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When good feminists go bad: Germaine Greer says rape is often just 'bad sex' and should have lesser punishment

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The Australian academic's controversial comments have been slammed online

Anna Freeman

31 Mayo 2018 16:22

What the fuck happened to Germaine Greer?

Formerly an iconic voice in the second wave feminist movement, Greer has steadily but surely secured her position as incompatible with much modern feminist discourse.

She has sought to reinstate time and time again that transgender women ‘are not women’, appearing to side with the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) faction of ‘feminism’ that is deeply transphobic. And now, she is back in the headlines for suggesting that criminal rape sentences should be drastically lessened and that rape is often just ‘bad sex’.

While speaking at Hay literary festival, the Australian academic argued that rape is so rampant in society at large that the legal system is burdened by the issue; always choosing to focus on the ambivalence of consent which results in few convictions. According to Greer, rape isn’t usually an ultra-violent act of force and aggression - ‘Most rape is just lazy, just careless, insensitive.’

She said the system was not working and radical change was needed. 'I want to turn the discourse about rape upside down. We are not getting anywhere approaching it down the tunnel of history.'

‘Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever,’ Greer told the audience, who were reportedly frozen in uncomfortable silence. ‘We are told that it is a sexually violent crime, an expert like Quentin Tarantino will tell us that when you use the word rape you’re talking about violence, a throwing them down... it is one of the most violent crimes in the world. Bullshit Tarantino.

‘Most rape is just lazy, just careless, insensitive. Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law.

‘Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime, and some rapes are, think about it as non-consensual … that is bad sex. Sex where there is no communication, no tenderness, no mention of love.’

Greer argued that the punishment for rape should be lowered to something like 200 hours’ community service and perhaps an ‘r’ tattoo on the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek. ‘You might want to believe that the penis is a lethal weapon and that all women live in fear of that lethal weapon,’ she continued, ‘Well that’s bullshit. It’s not true. We don’t live in terror of the penis … A man can’t kill you with his penis.’

Greer also disputed a statistic which said that 70% of rape victims had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder compared with 20% of conflict veterans. ‘What the hell are you saying? Something that leaves no sign, no injury, no nothing is more damaging to a woman than seeing your best friend blown up by an IED is to a veteran?’

And one more thing. ‘Women love men, more than they [men] love women,’ she told the room, ‘We are more aware of our men, more than they are aware of us. We are more easily pressured into pleasing them, or trying to please them. We tend to love our sons more than our daughters, we hope it doesn’t show, but it nearly always does.’

Greer's book On Rape which sets out her argument will be published in September.

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