gtkrc file in your home dirctory stores config for theming gtk2 programs. But it stores usr config. eg. I don't have gtkrc in my home directory and I'am affected by this bug. So this cannot be the reason
Too bad it didn't work for you
I tested this on three PCs running ArchLinux (one with gtk2-2.14.x, the other two with gtk2-2.16.1) and renaming .gtkrc solves the crashing problem.
I found the problem is caused (for me) by setting gtk-icon-theme-name.
Could you please check if you have a system gtkrc file (e.g. /etc/gtk-2.0/gtkrc)?