• Thu, Apr 17 - 3:31 pm ET

Kirsten Dunst Did Some Serious Victim Blaming Today, And We’re Hoping It’s A Misunderstanding

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Just weeks after her awkwardly-worded comments about traditional gender roles, Kirsten Dunst has once again been quoted as saying something vaguely offensive. In a recent talk with W Magazine, the actress had this odd response to being asked if a director has ever “pounced” on her:

No, I don’t think I 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.

I don’t want to immediately jump down her throat, because it’s entirely possible that she interpreted the question in a different way than I did, but this kind of reads like she’s saying that actresses who are coerced into sexual relationships with directors– people in higher positions of power– are asking for it. Again, it’s likely that Kirsten is simply saying she wouldn’t want to start a consensual relationship with a director, and that she avoids the temptation by not flirting, but there’s something in the word “pounce” that makes me feel like the interviewer was talking about assault. If she’s implying that women are “pounced on” because they behave in a way that invites that kind of behavior, that’s completely messed up. If she’s not saying that, it really sucks that a reader might interpret it that way. Even if it’s unintentional, the world doesn’t need any more comments that support the idea that victims are ever to blame.

Kirsten Dunst is a supremely talented actress, a fashion icon, and someone who doesn’t come across as ignorant– so she might want to make sure there’s a publicist by her side for her next interview. I imagine that it’s incredibly difficult to give interviews at such a high-profile level, and even the most considerate and careful of celebrities are bound to say the wrong things sometimes. I also realize that there’s plenty of room for your words to be misconstrued when they’re being published to such a wide audience. I’m not sure if this quote was Kirsten’s fault or W‘s, but either way, it’s sad to open a popular women’s magazine and see something that resembles victim blaming.

Via E! / Photo: Getty Images

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  • Mandie

    I will totes give her the benefit of a poorly worded question. Love Kirsten. Loved her in Interview with a Vampire, loved her in Marie Antoinette, love her forever.

    • Samantha Escobar

      Same; I feel like it’s probably just the way the question was phrased.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    Here’s to hoping that was taken out of context…because if not, ugh

  • Nancy

    I think she’s referencing that she doesn’t usually play sexy-vamp roles as much as cute girlfriend roles. She is attractive, but not a sex kitten, so it’s easier to escape unwanted come-ons.

  • fabel

    I think it’s more like, as a young attractive woman, Dunst has internalized the message that if men are “pouncing” (which, no, doesn’t automatically conjure the idea of sexual assault…it’s sort of a deliberately playful word to mask what it’s describing? At least in the context of the interview) ANYWAY, she’s probably internalized the message that if men POUNCE on you, then you’re being purposely irresistible or whatever. So she’s trying to remove herself from that line of thought by saying no, that never happened because x, y, & z. It reads as victim blaming, but she’s a victim too if she’s trapped in that mindset.

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  • Penelope

    This is reaching.

  • Carascrows

    She’s an idiot!

  • Anmto King

    Blaming isn’t going to help anyone at any time.

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