Iconic feminist Germaine Greer has heavily criticised the #MeToo movement as she scooped Australian of the Year award in the UK.
Germaine Greer has taken aim at the #MeToo movement, describing it as women “whingeing”.
The writer aired her views at a gala event at Australia House in London during an interview before accepting her award as Australian of the Year from non-for-profit charity the Australia Day Foundation.
Greer claimed that previous generations of women would “slap” men down for misconduct.
“In the old days, there were movies - the Carry On comedies, for example - which always had a man leering after women. And the women always outwitted him - he was a fool,” Greer explained.
“We weren’t afraid of him and we weren’t afraid to slap him down.”
Greer then went on to suggest that actresses who’ve accused Hollywood director Harvey Weinstein of alleged sexual abuse had a part to play.
“What makes it different is if the man has economic power, as Harvey Weinstein has. If you spread your legs because he said ‘be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that,” Greer said.
However the Australian writer didn’t entirely excuse the alleged behaviour of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
“I want, I’ve always wanted, to see women react [to sexual harassment] immediately,” said Greer, adding that women facing sexual harassment should take “direct and immediate action” against their attackers”.
“I want women to react here and now. I want the woman on a train who feels a man’s hand where it shouldn’t be … to be able to say quite clearly, ‘Stop’.”
Greer has called for a change in the law regarding rape.
“I have seen the police working up a rape case trying desperately hard to build it up so it will stand up in court - and wasting their time,” she explained.
“The burden of proof is too high and that’s because the tariff is too onerous. Rape is a daily crime, it’s not spectacular. What we need is a coherent law of sexual assault.”
Greer was a prominent figure in the second-wave feminist movement. Her seminal feminist text The Female Eunuch, in which she argued that women’s sexuality is repressed by suburban consumer culture, became an international bestseller when it was published in 1970 and has never been out of print.
But people are having none of it, taking to social media to express their anger towards her comments.
“If Germaine Greer was ever a feminist ally, she sure as hell isn’t one now,” one user wrote.
“Sorry Germaine Greer, but plenty of unknown women have found their voice through the #MeToo campaign,” another user wrote.
This isn’t the first time the writer has found herself in hot water due to her opinions. Greer voiced a controversial opinion on Caitlyn Jenner as she won Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, saying:
“Just because you lop off your d**k and then wear a dress doesn’t make you a f***ing woman. I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots and I’m going to wear a brown coat but that won’t turn me into a f***ing cocker spaniel.”
Images: Rex Features / Twitter