Author Topic: Germaine Greer on rape.  (Read 767 times)

Offline Blythe

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Germaine Greer on rape.
« on: May 30, 2018, 11:10:28 PM »
I am very interested in what Germaine has to say on this.
Rape is virtually endemic and its nigh on impossible to get a rapist convicted .  I remember saying years back that maybe if we called it actual bodily harm rather than rape then maybe we'd stand a chance at getting a conviction, and it seems to me that Greer's on to something.

I also agree with her that we get over most rapes. We don't let it define us, we just deal with it.

I shall have to read the whole book but I think even this article gives me lots to think about.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/germaine-greer-calls-for-punishment-for-to-be-reduced.

Thoughts anyone?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 11:12:26 PM by Blythe »
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Offline Betty Croker

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 11:24:08 PM »
Just posed this in reply to Musette's post in the "What are you thinking" thread.

And I would add that when I hear someone say most rapes don't involve any injury, there's a level of cognitive dissonance operating there.

She was like that about #metoo.

I think she is talking bollox, frankly as she was about the "metoo". She's a bit of a lighthouse. She has an occasional although increasingly irregular flash of insight but its otherwise beset on all sides by confuddlement and darkness.

I can see her point about if you lowered the penalty more juries may convict. Because low conviction rates, really are down to juries these days. Everything that can be ramped up in the justice system to try and tip the balance towards fairness to the victim has now been done. Its like when they removed the death penalty for murder because juries preferred to find someone they thought might be guilty innocent rather than risk them being hanged if they got it wrong, or even if they got it right.

But the minimising into "it's just bad heterosex" is appalling. Unless its being badly summarised. She's  right that rape is typically more of an unreported domestic occurrance than something done by a stranger in an alleyway and I can see why she is trying to take the power of fear away by saying that a rapist can't kill you by the act of rape alone. They can actually if they inflict you with a disease or a pregnancy that your body can't handle or the terror effects your mental health to the point of suicide. I agree that in most cases its the accompanying physical violence and terror employed that should attract the life sentence level of punishment but she is horribly minimalising the psychological aspects of a person's autonomy being negated. And she's also taking it from a female active heterosexual point of view - if you are a lesbian who has never had sex with a man or a straight man who is raped, are you really only going to be annoyed rather than traumatised? (For the record, I don't accept that sexually active female heterosexuals, lesbians or bisexual women who have slept with men or men who have sex with men are going to be necessarily less traumatised - but that seems to be her argument.)

I hate it when feminist voices articulating dissent or disagreement are described as "screaming" or "screeching" or "shrill". I don't know why she needs to do that. I say that as someone who actually likes female voices.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 11:43:40 PM by Betty Croker's frosted buns »
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.......

Offline Blythe

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 12:19:57 AM »
There's loads of awfulness in there, and her turns of phrase are damaging but I think there's stuff I agree with.
So many victims are made to feel shame, to be victims or described as being destroyed by being rape victims, its stigmatising, and that is as psychologically damaging as being raped. 
If we got more women reporting rape because it was described more as assault than rape, wouldn't that be better?
The stigma should be on the rapist as someone who can't control their social behaviour, loss of job, tagged, maybe curfewed, and same goes for other violent perpetrators. 
I shall have to buy the book and see what she says.

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Offline Betty Croker

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 12:48:43 AM »
Absolutely. I wouldn't disagree with any of that.

And the carrying the stigma point is very important.

I'm instinctively influenced by the legal tests more than most for obvious reasons.

If someone is serving a sentence of imprisonment in this country, they do half the time in prison and the second half in the community unless they are recalled to prison during that second half for breaching their licence or reoffending. The test for re-releasing them into the community after being recalled is the same test for re-releasing lifers or IPP prisoners into the community. The test is essentially whether their risk of causing serious harm can be managed in the community. Serious harm is defined in terms of causing serious physical or psychological harm.

If we were to say with Germaine, that rape is not capable in all instances of causing serious physical or psychological harm, it would seem mad for Parole Boards to be legally bound to have to release prisoners even if they thought there was a significant risk that couildn't be managed in the community of them committing rape - because rape didn't necessarily constitute "serious harm". Its been a long day and my grey cells are frazzled so I may be missing some factors out of the equation but that was my first reaction when I read what she said.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:42:11 AM by Betty Croker's frosted buns »
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.......

Offline Lust for Life

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 07:19:34 AM »
Germaine Greer seems to have a tendency to assume that how she feels/thinks/reacts/behaves is how most people do (or at least should). So now we know:

Germaine Greer has not been harmed by rape, so it's no biggie.

 ::) :-\ :(

Offline Blythe

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 11:29:08 AM »
I don't think she has said she wasn't harmed by rape.  She says she was harmed/traumatised by the violence more than the rape.   
I'd argue that she is comparing her rape which was violent to other rapes that aren't as violent and consdering those bad sex which of course is very offensive to those who have been raped.
Also, this happened to GG a long time ago and she has had plenty of time to process what happened.  Maybe much of her feminism was fuelled by that incident?  Maybe because there is that distance she has forgotten the impact?  I don't know.

I thought a lot about my experiences when I read her article, and I was far more affected by the violence and coercive control I endured at the hand of my daughters' father (and obviously the added stress of them being in the house and wanting to protect them etc etc) than I was after being raped when I was 17.  When I was raped, it may not actually be called rape, because I went to willingly have sex with the man, but he sodomised me against my will and I asked him to stop, and he wouldn't.   I was pretty horrified and upset and in pain, but I didn't dare go to the Police because I had consented to the first part.  I learnt so much from that awful incident, about consent and boundaries, I did eventually tell people several years later and discovered how many of my female friends had had similar experiences at the time and we could all have spoken up if we had not felt ashamed. 
But it did not have the impact that living with an abusive man had.  I will never get over the guilt and memory of fear that that caused.
Obviously this is just my own personal opinion, no-one needs to agree with me, and I am not posting for sympathy, I just think there is so much stigma with being a victim of rape, and the stigma is driving much of the reason for why we can't get women to come forward. 
Betty, I am sure you are right about how juries react.   That is surely another reason for us to consider altering how we look at rape.

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Offline Betty Croker

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 11:46:06 AM »
I'm working from home today and I realise how much more interesting it is to talk about this than do what I should be doing so I've got to not go there really but isn't the answer, not that we "downplay" rape but take more seriously the domestic violence that you experienced as causing you the most harm?
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.......

Offline Blythe

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 12:30:55 PM »
Well on radio5live now they're discussing how 1 in 3 DV cases are now woman on man.  What's the betting more will be focussed on DV now?


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Offline Betty Croker

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 12:48:49 PM »
Yes and someone full of self-loathing will be along shortly on cue to tell us that lesbians commit the worst domestic violence of all.

Radio 5Live is all men and all sport so that doesn't surprise me. Being a football fan I often have on it in the background :

"CHECKATRAAAAAADE.... CHECKATRADE.COM......Welcome to the Radio5LIVE with me Bob Black and my good friend, former Aston Villa defender Claude Rumple WE BUY ANY CAR... DOT COM. Dont forget at 4pm we have Drive with Darren Durham and Adrian Gough who will have conflicting opinons on every subject imaginable to make sure outraged Liverpool and Newcastle fans phone up en masse. Now George Galloway on why women shouldn't be allowed on the frontline in the Army SELCO….. ITS WHERE THE TRADE GO……....AUTOGLASS REPAIR AUTOGLASS REPLACEMENT"
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt.......

Offline mint

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 08:23:35 PM »
The thing is she's saying how other people should feel. Just because she personally was harmed by the violence more doesn't mean everyone is like that. Someone else might find different aspects more difficult, and she shouldn't trivialise that.

To be honest I've lost any respect I had for her.

Offline Blythe

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 11:28:11 PM »
Most people I know agree with your position, Mint, I  know GG has bitterly disappointed many previous fans of her books, not just with this book and comments but before with her trans comments, but I have sympathy with some of what she's saying.
I need to know more and think about it, but seeing as we live in a rape culture and we seem to be fighting a losing battle, I wonder whether drastic overhaul is the way forward.


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Offline Chewwy

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #11 on: Jun 01, 2018, 12:16:53 AM »
Yes and someone full of self-loathing will be along shortly on cue to tell us that lesbians commit the worst domestic violence of all.

Radio 5Live is all men and all sport so that doesn't surprise me. Being a football fan I often have on it in the background :

"CHECKATRAAAAAADE.... CHECKATRADE.COM......Welcome to the Radio5LIVE with me Bob Black and my good friend, former Aston Villa defender Claude Rumple WE BUY ANY CAR... DOT COM. Dont forget at 4pm we have Drive with Darren Durham and Adrian Gough who will have conflicting opinons on every subject imaginable to make sure outraged Liverpool and Newcastle fans phone up en masse. Now George Galloway on why women shouldn't be allowed on the frontline in the Army SELCO….. ITS WHERE THE TRADE GO……....AUTOGLASS REPAIR AUTOGLASS REPLACEMENT"

My brother gets all his best opinions from Radio 5Live, saves time I guess.

I very much doubt either of you do, but it's always on in the car and good for the transfer season.
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Offline Blythe

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #12 on: Jun 01, 2018, 12:41:22 AM »
I listen to either radio4 or LBC, and I only go to radio5live if I know they are discussing a particular topic I'm interested in.

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Offline Chewwy

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #13 on: Jun 01, 2018, 01:39:35 AM »
Even he admits it can be pigheaded, despite listening to it everyday.

I miss listening to the radio.  In my early years of non sleeping, LBC was a must (before it went off piste in the 00's).

Anyroads, back to your thread.  GG has always liked to shock, and maybe she's got a point here re' convictions. Very difficult if you're a victim / survivor.  But I liked what the poster mentioned about juries and hanging.  And similarly rape being the absolute crime that they wouldn't like to make a decision on.
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Offline mint

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Re: Germaine Greer on rape.
« Reply #14 on: Jun 03, 2018, 02:38:01 PM »
To be honest the more I read about what she's said the more offensive I find it. It's staggeringly arrogant that she thinks she gets to define how other people experience things, how other people feel. I rarely ever talk directly about my own experiences but I have been subject to physical violence within and outside of a relationship, resulting in hearing loss and other seemingly permanent health problems to my back and neck. NONE of that remotely affected me anywhere near the level that any sexual violence did. Not even 1%, not even close. Physical violence didn't make me lay awake at night feeling unsafe. It's different for everyone. And I would never, EVER assume to try to tell someone else what they should find difficult or not.

When she says "most rapes don't involve any injury whatsoever" it's completely offensive and in a way ultra narrow minded. Injury isn't always seen and injury isn't always physical. Reducing it to "think of it as bad sex" is just offensive and loads of the stuff she's saying is. Something that leaves no sign, no injury, no nothing - apparently... maybe that's how she found it - but she isn't the voice for all women (thankfully). It's not just "bad sex" it's a violation and I have zero sympathy for what she's saying because I think she's minimising it as a crime and there is enough of that going on and enough culture about that says it's OK when it isn't, without a woman adding to it. It isn't OK.