The 78-year-old’s ‘crime’ was to mildly suggest in a Radio 4 Woman’s Hour interview this week that women should not get drunk around men because it put them at risk of being raped.Taken out of context, it sounds terrible; as if both sexes were out of control after a few shandies and all men were potential rapists.In the meantime, Chatto have quietly republished and re-issued every single one of Nigella’s cookbooks.
On the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine and elsewhere, Irma patrols the troubled territory peopled by the heartbroken and the worried, the lovelorn and the lost.
Now — after all these years of unstinting support for the sisterhood, after all this blameless time hacking away at the coalface of guidance-giving — ka-boom!
Kurtz is suddenly in the dock, accused of being a rape apologist, a victim-blamer and worse. See her as the very devil, a traitor to the cause, a turncoat and vile witch.
For not sensing the jeopardy, for being unable to fight or flee, for stumbling intoxicated into the maw of danger. Women cannot exult in the freedoms and emancipations that come with being captains of our own ships without accepting responsibility for our big bad selves at the same time.
And acceding that being drunk just might make a woman more vulnerable to rape is not at all the same thing as suggesting she is somehow responsible for the rape. On nights out, most of us, at one time or another, have been stupid, but fortunate. Police in York now suspect that missing university student Megan Roberts fell into the local river and drowned after drinking too much on a night out with her friends.