Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

That's such a load of trash, Joanna

By Gail Walker

Published 30/01/2013

Most debates in life boil down to a face off between pragmatists and idealists (or "ideologues" if the pragmatists are feeling especially ratty). And by temperament I'm firmly in the pragmatist camp - nothing's perfect, right.

So, imagine my alarm to find myself line up against Joanna Lumley, the nation's cool, sexy but eminently practical auntie, and her views on rape.

Talking about how women shouldn't dress like "trash" (define, Joanna, define) or get drunk and be sick in the gutter, isn't terribly helpful.

Yes, she's right there are predators out there and, in the real world, women need their wits about them.

But don't her comments sort of blur the line about rape? Isn't she rather repeating that old chestnut that the victim is somehow contributing to her rape. You don't have to be a wild- eyed feminist to believe that you've the right to live your life the way you want to do so without that being construed as an invitation to being attacked.

The only guilty party in such attacks are the rapists. "Sound advice" from even national treasures only confuses the issue. Goodness knows rape is traumatic enough without well-meaning celebrities implying that the victim is somehow to blame.

Not one of your more Ab Fab moments Joanna.

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