September 3, 2008

Helen Mirren Steps in a Big Pile of Poo

I'm a big fan of "The Queen", Helen Mirren because she actually embraces her age (did you see the recent tabloid photo of her in a bikini on vacation?), but in a recent interview with the UK's GQ she spouts off some pretty retro views of date rape. I admire her candor in admitting she was date-raped several times in her late teens and twenties, but shortsighted comments like this one are getting her into hot water.

"I don't think [a woman] can have that man into court under those circumstances," she continued, "It's such a tricky area, isn't it? Especially if there is no violence. I mean, look at Mike Tyson. I don't think he was a rapist."
Mike Tyson not a rapist? We went through that a long time ago and wasn't he convicted of rape? I mean, doesn't she know that every two minutes a person is sexually assaulted in this country?

The rape crisis community in England is pissed and rightly so.
"Dame Helen's comments are not only disappointing, but unhelpful and dangerous," says Katie Russell, from the Rape Crisis Federation of England and Wales. "In practice, only a tiny minority of women report to the police and this is in part because they fear not being believed or find themselves blamed for their experiences. Attitudes such as those attributed to Helen Mirren only serve to exacerbate this situation."
Since the shit storm broke Mirren clarified her statement saying that the interview was taken out of context and that people should judge the full remarks not just the salacious excerpts. The interview is not yet available on the internet.