Rock great Chrissie Hynde pilloried by left for making sense

In another case of the left eating their own, famed Pretenders front woman and rock-and-roll goddess Chrissie Hynde is being raked over the coals in the liberal press for daring to mouth a bit of common sense about sexual assault and rape, opining that women who dress provocatively and make poor decisions can contribute to bad outcomes.  This seems to be a pretty straightforward point that any parent might (and should) make to a daughter, but to the modern left, where every woman or minority is an automatic victim, and personal responsibility is a dirty word, it is anathema. 

Hynde has plenty of leftist cred (she is an ardent animal rights activist, for instance) and is a former rape victim herself, but she may be just a little too sensible for today’s far-gone loonies.  When Rush Limbaugh started using the famous bass line from her song “My City Was Gone” as his bumper music, her publishing company tried to make him cease and desist, but Hynde demurred, saying her parents liked the show and she didn’t mind despite Limbaugh’s politics.  Limbaugh’s simply paid a fee for the song since. 

I bring a dog to this fight because Hynde, while not sharing my politics, is one of my heroes, as an enormously talented and daring female rocker inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with her band (same year as U2).  I’ve seen The Pretenders several times, most memorably when I was a serviceman in Germany in 1986.  Hynde and her band were playing a relatively small club in Frankfurt (worth the long drive from the then putative frontline town of Fulda, where I was stationed) and, fueled by several pilsners, I managed to push my way to the foot of the stage.  Shortly after I got there, Hynde, to my delight (and that of every other guy in the room), slipped out of her miniskirt and performed the rest of the show in a skin-tight leotard – perhaps tame by today’s standards, but pretty wild back then. 

I guess all Hynde is saying now is that had I, or any other drunken dude in that room, rushed the stage that night, seeing an attractive woman in a leotard prancing about, we would have and should have been justifiably beaten and dragged away.  But she would have shared a little of the blame for the provocativeness of her performance.  After all, that frisson was really the whole point of the move, especially since Hynde was no chanteuse, but rather a hard-edged musician who could rock with the best of them.  

Hynde isn’t saying that rape is okay, or that rapists ought not to pay for their crimes.  But as she noted in her controversial interview, if a young woman accepts a ride from a biker with an “I Heart Rape” badge, or gets drunk prancing around in her underwear, she ought to bear some responsibility for what might come next.  But perhaps at 63, Hynde is too old to understand that such commonsensical notions no longer have any place in the liberal worldview.

In another case of the left eating their own, famed Pretenders front woman and rock-and-roll goddess Chrissie Hynde is being raked over the coals in the liberal press for daring to mouth a bit of common sense about sexual assault and rape, opining that women who dress provocatively and make poor decisions can contribute to bad outcomes.  This seems to be a pretty straightforward point that any parent might (and should) make to a daughter, but to the modern left, where every woman or minority is an automatic victim, and personal responsibility is a dirty word, it is anathema. 

Hynde has plenty of leftist cred (she is an ardent animal rights activist, for instance) and is a former rape victim herself, but she may be just a little too sensible for today’s far-gone loonies.  When Rush Limbaugh started using the famous bass line from her song “My City Was Gone” as his bumper music, her publishing company tried to make him cease and desist, but Hynde demurred, saying her parents liked the show and she didn’t mind despite Limbaugh’s politics.  Limbaugh’s simply paid a fee for the song since. 

I bring a dog to this fight because Hynde, while not sharing my politics, is one of my heroes, as an enormously talented and daring female rocker inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with her band (same year as U2).  I’ve seen The Pretenders several times, most memorably when I was a serviceman in Germany in 1986.  Hynde and her band were playing a relatively small club in Frankfurt (worth the long drive from the then putative frontline town of Fulda, where I was stationed) and, fueled by several pilsners, I managed to push my way to the foot of the stage.  Shortly after I got there, Hynde, to my delight (and that of every other guy in the room), slipped out of her miniskirt and performed the rest of the show in a skin-tight leotard – perhaps tame by today’s standards, but pretty wild back then. 

I guess all Hynde is saying now is that had I, or any other drunken dude in that room, rushed the stage that night, seeing an attractive woman in a leotard prancing about, we would have and should have been justifiably beaten and dragged away.  But she would have shared a little of the blame for the provocativeness of her performance.  After all, that frisson was really the whole point of the move, especially since Hynde was no chanteuse, but rather a hard-edged musician who could rock with the best of them.  

Hynde isn’t saying that rape is okay, or that rapists ought not to pay for their crimes.  But as she noted in her controversial interview, if a young woman accepts a ride from a biker with an “I Heart Rape” badge, or gets drunk prancing around in her underwear, she ought to bear some responsibility for what might come next.  But perhaps at 63, Hynde is too old to understand that such commonsensical notions no longer have any place in the liberal worldview.