The inevitable backlash from women against the #MeToo movement kicked into high gear when 100 prominent French women, including Catherine Deneuve, signed a letter denouncing it. Now Germaine Greer, the Australian feminist who has a history of making anti-trans statements, has criticized not only the movement but also women who’ve come out as having been sexually abused.
The author of the seminal rallying cry The Female Eunuch in the 1970s, Greer was named Australian of the Year in Britain over the weekend where she took the opportunity to slam survivors of abuse like Woody Allen’s accuser Dylan Farrow, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.
"It was 20 years ago, so you want him to stop making movies now? It might be a good idea because he's probably no good anymore," the 78-year-old glibly said responding to questions about Farrow’s trauma.
Greer’s wider response to #MeToo essentially posited that boys will be boys and that it’s incumbent upon their victims to fight back immediately.
"I want, I've always wanted, to see women react immediately," Greer said, as if that’s always an option. "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’s incendiary comments that appear stuck in another era are not shocking considering her history of transphobia that began with her saying that trans women are not real women. After her comments created a firestorm on social media, she doubled down on her anti-trans statements while also playing the victim card.
“Apparently people have decided that because I don’t think that post-operative transgender men are women, I’m not to be allowed to talk,” Greer told the BBC in 2015, according to The Guardian. “ I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that procedure, what I’m saying is it doesn’t make them a woman.”
The author, who is currently working on a book titled On Rape, made a bizarre distinction regarding sexual abuse, telling the Herald that she believes there is a difference between being sexually harassed/abused by a man with economic power versus one is not financially advantaged. But she also victim-blamed in the middle of making the point.
“What makes it different is when the man has economic power, as Harvey Weinstein has,” Greer began well enough. “But 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.”
Considering the onus she’s placed on women to speak out immediately in the face of adversity, at least one has done so against Greer. Farrow used her voice on Twitter to respond to Greer with a harsh rebuke.
At 7, I told my mom what happened. My mom then responsibly followed through. The result? A narrative was spun to dismiss me as "brainwashed" and my mother as a master manipulator. For Greer to act like standing against powerful abusers is easy is both wrong and profoundly naive. https://t.co/p9ekw0hPi8
— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) January 23, 2018