Angela Lansbury is 92 years old, which is about how old my Granny would be if my Granny were still alive, and if my Granny were still alive, she’d still be saying a lot of hateful things about black people and gay people and telling me “you ain’t worth a damn nickel” before asking me to go out and pick the switch with which she beat me. Sweet lady, really, except for all the horrible things she said every minute of every day. Side note: She stopped talking to me after my Dad died, because I think she thought that we were bad influences on my Dad and turned him gay.
So, if you put Angela Lansbury’s comments in the context of my grandmother — who literally looked the other way when my grandfather brought prostitutes into the house — well, they’re still pretty awful:
“There are two sides to this coin. We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us — and this is where we are today.
“We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.”
Oh Angie. No, no. Nonononono. I mean, I’m not expecting woke Grandma here, but no. This has nothing to do with appearance. It has everything to do with power. Making oneself look attractive is not the sole purview of women, after all, and no one knocks down and rapes Kid Rock when he wears his furs:
I mean, yikes, I don’t think that my racist old Granny would say that women were asking for it.
Lansbury did at least suggest that she thinks “it will stop now” and that “a lot of men must be very worried at this point,” but the damage was already done. Twitter lit her up, and not because the ending of Murder on the Orient Express is terrible:
[sees Angela Lansbury trending]— Brohibition Now (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 28, 2017
Oh my god, did she die???
[sees why Angela Lansbury is trending]
Ok, so as far as I’m concerned, yes she did. https://t.co/zDQr4Psfai
Angela Lansbury, star of the 1944 version of Gaslight, which gave us the term ‘Gaslighting’, has just declared that attractive women share the blame for sexual harassment. pic.twitter.com/x3ruL22cIR— Dr Fern Riddell (@FernRiddell) November 28, 2017
Murder She Wrote would have been quite a different show if in each episode Angela Lansbury blamed the victim.— StanHengen (@StanHengen) November 28, 2017
Oh, Angela Lansbury.— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) November 28, 2017
No, girl. Just no.
1) Rapists don't rape because of the way we dress. They rape to exert power over women. It has nothing to do with how we look.
2) It's never the woman's fault. Never.
3) I agree that "men must be very worried".https://t.co/KD06V7wjJM pic.twitter.com/mx9A5FZVTb
Angela Lansbury went 92 years without being controversial but decided victim-blaming was the opinion to throw herself under the bus over. pic.twitter.com/WrRKsT5vOg— Hanna Flint (@HannaFlint) November 28, 2017
Looking forward to the new season of Murder she wrote where Lansbury just looks at dead bodies and says 'If you didn't want to get stabbed you shouldn't have dressed so stabby'— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) November 28, 2017
Me when Angela Lansbury said THAT: pic.twitter.com/cXaf3hfiR3— Isaiah Fapuro (@IsaiahAF_) November 28, 2017
Given her age, however, some are advocating for less outrage and more sympathy given her worldview. After all, my own Granny did nothing when her husband brought home prostitutes. Both she and Lansbury lived in a world where women were often treated horribly and probably spent a lot of time blaming themselves:
Angela Lansbury’s comments show an attitude that does real harm. But most of all I feel very sad for her and all the other women who have lived by these rules and placed blame at their own door and I think reactions should contain compassion and reflection on generational change.— Laura Waddell (@lauraewaddell) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury is 92 years old. Getting mad at her on twitter because she doesn't have the most modern ideas about sexual harassment is pointless and kind of dumb.— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) November 28, 2017
Angela Lansbury has based her views on experience and the world she has lived in over the past 92 years. This is her right. I don’t agree with her, but that’s the problem with opinions and experience, we’re all different. I don’t agree with berating old ladies, but there you go.— Dazy Graves (@Missdazygraves) November 28, 2017