fallen idols

Chrissie Hynde Doesn’t Care If You Buy Her Book or Her Version of Rape

Chrissie Hynde.
Chrissie Hynde. Photo: Bravo/Getty Images

Since Chrissie Hynde’s memoir, Reckless: My Life As a Pretender, came out in September, she’s been embroiled in a number of dustups for saying things to The Sunday Times like, “If you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him,” and not caring a bit that this makes people upset. This morning, when the topic of what Hynde considers a consensual experience with a motorcycle gang — or at least, one she is responsible for — came up, she stormed out of a “Morning Edition” interview on NPR.

Interviewer David Greene noted that Hynde has a long legacy of being an admirably badass woman. She was the leader of the Pretenders at a time when a woman fronting a rock band was rare (cough, still is) and, as Greene pointed out, wrote sexual, “I’m here for it” songs like “Brass in Pocket” that some consider feminist anthems. Hyde downplayed that aspect of her work, saying, “It’s just a three-minute rock song. I don’t think it’s as loaded as that. I’m not here to embolden anyone.”

Greene then took her back to that Sunday Times interview, bringing up the same biker-gang incident. Hynde had told the Times that she took responsibility for the assault because, in her view, “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk, who else’s fault can it be?” When asked about the controversy by Greene, Hynde angrily responded:

You know what, I don’t care what a lot of people want.You know? I’d rather say, just don’t buy the f****** book, then, if I’ve offended someone. Don’t listen to my records. Cause I’m only telling you my story, I’m not here trying to advise anyone or tell anyone what to do or tell anyone what to think, and I’m not here as a spokesperson for anyone. I’m just telling my story. So the fact that I’ve been — you know, it’s almost like a lynch mob.

Hynde, of course, is entitled to tell whatever story she wants, however she wants, even if it doesn’t adhere to current standards of what constitutes rape and assault.

Chrissie Hynde Doesn’t Care If You Buy Her Book