Kirsten Dunst rails against the "rape-me" vibe

The actress casually blames the victim, not the person in power, for unwanted sexual contact


Prachi Gupta
April 18, 2014 7:00PM (UTC)

In a recent interview in W Magazine, Sofia Coppola asked Kirsten Dunst, the "Two Faces of January" actress: "What if a director pounces on you while working? Has that ever happened?"

Dunst replied:

"No [laughs]. I don’t give off that vibe. I think that you court that stuff, and to me it’s crossing a boundary that would hinder the trust in your working relationship."

In other words, Dunst seems to think unwanted sexual advances, such as harassment, assault, abuse or rape by a person in power, should be blamed on the recipient of said advances. Which is to say: if those young women had not dressed a certain way, or talked a certain way, or perhaps sat a certain way, these men wouldn't inconveniently have gotten the wrong idea. Needless to say, such victim-blaming logic is not useful. It is exactly why models and actresses -- whose job is, many times, to look  or dress or sit a certain way -- are so powerless in the face of alleged sexual predators like Terry Richardson or Bill Cosby or R. Kelly.

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Sadly, Dunst is not alone in the belief that men "can't help it." A recent report shows that many young American believe that sexual harassment and assault is a normal part of daily life.

This is not the first time Dunst has unwisely weighed in on male-female relations. She seemed determined to set feminism back by a solid century in a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, saying that women need a "knight in shining armor" and that "relationships work" because you "need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman." For better or worse, our celebrities can be catalysts for a huge amount of social change. Fortunately, Beyonce has more a lot more cultural sway than Dunst.


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Acting Feminism Kirsten Dunst Rape Sexual Abuse Sofia Coppola Women's Rights

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