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Ab Fab Star Wants Women to Stop Behaving Badly

Joanna Lumley's outspoken take on female drunkenness is nothing like Patsy Stone's.


Patsy Stone, TV's infamous lush. Photo via

By May Wilkerson


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Actress Joanna Lumley has had it up to here with women getting drunk, dressing like "trash" and puking in the gutter all over town. Patsy Stone—the hard-drinking, drug abusing and promiscuous co-heroine she plays on the British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous—would likely disagree. But Lumley says she's nothing like her character, who subsists on a diet of booze, drugs and cigarettes, and is constantly falling out of cabs. “Patsy is a detestable character. I really loathe her” says the actress—and she goes on to admonish young women for their boorish behavior and dearth of decorum. "Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight," she says. "This is bad." Lumley claims she never got sloppy drunk in public the way women do now, blaming "something in our society" for the troubling new trend. "It’s not me being a snob about it. It’s not me being an old woman talking to young women, it’s just standard practice for how our species should behave," she says. "Don’t behave badly."

Although she doesn't approve of men's boozy antics either, Lumley cautions that wasted women are especially vulnerable to "predators." Getting "sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home," puts women in danger, she warns. "Somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you." Her words have sparked outrage on Twitter, where many are accusing her of victim-blaming and spreading false ideas about sexual assault. "Joanna Lumley seems to think alcohol rapes people. No, rapists rape people," writes London Feminist. "Rape is an act of violence, not sex," tweets another user. "To suggest women could avoid rape by drinking less or wearing different clothes is ignorant and insulting."

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