By saying that the way women behave and dress can contribute to sexual violence, the singer dared to challenge the othodoxy of modern feminism
The rock singer, Chrissie Hynde, has committed the ultimate sin for a former feminist icon: she has offended the Sisterhood.
The Pretenders singer, whose sultry looks graced a million teenagers’ bedroom walls in the 1980s, has perpetrated the terrible crime of speaking her mind about rape and sexual assualt.
For that she must now pay the price and be cast out of the Sisterhood.
The exact details of her transgression have been angrily spelt out by professional feministas who lined up to attack Miss Hynde for daring to talk about her own personal experience of sexual violence.
So what did the 63-year-old say that was so wrong?
Miss Hynde said that she took "full responsibility" for being sexually assaulted by an Ohio biker gang when she was 21, while she was drunk, high on drugs and had chosen to get on the back of a gang member’s motorcycle.
She then compounded her sin by saying that women who dress provocatively while walking down the street while drunk were also to blame if they were attacked. “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” she said. "You know if you don't want to entice a rapist, don't wear high heels so you can't run from him.”
Cue outraged squeals of “You can’t say that!” from the Sisterhood. Because, according to feminist orthodoxy, women are not allowed to say what they think. In this brave new world, all women are embraced and championed, but only as long as they say The Right Thing.
Miss Hynde, once seen as a strong feminist role model, had unwittingly breached the first rule of the Sisterhood club: if you want to belong, then you have to conform.
There is no room for debate, nuanced argument or even personal opinion in the Sisterhood orthodoxy. You’re either a Sister and agree that women take no responsibility for anything that happens to them or their bodies whatever the circumstances, or you are a “rape apologist”. It’s one or the other.
Miss Hynde is not alone in being purged from the Sisterhood for her apparently unsisterly views. She joins Judy Finnegan, Mary Jane Mowat and many other women who have foolishly spoken their own minds without first checking the rule book.
Mrs Finnegan was forced to apologise for making entirely accurate remarks on the ITV show Loose Women about the rape case involving footballer Ched Evans, pointing out that the victim had been very drunk and that no physical violence was involved. The fact that she was quoting the judge in the case was completely ignored in the tsunami of feminist hate that followed.
Mrs Mowat, a former judge, was castigated last year for saying that rape convictions will not go up “until women stop getting drunk”, because juries face an impossible task to decide whose version of events is the truth when the woman was too drunk to know what actually happened.
It was a statement of fact. The Sisterhood, however, has no time for irritating little details like facts.
Like her fellow Sisterhood exiles, in her comments about rape, Miss Hynde was simply suggesting that women have to live in the real world, as it exists, and not a utopian paradise where sexual violence is a thing of the past.
There will always be rapists, just as there will always be murderers and thieves. Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t make them go away.
You have every right to leave your front door wide open while you are away on holiday and assert your right not be burgled, but most people (including your insurance company) might advise against it. Similarly, you are entitled to walk into an opposing football team’s local pub wearing your own club’s shirt and demand not be punched in the face, but you probably shouldn’t be surprised if it happens.
In the same vein, telling a young woman she can wear what she wants, drink as much alcohol as she wants, go off with any strange man she wants and to hell with the consequences, is not a victory for modern feminism. It’s just irresponsible.
All Chrissie Hynde has done is recognise that the world is not always as we would like it to be.
That does not make her a rape apologist. It just proves she is the one living in the real world and it is the Sisterhood who are the pretenders.
Chrissie Hynde was right about rape. Now feminists want to silence her Julia Hartley-Brewer 31 Aug 2015Tweet