‘Too far’

Feminist Germaine Greer sparks new uproar with ‘career rapees’ comment

Germaine Greer (REUTERS/Mick Tsikas)

Germaine Greer addressed her previous controversial remarks on the #MeToo movement — and in doing so reignited a controversy that has resulted in another strong backlash. Greer said that speaking out years after an attack is “pointless” and that those who do so risk becoming “career rapees.”

She also cautioned about the damaging implications that making public accusations could have on the lives of the very women who level the allegations.

“The amount of legal muscle that will be used to defend these people is massive and I’m concerned for damage limitation rather than maximisation rather than wrecking people’s lives, so they become career rapees as it were,” said Greer, citing the difficulties Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant Zelda Perkins faced.

Speaking with Mishal Husain on BBC Radio 4’s Today, Greer built on past comments in which she said that Harvey Weinstein’s victims “spread [their] legs” in return for movie roles by suggesting that they and others who accepted financial settlements from powerful men were “dishonorable” for having done so.

“Some of whom have been paid six figure sums in the form of non-disclosure agreements,” she added. “That’s a dishonorable thing to accept and it’s not something you should boast about.”

Greer further condemned the #MeToo movement itself, saying that she didn’t believe it had “gone too far” because it hadn’t actually “got anywhere at all.”

“What we need is to sort out the law regarding rape and to sort out our concept of what it is,” she said. “It’s pointless now bringing up this stuff when most of it no action can be taken.”

Greer wasn’t finished criticizing the #MeToo movement, and scolded women who dared to speak up about an attack after remaining silent for years.

“Why wait 20 years?” she asked. “I wouldn’t have been sitting around being quiet and keeping a secret.” Greer’s remarks sparked considerable backlash, with many focusing on her use of the phrase “career rapees” as a form of victim blaming, though not everyone responded with outrage.

Listen to excerpts from Greer’s interview on BBC 4 below. She also addressed the controversies over campus rape in the U.S. and why she thinks current laws don’t protect women.

Read the full story at Metro.

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