Chrissie Hynde’s comments about rape are ‘dangerous’, says The Runaways’ Jackie Fuchs

The Pretenders singer recently caused controversy by claiming that rape victims were sometimes to blame for attacks

Chrissie Hynde was recently criticised for suggesting that it is a rape victim’s own fault if they are “putting it about and being provocative”, with The Runaways‘ Jackie Fuchs (aka Jackie Fox) now adding to those speaking out against Hynde’s comments.

The Pretenders singer Hynde releases her new book Reckless in September, with a section of the book focusing on an incident of sexual abuse when she was 21.

Writing of the event, which saw members of a motorcycle gang rape her in an abandoned house, Hynde reportedly writes, “Now let me assure you that, technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility… You can’t fuck about with people, especially people who wear ‘I heart rape’ and ‘on you knees’ badges.”

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Hynde added, “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 [the attacker’s] fault. But if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who is already unhinged – don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense.”

She continued, “If you play with fire, you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it? I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial.”

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Now, Fuchs has described herself as feeling “surprisingly angry” upon reading Hynde’s comments, also labelling the remarks as “dangerous”.

She told Yahoo, “Don’t put your heroes on pedestals [and] I don’t want to cast a stone at Chrissie Hynde — just at that one particular statement. Because it’s a really dangerous message.”

Fuchs continued, “It bothers me, because I don’t know that she’s gone out there and talked to [other] rape victims. If you had seen the messages that people sent me, so many of them were about ‘I’ve always thought it was my fault.’ We already think that anyway. So this is just telling people who’ve recently gone through this experience of being raped or abused, ‘Yeah, you’re right, it is your fault.’ But there’s no such thing as asking for it. And poor judgment is not an invitation to rape, nor an excuse for it.”

“I know so many women who were raped while they were drunk or high, and they all blame themselves. To say that a woman can’t misjudge how much she’s drinking, or dress in a way that makes her feel good about herself for fear that men aren’t going to be able to control themselves, or that she has to be able to know who is dangerous and who isn’t, is asking an awful lot of men and women – especially young people.”

“Maybe, we’ll just say maybe, for women who came up in rock in an era when there weren’t a lot of women in it, they just thought they really had to act tough. And they’ve carried that with them. And I have no idea whether she really is that tough. If she is, good for her. But you can’t expect everyone to be that way. If you want to, for your own-self-empowerment, take personal responsibility because you feel like you need to for something you did, that is one thing. But you don’t get to make that statement for everybody else.”

Hynde’s comments have been criticised by anti-sexual violence charities. Lucy Hastings, director of the charity Victim Support, said, “Victims of sexual violence should never feel or be made to feel that they were responsible for the appalling crime they suffered – regardless of circumstances or factors which may have made them particularly vulnerable.”

“They should not blame themselves or be blamed for failing to prevent an attack – often they will have been targeted by predatory offenders who are responsible for their actions. It is critical that nothing deters victims of sexual violence from coming forward to the police or to independent organisations so they can get the help and support they need.”

Fuchs, meanwhile, recently claimed that she was raped by her band’s former manager, the late Kim Fowley, while aged 16.