Lydia Lunch, a musician, writer, and public speaker who emerged in the ’70s New York no-wave scene with her band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, has always been known for her controversial statements and art on feminism, sex, and rebellion. Yesterday, in an interview with Tonya Hurley and Tracy Hurley Martin on the podcast Stories of Strange Women, Lunch made some divisive — and, at many points, unsettling — comments on the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
Lunch has been open about her past experiences with sex work, and she’s spoken candidly about being molested by her father both in her art and in her Strange Women interview. Though she raises some great points about the movement of speaking up against powerful men in Hollywood — the extreme focus on privileged, white women, for instance, and the importance of teaching young women at a young age not to tolerate sexual violence —much of the following transcript might be upsetting to survivors of sexual assault. Read at your own discretion, and let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.
Below are Lunch’s comments. You can check out the full podcast here.
Look—people need to speak out. This needs to be addressed. What I don’t like is the movement started by a woman of color coopted by Hollywood harlots. And by the way, they’re not actresses, they’re celebrities. What is a Hollywood star but a prostitute to profit the corporation, the pimp, that they work for, who doll themselves up to unfathomable excess with or without surgery and stylists and makeup artists to create an image that nobody else can live up to while they mouth somebody else’s words pretending they’re somebody else? What is a fucking prostitute? Now, excuse me, I gave handjobs to take my first band to Europe. Somebody wants to pay me a hundred thousand dollars to not talk about fucking them? I don’t think that’s a bad deal. I always thought that pussy has a high price on it. And let’s go even further with this—I blame it on the mothers. And now you know I’ve blamed fathers my entire life and the patriarchy.
Mothers, at the age of five, little girls have got to be taught if someone touches you and you don’t like them, you punch them in the fucking nuts. You scream your fucking head off. You run out of the room, okay? Boys have got to be taught respect. So I’m blaming the mothers, because it’s got to stop there. If you see a bear in a cage, you don’t go into that cage. I never saw a dick I couldn’t crack. Somebody wants to grab my pussy, I’m gonna grab their fucking nuts and twist. It’s that simple. So I’m not blaming the victims, I’m blaming the mothers of the victims for not teaching them self-defense.
This is my other issue—what the fuck? Everybody, why did it take a hundred women twenty years? Why did they all go into his office and get naked? They could’ve cracked his dick, end of story, he wouldn’t have done that again. I don’t get it. But I mean, I’m gonna admit, as somebody that was molested by family members, I never had any shame, and I don’t know why. And I know that shame is a heavy burden for people to bear, especially men that are abused. But the bigger issue is, these are all women that should’ve known better. You don’t go into a room with a bear, with a monster, with an asshole. And not only go in, some of them went in again and again.
And it’s white women of privilege. Okay, glad that you are making a statement. If I don’t want you to grab my pussy, I will grab your fucking nuts and twist and that’s it. I mean, learn some self and verbal defense. Funny, I haven’t had any sexual harassment outside my own home. Maybe people just look at me and know, I’m not gonna fuck with that bitch.
[My experience with molestation] started at three. It wasn’t violent, but it still is molestation. At nine, I was conscious enough to go, stop this shit, and also figure out that it didn’t start there, because I saw my father’s brother doing the same thing and I realized, wait a minute. And this is part of the horror that women or men who have been abused have—you feel alone. And this is why this movement is actually good, because it’s showing people they are not alone. The spectrum is what bothers me. First of all, you’re dealing with one of the most lecherous, corporate pimps in the world, which is Hollywood, which exploits what? Young, beautiful women dressed in skimpy costumes, playing victim. They can’t complain when they’re actually becoming the victim. And what are they anyway but a commodity? Again, selling what? Selling movies. So I mean, take some responsibility personally. I have a very aggressive opinion about this and I’m not victim-blaming, I’m mother-of-the-victim-blaming. By twenty, you should know better. What year were you born? Please—and you know, if you really want that career, and you want to be a high-class call girl, then you might have to suck a dick or two. You don’t want to? You leave the fucking room.
Top photo via lydia-lunch.net
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Lydia Wang is a writer, a Pisces, and one of BUST's digital editors. Find her on Twitter or say hi: firstname.lastname@example.org.