and no she is not at fault, just do not put yourself in a situation where you cannot help yourself around degenerates. I hope my point is coming across as I meant it and no offense meant to anyone

      • INeedANap says:

        The reason your commentary is ultimately meaningless is because anyone can be raped.

        And I am tired of women being lectured on how to prevent getting raped. It’s time we focused on the men — and YES things can change. It’s why different communities around the world have different rape stats.

      • Whatwhatnot says:

        This is exactly my thought process and what I try to tell my teenage daughter who has gotten into a stage where she wants to dress way too provocatively for her age and for where she is (school/parties). She yells at me and tells me she has a right to dress the way she feels like, and I tell her yes, but she also needs to remember that some men out there don’t subscribe to the same notion, and this world is NOT a Shangri La where all of our wishes are respected. Especially around young teenage boys and especially if people are getting intoxicated around you. I tell her that I am just saying these thing s for her to have an abundance of precaution when putting herself in certain situations. It’s like me throwing on all my expensive jewelry and walking around Brooklyn alone at 2am (which I tell her is another bad idea). While no one has a right to steal my property, there is always going to be a person out there who will feel entitled to it if they see you “showing it off”. So in an abundance of caution, maybe just hide the jewelry or avoid showing it off at that time of night in that area. I say these things as a mother who worries and loves her daughter and wants her to be careful and use some common sense then someone who is trying to slut-shame or victim blame.

      • TotallyBiased says:

        How to prevent rape–fight the rape culture that perpetuates rape jokes, perpetuates the idea that males are so weak-willed and ruled by their overpowering need for sex that they aren’t responsible for what they do with their d*cks, fight the fallacy that this is in any way about ‘respect’.
        Wearing a bikini to a frat party–one person said that’s like waving steak in front of a tiger, so what did she expect? The only reply should be: what, men are lower order mammals who require that they are locked in cages and/or kept in zoos for public safety?

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @Fee: The points you’re missing are that those guys would have still raped her even if she had been dressed modestly, and that a person understands no no matter how someone is dressed. It’s not an ‘understanding’ issue. It’s a choice.

        @Whatwhatnot: I know your intentions are good, and you have the right to set limits on what your kids do with their physical appearance while they’re underage and living in your house. But you’re actually doing a disservice to your daughter by teaching ‘don’t wear revealing clothes so you don’t get raped. You’re allowing her to buy into the myth that so long as she covers up, a rapist that she inadvertently crosses paths with- whether it’s a friend, boyfriend, casual acquaintance, neighbor, employer, someone from the church (if that applies), colleague, teacher, driver, police officer, obscure family member, or complete stranger- will not violate her because she’s not dressed ‘provocatively’. You’re teaching her that a sex crime is some kind of response that’s just triggered in a man once he sees a woman’s body. Hopefully you’re daughter won’t learn to take that view herself.

        Even worse, if you have any boys, you’re also telling them that it’s only natural for men to commit sex crimes in response to their lust or in response to a woman’s body.

        What if your sons or daughters end up with a friendship with someone who is accused of a sex crime some day, and there response is to bully the victim or go, ‘well how was she dressed?’ What if your sons and daughters grow up with an overall lack of empathy for ‘certain kinds’ of rape victims?

    • belle de jour says:

      I think that quote resonates, and is entirely apt here.

      Just an observation, since she specifically mentioned clothes: looking at these photos, she is wearing men’s ties, a vest and suit coats; after reading her quote, it’s not too far-fetched to read them as a message about power, either.

    • Amanda says:

      Rape is mainly about power. What someone wears really has nothing to do with it.

      • alexia says:

        Thanks for bringing power into the discussion, because that is the main point. Men rape because they mostly get away with it. Always have and still do. Who is it to blame? The system. If e.g. soldiers knew they will be punished for sexual assault, they did not do it as often as soldiers who knew, they will not receive punishment.
        But we also have to think about the fact, that our current porn culture is responsible for men to think, women’s bodies are sexually available (via internet or with prostitutes). Little boys grow up with this understanding in a way, we as women probably never be aware of, because we are excluded mostly from this (men’s) world. It is the porn culture which fetishizes male (power) fantasies even more, that is why we have to critically look at ourselves and our actions.
        Also interesting is the discussion, how the increase in violence towards women correlates with the role atributed to women in this particular society. If women are seen as inferior to men (due to religion), only to serve men and with no more rights, than women are subjected to more violence.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Good posts Amanda and alexia. the responsibility for rape sits with the rapist. Only they should feel guilty. And it is quite often about control, and wanting to demean, rather than any sexual desire. to show women their place. Very disappointed in Hynde, and insulting to victims.

    • minority here says:

      Statistically, 1/4 women are raped (the numbers may be higher due to unreported cases). She implies that the lucky 3/4 are demure innocents but the 1/4 deserve to be attacked. This celebrity should be talking to her therapist about her warped sense of reality, not other women or girls.

  2. MonicaQ says:

    I was 11. I take no responsibility. Sod off.

    • HK9 says:

      I was 9, I take no responsibility and she can F- off.

    • Meatball says:

      😢 the biggest hugs for you.

    • Santia says:

      Monica and HK9, so so sorry. :-( I commented below before reading the comments and yeah, for kids, there is no responsibility to take.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It wasn’t your fault. The responsibility for rape is on the rapist. No one else. She can sod off. Love to all of you who have endured this pain and carried on. I’m sorry you had to hear this.

    • jenn12 says:

      No child is ever responsible. EVER.

      • Carmen says:

        No woman is responsible, ever, no matter how old she is or whatever the circumstances were.

        I don’t give a damn if a woman walks down the street stark naked at midnight, she still has a right not to be raped.

        Rape is 100% a man’s choice. No woman is responsible for a man’s inability to control himself. That’s on him. All of it.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I agree, Carmen, I feel for Chrissie, and she can process what happened any way she needs to, but I still wish she hadn’t said this publicly. It’s victim-blaming, will be hurtful to almost all of us who are survivors, and I fear will do a lot of damage. I also want to shake her and tell her for God’s sake it wasn’t her fault, but I realize she has to deal in her own way.

      • jenn12 says:

        Carmen, no human is ever responsible for being raped, but I was responding to the posts that were speaking about being raped when they were kids.

    • Pinky says:

      Holy hell. That’s horrible, for the both of you. Sickening. I’m so sorry!

    • 600Purple says:

      I had this experience when I was 6 or 7 years old and I blamed myself fully until I was in my mid 20′s. I couldn’t even think about it without hating myself more than I’ve ever hated anyone. I did everything not to think about it.

      It can take years to come to terms with this stuff. What she has said is irresponsible. She has no idea of the kind of impact that her words might have one some people.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I was 8. He was 16. I thought it was my fault because I had a crush on him and he knew about it. I never told anyone till I was 14. He’d moved away but came back one Christmas. My mom ran a snackette at that time and I used to help out. I’d been out running an errand and he was there when I came back. My mom said, look who it is and I burst into tears ran away and threw up. The next day I told my mom about it when she asked why I was being so weird. She was shocked because he was such a nice, responsible, trustworthy boy.

        It took me years to accept that I was not responsible.

        Warm hugs to everyone here who’s been through this. And eff everyone who thinks that sexual assault is ever the fault of anyone except the perpetrator.

      • jenn12 says:

        No child is ever responsible, not ever. He was a rapist, you were a little girl, and it was entirely his fault.

    • Shambles says:

      My heart hurts for you guys, but your strength is uplifting. F-off, indeed.
      *hugs*

    • Laura says:

      I was 12.. I’ve always thought I was more or less on my own with that and don’t really talk about it. It’s crazy to see others say the same I’m sorry ladies this happened to you. 😔

      She can fuck off with thee statements and so can the publication who really should not print such dangerous words.

      • pamspam says:

        14. Touched inappropriately. Took me nearly two decades to realize I had a right to be pissed as fuck about it.

        I hate that she said this. Hate it.

    • frisbee says:

      I’m so sorry that this woman’s comments have stirred up so many distressing memories for all of you. You didn’t deserve what happened to you no rape victim ever does, it is NEVER the victims fault. I just wish for her sake that she had your courage and the strength it must have taken you to deal with it but sadly I think she’s been messed up for a very, very long time.
      ditto *double hugs*

    • Nicolette says:

      The ages mentioned here….. 11, 9 , 6. I don’t even know what to say except that the thought of anyone, especially a child enduring something like that is beyond heart breaking.

      • Luisa says:

        Being raped in my 20′s was horrible and I was self abusive for years- still am to some degree, but as a child? I just can’t fathom this. It must help form your self identity to some degree, until you learn how utterly innocent you were of this crime. The first quote In this blog also hit home for me. It is so much easier to blame ourselves than admit that we were totally helpless. I hate thinking of myself as helpless and am now one of the toughest chicks I know, but I also know it’s totally a front for the girl who couldn’t help herself when she needed it most. I do agree with Chrissy on one point and that’s, that we need to take care of ourselves better and not place ourselves in situations that are dangerous. You can’t stop terrible things happening, but you can alleviate some of the chance of them happening. I get why she thinks the way she does, as I am guilty of thinking much the same way, but reading these posts about children going through this, my thoughts of self- protection, just don’t apply. I’m so sorry to you 3/4. You are such strong ladies.

      • MonicaQ says:

        @Luisa it’s true. I’ll never be the same. I don’t know what “normal” is. The night terrors, the daily medications, the smelling one smell and suddenly you’re huddled under the bed in Little Mermaid pajamas. The wondering what you did wrong to have that happen. Having age dull some memories and leave others that steal sleep as currency. Not being able to trust anyone, especially anyone male and larger than me (I’m 5’4, that’s most males). Carrying a knife and taking martial arts classes to swear “never again” but knowing that it very well could.

        And then it takes a toll on your emotions. What do normal people do when they’re sad? Do they get this sad? Will I always feel this way? How will this affect my children? Do I even WANT children because if it happened to me, it could happen to them. They’re questions I don’t have answers to and I doubt I will.

        You are a strong woman, just like other people on this thread and other survivors, male or female. The fact that we get up every morning in this crazy world makes it so.

    • Armenthrowup says:

      I was 13 and there were 6 of them. That so many of us have this story should make stupid comments and judgments, like Chrissie’s, stop but the sad truth is, people will always, always try and blame the victim. As survivors, I think our responsibility is to try to heal as best we can and to do our best to raise awareness and change attitudes. THATis our responsibility – I was gang-raped whilst wearing a school uniform – long skirt, blazer, long-sleeves shirt, pantyhose. I could have been wearing a refuse sack and it wouldn’t have stopped them. My love to all of you xxxxxxx

      • Laura says:

        That’s horrific I am so sorry. What awful awful people! I hope you are ok now.

      • Armenthrowup says:

        Thanks, Laura – it’s been 30 years and although some things have been irreparably taken away (trust, romantic relationships), nowadays, I just want to fight for anyone who goes through the same thing. I am definitely a different person, but no longer a victim xxx

      • Laura says:

        I can understand that.. Well obviously not completely because different situations but I have issues with relationships. I really believe that the good strong guys and people that genuinely care will be patient and get you there with that trust.. I know it’s not that easy day to day but you seen lovely and im sure you’ve lots to be happy and positive about xx

      • lucy says:

        My deepest sympathies to you, and to all of you who have been abused. I am horrified by the prevalence of this violence. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Sending you peace, healing, love, and strength.

    • NUTBALLS says:

      My heart breaks reading these stories. Strength, courage, peace and hugs to all of you women who have been assaulted or raped by someone who should have honored you and your wishes. Under no circumstances is it your fault.

    • Lensblury says:

      Sorry, this is gonna be long.
      8. By the older neighbor *girl* (“there’s this guy, I’m totally in love with him, and this is what I want to do to him”). And another one at 15, by a guy who was a few years older. It was terribly ironic because since I never wanted to be in a situation like that again, I only went for a walk with him after I had tried to flirt with him for days and had gotten no reaction. I liked him, but there had been no signs of interest at all. That’s why I felt safe, I remember thinking, “what could possibly happen? I gave him a chance and he didn’t take it.” And then he just snapped. I’m very strong, I was able fend him off by scratching and kicking him, and when he realized it wasn’t gonna work, he just shrugged and let go of me, saying, “that obviously doesn’t work too well, maybe we should go back”. My coping mechanism was that I started participating in guy sports like ice hockey and wrestling, and I started to excessively train my body, not just to get even stronger, but also to maybe finally feel myself again.
      I developed an eating disorder, was trying hard to please everyone visually, but at the same time I really didn’t want to be on display as a girl anymore (that’s what I know now, 16 years later). It has really messed with my s€x life, too, and at 30 I still have the hardest time trusting people, including my bf of more than 3 years. Bottom line: stuff like that can really f* you up, and I can only agree: never, never, never is it the victim’s fault. For people reading this who haven’t been able to talk about it: when the time is right, therapy can be a good thing. Therapy doesn’t automatically mean you’re coo-coo, it can also mean that you’re rediscovering love for yourself after some very tough times, and that you are ready to accept support during your process of healing.

      I think I will do a few things differently if I ever have kids: 1) I will let them know they don’t have to hide if they don’t want to. I was always dressed modestly, and that obviously did not help, so really, go take a hike for this one, Chrissie, even though I really feel for you. I think all this “dress modestly, you don’t wanna be a harlot and invite trouble” from my grandparents made me so super self-conscious. I was constantly trying to avoid being a target, always felt I’d be to blame, and that made me so much more vulnerable. 2) I will make sure they know that they’re not at fault if they ever got into a situation like that, and 3) my kids would know that they could always talk to me about anything. My grandma cut me off whenever conversations would get unpleasant, she’d tell me I was making things up and imagining things (she was of very questionable mental health and abusive, too); and well, great, that’s not the person I’d want to confide in then.
      Sorry for letting it all out at once; I’m very tired and could not apply any filters. It makes me so sad to read your stories, but I also feel really sick reading how many women here on this blog alone have been raped and/or abused. The strength one needs to deal with this sort of history is immense, and I am so sorry you all had to go through this. I completely agree with
      @Armenthrowup – raising awareness and changing attitudes: YES. Talking about injustice is really important, I think. You brave, strong ladies, thank you for sharing your stories, as dreadful as they are.

      • jenn12 says:

        Did you know Anne Sexton’s daughter, Linda, wrote a memoir and in it she discusses her mother molesting her? People don’t realize that men can be raped, women can rape other women, etc. There was also a coach who raped a student and they were both female. It isn’t just you, and you are strong for surviving and getting stronger both physically and emotionally. Those rapists had power at the time, but they do not have power over you anymore. If nothing else, these stories must tell you that you are not alone, and others can understand. Bless you.

      • Lensblury says:

        Thank you, jenn12. I didn’t know that; I think I’ll order that book.
        And thank you for pointing out that women can be rapists, too, and that men, too, can get raped. It happened to a male friend of mine; he was roofied.. such an ugly story.
        The way I was raised, I had no idea what was happening to me. I still have to pat myself on the back for making it through and gradually allowing myself to seek help. I’m tooting my own horn here, but hey, it’s a clumsy step towards self-love for me, and I understand that I actually deserve to love myself. Still need to heal some more, but I have patience.
        As difficult as it is, I’m really thankful that so many people are opening up and sharing their stories, because we need this discussion. In fact, that’s what I initially thought CH meant when I read the headline – “stand up and share your stories so we can discuss rape and change the victim-blaming attitude”. Too bad that wasn’t it, but the discussion is rolling.

      • jenn12 says:

        Lensblury, you pat yourself on the back, and you toot your own horn. You deserve at least that and more for being a survivor. Go ahead and love yourself; you are not what happened to you. You were a victim of some crappy people, but you are not what happened to you and you are worthy of love in all forms. Please be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Linda Gray Sexton’s book was called (I think) Looking For Mercy Street. There was also a middle aged woman recently caught, thankfully before she could carry out her intended rape on an 11 year old boy. She’d been pretending to be a tween girl over Xbox.

      • Lensblury says:

        That’s so evil…! I’m so glad she got caught before anything more happened! I always ask myself what makes people do or even plan things like these. Is there suppressed anger, lack of love during childhood, history of abuse, ..? But I guess it’s probably hard to tell and probably also different from case to case. I don’t know about the typical procedures, but I’m thinking that part of a future with more effective rape prevention might include looking into rapists’ personal histories, spending time on psych evaluations, and to administer treatments like behavioral therapy.

        Thanks again for your kind words and your support, jenn. And also for the book recommendation, it is much appreciated.

  3. mimi says:

    Being a rape survivor does NOT allow her to make these comments. I want to scream and cry because no it was not my fault in any way shape or form and NO, it wasn’t Chrissie’s either. But STFU!!!! This will make some other asshole feel it’s ok to rape a woman!! Does she not get it?! Gonna go cry now.

    • Kitten says:

      I think these kind of comments coming from a rape survivor is even worse. Sigh.

      As Bedhead said, many will use her words to support the idea that a woman “asked for it” by wearing a short skirt. “Even a rape survivor agree with me!” Ugh.

      I feel sad for her that she seems to view men as insuppressible animals without enough self-control to resist raping a woman just because she happens to be drunk and wearing only underwear. How thoroughly depressing that she’s apparently never known men who recognize women as fellow human beings and not as objects for the taking.

      • Shambles says:

        “As Bedhead said, many will use her words to support the idea that a woman “asked for it” by wearing a short skirt. “Even a rape survivor agree with me!” Ugh.”

        You’ve spoken my thoughts. I was envisioning that exact scenario while reading the article, and it makes me feel sick.

        From the day they enter 4th grade, many girls who go to public school are given a dress code that basically tells them not to wear anything that might distract the boys from learning, get it? Shhh. The boys are learning.

        When I was in 10th grade, I had to spend a day sitting in in-school suspension because the hemline of my dress was an inch shorter than the prescribed length. I missed an entire day of school so as not to distract any boys from their learning with an extra inch of my leg. That told me that their education was more important than mine.

        In a world like that, I’m not okay with anyone adding fuel to the “don’t tempt the boys”‘ fire.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        My daughter is in 9th grade, and she told me this story about her geometry teacher telling a girl that she wasn’t dressed according to the dress code (I’m shocked that she called the girl out in front of all her classmates), and a boy in the back of the room yelled out, “Oh my God! Knees! I am so distracted! I’m not going to be able to learn ANY geometry today!” So even some of the boys realize how ridiculous it is.
        I think the education of a girl who’s been sent home to change or embarrassed in front of her classmates is much more affected than that of a boy who happens to see her. I know this is a little off-topic, but it’s part of this same rape culture where the blame is on the girl instead of the boy, and it’s also pretty much saying the boy’s education is more important than hers.

      • Kitten says:

        @Shambles-THIS. This is the systemic sh*t that I’m talking about and I’m so sick of it. This is the prevailing societal attitude that needs to be changed and we have to start with boys, when they are young and impressionable.

        @Amy Tennant-Your story gives me some hope at least, that the boys saw how unfair and absurd that was.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @all y’all
        That dress code thing is so sick. From the FOURTH grade? What a perfect way to make a girl feel that her body is dirty and if someone sexualized a child, it’s her fault. Ugh. Love the kid Amy talked about. Maybe there’s hope.

      • FLORC says:

        Amy
        Regarding school dress codes. This was a MAJOR issue in 1 of my schools. We were all coming into our bodies and some girls more than others would have higher hemlines and more cleavage. The dress code was explained as protection for the teachers and staff. AND by protection I mean if a student claimed they saw a teacher glancing at their breasts it would result in severe consequences. In the case of 1 teacher they did glance. Not because they wanted to, but we ALL look for a moment in time somewhere we shouldn’t linger at. Without that type of intent either.

        And I fully support dress codes for that reason. A unconscious twitch of the eye caught by someone can and was exploited in such a way they almost lost their job because the parents made such noise. And then the other students all paid closer attention and every glance got reported. It was chaos. The teachers didn’t feel safe to do their jobs.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @Amy: I just LOVE it when men and boys point out the ridiculousness of this ‘ladies, you must dress modestly so the men will act right’ culture themselves. It’s kind of bittersweet how it often takes a male or a person of another privileged group speaking out on how something is bullshit in order to validate what other people have been saying all along.

    • jenn12 says:

      The fault lies with the rapist. Period.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Hey Chrissie, how about preaching showing respect to your fellow human beings, who about teaching these guys to respect women. We live in a society where, now more than ever young people have access to pretty hardcore stuff with smartphones, internet etc and studies show it is affecting how people are viewing sex and sexuality. No matter what you’re wearing, or how many drinks you’ve had, or how many sports the rapist plays or is good at no one has the right to lay a finger on you. All this will do is give abusers and rapists the feeling that they are not 100% responsible for their vile behaviour. We already have enough slut shaming and victim blaming, jesus christ we don’t need any more of this.

    • PrincessMe says:

      Exactly mimi, this hurts even more because she’s supposed to UNDERSTAND. Ugh, I can’t even put how I feel into words right now. I’m already crying – can’t help it.

  4. Pri says:

    Bedhead, your said it perfectly.

    Sigh. It is 2015, and there are societal issues against women still exist.

  5. Esteph says:

    Chrissie…*shaking my head*

    Just because she feels that way about her experience, doesn’t mean that other victims need to feel the same way too.

  6. Emily C. says:

    This kind of bs presumes men cannot control themselves, as if they’re some kind of monsters or maybe the weather. It’s hugely insulting to men, and I have never understood why certain men parrot it, or why women who say that men can control themselves are considered “manhaters.” Pretending that all men are always ready to rape at any second, and that it’s women’s job to control them because men are just ravening beasts, is really hating men.

    • Wren says:

      Rape culture promotes this idea as well, and it hurts men. I think it’s hugely insulting too, and yet so many men are willing to take that insult to avoid personal responsibility or at least share the blame. “I’m not a bad person, SHE was asking for it!” Maybe they don’t realize just how demeaning to themselves that mentality is. Nobody asks for it, just like nobody (barring true mental illness or drug use) is an uncontrollable beast, a mere slave to their base drives.

      • Savannah says:

        It really does hurt men, I always wonder why men dont push harder against it. I mean this is the reason why any man near a child, especially a female one, is considered a potential molester. Its the reason why theres a presumption that mothers should have primary custody, I mean “men are animals, just think what he could do to his daughters if there are no sexual outlets immediately available to him”. Its against their own interests to push the “boys will be boys” logic and yet many of them still do.

    • Algernon says:

      It feeds the “boys will be boys” thing that is so much a part of rape culture. We make so many excuses for boys in our society, and by the time they’re sexually active, we’re excusing assault.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I was thinking the same thing. My first thought was “Uh, if you walk around in your underwear drunk, a lot of men (at least the ones I know) will stop and help you get your clothes and some coffee. In fact, I’ve seen it happen more than once (we partied a lot). A guy who will help an obviously incapacitated girl find her girlfriends and get some water. So no, men are not all controlled by their genitals.

    • sienna says:

      This is exactly the point. Anytime someone mentions how a woman dresses in respect to an assault, I ask them how short a woman’s skirt needs to be to turn them, or their father, husband etc into a rapist.

      Real men don’t rape, period.

      • StormsMama says:

        @Sienna
        Yes THIS!
        What enrages me is the moms of boys and young men who turn and blame the girl who was raped— how difficult is it to teach our children (boys and girls) to ask “do you want to have sex with me?” F-cking ask!!!!!!!!!!!
        Rar it makes me soooo mad!!!
        Just ask. If you both say yes then go for it. If during sex one of you says No I changed my mind then STOP.
        How difficult is it to teach that?!
        So mad at CH for being so irresponsible with her words.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      A lot of the men who spout that nonsense are either the kind who want to control what certain women do with their bodies, or who feel that there’s a moral limit on the number of men a ‘good woman’ will allow to see parts of her body, so they don’t hesitate to use the ‘it’s a protection from guys committing sex crimes against you, ladies!” argument as a scare-tactic and as a way to justify their beliefs.
      I never will forget the day some male blogger wrote this mansplaining letter to female feminists on why victim-blaming and slut-shaming are okay, and tried to make it like all he cared about was saving women, but within the same exact essay writes that one of his justifications for practicing that misogyny is that as a man, “YOU WANT TO BE THE FIRST ONE ON THE RIDE!” It must have been about 3 or 4 years ago. I don’t have the link, but I thought ‘Wow. So much for just looking out for women.” And that’s not even the only time I’ve come across this excuse from men.
      Then there are men who mean somewhat well and really do think they’re ‘saving’ us by slut-shaming and victim-blaming, because as boys they grew up hearing from adults that sex crime is one of the reasons why women ‘need’ to present themselves in a more chaste or ‘classy’ style of dress.
      Then, of course, their are the ones who have either committed a sex crime themselves, or might have a loved one or acquaintance who has been accused of doing so, and love this victim-blaming argument because it makes them feel justified.

  7. Santia says:

    Oddly enough, I can see what she’s saying. She’s not saying to take responsibility for someone’s psychosis, but to take responsibility for your part in the event (i.e. maybe I was naive or could have made better choices). Otherwise, you will always be a victim. This is her way of taking ownership of a horrific event in order to move on.

    • Crumpet says:

      I took it to be somewhat like how you avoid getting your purse snatched or how to avoid looking like a good mugging target.

      But then she ruined it by saying “I’m walking around drunk in my underwear, who else’s fault can it be?” That is all kinds of wrong.

      • perplexed says:

        It did sort of sound like (at times) that she might be talking about taking precautionary measures adults could take, but, yeah, she worded her point all weird. I wonder how much the generation she comes from impacts her viewpoints.. if she sought out therapy at that time, would the therapy at that time have made her put the blame on herself? Those questions went through my mind..

      • Kitten says:

        Hi Crumpet–yeah that comment really got to me too.

        This is an argument my mother and I have a lot. My mom is almost 70 so this might be a generational thing…but my mom really does think that women have a responsibility to not put themselves in a dangerous situation, whereas I think we need to teach men from the time they start becoming curious about girls that female bodies do not exist for male consumption.

        When I’ve argued with her, she always says “we need BOTH”. In other words, women need to look out for ourselves and men need to stop raping.

        The problem I have with that mentality is that rape so often happens in existing relationships or even on a date. Date rape, spousal rape, or even a woman being raped by a male friend is FAR more common than a woman being attacked late at night and being raped by a stranger or being raped by a bunch of drunken men at a party. Women are usually raped by men that they feel completely safe around, so saying “don’t put yourself in dangerous circumstances and you won’t get raped” is a whole lotta bullshit.

        Additionally, I hate it when people talk down to women like this. It’s so condescending, as if we’re all idiots who don’t know how to make smart choices or protect ourselves. Ugh.

      • Josefa says:

        I took it that way too and that she simply didnt word herself well. Maybe what shes trying to say is, no, its not your fault and this is wrong, but thats not an excuse to not be cautious. And I can respect that.

        Im just trying to be as empathic as possible because I have never been raped or abused sexually, and she has. I think its really, really wrong of me to act like I know better than her and tell her how to cope. Maybe its not the way you’d cope with it, but this is her suffering, her pain, and we must respect that. She went through something horrible and found a way to cope with it – lets not make her feel bad about her coping now.

      • Naddie says:

        I’m sorry, but it really sounded like pure victim blaming, not precautionary measures.

      • Algernon says:

        The problem is, you can’t transfer personal responsibility to the group. It’s one thing to say that there are things you can do to increase your safety when you’re out and about, like not wearing headphones while walking at night, staying within well-lit areas, knowing basic self defense, etc, but that burden can’t be placed on an entire group of people because it creates a “no crime happens” mentality. When you make it the responsibility of a group of potential victims to prevent their own victimization, you’ve just excused the criminal from their role in the crime. It’d be like saying anyone who paints their front door red is asking to have their house burned down, so that when someone burns down a house with a red door, you go to the homeowner and say, “Well no, that wasn’t arson, you had a red door. You were asking for this person to come by and burn down your house.” That’s crazy, and completely removes the arsonist from the equation.

        A person gets mugged and we say, “Oh that’s so terrible, are you okay?” A person gets raped and we say, “Well what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Were you flirting?” Rape and domestic abuse are the only crimes where we ask the victim to accept responsibility for the crime committed against them. Not for nothing, rape and domestic violence happen disproportionately to women.

      • Josefa says:

        @Algernon

        Well I guess there’s a cultural difference then. When someone gets something stolen here (South America) the first question we ask is “and weren’t you paying attention?”, “why didn’t you leave the alarm on?”, etc. Not sure about the stats in the USA but here, practically everyone I know has been robbed in some way or another at very least twice.

        I’m just trying to be sympathetic here. As someone who hasn’t been raped, I don’t feel well telling a rape survivor how to talk and what to say about the subject. I think she might have a point somewhere and it just got lost in very unfortunate wording.

      • Ash says:

        **But then she ruined it by saying “I’m walking around drunk in my underwear, who else’s fault can it be?” That is all kinds of wrong.**

        This is where she lost me. I like Chrissie. I like The Pretenders, but she worded her comments horribly, although I think I understand what she was trying to accomplish. Wow.

      • FLORC says:

        Kitten
        Agree with your comment. Just wanting to add for the general discussion.
        Date Rape doesn’t mean you’re on a date even mean you’re on a date. It means you know the identity of your attacker. That you are familiar with them. Coworker, friend, neighbor. And so often the attacker is known, but I hate the term “date” being used like that.

        I’m trying to not judge how someone deals with their own trauma, but her phrasing is so counterproductive. There are different scenarios of how rape can happen, but it all boils down to the same part of a person wanting power over another who isn’t of clear mind.

      • Bootsie says:

        What you’re referring to is acquaintance rape. Date rape actually does specifically refer to rape when there is, has been or could have been a romantic or sexual relationship of some sort between rapist and victim. Kitten was correct in her usage.

    • Ann says:

      All 21 year olds are naive, that’s not a flaw. Society forces women Into an unsustainable situation: men supposedly are good people, superior in every way and to be trusted. When a woman trusts a man/men and it backfires, she will be blamed for trusting and not the man/men for being untrustworthy, manipulative, abusive and violent.

    • EM says:

      What part? Not providing consent? Even if a woman is drunk, there is no proper consent. Why are you trying to rationalise her illogical comment?
      What she said is 100% wrong.
      It’s like you agree with her rationalisation for rape. There is NO rationalisation for rape. It is wrong. It is a crime.

    • j. says:

      Yes, it’s a sticky situation. On one hand, you don’t want to victim blame or absolve the men of their utter and total guilt.

      On the other hand, it’s naive and wrong to not teach people there are ways to reduce their chances of becoming a victim. We teach people to lock their cars and walk in pairs in sketchy situations, why is it wrong to say “don’t follow strange men to strange places”?

      • Tapioca says:

        Exactly – why not re-educate the attackers AND teach risk-reduction? A two-pronged approach for maximum effect. In domestic violence cases they usually court-order courses for the perpertrator AND offer counselling for the victim.

        The rapist ALWAYS being at fault and the moral high ground NEVER protecting you from being assaulted and not mutually exclusive concepts.

      • j. says:

        How do you think this attitude will help? If you want a better analogy, we teach abstinence and safe sex reduces pregnancy. Why not teach that not getting drunk around strangers reduces your chance to be a victim?

        There are bad people out there, teaching men not to rape may reach the borderline cases but it won’t reach the truly vicious. That’s not to say we shouldn’t do it, but it won’t eliminate rape entirely. Neither will teaching prevention, but hopefully they can both reduce it.

      • original kay says:

        @ poppet

        I reported your post, to see if that helps have it removed.

        I liked what Kitten said above, about teaching males that the female body is not there for their consumption. I will do double duty to make sure that message is crystal clear to my son.

      • ell says:

        what kitten says is SO important. most rapes are in the hands of men we trust, in a way or another. men need to be taught about consent first and foremost, everything else comes after.

      • J. says:

        @kitten

        No, but some are and those situations can often have been prevented. We’re never going to eliminate rape entirely, but we can take a multi-pronged approach to reduce it.

        Obviously I’m with you guys about the national attitude that rape victims are somehow at fault needs to change, but I don’t think blaming prevention techniques is helpful and may wind up doing more harm than good. Just as we need to get it into our heads that victims aren’t at fault, we also need to get it into our heads that teaching smart choices and assertiveness does not mean placing blame on victims.

      • LooseSeal says:

        I have been raped by 3 men in my life – a babysitter when I was 9, a boyfriend when I was 23 and a friend of a friend at 24. I have been involved in 4 different support groups for rape survivors and have numerous other friends who are survivors. I’d say I know somewhere in the neighborhood of 30+ women and men who have been raped. Every single one of those people knew their attacker.

      • J. says:

        @looseseal

        I’m very sorry to hear that.

        I’ve never been raped, but I have 5 friends that have (at least, that I know of), and it was all in more stranger-danger scenarios where they either did not know the man at all or had just met him recently and all of them could have been prevented with the typical precautionary measure of drinking responsibly and having a friend nearby.

        That’s not intended to pass judgment on them. I’ve certainly put myself in that situation plenty of times and luckily nothing bad came of it.

        Statistically, I know that women are more likely to be raped by those they trust, but my friends’ experiences make these particular cases stick out to me and it bugs me when people preach “You should be able to drink what you want, go where you want, do what you want without someone taking advantage of you.” Yes, you should be able to, but the reality is that you can’t and there’s no sense in pretending otherwise.

      • Kitten says:

        @ J- Telling women to not put themselves in dangerous situations is still less effective than teaching men not to rape. As long as we perpetuate this idea that women can somehow avoid getting raped, we are still putting the onus on women. We’re saying the victim should have done better to protect herself instead of asking how we as a society can raise men to have healthy and respectful attitudes towards women and sex.

        For as long as I can remember (and I’m 36) young women have been told to make smart choices–stick with friends, walk in well-lit areas, carry pepper spray, don’t wear headphones at night, don’t get too drunk at a party, whatever.

        The conversation has ALWAYS been about lecturing women to be safe. It’s time for the conversation to change because one in five women in the US will be sexually assaulted—–whatever we’ve been doing is NOT WORKING. We need to start with the source which is a society that dismisses aggressively sexual male behavior as “boys will be boys”.

        You know, before I moved to the city and went off to college, my parents gave me the standard lecture about being safe, not getting drunk, not going home with strangers, etc. But I don’t recall my parents ever sitting my brother down before he started college to tell him that he needs to avoid booze-fueled parties and to remember that consent is an imperative and women who are drunk or incapacitated are not “free-for-alls”.
        Of course, my brother is a feminist and a wonderful man, but my point still stands. Women KNOW how to protect ourselves but mistakes can/will be made. We should be able to feel safe knowing that if we make a bad decision, men will be our allies and protect us, instead of harm us.

      • J. says:

        @kitten

        But I’m not asking that men not get educated about consent and society shift away from rape culture. I very much want that too and I think it should be the priority. And if this article and comments section was about not educating men, I’d be going batshit.

        And I’m not sure that I agree that precautionary measures are not working. There’s no way to measure actual rapes vs prevented rapes. I know there have definitely been instances where some sort of internal alarm of mine has sounded and I acted upon it, whether it was swiftly removing myself from the situation or just being wary and not drinking. Whether or not those situations would have resulted in me getting raped had I acted otherwise, I have no idea.

        While I have no problem with the shift towards putting men in the spotlight when it comes to rape prevention, I am troubled by the attitude that prevention=blame or that precautionary measures should be dispensed with altogether, which some people seem to be advocating. I remember seeing a picture of a poster in a college dorm room advising girls not to get drunk and someone graffiti’d it with “Why not tell men not to rape?”. This sort of false dichotomy just seems pointless to me. It’s not either/or. I guess I’m like your mom in that I think it should be both. And I also think both aspects should be taught to both sexes.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I feel you, J. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to teach men not to rape AND women to be careful (although no amount of precautions can ever make you 100% safe). Obviously, teaching the men is more important. However, I wonder if we could manage to teach women some safety tips (which, to be honest, we probably all got at some time when we were growing up) and self-defense tactics, without giving the implication that you are somehow at fault for any attack. That YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME needs to be drilled into their heads as much as something like “don’t leave your drink unattended” and “use the buddy system.”

      • Kitten says:

        @J-We can’t measure rapes that did not occur, this is true. Much like we can’t know exactly what prevented a rape from occurring. But neither of those two obvious realities change the very basic fact that one in five women is sexually assaulted. We don’t know what we don’t know but we DO know that sexual assaults are still a very common occurrence. Would they be more common if women didn’t actively try to protect themselves? Maybe, but I believe the difference would be negligible at best.

        Let’s look at what we’ve already discussed here:
        First, most women who are raped are raped by someone they know, someone they felt safe with, someone they trusted. What could they have done differently to avoid that? Really, you’d have to advocate for a solution that involves women simply NOT talking to men or dating anyone at all. That’s just not realistic.

        Second, for the women who are raped by strangers, do you really think that these men are easily deterred? A woman who is attacked in her home while she were sleeping by a stranger who broke her door down, what would you suggest she do differently to avoid that? A woman who runs the same 4 mile loop at 6 AM every morning for 15 years without incident and one morning a man attacks her, do you really think that she could have somehow prevented that?
        The truth is that a lot of rape victims are not victims because they were careless, they were simply victims of bad luck.

        NOBODY is saying that women shouldn’t be cautious. Women are NOT stupid. We’ve been socialized since we were children to fear strange men. That’s what your comments seem to ignore. The conversation has ALWAYS been that women need to watch out, and guess what? We know that already. We don’t need to be told that over and over again. Hell, even by your own admission women have a natural internal alarm. I’m sorry if it bothers you but after a while it does feel incredibly repetitive—like we’re supposed to be “smart enough” and “careful enough” to avoid getting raped.

        Personally, I think we need a HUGE cultural shift that puts the focus squarely on male behavior and the systemic issues that come along with a rape culture. We need to go way over to the opposite end of the spectrum in order to make our point. The aim should be on changing male behavior and it should be repeated over and over again until it becomes the norm, like the norm for women has always been to watch out for bad, scary men.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        @Kitten
        Completely agree with you. I don’t go to the mall by myself at night, or get on an elevator alone with a strange man, or walk in isolated areas, or park in a parking garage, ever if I can help it, and if I have to, park right by the door and live in terror until I’m out of there. And it makes me mad as hell. I’m so sick of living my life defensively and in fear of being attacked. It’s just reality, I know, but why does it have to be? Why can’t boys be brought up to feel that rape is what it is – a cowardly, shameful act that no decent man would ever commit? Not to be sexist, but most of these boys have an influential woman in their life, probably. Why aren’t these women conditioning their sons from birth to be decent people? My own parents never talked to my brothers about rape that I know of. I guess they assumed they didn’t need to because my brothers wouldn’t do that, and they wouldn’t. Maybe everyone assumes that? But I completely agree with the need for a huge cultural shift. I’m tired of being punished for someone else’s sick behavior.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        GNAT and Kitten, of course you are right. We are taught to be careful from early on. That is already the case and not going to change. But men being taught not to rape is NOT happening enough yet, I also want our girls and women to know that it is not their fault whatever happens.

      • Kitten says:

        Exactly, GNAT. The other day when we went to the football game my boyfriend parked in a huge parking lot to buy a cooler in a liquor store. The lot was on a major route and it just felt…exposed. I immediately locked the doors. When he came back he was like “you locked the doors? I was just running in…” completely oblivious because of course HE would never think to do that because, why would he?
        I do the same thing when I’m driving in the city and a man is walking in the road, close to the cars–immediately lock my doors.

        Hell, think about every little thing you do to keep yourself safe–and it’s all automatic, all subconscious. As you said, so often mothers raise their daughters to be leery of men but never teach their sons to respect women’s boundaries.

        I remember having a conversation with my brother a long time ago where he described walking along a road at night and approaching a woman who was also walking alone. He wanted to know what he should do to make her feel safer, how should he act? I said that he should cross the street and stare straight ahead. Don’t make eye contact, don’t smile or say hello, and do NOT walk closely behind her or near her. He told me the other day that he has consistently followed my advice and I hope if he has a son one day that he’ll teach him the same. These are the things we should be talking about: what should men do to make women feel safe. That does NOT mean that women should be lulled into a false sense of security, it just means that men so often take their privilege for granted and never stop to think about how women live on the defense at all times.

        @Amy Tennant:
        “We are taught to be careful from early on. That is already the case and not going to change.”

        Right. I mean, the statistics alone are enough to frighten a woman into being cautious–we don’t need require an education about how to protect ourselves. We have common sense, you know?

      • FLORC says:

        GNAT/Kitten
        I’m just nodding my head non-stop at your comments.
        And you think you’re careful. You practice no making yourself vulnerable like walking down that dark alley instead of the well lit street. And you can still be attacked. Because it’s not enough to guard yourself.
        I really hate we’re still needing to have this discussion. Rape doesn’t happen without a rapist.

      • piecesofme says:

        @kitten re your comment about what men can do to help women feel safer…

        At my university in the early nineties we had an issue with a flasher, who was obviously escalating (he had attempted to grab a woman). Brigham Young university has very strict dress code standards, kicks you out of school for drinking, smoking, pretty much all of those “risky” behaviors. So the university published guidelines about how women could be safer and it included all the usual suspects–never go anywhere alone, call a male friend to escort you if you have to be at the library late at night, take a self defense class etc. The list that we all know by heart because even at 20 we’ve heard all the lessons about avoiding becoming a victim.

        So the feminist organization on campus put together a counter list of things men could do to help the women in their lives feel safer. It included things like calling a female friend to be an escort if you had to walk late at night so that other women would know you were safe, crossing the street if you saw a woman walking alone so she wouldn’t feel threatened, etc. I remember when the flyers went up, the main reaction was “is this a joke, this is a joke, right?” And generally, if they didn’t immediately think it was a “joke” they were outraged–how dare they tell me what to do, infringe on my rights. Call a woman to escort me from the library? That’s crazy!

        It was interesting to me that the list for women, the de facto list we had already read a million times, because people we loved were helping us to avoid danger, was either a joke or an insult when turned around and presented to men.

      • bettyrose says:

        Original Kay –
        I don’t think I saw the post you reported. It seems to be gone now, but I like what you said about teaching your sons. The importance of teaching boys to respect their female peers and not feel entitled to sex cannot be overstated. However, I wonder if boys are also taught the dangers of getting blackout drunk? I ask because when I was in college it was common enough for two people to get rip roaring drunk together and not really remember what happened the next day. Even if neither person feels violated by what happened, they could easily not remember whether there was intercourse, whether a condom was used – and in the 90s that meant waiting 3 months to get an HIV test because it took that long for a test to be accurate. I don’t have brothers or sons, and my BF was raised in a culture that never discussed these things, so I don’t really know whether there’s more focus on educating boys – just as we educate girls – about the danger of losing control, which hurts them too, does it not?

      • Kitten says:

        @Piecesofme-Sigh. On one hand, it’s awesome that the feminist group came up with their own reply to the list of things women should do. On the other hand, it’s depressing and sadly unsurprising that people responded the way they did. Again, we’re used to modifying women’s behavior, we’re used to telling women what they should/shouldn’t do, but never do we discuss what men should do to help. The idea that a man would call a female escort is a FANTASTIC one but is any of us surprised that men would be resistant to it? There are still men who are resentful of the idea that women might be afraid of them. They’re offended that we might see them as a threatening stranger, instead of the great guy that they are. Meanwhile, if they aren’t open to modifying their behavior, then they’re part of that societal mechanism; the mechanism that enforces the message that women should be afraid of men. If a man wants to show us what a harmless, benign, and good guy he is, then he should consider changing how he acts around women, much like how women have historically been conditioned to change the way we act around men.

        @FLORC-Precisely. Also, I saw your clarification of the term “date rape” above and I appreciate it. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I ever understood the distinction.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Regarding date rape discussion: I think these days it’s more commonly called acquaintance rape, which is a heck of a lot more accurate

      • FLORC says:

        Amy Tennant
        Thank you. I didn’t realize they’ve retitled it. It’s far more accurate. When I was attacked it was “date rape” and I gave holy hell to the detectives that it wasn’t a “date” it was an just “rape”. That’s when they had to explain it to me and why it was called that. It felt like the term belittled how severe the crime was in my take.
        Aquaintance is exactly what it is. Glad it’s changed.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      I was four years old, I had not started primary school yet, so what responsibility do I need to take for my part in the event. And yes I was naive because, again I was four.

      I was so short I had a little plastic step to stand on to reach the wash basin in our bathroom, I had to stand on that to try to clean myself after what he had done to me.

      It breaks my heart how many other commentators here have stories like mine to share, I want to wish you all strength, peace and happier lives, I hope you have people you love and love you the way you all deserve.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Oh Zapp, you did a great job of painting that picture. Oh my God, I’m so sorry. I’m mostly against the death penalty but stories like this make me want to burn the guy at the stake.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Zapp reading your story I’m so angry right now. You know, we all talk about the shame and guilt but I’d also like to talk about the anger. To this day I still have rage issues. But I’m working through it as we all are. Hugs and love to you.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I went on a blind date, and he was a good friend of a good friend. He was (I thought) driving me home, but instead drove me to his house and said he wanted to show it to me. I didn’t want to go inside, and said so, but he kept insisting so I did, stupidly, because I didn’t want to be rude. He held there until 4:00 in the morning. He didn’t rape me, but he did everything else. I screamed and nobody heard me or if they did, they didn’t come. It was so stupid of me to go in there. I felt something was wrong, and I submitted for the most ridiculous reason. I didn’t want to be rude to someone who was trying to force me to do something I didn’t want to do. I take responsibility for that and will never make that mistake again. But I take ZERO responsibility for what he did. That was him being a sick, entitled f@ck. He knew I didn’t want him to touch me and he did it anyway. He didn’t care how I felt. The fact that I made a stupid move in no way excuses what he did.

      • frisbee says:

        No love, it was not your fault, it wasn’t ‘stupid’ of you to go in there, judging from your posts you don’t have a stupid bone in your body – it was all him, he was a vile pathetic excuse for a human being. end of. *hug*

      • Wren says:

        Your reason for going along wasn’t ridiculous. We’re trained from a young age to be agreeable and “not be rude”. When someone insists, women are supposed to go along with it to not hurt the other person’s feelings (or so they don’t appear to be demanding shrews). “Consider the other person” is something drilled into girl’s heads from childhood.

        I think we need more awareness of this kind of sexual assault. The attack in a dark alley by a stranger is what we’re all told to be aware of and most of the “don’t put yourself in that situation” teaching is geared towards, but not the potential danger of someone we know.

      • jenn12 says:

        We are trained from a young age to be polite. This is why I am trying to teach my kids that “No” is a complete sentence and to use it. I will deal with any fallout from them saying no. With that said, rapists and psychopaths are focused on getting control and they’re good at it. No one is ever responsible for someone else forcing their will on the person.

      • original kay says:

        I have kind of the same situation, took me years to sort through it all.

        I really liked this guy, we “hung out” for a few weeks, and finally I had him back to my place. We fooled around and then I wanted to slow down, he said “aren’t you enjoying it? just relax and enjoy it” and damn it, I knew at the time but I let it passively happen. I ended up pregnant, had an abortion. I am still not sure what it was, but I know I had been drinking, and I had some gut that said to stop, I was
        t playing hard to get or being a c*cktease.

        To all who have posted heart wrenching personal stories, my sympathies for your pain and my admiration for your courage. ((hugs to all)))

      • Amy Tennant says:

        We have that drilled into our heads from the beginning. Be nice. Be sweet. Be polite. Go along.

      • FLORC says:

        GNAT
        My heart goes out to you. That’s awful that happened to you. I have no words, but your account left me very teary. Especially reading So Many accounts of attacks.

        And while i hesitate to type this going along is sometimes the safest way to ensure your survival in a fearful and dangerous situation. To fight back can leave you with enough evidence to prove this was against your will, but who makes a conscious choice for that? It’s in the moment. I’ve shared my story. I fought back. And I still had no control. Once you’re in it all your body and mind can do is whatever it thinks it needs to to survive that threat. You and everyone else did what they had to just to survive. There’s no shame in that and no one should blame themselves for wanting to come out alive.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Thank you to everyone for responding and for everyone on thread who shared their stories and showed such empathy for others. And FLORC, thank you for your kind words. I had never really thought about it that way.

        It makes me so angry, exhausted and sad that we have to live our lives trying to explain to people like Chrissie why her words are so harmful. It makes me sad that this is the way she has chosen to process that terrible event in her life – by blaming herself because she didn’t understand that those men meant her harm. I really wish everyone here who has been hurt lots of healing and love. I hope she thinks about what she said and finds the courage to admit that it was then, is still and ever shall be out of her control if someone else decides to rape.

      • FLORC says:

        GNAT
        I hope for that too. Well put.

    • meme says:

      It’s the unpopular opinion but I agree with you.

    • Katija says:

      When I was in college I had one of those “was that rape? Did I just get raped?” moments. I’ll always wonder. I was very, very, very drunk – now I’m from the Soviet Union, LOL, and that usually doesn’t put me in a bad way, but I was very drunk the first time I tried marijuana, and anyone who has mixed the two know how that can make you.

      I know that I did not want to sleep with that person, said “no” once then just lay back.

      I shouldn’t have left my friends and drank more than I can handle, and I shouldn’t have just sucked off of some random dude’s pipe.

      I’m not the reason I had sex with blurred consent, that stupid guy was. But I’m the reason I was in a dangerous situation in the first place.

      • ell says:

        ok, but it’s important to remember that people aren’t things, and NO ONE (NO ONE) has a right to your body no matter what situation you’ve put yourself in. no means no.

  8. Tifygodess says:

    I don’t agree with her at all but I feel for her as a victim. But she’s mixing the message, personal responsibility is one thing but rape is another. No survior of rape is responsible for being raped. It seems to me she may be trying to take the control back they took from her. By blaming herself or others she’s giving herself the false illusion that if she does “better next time” – like not dressing or acting a certain way – it won’t happen again. Protective mode. But still nonsense. I feel for her, it’s hard to critize someone who has gone through this but in the same hand her message is dangerous.

    • Kiki says:

      No survivor of any kind of trauma is responsible for anything especially being raped. But the survivor is responsible for telling themselves that they are not at fault and fight for my strength as a human being. I have never been sexually assaulted but I have been sexually harrased by a man who would do and say anything derogatory towards me, because he saw a pretty young woman and wants to have sex when he feels like, because I am a silly young woman that will not answer back. I took a stance against him, told him off and complained , after that he was fired, but what scares me about him, is that he looked like a predator looking for his prey and I was his target and if I didn’t do something about it, he would have raped me. I am not blaming any rape victim, I am saying rape survivors that you have the power to not let this trauma get to you, even if it takes a while, you are strong enough to fight the fight. The rapist are the ones who responsible for the crimes, not the victims.

  9. ashley says:

    People should/can wear what they want without the fear of being raped. She should speak for herself,not other victims. I was almost raped when i was eight and it wasn’t my fault,i did nothing wrong,this lady can phuck off!!!

  10. Ann says:

    Huge fan of her but she’s been saying misogynistic stuff for decades. She also was in relationships where she was beaten. She’s one of those women who’ll go to her grave glossing over the psychotic behavior of men while shitting all over women. Overly forgiving with men and overly critical of women.

    Not sure why she doesn’t ask the group of men who lied to a 21-year old girl only to rape her to take full responsibility. Wtf is wrong with men?

    • Ash says:

      “Huge fan of her but she’s been saying misogynistic stuff for decades. She also was in relationships where she was beaten. She’s one of those women who’ll go to her grave glossing over the psychotic behavior of men while shitting all over women. Overly forgiving with men and overly critical of women.”

      I’m a fan too, and unfortunately, you’re right about this.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Then I pity her. Sounds like she’s been through a lot and has had certain wrong-headed societal views drummed into her head. It’s made her her own worse enemy. And the saddest part is, she doesn’t even realise it.

    • Tara says:

      Really disappointed in her. Truly. Risk mitigation is one thing. Asking who’s to blame if a man rapes? Um. That’s not a question. The person who commits the crime is the one to blame.

  11. EM says:

    She is an idiot. Rape is about the absence of consent, not clothing. I do not accept what she said & will not bother to rationalise her mentality.
    Maybe she feels like this type of controversy will help her comeback. Hello? It won’t, not when her latest songs are crap.

  12. jenn12 says:

    No one should go through what this woman endured. It’s horrific. But men should have the self control to understand you don’t do anything to a woman whether she’s standing there buck naked or in a Duggar costume. And most do. Perhaps what Chrissy is really upset about is that she was so trusting and should not have been, but she doesn’t know how to express it.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Yep, men (and everyone else) definitely have enough self-control to not sexually assault someone just because skin is showing or just because they find that person sexually attractive. If they didn’t, literally every man who’s attracted to women would be a rapist because literally every one of them has been exposed to a woman showing skin and a woman they find sexually attractive, but that’s not the case. It’s not a loss of control issue, it’s a choice and ethics issue.

      • jenn12 says:

        There was a recent article in the Daily Mail about the genocide in the Ukraine in the 40s and there were sickening pictures which included Jewish women- who dress modestly- stripped, beaten and raped, with the men around them leering and laughing. There is genocide going on right now in Nigeria, the Middle East and Asia, where women in BURKAS are being attacked and raped. It’s control in the sense that rapists enjoy the sense of power they have- strip the women (and some men, too), show them against their will, have them against their will, look at our power, they can’t make us stop. How much more modest can you be than a Duggar, and their psycho brother went after them. Rape is caused by rapists. With that stated, try to have some precautions, like do NOT trust just anyone, do not be inebriated unless you’re around people you KNOW you can trust, it is your right to say no when you don’t want to do something, etc. Not because anyone asks for rape- NEVER- but because you don’t want to be in a situation with a cesspool of a person(s) that you don’t want to have power over you. Heaven forbid anyone is in that situation, it will still never be their fault.

  13. Jenny says:

    Way to go, Chrissie! Putting the blame for violence and sex crimes firmly on the shoulders of the victims, where it does NOT belong. What she is saying is what misogynists have been saying for centuries, that women are responsible for (the expression of) men’s sexuality. What’s next Chrissie, joining the Duggar cult or perhaps the Talibans would be a better fit?

  14. Whitney says:

    No. They are VICTIMS, not co-conspirators.

  15. Daria Morgendorffer says:

    My family just found out this year that my uncle’s granddaughter (he has a son from a previous marriage) who I’m close to was raped almost nightly by her mother’s husband from the ages of 8 through 16 when she moved out of her mother’s house and cut off all contact with her because her mother took her husband’s side and didn’t believe her. She didn’t even tell anyone until earlier this year. If one were to take Chrissie’s comments to heart, I guess that would mean my little cousin needs to take responsibility because she was lying in bed obviously inviting it. What a crock of shit.

    There is no way to make sense of the argument that she is trying to make and it’s antiquated and inexcusable for her to really support that argument because she has had plenty of worldly experience to know better. This is not 1959 and we’re not living in an episode of Mad Men. Just because a woman has on a short skirt or has too much to drink does not mean she is inviting a man to rape her. I can’t believe that anyone in this day and age would still support this bullshit theory, as if we’re all supposed to excuse men because they just can’t be expected to help themselves so if you’re not totally on guard at all times, it’s all your fault.

    I was a huge Chrissie Hynde fan and thought she was such a bad ass until she opened her stupid mouth. I’ve also been reading comments from people who say they’ve met her and she’s awful. Guess I was totally wrong about her.

    • Chrissy says:

      The sad part is that she has two adult daughters. You have to wonder what was she telling them about her experience. I hope they set her straight and are okay. Sad…..

    • StormsMama says:

      @daria

      Thank you for your post

      It is only today- about 32-33 years after the fact that I am really grasping that being raped by neighborhood boys (the leader was 9 or 10; I was 5 or 6) was truly not because of anything I did. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t “ask for it” or deserve it.
      My entire life I have secretly believed it was some deep dark stain on my young self bc I somehow brought that on me. AS IF I came up with idea to have them shove a bottle up inside me. AS IF I came up with the idea to be poked and prodded and laughed at and left in the dirt and bushes to get myself dressed.

      I can not believe it took me this long…
      Even yesterday after initially reading her comments I compartmentalized my own early trauma.

      I had a talk today with some moms of sons and I said to them (they were already crafting an odd theory about college rape being the girls should know better) DO ME A FAVOR AND TEACH YOUR SONS TO ASK “do you want to have sex with me?” And if the girl says anything but yes do not do it. And the girl should ask the boy. If you are old enough to have sex you are old enough to get consent!!!!!!!!!! If you are too embarrassed to ask for consent—- to make it crystal clear of your intentions—- or the girl is too embarrassed or shy to give consent or articulate her intentions DO NOT HAVE SEX.

  16. Hawkeye says:

    While I don’t think she’s to blame for her rape, I don’t think the real harm done to ending rape culture is because of what she said. The real harm done to ending rape culture is if the rapists weren’t held accountable by law enforcement and the courts. The real harm done to ending rape culture is letting the “don’t wear this” crowd get away with using a survivor’s own words against her.

  17. Dvaria says:

    I felt this way too as a protective mechanism….it makes you feel like you had some sort of power over the event and could have prevented it but didn’t rather than being completely at the mercy of someone else….some people find it hard to put the “victim” label on themselves because it makes them feel weak….I don’t know if I’m describing that correctly because I still have issues using proper terminology on what happened to me when I was in college because the reality makes me want to scream when I think of it now that I’m older.

  18. Gggggg says:

    I was gang raped at 18; now, I’m 30. In the course of the last 12 years having gone over and over the events of that night, I have ultimately seen how my own troubles, my self-abnegation and self-destructive tendencies played a role. There were many red flags that night that I ignored; I was delivered into the hands of these men already feeling very powerless. I have also found my way to forgiving those men, because I cannot imagine how alienated from love one must have to be to commit such a sociopathic act as drugging a girl and passing her around like a rag doll corpse. HOWEVER (big big however), NOBODY other than me can say this to me or for me. I would absolutely never presume that other survivors could/should/will draw those same conclusions post-crime. Rape is a murder that you survive, and that society asks you to keep to yourself … don’t pursue justice, don’t even mention that this happened. When I speak to other survivors I don’t forgive or apologize for their rapists, I feel nothing but rage and heartbreak on their behalf. I love Chrissie Hynde and this just kills me …

    • Hawkeye says:

      “NOBODY other than me can say this to me or for me. I would absolutely never presume that other survivors could/should/will draw those same conclusions post-crime.” I’m teared up over here because this is exactly what I’ve been trying to say. Also giving you a hug, Gggggg.

    • jc126 says:

      I’m so sorry for what you went through. I agree with never telling any other rape survivor what to do or what she could have done to supposedly avoid being raped; I also agree that sometimes ALL of us have made choices that were very naive in retrospect. I disagree with her focus on clothing and the word “fault” but I think those who’ve been through this trauma might feel the need to advise others to avoid placing themselves in the same scenario -the thought of going to a wild party with motorcycle gang members gives me the shivers.. Of course males should be taught to respect women and not rape them – but it’s also wise to be self-protective.

    • Ash says:

      I’m sorry about what happened to you, Gggggg. I hope that you’re finding more peace. I liked your entire post, especially the part about how you wouldn’t tell other rape survivors how they should act and feel.

      I like Chrissie, but her comment didn’t sit right with me at all.

  19. Otaku Fairy says:

    On the one hand you feel sorry for her because of her experience and see how it could be easy for her (or anyone else) to internalize that kind of sexist, victim-blaming garbage. But on the other had it’s like, you’re a public figure! That makes it doubly wrong for you to say something like this because a lot more people will hear it and either internalize themselves or will use it to justify their own rape culture-supporting political beliefs and get on their soapbox about it. That’s why I’m always like, ‘oh no’ when a public figure says anything to support things like victim-blaming, racism, slut-shaming, etc. I think celebrities and politicians need to be more responsible about the things they say.

    Also, when will we learn that when we tell women and girls, “If you don’t want men and boys to do this to you, be modest so you don’t entice them and they’ll act right,” we’re also telling men and boys, “It’s natural and expected for you to do bad things to women and girls if they won’t be modest.”

    It also doesn’t work, because modestly-dressed women and girls have been the victims of sex crimes for thousands of years, and they still are. ‘Chaste’ rules around women’s role and what they shouldn’t be wearing clearly don’t help.

  20. kira says:

    I saw the Pretenders live in a small venue and Chrissie was a bummer, making political PETA remarks between songs, being antagonistic. And she sang along with a vocal track, which was disappointing.

    It is powerful to publicly disclose what happened to her. She was young and naive, but that does not equal being responsible for being gang raped. Just, I don’t know. I don’t think she’s able to think beyond herself, and her remarks come off as blase. Her thoughtlessness and insensitivity is what is irresponsible.

  21. Darkladi says:

    Chrissie, I know that you really need to believe that bullsh*t you said to hold it together. I’m not going to get in your face about it. But, PLEASE get some help.

  22. My Two Cents says:

    That line of thinking completely wipes away the real reason for rape. Its not about the actual act of sex, rape is about feeling power and control over a woman. I was raped at 17. Attacked in my car. I never dressed provocative or asked for it. She believes the old myth that if a woman is raped its because somehow they asked for it. Hogwash!!! These people that make public comments on a subject really need to think before they speak. Otherwise, they come off sounding like idiots.

  23. original kay says:

    I echo the sentiments already expressed- that Chrissie needs some help to deal with her own trauma.

    I hope she gets it. In the meantime, I am very worried for the 2 girls from India who have been sentenced to be raped because their brother married outside his caste.
    They can’t go home, for fear their punishment for what their brother did will be carried out.

    • Carmen says:

      I feel for those girls too, but actually their brother’s crime was running off with a married woman who happened to be outside his caste. The fact that two innocent young girls have been sentenced to be punished for what their brother and another person did is unconscionable.

      • original kay says:

        oh thank you, I read he actually married, not just that they ran off together. thanks for the clarification.

  24. db says:

    I think I understand what she’s saying. First of all, she was an adult at the time, so I don’t think she intended her opinion to cover children or date rape. That said, though, she sounds like she’s coming from an understanding that the world (I.e., men) is not a safe place for women. You can’t assume that, so therefore if you drink to passing out, choose to go to some houseparty with people you don’t know, yes, you are taking a risk. That’s what I’m getting here, although maybe I’m misreading. In a way, she’s telling young women, be strong, know you are choosing your actions and be aware. The sh8tbags who raped Chrissie were 100% wrong though. Chrissie’s naivete played a role, but the primary guilt is always with the rapist.

    • WTF says:

      The “primary guilt”????!!! This is exactly the problem! ALL OF THE GUILT is with the rapist. I don’t care if I pass out naked in the middle of a frat house, if you have sex with me without my consent then it is rape and God help you when I come to. These a-holes count on women blaming themselves, and society parsing responsibility. Complete crap

      • db says:

        Of course it is rape. But wouldn’t you better off in that scenario not drinking to the point you pass out? There’s this hope that world is or should be or can be made to be SAFE. It isn’t and won’t be, although we are fortunate here in the states to have comparatively strong laws and that rape is a crime. As poorly enforced as those laws often are, they are still in place. So there is something to build on, to make sure those laws ARE enforced and that means making noise about it, because people, men AND women, have to be inculcated to be nonviolent through our schools, religious organizations and etc.

    • StormsMama says:

      DB
      If someone does not ASK you “can I have sex with you?”
      If you do not give consent, saying “yes I want to have sex with you”
      It is rape
      It does not matter if you are in a bikini or a burka; a bathrobe or a ball gown. It doesn’t matter.

  25. Naddie says:

    Being naive, stupid, young or whatever is not a crime, neither an excuse for rapists to brutalize anyone.

  26. Kate says:

    This makes me sad. My first instinct is to be angry at her, but I don’t know what her healing process has been and what kind of self-loathing she has struggled with. I just wish that she understood that her platform and her voice give her a responsibility toward other women. I don’t expect people in many other parts of the world to hear what she has said, but her views mirror the ages-old belief that the burden of sexual morality is the woman’s alone. She does immense harm to rape victims with these kinds of statements. Women and girls everyday in many parts of the world are made to shoulder the entire moral responsibility of their communities and are often even killed as punishment for their own rapes or forced to marry their rapists. The comments this woman has made are merely a variation on that same theme. It’s tragic.

  27. Neha says:

    ugh, I think she could have made a good point but just ruined it with the way she said it. It’s unforgivable what her words are doing to rape victims right now.

    That said, I’ve always advocated looking out for yourself and looking out for friends. As many have said, that can’t prevent childhood rape, spousal rape, prison rape, etc. in many cases, we are powerless, unfortunately. I think the “modestly dressed” thing is stupid, but things like drinking responsibly, having a friend always know where you are, carrying pepper spray, etc. are important. Even if they can prevent ONE rape from happening, it’s worth it. I completely agree that teaching boys not to rape is the #1 prevention technique, but that’s going to take time, just like teaching people not to be racists.

    • J. says:

      I agree with you Neha.

      And I’ve never really understood the modestly dressed thing either. That seems more puritanical and unnecessary. I doubt there is any evidence that a woman who dresses provocatively is more likely to be raped despite taking other precautionary measures.

  28. scr says:

    I think what Hynde says is true in some cases but of course not all cases. You can go around everywhere wearing your cash in plain view and any heirloom jewelry because it’s your right but why would anyone want to be that risky? Why offer your sexy assets and not expect sexual advances? Where there are drugs and alcohol involved why unleash what might be uncontrollable animal instincts? I think as adults we do have responsibility in choosing the types of people, crowd, places with which to associate.

    • FingerBinger says:

      Skimpy clothing isn’t an invitation to be raped. It’s comments like yours that are part of the problem.

    • Pedro45 says:

      No. Rape is not about “sexual advances.” No one is ever at fault except the rapist, who is after power, control and fear, not sex. Prostitutes are raped all the time and it is NOT their fault.

    • Algernon says:

      We do have those choices, but the majority of women (and men) who are raped will be raped by someone they know. That makes it that much harder to “police” your behavior to prevent the crime committed against you. That’s why rhetoric like Chrissie’s doesn’t work when extrapolated from an issue of personal responsibility to behavior that’s meant to cover a whole crowd. As I said above, when speaking in terms of rape culture and the societal herd, you can’t make it the responsibility of the victim to prevent their own assault. You put the responsibility on the criminal. We have laws, rape is illegal, obey the law. The end.

    • db says:

      With potential rape, as women, we need to control what we can *reasonably* control. Not for men or society, but for ourselves. I think we do young American women a disservice by encouraging them to drink hard, party hard and believe they can pass out drunk, and I think it comes out of the assumption that you *should* be safe wherever you go, especially at college — but that’s not true and never has been. Rape under that circumstance (passed out drunk at a party/taxi/college event has become so common it’s practically a meme.

      • Pedro45 says:

        It has nothing to do with the assumption of being safe. Bad things happen all the time. It has to do with guilt, which is always on the rapist. No matter what. Period.
        Women cannot “reasonably control whether we get raped or not.

      • scr says:

        I posted my comment in response to an American celebrity as an American myself. You seem like an advocate for 100% freedom and 0% responsibility. Just say, do, dress whatever and however you want without having to face the consequences. But reality rarely works this way. And thinking this way does not serve or empower women. I for one am very grateful to have the freedom to restrict myself the way I see fit rather than being forced. Maybe if there were realistic and careful discussions amongst women about the ways in which human nature can harm and less avoidant and delusional ones, the resulting awareness would pass onto girls.

    • Tara says:

      uncontrollable? uncontrollable animal instincts, your honor. case dismissed. sigh.

  29. L says:

    Except there’s no line of what is considered ‘proper’ to someone that wants to rape you. When I was assaulted I was wearing a turtleneck, cardigan, and khakis. That’s a far cry from walking down the street in your underwear. Women from religious groups that dress ‘modestly’ by modern standards, are also raped. Were they wearing something to provocative? Showing off that sexy ankle?

    In the era where ISISL is using rape to control women and a village in India ordered two sisters to be raped because their BROTHER ran off with another woman-this entire idea of “if you do X-Y won’t happen” is at best naive, and at worst dangerous for all women.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I never thought about the idea of the locus of control mentioned above that it is easier sometimes to blame oneself. I can understand the desire for people to say, “It’s because you did X.Y,Z” because that gives them a sense of security and safety.

      I agree with you all that it doesn’t matter if a woman is dressed provocatively or acting provocatively. It doesn’t even matter if you consent to some things, like kissing, and don’t consent to other things, or even if you initially consented and then withdrew your consent.

      If it all comes down to being provocative, then why do children get raped? Why do elderly people in wheelchairs get raped?

      For me the strongest thing that came out of the situation was finally realizing that I deserved respect, that I didn’t deserve what happened because NOBODY deserved that. In a weird way, that realization helped me value myself more. Before when anything bad happened, I took responsibility for it and blamed myself, but this horrible experience made me realize that I didn’t deserve everything bad that happened to me.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I can understand the desire for people to say, “It’s because you did X.Y,Z” because that gives them a sense of security and safety.

        That right there is what is at the heart of victim blaming.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        Yep. It’s an illusion of safety. That girl did this, and that happened, so if I don’t do this, I won’t get that.

    • Pamela says:

      I can’t believe that we, as a society, still need to be reminded that rape isn’t about sex, it is about power. The fact that the first question a rape victim gets is “what were you wearing?” is absolute insanity.

      Of course women should be able to wear whatever they want and men should just NOT rape them. But really, an even simpler way to put it is “Wear whatever you want because rape isn’t about how hot YOU look, it is about how phucked up the rapist is.”

      Elderly ladies get raped while wearing housecoats and support hose, ffs!

  30. Jensmom says:

    I have been a huge fan of hers since the beginning and was appalled by her words. Thank you Bedhead for seeing that she may have only been able to cope with this attitude. She has always come off so tough and able to take care of herself and anyone else who came along. Maybe that is why. I don’t fangirl her, so have no way of knowing if she is currently in a relationship or not, but I do recall some stormy years with Ray Davies of the Kinks and a marriage to another rocker. I hope she gets some help because she is a talented woman, but her thought processes are messed up.

    • belle de jour says:

      Just wanted to say that her comments and attitude remind me very much of several women I’ve known involved in fields dominated by both men and ‘image’ – in this case, ‘hard rockers’ – who feel the need to almost overcompensate by out-toughing the boys… and where a premium is put upon never being perceived as a victim, or answering to anybody else, or being too girly or feminine.

      I’ve gone to see her live several times, and I always knew what her persona was about; I’ve always loved her voice, too… I just hate what she’s said with it here.

  31. Amy Tennant says:

    I feel for all of you who are telling and for those of you who are not telling your own stories here. I’m so, so sorry this happened to us, It’s all horrible, but for you who were so young, it’s especially heartbreaking.

  32. grabbyhands says:

    Or you know, people could just stop raping other people because it is wrong.

    I want to feel bad for her because obviously somehow she believed it was her fault, that if she had just made a better decision, it would not have happened. But honestly-f**k her. The amount of damage espousing this opinion could do in a society that still believes that rape is something you somehow bring on yourself is incalculable., A. Rape is about violence and power, not sex. B. The fault of a rape rests squarely on the shoulders of the monster who committed the rape. End of.

    It particularly galls me as a woman living n this country, where we think we’re so much better than everyone else, that the mentality about how women should live and present themselves. So basically don’t dress immodestly, don’t behave immodestly and really just stay away from doing anything that could be construed as inviting trouble. Does this sound familiar?

  33. Piecesofme says:

    I also feel like as women all we do and are taught is to take responsibility. So much planning to mitigate the possibility of being assaulted. Want to go to a club downtown by yourself? Plan outfit, shoes… Now where to park–ramps can be trouble zones but there are cameras everywhere (at least it could be caught on tape!), street parking, where are the lights. Stay till bar close and have lots of people walk with you, even if you don’t know them? Leave earlier to avoid being on the road with all those drunk drivers? Want to have more than 2 drinks? Now it’s planning for a cab. Walk to your car with your keys already out (since you are most vulnerable when you are digging for keys or just hopped into your car).

    Go to a party… Who is making the drinks, some of these people are my friends but some of them aren’t. Always assessing everyone for safety and never trust.

    Walk to the neighborhood convenience store for a snack after dark… Watch everyone all the time. Hey there’s footsteps behind me, turn to make eye contact, let them know you see them, where are the street lights blah blah blah. Cross the street if necessary.

    It’s fear mongering. And I see my male friends completely oblivious to this level of constant awareness. They park wherever, they go to parties and get hammered and pass out in strange places, secure that if they get mugged they don’t be dismissed for being vulnerable. I had one male friend who never locked his car for some convoluted reason and was completely shocked when I tried to explain why I would never.

    We get trained to be afraid from day one and it’s a double bind… If we ignore the training and wear a sexy dress and have a drink then its our own fault innit. If we accept a ride from someone we thought was our friend and it turns out they weren’t, well we should have been more aware? Rapists gonna rape, and they know exactly how to manipulate — they are aware too.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      I heard something in a podcast the other day. A woman was saying if you changed sex for one day what would you do? She said men would be like “Oh, hot damn, I can see boobies and play with boobies all day.” Women would be like, “I could go jogging or cycling at night with my earbuds in!”

    • Aussie girl says:

      Well said!! I’ve never thought about how we do have that fear inbred into us. Your words where so true.

    • Kitten says:

      This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make on this thread. You said it perfectly.

      • piecesofme says:

        Yes! Adding my voice to your chorus (when I started my comment I’m not sure your longer thread had been going, and I got distracted by a happy cat). It has to be said a lot, I think.

    • I Choose Me says:

      So sad and so true.

    • Jessiebes says:

      Completely agree.

    • db says:

      It’s a reality, it’s not fear mongering. Women live in a different world than men, even though we inhabit the same space.

      I can’t really blast Hynde for her remarks. The woman was gang raped for god’s sake. And her perspective, whether or not I agree with it, is valuable. She’s not a role model, spokesperson, representative, or any other label people may want to hang on her. She’s speaking of her own experience. That’s it.

      • Tara says:

        The moment she chose to speak publicly and absolve her rapists of responsibility for their crime… that was the moment her experience was no longer just about her. It’s hers, but her judgmental words affected millions of others once she put them out there. I hope she’s well enough and gets help. I like her, but wow. Very disappointed.

    • FLORC says:

      Add me to the list of agreement on this. Well put.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Great post. My husband is a very enlightened man, but even he doesn’t always get it. I got very upset one day after coming downstairs from a shower and finding that he had left the back door unlocked when he left for work. We live in a very safe neighborhood, but I always lock the door. We talked about it, and now he always locks it, but I think he secretly thinks I’m overreacting. He simply doesn’t have to live with fear, and I think he finds it hard to understand. He understands the dark alley and the parking garage, but our house in suburbia? Well, guess what, that happens all the time. It’s like there’s no safe place. I’m so sick of it.

  34. perplexed says:

    According to the law she didn’t give consent. That’s a crucial point she misses. It’s also morally wrong what the men did to her, but if the woman doesn’t give consent the law indicates that the men bear responsibility for what they did, not her.

  35. Ruyana says:

    Excuse my language, but she’s full of shit.

  36. skippy says:

    I think Chrissie is saying that women should not dress provocatively as one never knows who the rapists are. One night my sister was walking down a street alone and got raped. As women there are things that are dangerous to do. Chrissie went alone with a bunch of biker guys for a party. That’s very dangerous and she paid. She did a stupid thing.
    Chrissie was pointing out that we must be very careful.
    I think she’s right.
    If I dress very “sexy”, I think it sends a message to men in general : “F*** me.”
    I don’t want to men to think I am a ” Booty Call” . I am a woman.

    • Pedro45 says:

      No. No. No. I hope your sister gets help from someone who understands that she did nothing wrong by walking down the street.

      • Ruyana says:

        Yes, my best friend’s neighbor was raped at 80 years old. It doesn’t have anything to do with where you are, or how you are dressed. It’s the fact that our society has pushed the idea that women are to blame to let rapists off the hook. Rape is not about sex, it’s about power and anger and control. If someone hit you with a spade you wouldn’t call it gardening!

    • StormsMama says:

      @skippy

      What exactly is “sexy” ?!

      If you go to the beach- if you and a bunch of your friends dare to wear bathing suits- do you deserve to pay with your vagina? Should you be raped for being sexy where any man who sees you can feel free to take your sexiness as an open vagina ready for his penetration?!
      And at what age does this apply? Should little girls be fair game too? Are they sexy?
      WHAT THE F-CK IS WRONG WITH YOU??????

  37. shi_gatsu says:

    Rage-inducing

  38. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Sigh, I’ve got nothing for her but sympathy and pity. There’s dozens of ways she’s wrong but at this point who knows if she even wants to put in the work to realize she’s not guilty. Good luck to her and I hope she eventually realizes it for her own sake.

    The rest of my comment is reserved for anyone on this board who told their story of their own rape and molestation. There’s no good words to express the sadness I felt seeing some of the numbers or details but I read your comments because I feel like you all are so very strong to use your past to offer insight to others. Someone said it above and I repeat it so firmly. THIS IS/WAS/WILL NEVER BE YOUR FAULT. You weren’t wrong to trust or be too young or try to be happy. You all are amazing people and I want you to know your story puts the fire into others to do everything they can to help lessen and stop the prevalence of rape. Thank you.

  39. Lara K says:

    We need to separate RISK from FAULT.

    If you go to a party without your girlfriends and drink to the point that you are falling down, you are taking a RISK. Is it a good idea? Probably not. But if you get assaulted, it is NOT your FAULT. It’s the rapists fault. always.

    Reasonably, if your daughter or your younger sister told you she was going to a party by herself at a frat house and planned to drink to oblivion, what would you tell her? You’d tell her not to do it. But that still does not make it her fault if something happens to her.

    Put it another way:

    1. A man walks around a tourist area with a fancy camera and gets mugged. Is the mugger innocent because the man was showing his camera in public?

    2. A man drives around a bar at 2AM and gets killed by a drunk driver. Is it his fault because he drove out at night Close to a bar?

    3. A man goes into a convenience store at night and gets shot by a robber. Is it his fault for going there in th first place?

    (Hint: the answer is no to all of the above)

    • claire says:

      I agree. But it’s difficult. Something I found when I was actively working in victim services was talking about risk was perceived the same as fault, and considered victim blaming. Mention of personal responsibility wasn’t looked kindly upon. And that got really frustrating when you were working with a case where someone was repeatedly putting themselves, and their kids at risk. Thinking about my cases where a person repeatedly invited brand new boyfriends, who were known convicted batterers and sex abusers into the home then would have shock each time she/her kids were abused.

      • Lara K says:

        See that’s the kind of thing that makes me really mad.
        If you invite a convicted child molester into your home and he molests your kids, is he any less guilty? No, he isn’t. But you are also very, very stupid. The two are not mutually exclusive.
        However, in most cases, I think victim blaming just replaces risk assessment. People are quick to say the woman was asking for it.
        No, that is not the case.
        If a child was raped by an uncle or a woman was raped while drunk at a college party, They are BOTH BLAMELESS. 100% not at fault.
        However, the woman was in a riskier situation, so some people twist that into blame.

        My point is that to live your life you take risks of all sorts and sometimes the risks backfire. But it is still not your fault for being raped (or mugged, or hit by a drunk driver, or whatever).

        I just wish people could separate safety advice (e.g. Go to a drink party with a designated sober friend) from victim blaming (e.g. You were drinking so it’s your fault for berg raped).
        The first one is Ok. The second is definitely not.

    • Tara says:

      Exactly Lara K!!! So well put. Thank you.

  40. Cait says:

    I was assaulted at 27. And yes, my initial reaction was shame – what had I done to bring this upon myself, I wondered? I was sober. I was dressed conservatively.

    But the shame? It was overarching. I felt it like a scarlet letter.

    And so I never reported it.

    So a part of me understands how Chrissie Hynde, a prototypical badass rocker, parses her assault.

    But then here I am at 36, with two daughters, thinking: Bullshit. Stop letting victim blaming and slutshaming define what happened to you, self. Because thing is? It wasn’t my fault. It never was. And when I consider my son, too, I think, here’s what I want to do – I want to teach my girls to be strong and self-protective, but more importantly, I want to teach my son to treat women with respect and not as objects. Because the real educational opportunity isn’t to teach survivors to take responsibility…

    …it’s to teach men and boys not to rape.

  41. Happy21 says:

    In my opinion, rape is not about sex, it’s about control and it’s about violence. There is no one responsible but the person who commits the crime. I don’t care what you wear, there is something wrong with someone who thinks no means yes or feels the need to control someone and force them to do something they don’t want to do. A regular every day nice guy will not see a girl with her ass hanging out or her boobs hanging out and think that they want to control them and force themselves upon them because of what they are wearing. It’s in the wiring in the brain for a man (or woman) to need to control and take something violently because they feel that they are entitled to it.

    I really tried to give Chrissie the benefit of the doubt here but I can’t.

  42. Mixtape says:

    Man, I would HATE for another rape victim to read CH’s comments and feel they needed to take responsibility for what happened to them. At the same time, she is speaking about her personal experience here, and I feel all the comments telling her “you got over it the wrong way” are, themselves, wrong. Surviving this kind of trauma is like mourning the loss of a loved one–everyone is entitled to do it their own way without criticism.

    If this were not rape, if her house just got burglarized, and she said, “Learned my lesson, from now on I will always lock the doors when I leave,” nobody would say that she was taking full responsibility for the crime and absolving the burglar of all fault. At the same time, when someone’s house is burgled and they left the doors unlocked, the general public does not jump on them and say “you invited it,” “the burglar saw the unlocked doors and couldn’t control himself, so it’s your fault” or “by leaving the doors unlocked, you essentially consented to have all your stuff taken.” It’s sad that when it comes to personal property, we find it easy to say “no matter what the circumstances, you are not allowed to take something belonging to another without their consent,” but not when it comes to women’s (and men’s and children’s) bodies.

  43. JenniferJustice says:

    I don’t blame the victim of any crime for what the perpetrator did. Rape is on the rapist. period.

    I do think Chrissie’s statements are being interpreted to mean she blames herself for being raped. I don’t see that in what she said. I see her saying to control what you can, but not that she is to blame for what the rapists did to her. She blames herself for being promiscuous with a dangerous crowd. That doesn’t mean she blames herself for what they did. She blames herself for being there in the first place and putting herself at risk. If she had not been there, it wouldn’t have happened – at least not then, at that time, in that place, by those men.

    I get grief for posting my views on women dressing provocatively. I dont’ think it’s right. I don’t think anybody deserves to be raped. I don’t beleive there is any excuse for being raped or that any rapist gets a pass because they were provoked, enticed, etc. I do beleive we women need to protect ourselves as much as we can. We know there are vile animals who will use any excuse to violate us, so why is it so difficult to accept that we should not flaunt it if it keeps us safer? Nobody wants to admit that dressing like a hooch is way to garner attention and sometimes it garners the wrong attention from the wrong person. That doesn’t mean I think we should all wear burkas. There is a middle ground in there. And the fact is, some men do think that if a woman is letting it all hang out, then she must up for grabs (literally). It’s not true, and it’s not right, but why take the chance?

    If Chrissie was in fact parading around in her underwear and acting a fool amongst violent men who have a propensity for abusing women, she is right that she put herself in a horrible situation with the odds against her. It doesn’t mean she deseved anything horrible that happened, but had she not put herself in that situation, it would not have happened. I see nothinig wrong with learning to be smarter about yourself, your surroundings, what you put out there, etc. You could still be raped even if you did all the “right” things, but the chances are slimmer.

    If I had a daughter, she would not be wearing shorts so short her butt cheeks hang out – like I see teen girls and young women wearing every single day. It’s not even because I think my daughter dressing promiscious would bring on a rape. It’s because it’s tacky, wreaks of insecurity, and attracts the wrong kinds of guys. I would not myself wear revealing clothes for the same reason. I dont’ want that kind of attention.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      The irony being the majority of women who are raped are not dressed or acting provocatively.

      They are young and innocent or old and fragile.

      They are trusting of friend’s or family members.

      They are trying to be happy and allow themselves to live without fear.

      And as a result they are raped. The fantasy of the woman dressed like a streetwalker and falling over in the bar doesn’t account for the majority of even half of rapes. It accounts for a very small section of the population that would rather ‘out of concern’ urge a woman to do everything in her power to live in constant fear than admit rapes happen to women dressed modestly and doing nothing more provocative than merely walking without having their “Rapist Radar” on.

      That’s probably why you get grief.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      (continued)
      2.) And nobody has said that clothing can never be about attracting sexual attention. The problem is that you assume that clothing you deem immodest is only ever worn by women for one reason. You also assume that a woman is automatically ‘secure’ if she dresses modestly. A while back you were criticizing posters who were criticizing women being submissive to their husbands. Your defense was basically that people need to be more tolerant of women who make choices that are not their own, not be so quick to judge women negatively for that choice, and that just because you or I might feel degraded by something as a woman doesn’t mean all women are degraded by it. But apparently you don’t practice what you preach, because you consistently label people who don’t practice your idea of sexual modesty as immoral and insecure and deserving/responsible for what they get, while simultaneously lecturing others on feminism. You’re not getting grief- you’re getting criticism for something harmful that you do.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I have never said that any woman deserves to be raped or even disrespected due to how they dress. You’re putting words in my mouth. Nor have I ever said women who dress promiscuous are immoral. I do think it’s about seeking attention, but that’s not immoral. In fact, I was clear that nobody deserves to be raped for anything she/he might do. I said above that rape is solely on the rapist. If encouraging women to be cautious is harmful in your eyes, so be it. We’re talking about Chrissie words and the various interpretations posted. If her mother had told her not to go to that bar or party and not to dance around in her skivvies in front of them, and she had heeded her mother’s advice, she would not have been raped because she wouldn’t have been there to get raped by those men. And so what if the vast majority of women who do get raped are not dressed provocatively. Some that do are raped and if even one of them were saved from a potentional rape by being more careful, how is that not a good thing? It is not harmful to try to protect other women in any way no matter how minimal or how few lives it might affect. I’m curious what you think I’m assuming is the one reason why women who dress immodest do so. If you see a woman walking around letting it all hang out, what do you think is the reason? This is a gossip site where everybody debates the issues at hand. It’s not lecturing to voice my opinion. You assume alot about me and most of it’s wrong. You say I assume a woman is automatically “secure” if she dresses modest. That’s just dumb. I didn’t say anything close to that. Dressing conservatively does not mean anything other than a woman chooses to not show her skin and/or assets. Some women dress modestly because they are in fact insecure and trying to hide themselves. You used the word “Immoral” several times to describe my opinions but I didn’t use that word once. If you had a daughter going to a party consisting of a group of men known to be violent and disprectful to women, would you encourage her to go and dressed scantily? I’m guessing no. You would tell her “dont’ go there” and you wouldn’t be forcing lifelong fear of rape or insinuating she deserves to get raped if she does go. You’d simply be voicing concern and trying to protect her.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @JenniferJustice: but that’s just it- dressing modestly does not ‘keep us safer’ or save anyone. If a woman is in the presence of a man (or a group of men) who want to rape a woman- whether these men are guys at a party, her boyfriend, police officers, relatives, people from the church, people from work, etc.- are you honestly naïve enough to believe that they will magically decide not to rape her just because she’s dressed modestly? The fact that an immodestly dressed woman can get raped just like a modestly dressed woman doesn’t disprove my argument that ‘female modesty as rape-risk reduction’ is ineffective and problematic. It also sends men and boys the wrong message about rape. You HAVE described women who have consensual, infidelity-free sex that you disapprove of as degraded (which, by the way, means ‘lowered in value’ and ‘not having self-respect’ before, and have described allowing women to do so without chastising them for it as ‘abandoning our morals.’ THAT’S where my ‘immoral’ comment is coming from. You regularly describe any woman who does not adhere to your standard of modesty as promiscuous, and have sweepingly labelled women as insecure if they don’t dress modestly. Combine all that with your ‘modesty keeps us safer’ commentary, and it’s clear that there’s some traditional values-style misogyny in some of your commentary. I don’t think you really mean anything bad by it, and none of us are perfect, but you raised the issue of the fact that you get ‘grief’ for the things you say about women and modesty, and I’m explaining why you may get criticism.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        2.) I never said that we should encourage women and girls to hang out with known violent misogynists, or that THAT piece of advice would be victim-blaming. But the truth of the matter is that in the real world, we don’t always know beforehand what man is going to be a violent misogynist and which one is not. But how the woman is dressed while with those people is not going to change their actions- they’re not going to be like, “Well, we were going to do this awful thing to her, but since she’s dressed modestly, we’re not going to do this horrible thing now.”
        Also, as far as the ‘wrong types of guys’ go, don’t assume that a man is a good, non-misogynist person because he wants women to cover up. Or that he’s automatically a misogynist because he doesn’t require a strict, modest dress code for every woman he dates.

  44. leidub311 says:

    WOW. What a complete idiot. Just a horribly wrong thing to say.

  45. AntiSocialButterfly says:

    I think maybe what she was trying ( and failed at) to offer was try to be aware of your surroundings, but instead took it several steps too far and blames herself. It boggles the mind, really. As others have said, she needs help.

    Serious question- is it at all normal for one to blame one’s self for such a heinous act of violence? I shudder to think this is the least bit common in women who have experienced an assault.

    Hugs to all who have.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Sadly yes, it’s exceptionally common. People all have different coping mechanisms for trauma and sadly rape unlike other horrific events tends to have the public cast doubt or judgement on the part of the victim. As a result a victim can be more likely to feel as though they’re truly the ones to blame for being raped.

    • Lara K says:

      Very common. Especially because many people will dissect the situation and try to find fault with the victim.

      So the victim then thinks , well if I dressed differently or said something different or took a different route, then it wouldn’t have happened.

      And the reality is, you can’t always account for all the variables. It’s just being in the same place as a perpetrator when they felt like committing the crime. It’s not you. But it’s hard to break from that mentality especially when everyone wants to find a reason for why it happened to you.

  46. TessD says:

    “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.” – what is modest in New York will never be considered modest in Riyadh.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Exactly. But some of the same people who would be outraged if a man from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia told women to conform to their country’s idea of modesty if they didn’t want to entice men to disrespect/rape women have no problem, over here in ‘Murrica the great, telling women to conform to western standards of modest dress so as not to entice men to disrespect/rape. Because you know, we Americans are so civilized and equality-promoting! We’re Not Like Other Countries.

  47. ncboudicca says:

    wow, just wow. Reading all the comments from those who have been victimized makes me realize that Chrissie’s words are dangerous. Too many women (and children, and even other men) have suffered for us to be cavalier when we talk about rape.

    Hugs to everyone upthread.

  48. I Choose Me says:

    I’m just going to leave this here. It’s an animated vid about the importance of consent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

  49. Cirque28 says:

    As if any man might suddenly rape because he saw some female skin or stumbled upon an unattended drunk lady! Not only is that mentality offensive to all genders, it’s statistically wrong.

    Most men ONLY want to have sex with other consenting adults, full stop.

    “The vast majority of [rapes] are being committed by a relatively small group of men, somewhere between 4% and 8% of the population, who do it again … and again … and again.”

    https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

  50. Mikie says:

    I was 20 and had been drinking, etc, etc, yet still didn’t deserve to be raped. It’s unbelievable to me in this day and age we still get blamed. Chrissie has a platform to help people. Not play the same old shame the slut game.

  51. brainatplay says:

    I have a daughter, I teach her that she can only control her own actions and that she can’t control others. I would never blame a victim of a crime however, we must teach our children that there are consequences, whether it is drinking to the point of collapse or wearing barely there clothing. There was just too many unbalanced people out there, and I teach her never to put herself in a position where harm is possible. Because at the end of the day, it is she who will be altered for life, and I don’t want that to happen to her. So yes, I do caution her that what she wears will attract unwanted attention. It’s not enough to teach our boys to respect women, it important to teach our girls to prevent the disrespect.

    • ell says:

      this is one of the problems though, the assumption rape is committed by “unbalanced men”. that’s just not the case, many many times. most rapes are perpetrated by men these women already know e.g. boyfriends, dates, friends etc. it gets to a point where a woman just cannot protect herself, because to do that she would have to stop dating or having friends altogether.

      first and foremost men need to be taught about consent, from childhood. no means no, even animals understand it, so there’s literally no excuse for men not to.

      • Katie says:

        “Boyfriends, dates, friends–who are indeed imbalanced mentally/emotionally to commit such an act. Just because someone looks clean cut or comes from all outside appearances “a good family” doesn’t mean a thing. Some of the most violent rapes happen on college campuses perpetrated by ‘”Joe College” types, frats members, athletes,etc.
        I remember being warned as a freshman in college just what to look out for and don’t trust someone just because he’s good looking, or is the captain of the football team or the valedictorians or because others say he’s a “great guy”. Go with your gut and look beyond appearances.

      • ell says:

        that’s not what i was talking about at all. i didn’t even mention the way someone looks or the good family they come from. i talked about trust, because usually, boyfriends/date/friends/ are people you trust, not some deranged stranger on the street.

      • Katie says:

        I know, but even with boyfriends/date/friends wouldn’t you say there’s usually a clue that something is” off.” That a woman may overlook, and they convince themselves to trust them? That usually after the horror you look back and see things not so right about these “trusted” people more clearly?

    • Amy Tennant says:

      OK, let me preface this by saying you are doing what you feel you must do for your child, and above all you have a right to do that, and it is not anyone’s place to question that or to interfere with it.

      For me and my daughter, I don’t believe I will be telling her to watch what she wears. She can dress however she wants to, and if a person disrespects her or harms her it has to do more with who he is and less with how she’s dressed. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be teaching her other things, like go to a party with a friend and watch her alcohol consumption, and don’t leave her drink unattended, and be aware when she is walking in isolated areas, etc. I’m just probably going to draw the line before cautioning her to dress more modestly. And I hope I won’t regret that decision. But I don’t think a bare midriff is necessarily a red flag to a bull.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I guess the difference is that I feel I need to caution her more about being careful not to provide the opportunity if she can help it, but I don’t think a skimpy outfit is going to entice a guy to rape if he wasn’t otherwise a guy who would rape someone. I think it’s the opportunity that would make it more likely that a rapist would choose his victim, not that she was so darn sexy and he was inflamed with lust. We always hear that rape is about power more than sex. A short skirt is not going to turn a guy into a rapist; he already is that kind of guy or he’s not.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Except dressing modestly does not prevent rape. If a woman finds herself in the presence of someone who would commit a rape, they’re going to try it whether she’s in a long, modest maxi dress or in a sexy little bandage dress. Your intentions are good, and you have the right to set rules, but you’re telling your daughters and sons a dangerous lie. And let’s focus on your sons for a moment- what you’re teaching them about rape is a direct contradiction to any message about respecting women. No offense, but you might as well be saying, “Boys, I want you to respect women. But only modestly dressed women. If they’re not modestly dressed, disrespecting/harming them is a natural male response to that.”

  52. Katie says:

    It’s almost like saying if you leave your house door open that it’s all your fault if you get robbed. A thoughtless decision-sure. But it certainly doesn’t leave the criminal off the hook. Chrissy Hynde isn’t the only woman I’ve heard this from. Their are alot of women that blame other women who were victims themselves of this crime. I think it’s a way of distancing themselves from the hurt and pain they suffered or most likely they didn’t have the comfort,empathy or help they needed at the time. They had to suffer alone. Hence maybe that’s what Ms Hynde’s tough rocker girl image is really about?

  53. FrenchGirlChi says:

    sexual Assault / Rape is a very serious matter. Many victims have different ways of processing what, how and why…
    I feel for her because she is blaming herself. No woman should be assaulted in any form. A woman should be able to walk around or go in and out of places without fear of getting assaulted but in the real world that isn’t the case.
    I volunteer at a rape center on my spare time and many times the women do blame themselves a great deal. They ask what could do they do differently so that didn’t happen to me..
    There is no answer to give me because their thought process is already thinking that way so we learn to let them vent out their frustrations, their fears, their questions to us.. We lend them an ear without judgment.
    It is sad that many victims to think what she is saying.

  54. bettyrose says:

    I wanted so much to give her the benefit of the doubt, but the full weight of these comments erases that possibility. She knows she’s a public figure and that her words will be reposted and deconstructed across the internet, so there’s a certain responsibility to not blame victims.

  55. Amy Tennant says:

    I know there’s a trigger warning on this post, but I’m triggered more than I thought I would be.

    I just want to check in with you all. Is everybody okay?

  56. kanyekardashian says:

    She’s not getting that she should be ALLOWED to walk around half naked and drunk, no matter how stupid it is to do that, and it’s on the rapist to keep it in his pants. HE’S the one that has to have that internal conversation with himself before acting on his impulse. I’m disappointed in her, she always stood for feminism.

  57. FLORC says:

    Here’s something i’m not ok with. Her statement is her opinion. You draw that negative attention and maybe draw the appeal of an easy target, but you aren’t waving a flag saying that. There’s bad people out there. People who think they can get away with it. People who in a sick way think you’re inviting this upon yourself.

    My attacker I knew. We had classes together. We were friends in the same circle. There was some trust. We were both in relationships with other people. He slipped me something. I passed out. When I woke to the attack I fought back, but he broke my nose and rib. I just stopped fighting and stared at the wall waiting for it to stop.
    I felt such shame because I trusted the wrong person. I didn’t fight back hard enough. I (somehow) am the 1 who should take this blame. This was all reinforced by our mutual friends. Only the detectives investigating, the judge who heard the case, the doctors and nurses documenting the injuries, and the prosecutors believed me. But those I called friends said I was making it up. Now I actively block out the visual memory, but remember what happened like it was a movie I watched.
    My point.
    No mountain of evidence can chip away at the rape culture that exists. I did nothing to deserve that, but I was the one being shamed. And in the trial. It was a case blaming me for his actions.

    I have nothing, but best wishes and hugs for all sharing here. rape is so common and so damaging, but still so forgivable by much of our society. I’m not sure why.
    And It Does get better. It can take a long time, but you can get there.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      One time (this was not an actual rape, but was very scary at the time) when I was in high school, a guy pulled me into the men’s bathroom after school and did some stuff. I told my counselor, and then had to tell another counselor, and then had to sit in a room and sign a statement (police were not involved; this was all internal). They called the guy in with his parents, who of course said they believed in their boy. What I didn’t know was that he had been accused before, and the girl that accused him was a member of the marching band, as was I. (It made sense; I was attacked in between school and rehearsal and so was she). The final judgment after going through all that was this girl and I were obviously friends, and we had cooked this story up together to get this guy in trouble. The fact is I barely knew the girl and didn’t particularly care for her, although we became somewhat closer after all this. Nothing happened to the guy, and I hate to think what he went on to do after that. I had to see him in the hallways. That was the first and last time I ever “reported” anything, and what came later was even worse. I learned my lesson not to trust authority figures.

      • FLORC says:

        That’s horrible!
        So, this guy learned he’s made of teflon. Great.

        It’s not fair. To be called a liar when you really are gaining nothing by your claims. At best you’re not losing anything.
        And you were still, i’m guessing, left feeling like there was just a violation. That something just happened that shouldn’t have.

        And authority figures were the only ones I could trust. This isn’t always the case, but for me. I needed to feel safe and they knew this. Even taking the case from local to county with some state mild involvement.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I was hoping I could stop him before he did anything to anyone else, because I had a feeling that this would escalate.
        Earlier I posted that being attacked was a turning point that made me realize I deserved better, but that actually took a while. After the rape, I was at a party and some guy just reached out and grabbed my boob, and that was the time I realized that nobody deserved that. But after the rape, I did blame myself. I thought maybe I led him on, or that I didn’t fight back enough. I still remember looking at the tree through the window and trying to imagine that I was high up in that tree and not where I was and what was was happening.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      FLORC, you should not feel shame for trusting him. You had very good reasons to trust him. I’m so sorry you were treated the way you were after having the courage to come forward. I never did. I knew nobody would believe me. But I wonder, fairly often, if he has hurt someone else because I did nothing. I admire your courage so much.

  58. teehee says:

    All of this can be swept aside when you study rape of MEN by men.
    Ie, in prison– those incarcerated will be “punished” by being raped (ie the pedophiles, the child murderers, will be targeted.)

    This makes it 100% clear, that rape is NOT SEXUAL. Its not based on any clothing, any appearance or behavior– its not even based on genders, or sexes!
    Its a method of attacking someone and inflicting harm, on purpose. The organs are weapons to use to inflict pain and to “teach a lesson”. Just the typical male-female ideas, lead us to think it “must have been based on attraction”.

    It is based in anger.
    It might just be that most rapists (of women) are angry about how women are liberal— so it only APPEARS to be based on the surface of the woman— but no. Look beyond the typical cases and then these outer factors are gone, and you realize- they play NO ROLE!

  59. Katie says:

    On another note, who’s going to guess that this will be discussed on “the View” and that Whoopi Goldberg will find a way to justify what she said?

  60. scr says:

    Well what is the point of dressing provocatively then? I wouldn’t dress in such a manner even around male relatives knowing they could and would get turned on. In cases of rape against elderly women and children, I believe it is about culturally deviant sex. How could it be about power when they could have been beaten or robbed or made to do things against their will instead? In terms of risk and safety, do I think by following some safety measures there is a 100% guarantee or certainty I won’t be harmed? No. Just a reduction in risk. Part of being alive is being thrilled at times. This all said, of course non-consensual sex is a crime. But playing victim doesn’t serve any purpose and is definitely not empowering. The rapists can get locked up and there will still be more. The legal sytem is not much of a deterrant. I admire Hynde’s reflecting upon the factors and chain of events leading to her own specific case of rape. She sounds most confident and empowered to me. I do not think she is devaluing herself in any way.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      It’s your choice to avoid dressing provocatively around male relatives, but know that if you were alone with a male relative and they happened to be a predator, modesty would not be some protective amulet or charm. Also know that there’s a whole world of difference between just being turned on by someone, vs. actually molesting or raping them. Rape is just not a mere effect of being turned on by someone. Plenty of people of all genders- the majority of people, actually- are exposed to people in a way that turns them on on a regular basis without violating anybody.

      As for confidence and empowerment, I know that I wouldn’t define that as blaming the violent or otherwise wrong acts of a privileged group of people on the clothing/presentation choices of a marginalized group that you’re a part of. I’m sure you wouldn’t describe someone blaming hate crimes on people for wearing modest religious attire or for dressing as the opposite sex as a ‘confident, empowered’ thing. She’s free to tell her story and empower herself, but shouldn’t promote victim-blaming moral code on other people or go telling men and boys that it’s an immodestly dressed woman’s fault if they rape her.

      • Cirque28 says:

        “Rape is just not a mere effect of being turned on by someone.”

        Agreed! Rapists are predators and they simply aren’t concerned about other people’s emotional or physical or sexual boundaries. They don’t want to be caught, of course, and the majority don’t want to deal with a lot of resistance–which is why they rely on alcohol, drugs, the victim’s youth or naivete–but they don’t care what affect their actions have on their victim.

        You can’t turn a normal person into that kind of remorseless predator with anything you wear.

    • Neonscream says:

      Wow you have a really shitty opinion of your male relatives. If I thought mine couldn’t help but get turned on by my appearance I’d stay the hell away from the full stop because they’d be creeps.

      • MrsNix says:

        This +1 ^^

        You know, the skewed relationship so many females have with brothers and fathers is sad to me. A girl should be able to sit around with her brothers and father and uncles in a bathing suit as comfortably as she can with her female relatives.

        Honestly. That’s a little bit disordered to worry that your male relatives would get “turned on” by you. You know, families do see one another naked from time to time by accident or circumstance. Doesn’t lead to sexy thoughts. Not for the vast, vast majority of people on this planet who have normal development of sexuality in relationship to children/siblings/parents. Whoever taught you to think otherwise was either deviant in some way or seriously screwed up on bad advice.

  61. slacker says:

    why did i look at that pic and think it was Caitlyn Jenner? Chrissie is full of it but as a rape survivor she is probably all messed up about sex, Gang rapes have got to be horrible i don;t understand her denial.

  62. Heather says:

    Acts of violence are designed to make you hate yourself. That’s how an aggressor controls you, not by being stronger or stealthier, but by messing up your head.

    If this is the message that Chrissy took away, then I have a great deal of sympathy for her, because she’s still being victimized by her ordeal.

  63. Adaven says:

    When I was a teenager, a 24 year old guy forced sex with me. He told me later that he felt a little bad about it, but also said that I had provoked him by wearing a shirt without a bra and short shorts that day. Because of my strict religious background, I actually felt guilt at the time, thinking that it truly was all my fault. Hynde’s statement is absolutely absurd.

  64. Mirawing says:

    So that means 80 year old grannies are raped because their clothing is too revealing? Rape isn’t about sex; it’s about power. I thought everyone was aware of that fact.

  65. Jonathan says:

    Men 100% already know rape is wrong, let’s not delude ourselves. It’s not an unconscious or automatic act- it’s deliberate. As everyone else here has already said, it’s about power and control and rage- but I’d add that it’s also about hate and opportunism and about a desire for some guys to be truly evil and hurt something nice and sweet and trusting and gentle in other people.

    I personally think a lot of the problem of rape is caused by the brutalisation of males from a very early age- telling them they can’t be soft or gentle or sweet or kind or trusting- these things are literally beaten out of most males by other males- their contemporaries and older males- and by females- who enforce gender norms. And when you’ve been programmed from a very early age that being soft or gentle, etc is a sign of weakness and justifies being attacked and having those qualities violently erased from your being… I think the tendency to want to kill those things in other people is fostered. I’m sure a lot of us have experienced this phenomenon with the males in our lives who have succumbed to the very effective social programming that males undergo. Even make babies are treated with less care than female babies in order to toughen them up. It begins so early. One of the most extreme and successful ways of killing that gentleness in other people is rape.

    So, Mothers, teach your sons to be soft like you. Teach them that being hard or cruel or tough is a weakness and makes a person inhuman. Boys WANT to be soft, they want to be kind and sweet- that’s who they already are. Don’t make them into something else.

    In the words of the poet, Kenneth Tratchen “gentle and giving, all the rest is nonsense and treason”.

    • kira says:

      incredibly eloquent
      thank you Jonathan

    • Tara says:

      Jonathan, you are rockin’. Thank you! The best, strongest men, including my father, I’ve known in my life have been kind, protective, honest people. Not a bone of rape in their body. Nor judgment. Men are incredible, beautiful people, as are women. THAT’s the thing to bond on… not this bs mysogeny (sp).

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Everything you said. There is a documentary about how American males are programmed early on to be “tough” and shows the difference in male compassion and tenderness in other countries where this “tough guy” mentality does not exist. It is primarily this country that has machismo attitude.

  66. angela says:

    A person can walk around completely nude and that’s not an invitation to be raped…she’s messed up …rape is NEVER the victims fault….rapist are predictors and while some people are easier targets, its never their fault…she needs serious help

  67. Leilani says:

    I fundamentally disagree with Chrissy’s comments.

    1. When I was 9, I went on holiday with my parents. I was wearing a pink crop top and denim shorts. We went on a boat at sea with a man my parents had just met at dinner. They went upstairs to look at the view and I stayed downstairs. The man came downstairs too and tried to push me into his bedroom. He was in his forties. He pushed me into the wall, taking up all my space and asked me to have sex with him in his bed. At 9 I was confused as I didn’t really understand what was going on, just that this man was in my space and I felt intimidated and yes ‘powerless.’ I didn’t say anything but I also didn’t move. My parents came down and he flipped back to normal. Outside I told my parents who told a barman and the barman beat up the man on the boat. I felt embarrassed but I also wanted to tell someone. I felt good that I did.

    2. When I was 16, I had a maths tutor who tutored me to get my grades up. He came to my house for 4 months twice a week. Always lovely and kind. One day, my mum went outside to go to the shop (5 minutes from our house, if that) leaving me with the tutor. In that five minutes he touched my breasts, leg, vagina and hair though my clothes and talked dirty to me. I put my head down, didn’t look at him but didn’t say anything. My mum came home before it had the chance to escalate and again he flipped back to normal. I told my mum after he left and she said I would never need lessons with him again but not to tell dad or he’d be upset. My mum told me when she was a child, her dads best friend tried to touch her but she didn’t tell her dad because he would have been disappointed about his friend. How sad that we care more about men’s reputations and friendships that we do about the feeling and experiences of girls and women.

    3. I have taken many risks in my life. I have travelled the world alone, walked alone at night, met two boyfriends overseas and trusted them enough to go off with them. Hell I even went off with a strange drunk man on his motorbike. We stopped at the beach and watched the sun rise. He asked if I wanted to sleep with him. I said no. He got a bit vocally pushy. I said no. He drove me back to the hotel. You could say I was ‘silly’ for taking risks but really I was lucky and rape mostly is bad luck.

    If someone decides to rape you, it has nothing to do with what you wear, where you are, what you look like, your age, your gender, etc. It is 100% on the RAPIST.

    I have never been raped but I have been in sexually uncomfortable situations as listed above. It’s very important of course that women do limit danger in their lives and yes we all, men and women must take responsibility.

    BUT, a rapist who can be reasoned with should take responsibility for their urges and instincts. Men also have an instinct to PROTECT women as well as sleep with them so rape should never factor in. One man might rape a woman for walking down the road in a short skirt. Another might keep an eye on her to make sure that she is okay.

    An unreasonable rapist, a predator, CANNOT be reasoned with and there is no way to be ‘safe’ unless you simply NEVER talk to or go near any man ever and even then what if one breaks into your home?

    Ultimately, only the one who rapes is responsible and guilty.

  68. Tara says:

    This is exactly the kind of “she asked for it” nonsense that is dangerous to put out there and has plagued women for centuries. Women are being stoned in parts of the world due to this ridiculous reasoning. For a woman to out this out there, or anyone is dangerous and disgusting.

  69. dani says:

    Fuck. This. Bitch.

    As a fellow rape victim, I am appalled by this statement. Victim or not, that I’d a crude thing to say to the public, considering all the men who agree that scantily clad woman are asking to be raped. This woman should definitely inquire about some serious therapy. If she truly believes that, she might just be a nut job.

    Sorry for what she went through, but I can’t support such an acenine, idiotic statement. Ugh. This kind of mentality is what make men believe certain rapes are justified. Disgusting. Is she a Fundie or something???

  70. Tara says:

    “Who else’s fault can it be?” This. This is the part of Chrissy’s statement I can’t get past. Is she f*cking serious?! There’s no ambiguity there. She asks who else’s fault can it be if someone’s flaunting it. I just can’t with that.

  71. Kaianne says:

    I am truly appalled with Chrissy was putting out there.

    Old people in get raped in their bed and was not wearing skimpy clothing, should they take responsibility on wearing old flannel pajamas?

    Young woman was dragged on the bush with knife aimed at her throat and was raped, she was simply walking home from the train station from work.

    What were you thinking Chrissy? You cannot take responsibility on rapist action.
    Logical and responsible citizen will not and would not take advantaged of inebriated person wearing skimpy clothing. The first instinct is to make sure the safety of incapacitated person not gang raped her.

    You need counselling Chrissy, forgive yourself. Stop blaming yourself to what happened and stop giving signal to all rapist that it is okay to rape people because it is their faults for wearing something provocative. You are not helping raped victims Chrissy, you are enabler.

  72. laurie says:

    Chris, keep on doing what ever it is you’re doing.
    You’ve lost WAAAY too many brain cells already for anything you say to matter.

    We know that now.

  73. Trashaddict says:

    These are thoughtful (and sad for survivors) comments and I wish we could get this link to Chrissie’s agent and ask her to look at them and rethink her statement.
    I sometimes congratulate myself at having reached middle age without being victimized by rape but then I realize that’s a false sense of security, because rapists really don’t care if you’re pretty or young or whatever. And it makes me angry that I limit activities I would otherwise do out of caution: a sunrise stroll by the lake, a nighttime walk, taking that shortcut through the alley. It makes me angry that I worry constantly for my daughter’s safety. I completely agree with working on teaching men not to rape. If you work hard enough to make something part of a culture, it can happen. I can dream of that day.

  74. Trashaddict says:

    I really like Celebitchy posters and I’m sorry for the pain this has caused so many people. People survive to make their voices heard, and they should never give up, and never give up hope. Here’s Chrissie’s Facebook if you want to make a post, maybe even link to this website, I am too much of a dinosaur to figure out how to do that. I sent a invite to her agency to view the site, but it’s heavily fan-blocked so that probably won’t get through.
    https://www.facebook.com/chrissiehynde

  75. noway says:

    Wow that is sad that she thinks to this day that she holds any responsibility in her rape. I would also bet she has had some therapy over the years, and that is even scarier that she would still feel that any actions a victim does could cause an attack. The one solely responsible for any rape is the rapist. Granted you may lower your odds of any crime if you don’t walk through a known crime ridden street, etc. but it doesn’t cause it. I am all for everyone being as careful as reasonably possible, but it still isn’t the victims responsibility for being raped.

  76. pink elephant says:

    I hope this was taken out of context. Because as a rape survivor, I do feel that you have to take charge/responsibility of and for your own recovery. Nobody can find the light at the end of that tunnel for you; still, finding it for myself transformed my life. (Though I still engage in celebrity gossip, le sigh. Not a backslide into destructive behavior, just…indulgence. Heh.)

  77. jc126 says:

    I’m going to disagree that rape is “all about control, not sex”. I believe that’s sometimes true, but that is also true that many times, it IS about sex – that the rapist wants to get his rocks off and views the victim as a suitable target. They enjoy it. It’s like it’s about both control and sexual gratification.
    I think I need to go look at something more uplifting. I can’t count how many rape victims I know.

  78. Neonscream says:

    That people are defending her comments is revolting. If you truly believe that if a woman is behaving a certain way or dressed a certain way (even if its stark naked) then it’s her fault she is raped you are ALSO saying that some men can’t help but rape. It is grossly offensive to both genders. No matter how someone is dressed you have to make a conscious choice to sexually assault them. It doesn’t happen by accident.

    If you wear jewellery or have a credit card then it’s your own fault if you’re mugged?

  79. smee says:

    Oh really – what happens if you encounter a man who thinks your jeans and t-shirt are provocative? Is it o.k. if he rapes you then? I’m pretty sure there isn’t an outfit on earth you could wear that some rapist would find you “un-rapeable” in. By her logic, wearing jewelry means that a thief is justified in robbing you – I mean, you were asking for it!

    She was a very talented person, but her alcoholism (google it) has obviously addled her brain. She definitely needs therapy for multiple issues.

    I feel sorry for her IF her story is true, but to say what she just said – it gives fuel to the pyromaniacs. I’ll never willingly listen to her music again.

    • MrsNix says:

      Men don’t usually choose a victim because of how her bum looks in a pair of jeans.

      That said, I think your anger with her is a bit harsh. She’s been through something and found a way to cope. It’s not a constructive way to cope for other women…but as a woman, I don’t think rape victims owe me anything. How she manages to get up in the morning and be okay is for her to choose. I think being angry with her is harsh and counterproductive.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        But as a public figure, she owes it to all women and girls to not blame rape on the way women dress.

    • smee says:

      I think you’re missing the point Mrs.Nix

  80. Blackbetty says:

    Its interesting that women rarely rape men. Why is that? It would vve great if men had to put up with the same BS victim blaming.

  81. Jfab says:

    She suffered through a horrible experience and wants to be able to go on with her life….so that means looking at her own experience and asking what could have been done differently, how could this gang rape have been avoided…..essentially how can I keep this from happening again. She was reflective and came up with her answer, which has helped her cope. I’m sure talking about this is painful for her, but she also wants to help other girls from this happening to them.

    • jc126 says:

      I’m glad when I see comments like yours and others who have compassion for a woman who was gang-raped; a couple of comments are of the “f that bitch” variety, which really rankles.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      But she’s not helping other girls by teaching them that if they get raped, it’s only not their fault if they were dressed modestly, or deluding them into thinking that modesty is a valid form of rape prevention. She’s also not helping girls by teaching men and boys that if they commit rape, it’s only their fault if their victim is modestly dressed. She’s doing the opposite. And JC126, just as she has the right to form her own coping mechanisms, other victims, women, and feminists have the right to call her out for being a public figure perpetuating rape culture.

    • I Choose Me says:

      But she’s not helping. You can do everything right, try to be as safe as possible and still get raped.

    • jc126 says:

      I just think it’s ironic that (some) people who justifiably want all girls and women to be safe and to be more respected are saying things like “f that bitch” – it’s such a dehumanizing, and it’s like something a misogynist guy would say. Reduce her to “that bitch”.

  82. MrsNix says:

    Dressing modestly, minding your own business, and being less attractive to men doesn’t make you less likely to be raped.

    Elderly women are raped. Incapacitated medical patients are raped. Obese and underweight women get raped. Nuns in habits and fundamentalist religious women in head to toe coverings get raped.

    What you looked like the night you were victimized is pretty immaterial. Her statement, as others have said, was an attempt to make sense of what happened to her and give her a feeling of power to prevent it happening again. That is an understandable reaction and coping mechanism.

    It doesn’t make any of it true.

    • Adaven says:

      Well then, someone should find Chrissie Hynde a qualified therapist, because her “coping mechanism” will not be viewed as a coping mechanism by sexual criminals. Her words will only help justify crimes, from the most minor altercations to the worst offenses. Aren’t we a little tired of hearing that boys will be boys?