Australian feminist Germaine Greer has sparked controversy by calling for the punishment for rape to be reduced and saying that most rapes are just bad sex.
Speaking at the Hay literary festival in the UK, she said that society should not see rape as a “spectacularly violent crime,” suggesting that offenders should be sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and perhaps an “r” tattoo on the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.
“Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever. We are told it’s one of the most violent crimes in the world – bull. Most rape is just lazy, just careless, just insensitive,” she said, according to British press reports.
“Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal right, he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law,” she added.
Greer, 79, academic and author of the 1970 landmark feminist work “The Female Eunuch,” was speaking at the festival to publicize her new book, which is due out in Australia in September.
Greer has a long history of making incendiary remarks that have garnered her publicity.
She has said that in her opinion transgender women are “not women,” female genital mutilation is like getting a tattoo and has slammed the #Metoo movement.
During her Hay talk, Greer argued that rape is rampant in society because the legal system cannot cope with it and victims become little more than “bits of evidence.”
“I want to turn the discourse about rape upside down. We are not getting anywhere approaching it down the tunnel of history,” she said.
Former UK cabinet minister Priti Patel called Greer’s views “sickening.”
“These comments are an affront to the victims of appalling crimes such as rape. We should have zero tolerance of sexual violence,” she was quoted as saying by the Mail.
Commentators expressed their disappointment at her comments on Twitter.
Greer also spoke about her rape that was committed at a party days before her 19th birthday. She had not been “angry enough” with her attacker, she said.
“I can hear feminists screaming ‘you’re trivialising rape’ but we shouldn’t live in terror of the penis. Why are we genuflecting in front of this poor little thing that needs all the help it can get,” she added.